REPAIRS to the dome at Science World and other tourism infrastructure throughout B.C. will receive a $50-million boost to keep building the province as a world-class tourism destination.
“If you live in B.C., you have a couple special places you love to visit with family and friends. For my family, Science World is one of those spots,” said Premier David Eby on Tuesday. “If you’re visiting B.C. you know how much there is to see – but all this doesn’t happen by accident. That’s why we’re building a strong tourism sector where visitors can experience all our province has to offer and British Columbians can enjoy their favourite places as well as the benefits of a strong, diverse economy.”
Critical systems housed in Science World’s dome are at the end of their life, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and electrical systems, and repairs to these systems must be addressed. The dome is also leaking, rendering the theatre unusable.
The Province is investing $20 million in Science World to support priority infrastructure repairs and improvements to its dome and other parts of the building. Updates will include new electrical energy efficiencies and other critical infrastructure upgrades.
“The past three years have been incredibly difficult for people in the tourism industry,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Our government is proud to invest in the tourism sector to support the people who work in it and to support its sustained recovery. By supporting Science World, we are ensuring families throughout B.C. and all our visitors can continue to create lifelong memories together.”
Science World has been a landmark tourist attraction in Vancouver since it opened for Expo 86, welcoming more than 860,000 visitors each year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a learning institution for students and teachers throughout B.C., highlighting careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and math (STEAM) and preparing students with skills for the future.
“This funding will allow us to continue to make critical infrastructure updates to the iconic dome,” said Tracy Redies, CEO, Science World. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Province to ensure we can keep welcoming millions of visitors from B.C., Canada and around the world for another 35 years.”
The Province is also providing $30 million to enhance existing tourism infrastructure throughout the province, foster globally competitive destinations, strengthen a year-round visitor economy, and to support sustainability, accessibility and inclusion. Projects include new tourism attractions, campground developments, incorporating Indigenous culture and language, accessibility improvements, and climate change adaptations. This new funding builds on the $15 million previously allocated for 2023 and helps create more vibrant communities for residents and visitors.
The $45-million tourism infrastructure fund supports 90 shovel-ready, tourism-development projects throughout the province, such as:
* the Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association’s provincewide project to improve visitor responsibility on mountain bike trails and collect data about visitor use to assist with trail maintenance;
* the City of Delta’s Barns to Beaches Bike Route, supporting agri-tourism and encouraging active transportation, such as biking; and
* the Tāłtān Central Government’s signage project, supporting the implementation of a signage master plan that includes Tāłtān language, oral history, storytelling and worldview.
Brenda Bailey, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, said: “Science World has a special place in the hearts and memories of so many British Columbians and visitors from around the world. This isn’t just an investment in Vancouver’s infrastructure, it’s an investment in ideas and inspiration that will support an innovative future that will benefit our entire province for generations to come.”
Nancy Roper, Vice President, Science World, added: “Science World plays an integral role in inspiring the next generation of world-changers. We’re so much more than an iconic building. We also engage students and teachers across the province ensuring they have the STEAM skills they need to succeed. This funding helps us to continue to shine a light on careers in science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math.”
Mark Littlejohn, Executive Director, Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association, said: “British Columbia has had a profound influence on the world of mountain biking and has nurtured its transition from fringe to mainstream. This grant will help enhance trail stewardship by providing consistent and relevant information to trail users and encouraging support for these local organizations. Data collection will be the first provincewide repository for data that will assist trail organizations and land managers in allocating resources, acquiring support and controlling impacts.”
Chad Norman Day, President, Tāłtān Central Government, said: “Tahltans have never ceded or surrendered our lands, and much of the current signage within Tahltan Territory is not representative of our identity, culture and language. The Tāłtān Signage Project will allow our people to collaboratively implement a signage master plan for Tahltan Territory to include our language, oral history, storytelling and worldview. Mēduh to those who have contributed to this work so far and others who will continue to support us in the journey ahead.”
Delta Mayor George V. Harvie said: “Our Barns to Beaches Bike Route will connect visitors to some of Delta’s best tourism assets – our breweries, berries, birds, barns, beaches, boutiques and bistros. The Destination Development Fund grant we received will go a long way toward helping the City of Delta develop a day-trip destination experience accessible for people of all ages. I look forward to riding the Barns to Beaches Bike Route with my family this summer.”
Over the past three years, the B.C. government has supported the tourism sector with more than $500 million in tourism support, including:
– BC Fairs, Festivals and Events funding of $60 million, which supported 1,855 events, such as arts and cultural events, sport events, live music festivals, community celebrations and gatherings, agricultural fairs, exhibitions and rodeos;
– approximately $8 million in dedicated relief delivered by Indigenous Tourism BC for Indigenous tourism businesses; and
– more than $80 million in community-based tourism infrastructure and destination development to help tourism in B.C. recover, create jobs and spur economic development.
Find out more about Science World: https://www.scienceworld.ca/
To see the list of grant recipients, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/