Build-a-Whale Coming to Prince Rupert for North Coast Whale Festival

Brittany Webster

Prince Rupert residents can learn all about whale's this week during the second annual North Coast Whale Festival.

Hosted by the North Coast Ecology Centre Society, locals are invited to multiple events this week to learn about the whale species in their backyard, and Caitlin Birdsall, a member of the organizing committee, says attendees can even help build a whale skeleton, thanks to sponsor AltaGas.

"We're really excited to bring up the build-a-whale program this year from Strawberry Isle Marine Research in Toffino. And what this is is a real, full sized killer whale skeleton that can be articulated and people can learn about killer whales as they do this."

Our North Coast waters are home to a large variety of species, and Birdsall says this is a fun way to educate people on the marine creatures that are close to home.

"The Whale Festival is really looking to connect our communities and our visitors to the oceans in our backyard. So we have a diversity of species from humback whales, which are huge whales, all the way to little tiny harbour porpoises that make their home just off our coast here. So we are looking to kind of engage people on what these animals are and how we can protect their ocean homes as well."

The Whale Festival kicked off on Monday with the photo scavenger hunt for the whales of Prince Rupert and the build-a-whale school programming in Kitimat.

The build-a-whale program will be in middle school classrooms in Prince Rupert over the next two days before heading to the North Coast Convention Centre on Saturday for a day of learning, prizes and fun. The program will then make its way to Terrace next week for more school programming.

Other events during Whale Fest include guest speaker Dr. Ben Hendricks tomorrow, the dinner and dance party Saturday night, and a movie screening on Sunday.

The North Coast Whale Festival would like to thank their sponsors DP World, AltaGas, The Port of Prince Rupert, and Pembina for the support and growth of the festival.

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