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Investment Readiness Grant Awarded to The Aquatic Biosphere Project

The Federal Investment Readiness Program recently awarded the Aquarium Society of Alberta a $75,000 grant in the second round of applications to further develop their Aquatic Biosphere Project.

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[Press Release: Edmonton, March 2021– The Aquatic Biosphere Project is a locally developed, large scale legacy project planned for Alberta, based in the Edmonton Region. The Investment Readiness Program funds early stage social purpose organizations in building capacity for further investment and funding.]

The Aquarium Society of Alberta was awarded a $75,000 grant through the second round of the 2020 Investment Readiness Program, an initiative of the Federal Government in partnership with Community Foundations.

The Society is using the funds to develop an intensive feasibility study for the Aquatic Biosphere Project, a key component to moving forward with funding and critical support. We are delighted to be working with the local firm of Manasc Isaac Architects to get this study completed. The Society has worked previously with Manasc Isaac after winning their Blue Sky Award in 2018 to develop a preliminary charrette design.

The Aquatic Biosphere Project is a legacy project for Alberta, being developed in Edmonton. A project to connect visitors with the ‘Story of Water’, the facility will feature a conservation aquarium, education centre, and a conservation, research and innovation facility. The Society’s mission is knowledge and awareness of the aquatic ecosystems that impact us, and the actions we can take to preserve and protect these critical systems for life. The Project is working to bring together the three pillars of education, economics, and environment in a way that brings positive impact to the region and supports local interests.

There are seldom projects that combine research, education, community development, diversity in environmental support and engagement of both the private and public sector. The Aquatic Biosphere Project is that rare catalyst that can provide this broad range of benefits to Alberta and our community. – Don Lowry, Chairman Capital Power, Past President and CEO EPCOR, Board Director, STANTEC and MELCOR REIT

An integration of partnerships from both the private and public sectors, supporters and community engagement will create this project, with positive economic impacts through education, job creation, tourism draws, and innovations. Rippled economic effects to retailers, hotels, restaurants, and tourism services expand that reach further. Education supports for programming to schools and groups will bring live and hands on experiences to participants both in the classroom and within the venue, including outreach to rural areas. The inclusive K-12 programs are being designed to incorporate lessons and experiences so that no child is left out. Post-secondary partnerships and collaborative student programming to support conservation and research studies in these areas, as well as stimulating educational inclusion concepts will extend that impact.

An early concept design from Manasc Isaac as part of the Blue Sky Award, won by the Aquarium Society of Alberta in 2018.

We are deeply grateful to the Investment Readiness Program and the Edmonton Community Foundation for their support of the project, assisting us to create this important piece of our development.



The Aquarium Society of Alberta is a registered charity and is supported by a community of volunteers. For more information on the project or to connect with us, please visit

Funded by the Government of Canada, the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports social purpose organizations as they contribute to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges across Canada. Its goal is to help social purpose organizations build their capacity to participate in Canada’s growing social finance market and prepare for the Government of Canada’s broader investment in social finance via the Social Finance Fund. Visit

Edmonton Community Foundation connects you to the resources you need. With our help, donors are able to make the best decision for their funds. Students can find the grants that help them succeed. Charities are able to fund their latest projects. We build relationships that strengthen the Edmonton community — because connecting people is what we do best. Visit

Manasc Isaac Architects - Sustainable design is at the core of our work. We will make the world a better place with each of our assignments. Visit

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