The Vancouver Whitecaps have teamed up with the Vancouver Aquarium in an effort to raise money for the beloved civic landmark that’s in danger of permanent closure.
The move comes a week after Ocean Wise Conservation Association, which operates the Vancouver Aquarium, issued a call for urgent support as the educational, environmental, and conservation institution was in danger of going bankrupt.
They’re selling “high-performance athletic face masks,” with all net proceeds benefitting the Vancouver Aquarium. As part of the partnership, more than 25 Whitecaps staff members are providing hundreds of hours of labour in vital outreach efforts to Aquarium members, donors, and supporters.
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“It is devastating to imagine that the Vancouver Aquarium may cease to exist, but that is the reality we are fighting against,” said Ocean Wise President and CEO Lasse Gustavsson. “We have done everything in our power to reduce costs, but we still have more than 70,000 animals that need expert care. 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 come in four different designs and three different sizes, and are available for purchase ($19.99 for adult masks, $17.99 for kid sizes) through the Vancouver Aquarium’s online gift shop.
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) April 25, 2020
The masks have a soft spun polyester lining close to the skin, so that it can be worn for long periods of time with no irritation, and makes use of double needle stitched binding for comfort and durability. It also features white piping that gives a visual indication when it’s time to wash it.
“From our ownership group on down, the Whitecaps exist to unite and inspire our community,” said Whitecaps FC CEO Mark Pannes. “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.”
Buy facemasks and save the aquarium. Net proceeds go to @vanaqua
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) April 24, 2020
“We’re thrilled to be a part of this initiative with the Whitecaps to help our aquarium,” said Mark Trotzuk, Alliance Mercantile Inc./Boardroom Clothing vice president. “These face masks are breathable, washable, re-usable, and are Canadian made, right here in the Lower Mainland. Most importantly, using these face masks will ensure we are reserving medical masks and N95 respirators for our health care workers.”