Vancouver Island Visitor Centre invites public this weekend

A breaching orca and a Vancouver Island marmot have found a new home at the award-winning Vancouver Island Visitor Centre.

THE AWARD-WINNING Vancouver Island Visitor Centre has a public grand opening celebration Saturday.

THE AWARD-WINNING Vancouver Island Visitor Centre has a public grand opening celebration Saturday.

A breaching orca, a collection of live oysters, a Vancouver Island marmot and a diverse indoor forest have found a new home at the award-winning Vancouver Island Visitor Centre, which hosts a public grand opening celebration Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.The centre won top prize recently at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. Saturday’s opening will include local culture, tourism, and industry businesses and groups that will present a full slate of indoor and outdoor activities, demonstrations and entertainment. “We’ve had a terrific number of visitors and locals through the centre already since late January, when we held our soft opening,” said Kelly Barnie, the centre’s on-site manager. “In addition to a fantastic lineup of kid’s activities, there are over 20 different tourism, cultural, environmental, and industry associations and businesses presenting unique, interactive displays and activities throughout the day,” marketing manager Lara Greasley said. “The grand opening will give locals the chance to interact with many companies and activities found in the region, using this award-winning building as the backdrop.”Guests can have their picture snapped on a ski lift next to a whiskey jack or get their hands wet in the shellfish touch tank.Family and kids activities are by donation. They include scavenger hunts, a giant inflatable slide, face painting, collaborative chalk art, mural making, clowns and balloon twisting. Slegg Lumber sponsors a free children’s hot dog lunch, as well as parking and shuttle service.Food tickets for the tastings cost $1.The Cumberland Legion will provide a family pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. Cost is $5.Time Well Wasted performs at 12:30 p.m.The centre is located at 3607 Small Rd. off the Comox Valley Parkway just below the Highway 19 Cumberland interchange.For more information, visit facebook.com/VIVisitorCentre or call the VIVC at 250-400-2882.

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