We’ve all seen photographs or illustrations of lighthouses. But it’s a rare treat to step inside a real lighthouse. That’s exactly what you can do when you visit the Maritime Discovery Centre in Port Alberni.Constructed from an actual coastal lighthouse, the Maritime Discovery Centre and its companion Hutcheson Gallery look right at home on the waterfront, adjacent to Port Alberni’s deep sea harbour. Together with the historic Banfield Lifeboat, they tell the stories of the area’s maritime culture and history through artifacts, maps, models, photographs, illustrations and descriptions. The non-profit Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society opened the Centre in 2001, the Hutcheson Gallery in 2005 and restored the Banfield Lifeboat. The Society maintains and operates all three on vancouver island.
Open Every Summer
The Port Alberni Maritime Discovery Centre is open every summer. For the 2011 season, the Centre is open from June 25 to September 5, 2011, from 10:00am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week. Admission is by donation. The museum is located at 2750 Harbour Road, Port Alberni, in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Their phone number is 250-723-6164.
Something New Every Year
Each summer, the Centre presents a new exhibit, with related special events and activities. Visitors to the 2010 exhibit got a multi-media glimpse into the world’s largest cable-linked seafloor observatory. The groundbreaking project from the University of Victoria, called the North-East Pacific Time-series Undersea Networked Experiments (cleverly shortened to “NEPTUNE”), extends the boundaries of ocean exploration. Details of the 2011 exhibit will be announced soon. Check the Maritime Discovery Centre website or call them at 250-723-6164 to learn their latest news.
“Maritime Mondays” For The Little Maties
Nothing quite beats an experiential approach to helping children learn, so the Centre offers fun learning experiences for wee ones on specific Mondays. Past programs have included “Pirate Day,” “Tub Boat Day,” and a demonstration of police and fire boats. Tell the truth; don’t those sound like fun? So ahoy, Matey! Again, check their website for the latest info.
WEBSITES WITH MORE INFORMATION
Here is more information on Port Alberni’s Maritime Discovery Centre. It’s a part of the Alberni Valley Heritage Network, which includes the Alberni Valley Museum, Alberni Pacific “Steam” Railway and McLean Steam Sawmill.
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