Vancouver Whitecaps sell facemasks to assist Vancouver Aquarium


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The Vancouver Whitecaps are selling facemasks to raise money for the Vancouver Aquarium which is facing the prospect of permanent closure.

Last week, the aquarium projected losses of  $3.3 million a month due the closure forced by COVID-19.

RELATED: Vancouver Aquarium warns it could close permanently

“It is devastating to imagine that the Vancouver Aquarium may cease to exist, but that is the reality we are fighting against. We have done everything in our power to reduce costs, but we still have more than 70,000 animals that need expert care,” said Lasse Gustavsson, Ocean Wise president and CEO in a statement.

“We are so grateful to have an organization like the Whitecaps reach out to offer their support and mobilize to create an initiative like this so quickly.”

The masks are available for adults and children, and manufactured in the Lower Mainland. All proceeds are going to help the troubled aquarium stay afloat.

More than 25 Whitecaps staff members are also volunteering in the rescue effort, helping reach out to aquarium members, donors, and supporters.

Whitecaps CEO Mark Pannes says he mobilized his club’s resources after hearing of the aquarium’s difficulties.

“From our ownership group on down, the Whitecaps exist to unite and inspire our community,” said Mark Pannes, Whitecaps FC CEO.

“We understand how important this beloved institution, the Vancouver Aquarium, is not only to our city and province but also to the country. We also know the club occupies a special role in our city and when we can rally Vancouver to protect such a civic asset, we must. It truly does take a village in a crisis like this, and importantly we are producing the masks locally to support local manufacturers and workers. We ask all Vancouverites, who are able, to join us in this campaign to save the Vancouver Aquarium. We know our community is up to the task.”

25,000 masks have been sold as of Saturday.

With files from The Canadian Press

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