VIU’S DEEP BAY MARINE FIELD STATION OFFERS SUMMERTIME FUN

July 18, 2013 - 4:40am

Sunday brunch, Music by the Bay, and a marine science centre featuring aquariums and touch tanks teeming with colorful local sea life are just a few of the ways visitors of all ages can enjoy summer time at Vancouver Island University’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station.

“Summer is the perfect time for a day trip to the field station from just about anywhere on Vancouver Island,” says manager Brian Kingzett, “especially families who are looking for things to do with out-of-town visitors. We want to spread the word about this unique north Island tourist destination.”

Located about an hour’s drive north of Nanaimo in the community of Bowser, the field station is a key research facility for Vancouver Island University and is fast becoming a popular tourism destination for the region.

Open daily to the public from 10 am to 4 pm, the facility provides hands-on learning opportunities to educate school children, community members and other groups about marine life. It also supports coastal and marine research related to sustainable shellfish aquaculture development, preservation of coastal ecosystems and interdisciplinary projects involving local communities.

With its stunning panoramic views and on-site culinary facilities, the Field Station is fast becoming a popular venue for weddings, celebrations, conferences, workshops and other special events. Field Station staff are available to help arrange interpretive tours for school and community groups and individuals, customized workshops, birthday parties, overnight programs or private tours and sunset dinners.

The building, recently awarded LEED Platinum certification, is an attraction in itself with a distinctive clamshell shaped roof and unique sustainability features. “We’re one of the greenest buildings on the Island,” says Kingzett.

Here’s a sampling of the summertime activities at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station:

July 25 - Milner Gardens Music by the Bay – Todd Butler

A veteran of over 20 years of live performing as a guitarist/vocalist and comedian, musician Todd Butler’s skills are honed to an exquisite point. He swings easily from lambasting politicians in hilarious political parodies to interpreting the latest news stories with a twist guaranteed to entertain you with a stunning combination of musical parody, whimsical wit, outstanding musicianship, and outrageous satire. Tickets: $20 (non-members of Milner Gardens); $15 for members. Doors open at 5 pm – appetizers and desserts available for purchase. Concert runs 6:30 to 8:30 pm. For more info: http://www.viu.ca/milnergardens/events.asp#mbtb

Sunday Brunch in August

Guests are invited to enjoy stunning views of Baynes Sound and a sumptuous Sunday brunch on four consecutive Sundays (August 4, 11, 18 or 25). VIU Culinary Arts student Erynne Jackson has prepared a delicious menu featuring gourmet eggs benedict served three ways: country style, vegetarian with new potatoes and seasonal fruit or with smoked salmon. Brunch tickets ($15.95 each) include pastries and admission to the station, where visitors can dip their fingers in touch tanks teeming with sea life, and visit the popular indoor aquariums. Call 250-740-6611 for reservations.

August 9 - Sunset Dinner on the Deck with Artist & Carver Douglas J Fisher

Enjoy a fabulous feast on the deck while watching the sunset, prepared by VIU chefs, followed by a presentation called “Ideas * Inspiration* Creativity: Think outside the box to improve your art” by world renowned wood sculptor Douglas J Fisher. Admission to the Station is included. Call 250-740-6611 for reservations.

August 22 - Milner Gardens Music by the Bay - Phil Dwyer’s Adult Jazz Intensive Ensemble

The 2013 edition of the Phil Dwyer Adult Jazz Intensive comprises some of the most talented amateur jazz musicians from BC and Alberta. Professionals from all walks of life come to Vancouver Island to indulge their love of jazz and to rub shoulders with award-winning jazz great Phil Dwyer. Proceeds will support VIU’s Milner Garden & Woodlands. Tickets: $20 (non-members of Milner Gardens); $15 for members. Doors open at 5 pm – appetizers and desserts available for purchase. Concert runs 6:30 to 8:30 pm. For more info: http://www.viu.ca/milnergardens/events.asp#mbtb

August 30 - Milner Gardens Music by the Bay - The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra

The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra (NCO) plays favorites tunes, from classics to pops, to ragtime to show tunes. Hummable ditties, toe-tapping tunes and soaring melodies from Vivaldi to Broadway will reconnect you with some of the world's greatest music. The strings of the NCO bring you the most recognizable music from the concert hall, radio, television and stage. Tickets: $20 (non-members of Milner Gardens); $15 for members. Doors open at 5 pm – appetizers and desserts available for purchase. Concert runs 6:30 to 8:30 pm. For more info: http://www.viu.ca/milnergardens/events.asp#mbtb

Tuesdays in August - Day trips to Deep Bay from Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum

Take Regional Transit to Deep Bay for the day. Package includes admission to the station, tour of the facility, gourmet lunch, shuttle to Magnolia Court in Bowser and time to explore. Call 250-740-6611 for reservations.

Tuesdays in August - Scheduled tours of Field Station at 11 am

Take a one hour guided tour and learn about our “green” building, the projects we are working on and get up close with local marine species in our touch tanks. Admission to the Station is included. Call 250-740-6611 for reservations.

Visitors can also take a self-guided tour of the facility to learn more about marine conservation issues and how to help protect the environment. During certain times of the year, visitors can also observe research currently underway in labs from the viewing mezzanine.

Regular admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, or $15 for a family of four (two adults, two children)

For more information, visit www.viu.ca/deepbay

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MEDIA CONTACT

Janina Stajic, Manager, Communications and Public Engagement, Vancouver Island University P: 250-740-6288 E: Janina.Stajic@viu.ca Twitter: @VIUNews


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