The Edmonton Valley Zoo is one of the city’s most beloved landmarks but did you know that while the city owns the zoo and pays for the day-to-day operations, the nonprofit organization plays a huge role in the visitor experience and its development?
The Valley Zoo Development Society is responsible for fundraising to pay for improvement, expansion projects, and conservation efforts at the zoo. Of course, like many other organizations, this year has been a challenge, and the VZDS has had to move many of their fundraising efforts online. This included increased availability of Zoo-tique products on the website, several 50/50 draws, a special Conservation Carousel Colouring Book, and their highly-acclaimed animal design masks. However, Zoominescence continues on.
EPCOR Zoominescence 2020
Zoominescence received permission to open with reduced capacity, increased measures, and online timed-entry ticket purchases. Only 90 entries will be allowed every half hour on the 44-acre site.
Zoominescence is an annual display of brightly lit art installations displayed across various areas of the zoo. With the early sunsets around the winter solstice, visitors will also be able see the animals in their nocturnal settings. If it’s cold enough to get on the ice, bring your ice skates along for a skate by the lit up carousel.
The 2020 EPCOR Zoominescence features 10 art installations by various artists, all displaying themes of resilience and togetherness. Here are four of the works on display. You’ll have to purchase your tickets here to see the rest close-up.
Moo at the Zoo is serving up hot mini donuts and hot chocolate to keep you warm. If you order a hot chocolate, add one of these cute cup huggers which you may take home as a souvenir bracelet.
40 Acres will also be open. Operated by Prairie Catering, they serve a selection of locally sourced food (not from the Urban Farm). Our suggestions are the All ‘Berta Burger and the Green Onion Cake made by the Green Onion Cake Man. If you’re looking for something quick, the pizzas are ready-to-go.
Sandwich & Sons, located in the entry plaza, is also open during Zoominescence. Don’t forget to also visit the Zoo-tique on your way out!
Home Is Where the heART is
This is an ice carving created by the resident Ice On Whyte artists Cliff Vacheresse and Mark Edwin Berge. The work includes 7 different species with planet Earth at the focal point. They made this piece to show resilience and interdependence of every species on the planet, with the main message being “we are all in this together.”
This truncated octahedron has animals carved on every visible surface, and is created by Amos Kajner Nonnekes, Vinny Le, and Taimoore Bhatti. This is one piece you really have to enjoy by seeing it from multiple angles. This immersive experience is exactly what the artists want to convey, and symbolizes the role Valley Zoo has in bringing people together with those of the animal kingdom.
There is Always Hope
This 9-foot tall multimedia installation includes a sound component and was put together by Jeff Cuddeback. According to the Cuddeback, the inspiring audio is designed to bring listeners into a state of reverence for the moment, and become hopeful for the future.
You won’t only see a heartbeat lit up above you when you stand beneath this installation, but you will soon feel your own heartbeat pulse as you realize you are sandwiched between two Amur tiger habitats. Joking aside, designed by Vignettes Showcase Inc. and Victoria Wright, Heartbeat hopes to bring us together to show our love for conservation, the environment, and ourselves.
Tickets are only available online with timed-entry bookings. EPCOR Zoominescence 2020 runs Thursdays thru Sundays at 3:30pm to 9:30pm from November 26, 2020 until January 3, 2021. Additional operation dates include December 21, 22, 23, 29, and 29. Purchase your tickets here.
Note: Although Yegventures has a paid partnership with the Valley Zoo Development Society, this blog post was not sponsored by the Edmonton Valley Zoo, nor the Valley Zoo Development Society.