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Tickets sold out for Vancouver Aquarium’s last day ahead of temporary closure

Click to play video 'Vancouver Aquarium says goodbye to hundreds of staff and loving patrons' Vancouver Aquarium says goodbye to hundreds of staff and loving patrons
The end of an era in B.C., as the Vancouver Aquarium shuts down again, with management saying when it reopens, it will be a dramatically different facility. Jennifer Palma has the story.

After the Vancouver Aquarium announced it was shutting down temporarily to weather the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, support from the community is pouring in.

Labour Day is the aquarium’s last day and tickets sold out quickly.

Starting Tuesday, the aquarium, which is operated by non-profit Ocean Wise, will focus on transforming its operation to manage an almost 80 per cent loss in ticket sales.

There is no reopening date set yet.

Click to play video 'The Vancouver Aquarium closes to the public in an effort to save money' The Vancouver Aquarium closes to the public in an effort to save money
The Vancouver Aquarium closes to the public in an effort to save money

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The animals who live at the aquarium will continue to be cared for by a team of 75 staff.

More than 200 full-time, part-time and casual staff will be laid off.

Other programs, such as Ocean Wise Research, Ocean Wise Education, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Arctic programs, Ocean Wise Seafood, Marine Mammal Rescue, and others — will continue without interruption.

The aquarium said it was losing more than $1 million per month during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The focus going forward will be to transition to a new model that is both financially viable and also accelerates ocean conservation programs.