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Science World possibly facing temporary closure as revenues fall amid pandemic

Last Updated Sep 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm PDT

(Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

Without a big boost in attendance or government funding Science World could be forced to close temporarily

The non-profit is struggling under COVID-19 and has taken a huge hit financially

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A temporary shut down and additional layoffs could be coming for Science World as it’s seeking government help to offset low attendance and millions in lost revenue under COVID-19.

Teresa Virani is the Vice President of Marketing and Visitor Experience, and she explains since reopening amid the pandemic, Science World has taken a huge hit financially.

“Our revenues are down by 8.2 million. So that’s what we would normally sort of make in that time period. So it’s 85 per cent of our revenue that we’ve lost through the pandemic,” she says.

Virani adds, they’re only seeing about 12 per cent of their usual attendance.

“So, averaging about 380 visitors a day in August, which is just not sustainable for us, long term.”

There’s no immediate plan for a temporary shut down — she says they’re weighing the options and hoping for government support. They are also asking for donations.

“We’re doing a lot of outreach right now so we can’t do physical outreach but we’re supporting teachers and students through virtually with all of our programs … we’re all about increasing steam literacy across British Columbia, so we’re at the moment is finding that from our own operations and also from donors but that’s something that we hope that the government might be able to help support us with as well.”

RELATED: Science World celebrates 31 years virtually despite pandemic struggles

Science World isn’t the only beloved attraction suffering.

The Vancouver Art Gallery has lost 75 per cent of its revenue compared to last year.

CEO Anthony Kiendl says a lot of their usual traffic comes from tourists — so COVID-19 has had a big impact.

But for now, things aren’t bad enough to threaten a temporary closure.

He says most programming at the gallery isn’t hands-on — and it costs less to keep clean because visitors don’t really need to touch anything.

– With files from Hana Mae Nassar