Journey to Churchill Polar Bear Exhibit Design Unveiled

Mar 1, 2011 | Government News

New International Standard for Polar Bear Exhibits to be Set at Assiniboine Park Zoo:  Selinger 

Journey to Churchill will set a new international standard for polar bear exhibits and be a world-class attraction for the province, Premier Greg Selinger said today at the unveiling of the display’s design concept.  

Premier Selinger

“As the architectural concepts show, this will be a unique, world-class centre offering tremendous learning opportunities and showcasing Manitobans’ concern for the environment, the Arctic and polar bears,” said Selinger.  “We are proud of the work done by the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in taking the exhibit and conservation centre from a great idea toward a great destination in Manitoba and the Assiniboine Park Zoo.” 

Journey to Churchill, along with one of its major components, the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre, is part of a $31-million commitment made by the province last year.  Journey to Churchill, scheduled to open in October 2013, will be the flagship component of the redeveloped Assiniboine Park Zoo. 

“Having such a strong partner in the Province of Manitoba really allowed us to shoot for the stars,” said Margaret Redmond, president and CEO of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.  “Journey to Churchill will be so much more than your typical zoo experience; it will be a stage for discussion and action relating to the polar bear’s fight for survival and climate change as a whole.” 

The province’s commitment establishes the Government of Manitoba as the primary funder of two key components: 

  • the near $6-million International Polar Bear Conservation Centre for academic research on the Arctic environment and polar bear conservation, public education programs, and a polar bear rescue and relocation network for orphaned or injured animals to be sent to qualifying zoological parks; and 
  • the $25-million Arctic polar bear exhibit with underwater and above-ground viewing opportunities with seals separated by a plastic wall. 

The premier said, once complete, Journey to Churchill will feature a variety of spectacular elements geared to both educate and inspire including: 

  • the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre; 
  • the Aurora Borealis 360-degree theatre;
  • motorized polar bear tundra tours; 
  • the rooftop Tundra Garden; 
  • an underwater viewing area; and 
  • a new restaurant, gift shop and children’s play area. 

The six-minute, full-length video showcasing the new Journey to Churchill experience can be viewed online at

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