Vancouver launches access pass for local attractions
Youth, new immigrants and lower-income families are among the residents the Vancouver Public Library is hoping will benefit from a new arts, culture and recreation pass launched today (October 24).
The Vancouver Inspiration Pass, a program coordinated by the VPL, the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board, and 18 local organizations, will provide free access to attractions including the Vancouver Aquarium, Science World, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the UBC Museum of Anthropology, and park board fitness centres.
Starting on November 1, 120 passes will be available to borrow for two-week periods from Vancouver library branches across the city. Residents with a library card can sign up in advance to reserve the passes, starting today (October 24).
“The goal with this pass is we get a whole new generation accessing Vancouver’s great organizations, great events and arts and museums and science, all of that becomes accessible to our youth in particular,” Mayor Gregor Robertson told reporters after announcing the initiative at Vancouver’s central library branch downtown. “This is a way to inspire people and turn them into regular goers to all of these great cultural institutions.”
Library-card holders aged 14 and older will be able to reserve the pass once a year at no charge. The pass will allow admission for a family of two adults and up to four children, or a group of up to six youth.
“Many folks in our city struggle with competing financial demands, especially right now in the economy,” said Vancouver park board chair Sarah Blyth. “This pass is a creative way of enabling families and youth to enjoy cultural and recreational activities that they might not otherwise be able to access, such as the park board’s many pools, fitness centres, rinks, pitch and putt golf courses, and display gardens.”
Patrick Lewis, the director of UBC Biodiversity Collections, noted many residents don’t have the financial means to visit their facilities. UBC attractions such as the botanical garden and the Nitobe Memorial Garden are among the sites included in the pass.
“We’re on the end of the peninsula, and it’s a trip just getting there,” he noted. “We really think that this opens up a door to a solution to this challenge to get people out there.”
The pass is the first of its kind in Metro Vancouver. The full list of attractions, cultural events and recreation facilities included in the pass can be found on the library’s website.