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Whale Fest 2019:

On May 6-12, 2019 over 2300 people participated in Whale Fest activities.


During Whale Fest 2019, we were able to engage North Coast communities in learning about the whales that call our water and the surrounding marine environment, home.

The three pillars of the festival were: Educate, Elevate and Explore. With this in mind, we were able to provide a week of exciting, interactive activities for a diverse audience.

Activities Included:

  1. “Build-a-whale” program allowed students to articulate a real killer whale skeleton while learning about their life history and physiology.

  2. An art contest with the theme of “What makes a Healthy Ocean?” - Submissions were displayed at the Saturday festival event.

  3. The #whalesofrupert scavenger hunt ran throughout the week and brought families and friends together to explore the whale icons in the community with the chance of winning whale watching tickets.

  4. Dr. Ben Hendricks presented a fascinating and entertaining talk on “Sonic Superpowers: Listening into the World of Whales in the Great Bear Fjord System".

  5. Chowder and Dance Party Fundraiser, featuring sustainable seafood chowder prepped by Dai Fukasaku - with scallops donated from Great Bear Scallops (Coastal Shellfish) and localy brewed beer at the Wheelhouse

  6. A free family-friendly documentary “Humpback Whales” screened at the local movie theatre on Mother’s Day with free admission.


The resounding feedback received through the success of this event indicated there is a considerable appetite for nature education on the North Coast.


Event Details:

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Guest Speaker: Ben Hendricks
"Sonic Superpowers: Listening into the World of the Whales in the Great Bear Fjord system". 

Presentation by Dr. Ben Hendricks  

  • UVic/Gitga'at First Nation/North Coast Cetacean Society/ WWF-Canada

  • Prince Rupert Public Library @ 7pm: Free Event!

  • "The ocean is a world of sound. Where light fails to penetrate the deep, acoustics is the primary tool for whales to communicate, find pray, avoid predators, navigate, and attract mates. Whales are masters of sound and they are vulnerable to noise that humans generate through marine exploration and vessel traffic."

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

Whale Festival Kick-Off

  • Prince Rupert Convention Centre (Below Chances) @ 10am - 3pm

  • Opening ceremony by the Northern Lights dancers!

  • Build a full-size killer whale skeleton

  • Interactive displays and activities

  • Face painting and crafts for kids

  • Prizes!



  • Build-A-Whale is an interactive program that aims to educate participants about marine biology, anatomy, evolutionary science and conservation. The program is hands-on and engaging as the audience assists in constructing the skeleton of an offshore killer whale and participating in several fun educational activties and games. Build-A-Whale is well traveled and well loved as she has visited facilities across Canada such as schools, markets, festivals, aquariums, elderly homes and more. 

  • Build-A-Whale is part of Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society who will lead this program for local schools in Prince Rupert and at the Whale Festival before continuing on with the killer whale to visit schools in Kitimat and Terrace and beyond.

Saturday, May 11th: Evening, 2019

Chowder & Dance Party Fundraiser


  • Sustainable seafood chowder prepared by Dai Fukasaku – with scallops donated from Great Bear Scallops (Coastal Shellfish) and locally brewed beer at the Wheelhouse

  • Two seatings available: 5pm and 6:30pm

  • Advance tickets: $25, purchase at Fukasaku or Wheelhouse 

  • Live music @ 9pm with The Dearly Departed 

  • Wheelhouse Brewing feature beer: Killer Witt

Sunday, May 12th, 2019 

Free Movie: Humpback Whales

  • Cineplex Cinemas 2pm

  • Join us at the Cineplex for a free matinee, beverage and popcorn on Mothers Day's to enjoy the family friendly Humpback Whale Documentary filmed by MacGillivray Freeman films.

  • Narrated by two-time Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.

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