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experience the aquarium


Step into the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre
and explore the beautiful underwater world of Howe Sound.

Satisfy your curiosity and peer into the “eyes” of a scallop. No need for scuba gear.

Visit frequently to see the evolution of 30 exhibits developed with a "collect and release" model and interactive displays.

Meet local marine life and learn about their role in healthy ocean ecosystems. Through awareness, we promote the protection of the marine environments on the Coast and beyond.

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experience the aquarium


Step into the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre
and explore the beautiful underwater world of Howe Sound.

Satisfy your curiosity and peer into the “eyes” of a scallop. No need for scuba gear.

Visit frequently to see the evolution of 30 exhibits developed with a "collect and release" model and interactive displays.

Meet local marine life and learn about their role in healthy ocean ecosystems. Through awareness, we promote the protection of the marine environments on the Coast and beyond.

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thank you to our supporters


thank you to our supporters


Together we are creating a special place where visitors of all ages connect to marine environments.

We are grateful to the generous supporters of the aquarium:

> Our strategic partners: Town of Gibsons, Community Futures and Sunshine Coast Community Foundation
> Our amazing 350+ volunteers and hundreds of donors
> Our major contributors who supported our capital campaign: Island Coast Economic Trust, TELUS, Government of Canada, Province of BC, Washington Foundation (Seaspan), Craftsman Collision, the Humphries Family and the family and friends of Nicholas Sonntag.

Find out how you can support the work of our team and volunteers.

 Come see the 30 live exhibits showcasing 70 species from Howe Sound. (Photo: Dolf Vermeulen Creative) 

Come see the 30 live exhibits showcasing 70 species from Howe Sound. (Photo: Dolf Vermeulen Creative) 

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about Us


The Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education
Centre opened in Summer 2017. The Centre is located in the heart of the Gibsons Public Market, adjacent to Howe Sound, a network of fjords situated northwest of Vancouver, BC. 

about Us


The Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education
Centre opened in Summer 2017. The Centre is located in the heart of the Gibsons Public Market, adjacent to Howe Sound, a network of fjords situated northwest of Vancouver, BC. 

The Centre is modelled after similar and successful facilities: the Ucluelet Aquarium Society, the Discovery Passage SeaLife Society in Campbell River and the St. John’s Aquarium Incorporated in Petty Harbour Newfoundland. 

On March 17th 2017 the Gibsons Marine Education Centre (Society) was formed to advance education by establishing and operating a public marine education centre on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia and to protect the environment for the benefit of the public by undertaking projects that sustain the marine ecosystem of Howe Sound, British Columbia and beyond.

The Society has secured a facility at the Gibsons Public Market in Gibsons BC. Gibsons Community Building Society (“GCBS”), a not-for-profit organization, developed and operates the Gibsons Public Market and was initially the driving force behind this initiative to create the Centre.

The Society’s volunteer Board of Directors, the Centre’s volunteer committee and expert partners have collective experiences in aquarium start-up, public education, non-profit management, marine research, specimen collections, volunteer management, fundraising, and integrated coastal zone management. They share a passion for marine education and see the untapped potential of an organization like this and the immeasurable impact it could have on our residents, visitors and blue planet. 

After a short stay at the Centre, animals will be released back to their environment. This forward-thinking “collect-and-release” policy is unique to only three other aquarium societies in Canada, making the Centre a leader in the field of ocean conservation practices and animal care standards. "Release days" will be memorable events organized with community groups and volunteers.

We are confident that the Centre will positively impact those who enter, the organizations we partner with, the community as a whole and the oceans.

    Our focus is to ensure that our projects improve the conditions that support sustainability of our local ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations relying on our local waters for their food supply, livelihood, recreation and enjoyment.

    Interested in volunteering with us? We'd love to hear from you.

    JOIN OUR TEAM!

    If you have the following qualifications and a willingness to learn, are enthusiastic, positive, motivated and team-oriented, we are looking for you to join our team! Details here.