New VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre Sets Benchmark for Sustainable Design

Vancouver, British Columbia, October 23, 2011 – The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre — a model of sustainability and set to become one of the city's most iconic buildings— officially opened today.

The stunning $21.9-million visitor centre features advanced technology, a green roof and a beautiful orchid-inspired design. In addition to transforming the garden's entrance, the 1,765-sqare-metre (19,000-square-feet) facility will accommodate more visitors, and provide increased space for interpretive exhibits and education programs. The new centre will greatly enhance the visitor experience and support VanDusen's work to preserve plant diversity for future generations.

"Our Government is proud to invest in this new visitor centre, which will increase tourism here in Vancouver, and support our province's economic development," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "This project is an excellent example of how Canada's Economic Action Plan is creating jobs, boosting the local economy, and delivering real results to communities across British Columbia."

"The addition of this visitor centre to these truly incredible gardens will allow hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to experience the diversity this 22-hectare (55-acre) natural environment has to offer," said Vancouver-Langara MLA Dr. Moira Stilwell. "The BC government is proud to support the construction of this stunning new Vancouver landmark."

"The VanDusen Visitor Centre will not only welcome people to one of Vancouver's best-loved gardens, it will also serve as a showcase for a sustainable building that reflects our goal to become the greenest city in the world by 2020," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Vancouver has already adopted the greenest building code in North America and with features such as geothermal and solar energy, the new LEED Platinum VanDusen Visitor Centre combines leading design and sustainability features into a signature structure for the City."

"This new visitor centre is an amazing fusion of architecture and nature, and will become a must see attraction for residents and visitors alike," said Aaron Jasper, Vancouver Park Board Chair. "I'm very pleased with the leadership role the Park Board has taken in building this beautiful facility, which is a candidate for recognition as one of the first living buildings in the world."

"VanDusen's new visitor centre is more than a spectacular building—it is a people place and invaluable community resource that embodies the Garden's mission to inspire understanding of the vital importance of plants to all life through the excellence of our botanical collections, programs and practices. This new visitor centre welcomes people of all backgrounds and ages to participate in the wonder and beauty of nature through the many programs, activities and displays that will happen here. It's a place to grab a coffee, browse a book or interact with interpretation. It belongs to everyone," said VanDusen Botanical Garden Association President Brian Clark.

The City of Vancouver invested $8.3 million into the project, the Government of Canada invested $6.9 million, VanDusen Botanical Garden Association invested $4.7 million, and the Province of British Columbia invested $2 million.

The design team of architect Perkins + Will and landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander developed the master plan for the visitor centre.

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is funding approximately 4,100 infrastructure projects across the country. Since March 2009, the federal government committed over $505 million to more than 440 projects under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund across British Columbia.

For a backgrounder, visit: City of Vancouver - Parks, Recreation and Culture

For photos, visit: Van Dusen Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre Backgrounder

For further information on the Government of Canada's infrastructure investments in British Columbia, visit Infrastructure Canada.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Contacts:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Thomas Marshall
Communications Officer
BC Government Caucus
250-387-8589

Joyce Courtney
Manager of Communications
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
604-257-8699
joyce.courtney@vancouver.ca

City of Vancouver
Corporate Communications
604-871-6336
media@vancouver.ca

Infrastructure Canada
613-948-1148
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

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