Tim Tessier, Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association vice-president, makes a presentation to Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ education committee on May 1. His group seeks to build an ocean exploration centre in Nanaimo and sought a letter of support from the school district. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Ocean centre envisions education partnerships with Nanaimo school district

Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association presents updated plan, seeks support

With an updated plan that includes a theatre with 3-D technology, proponents of an ocean learning centre are seeking support from the school district and other groups.

Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association, a non-profit, has visions of a facility similar to Science World in Vancouver, but where people can learn about oceans. Tim Tessier and Bill Nadeau, association vice-president and director, respectively, made a presentation May 1 to the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools education committee about the centre, now known as OceanEXP, Canada’s Centre for Ocean Exploration.

While originally envisioned as a museum, plans have evolved and Tessier said a feasibility study based on primary research is forthcoming from MNP. He said the association wants the centre to be more than a museum, it wants the centre to be an iconic facility unlike anything else in the world.

The centre would include an interactive, immersive dynamic virtual theatre, with high-definition, virtual and 3-D technology, although not IMax.

“It was a museum piece and we wanted to take that and turn it into a living experience of virtual reality beyond tanks that were filled with water,” said Nadeau. “In today’s age there is no more aquariums … everything’s going to become a virtual reality environment where the experience can be far more effective, and that’s what we’ve adopted. It allowed us to create a strong educational component.

“We can actually control the curriculum that we put in, the visual display, that’s again interactive with a high educational component. We teach about the technology that we use to explore the oceans and, in doing so, we put it together with the environment and the threats that the oceans face right now.”

RELATED: Group pitches ocean centre for Nanaimo

RELATED: Council recommends $65K for proposed ocean centre

When asked by Jo Cornthwaite, Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association representative, about who’s designing the curriculum, Nadeau said it would be collaborative.

“As far as the actual curriculums throughout the facility itself, what we want to do … is approach the school systems and say, ‘We’re not reinventing the wheel and we’re not going to tell you what that curriculum is.’ We want to create a program that is symbiotic with what you’re producing in the schools, what you’re introducing, so that’s part of that partnership we seek,” said Nadeau.

Tessier said more than $100,000 “pure cash” has been raised for the project and more than $250,000 in contributions from corporations and other groups. The deep discovery association said discussions are taking place with Snuneymuxw First Nation.

The education committee said any letter of support should be dependent on consent from Snuneymuxw, and tabled a motion for a letter of support until September.

The association will be presenting the study to the City of Nanaimo in the future.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

Welcome to grilling season: Island firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

COLUMN: Graduates, gather no moss like a Rolling Stone

Don’t let COVID-19 get in your way, use it, learn from it

Victoria’s 300th little free library comes with its own benches, lighting

New Moss Rock library marks a milestone for the Capital Regional District

Lithium-ion battery fire damages suite in Nanaimo

One man displaced from home after battery for radio-controlled toy bursts into flame while charging

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Nine passengers on first flight after Campbell River airport reopens

Pacific Coastal flight 715 arrived from Vancouver on Tuesday morning

Unleashed pups not permitted in some Saanich parks

Residents reminded of summer dog restrictions within district

VIU leadership conference online for month of June

Students and community members can sign up for the speaker series and/or the excursion series

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

Nanaimo man wanted on assault warrants

John Bates wanted following two separate incidents from earlier this year

Most Read