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Aquarium strikes out on grants to support staff, programming

The Discovery Passage Aquarium has struck out on a couple of grants to support its staff and programming.

It had applied last fall for a B.C. Community Gaming Funds Grant for protecting intertidal marine life, especially at Willow Point Reef, as well as a PromoScience grant to expand programming over the winter.

In September, the City of Campbell River had supplied letters of support in for the applications.

Manager Ricky Belanger says both applications were not successful.

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One grant was expected to support the aquarium’s education and stewardship coordinator Shawna Eggleston.

“There are quite a few other funding streams that we are going to be looking at…we’re working pretty hard to try and fill up those gaps,” Belanger told Vista Radio.

Belanger hopes to have “positive discussions” with supporting agencies in the city after they get a clear financial picture for the aquarium.

“I’m waiting anxiously to see where we are financially, what the options are but…there are lots of supporting agencies in town that we are hoping to have some positive discussions with,” Belanger said.

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Funding for the aquarium supports the facility as well as the two paid positions on staff – Belanger and Eggleston, who started in May 2022.

Belanger says existing programming is not at risk.

“The programming that we have delivered year to year in the past with our summer camps, our school programs, those are not at risk of being cancelled. Those will be proceeding as planned.”

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