The provincial government recently declared it would allocate $50 million in funding for tourism infrastructure projects throughout British Columbia, including Science World in Vancouver's iconic dome repairs.
The funding is a part of the province's plan for economic recovery, which aims to help the tourism sector, which has suffered dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new tourism grant program worth $100 million, community destination development projects worth $20 million, and regional tourism growth projects worth $15 million are also included in the plan.
The tourism infrastructure fund will provide funding for initiatives that improve visitor experiences, accessibility, and sustainability while generating employment in the tourism sector. The following are a few of the projects that will get funding:
- Improvements and repairs to Science World's geodesic dome, a prominent feature of Vancouver's skyline since Expo 86. The dome requires immediate repairs to ensure its integrity and safety due to years of water damage and corrosion.
- Upgrades to Squamish's Sea to Sky Gondola have been vandalized twice in the previous two years. The money will be invested to rebuild the gondola and put security equipment in place to deter future assaults.
- The Royal BC Museum in Victoria will expand, adding more exhibition space, a learning center, a storage facility for the collection, and a new entrance plaza.
- The construction of a new Indigenous cultural center in Whistler that will feature the history, culture, and art of the Lil'wat and Squamish Nations
- Britannia Mine Museum renovations in Britannia Beach, which will improve the historic site's educational offerings and visitor experience
According to Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture, and sport, the funding will help the tourism industry reenergize and prepare for the post-pandemic recovery.
"We know that tourism is a key driver of our economy and a source of pride for British Columbians. By investing in tourism infrastructure, we are supporting local businesses, creating jobs, and showcasing our beautiful province to the world," Mark said.
According to Tracy Redies, the CEO of Science World, the repairs to the dome will ensure that Science World can continue to inspire future generations of scientists and innovators. She expressed her gratitude to the provincial government for its support.
"Science World is a beloved institution that has been sparking curiosity and wonder for over 30 years. The dome is not only a symbol of our organization but also a symbol of science and innovation in B.C. We are thrilled that the province recognizes the value of Science World and is helping us preserve this iconic structure," Redies said.