New Gallery Opens an Ocean of Opportunity
New Gallery Opens an Ocean of Opportunity
On World Oceans Day, the Discovery Centre announces new permanent gallery
HALIFAX, NS – June 8, 2018 There’s a fitting reason to celebrate at the Discovery Centre this World Oceans Day. Following months of planning and construction, the Centre officially announces the opening of The Bill & Janet Murphy Ocean Gallery.
“Given our new home on the Halifax waterfront, in a province deeply connected to the sea, the Discovery Centre is the perfect place to encourage a deeper understanding of the marine environment,” says Dov Bercovici, President & CEO of the Discovery Centre. “The ocean has been good to us in the Maritimes, and this is a way of showing our appreciation; by educating and inspiring people to explore and protect its limitless value.”
The Bill & Janet Murphy Ocean Gallery dives into topics like the water cycle, deep-sea exploration, climate change and, more broadly, ‘ocean literacy’- the understanding of how the ocean influences us and how we influence the ocean. One of its most anticipated features, a saltwater touch pool, is filled with intertidal invertebrates like starfish, snails, shellfish, sea urchins, and sand dollars. “These marine animals are common to our coastline, which makes them ideal for a local-interest, hands-on experience,” explains professional aquarist Amandine Maillard, who will maintain and facilitate the touch pool experience.
As a non-profit organization, the Discovery Centre relied on a private donation by the J & W Murphy Foundation, partner funding by VEMCO, and a donation by the Donner Canadian Foundation. “The ocean played a huge role in the lives of our parents, the late Bill and Janet Murphy, founders of the J & W Murphy Foundation,” spokespersons and daughters Lisa and Karen Murphy explain. “From growing up on the shores of Nova Scotia, to building Mersey Seafoods Limited into a sustainable fishery allowing thousands to make a living from the sea, our family is very proud that this gallery will introduce children and adults alike to the magic, mystery, and science of our greatest natural resource.”
The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), provided a $1.3M nonrepayable contribution through its Innovative Communities Fund to help bring the new gallery to life. “Through award-winning, interactive exhibits and programming, the Centre instills knowledge and appreciation for science in visitors of all ages. This investment will help ensure the growth and sustainability of the Discovery Centre while simultaneously advancing Atlantic Canada’s position as a leader in experimental education on the global stage,” says Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax.
The gallery’s design, led by AldrichPears Associates, in partnership with NGX Interactive, 3DS Three Dimensional Services, and various subject matter experts, occupies 1,500 square feet of space on the main level of the fourfloor facility. “Whether it be examining magnified water crystals or virtually controlling the globe to see the effects of environmental change, visitors will have a great time engaging their curiosity about the world’s oceans,” says Isaac Marshall, Principal of AldrichPears.
Joana Augusto, the Discovery Centre’s Ocean Gallery Coordinator, is excited to introduce the public to the new gallery. “The power of interactive learning continues to be our focus. For example, touching a live sea star is far more meaningful than looking at one in a book. Not everyone is exposed to these types of experiences in their daily lives. By reaching more people, in a more engaging fashion, we have the chance to really have an impact.”
“Our future depends on the ocean,” Bercovici adds. “Fantastic work is already being done here in Nova Scotia in ocean research and innovation and we want to inspire more.” With the Discovery Centre’s mission to bring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) to the forefront, Bercovici hopes people will leave the gallery with a sense that an ‘ocean of opportunity’ exists. “The ocean is a largely unexplored, bountiful, and precious resource. All of us can learn more about the opportunities it holds and what we can do to help.”
The Bill & Janet Murphy Ocean Gallery will be open to the public on the afternoon of June 8.
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