(Brockville) – Officials with the Aquatarium provided an update this morning at the kick off for the 4th Annual Brockville and District Tourism Summit. A key component of the Aquatarium initiative is the establishment of RiverQuest (RQ) – a developing “regional campus” partnership comprised of 1000 Islands area destinations and offerings. Early RQ partners on both sides of the border have stated “we are all stronger together” and “we will flourish through openness and cooperation.”
Tony Barnes, Aquatarium Committee Chair says “We created RiverQuest as a cornerstone program to ensure the success of the Aquatarium and our regional partners. The Aquatarium will be a world-class destination here in Brockville, but we also realize visitors appreciate having help finding and accessing other quality offerings for day 2 or 3 of their visit. If they can plan a more complete outing, they’re more likely to choose the 1000 Islands region from other destinations.”
RiverQuest will help visitors find and pursue the attractions and offerings they are interested in as a follow on to their Aquatarium visit. RiverQuest plans to include local museums, art centres and mission based organizations. In the Brockville area alone RQ partners will hopefully include the Arts Centre, Fulford Place, River cruises, the Brockville museum, dive charter companies and more.
“Our collective vision is to build awareness and appreciation for the wonders of the 1000 Islands region,” says Aquatarium Executive Director Bill Rogerson. The stories and experiences that can be found here … you won’t find anywhere else! One hundred years ago the 1000 Islands region was the place everyone wanted to be and we can be that place again! By cooperating and telling our stories, the millions of potential visitors within a 6 hour drive who are mostly unaware of us, will be back. All of us will benefit from RiverQuest.”
The Aquatarium building is well under way and on target for a building christening with time capsule and official launch of RiverQuest in June 2013. Content for the exhibits is being developed along with the exhibit technologies. Plans call for a graduated opening over a 6 month period to allow for “test driving” of exhibits by community groups, RiverQuest partners and school groups. A potential major international conference is being targeted for October 2013 which will generate international awareness and media coverage.
The Aquatarium (formerly known as the Maritime Discovery Centre) is a $20 million, 27,000 square foot tourist attraction to be located on Brockville’s waterfront alongside the Tall Ships Landing condominium development. The Aquatarium is a public-private partnership with the City of Brockville.