The iconic Science World dome, an integral part of the Vancouver skyline (it featured in Vancouver's very own Mario Kart course), has been dark (on and off) since September 2022.
In December of last year, it was announced that the lights would be out indefinitely while they worked to fix the aging infrastructure which was built for Expo 86.
"From time to time [the dome] needs an internal technical touch-up to allow it to continue to shine brightly," a spokesperson for Science World told V.I.A. at the time.
The centre recently received $10 million in government funding to fix the dome lights, "among other critical infrastructure updates," according to the spokesperson. However, global supply chain and labour issues, coupled with environmental factors like saltwater erosion and a temperate climate, meant that the attempted fixes to turn the lights back on were not always completely successful.
In addition to the lights, "critical systems” housed in Science World's geodesic dome were "at the end of their life,” including heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and electricals, according to a statement issued by the non-profit back in April of 2023.
So, when the B.C. government allocated $20 million of a $50 million investment into B.C.’s tourism industry to Science World, it was much needed.
Over the last several months many locals have expressed how much they miss the unique and colourful addition the lights make to the city. On Aug. 8 Science World announced the wait is finally over and "the city's beloved landmark is ready to dazzle once again."
On Thursday (Aug. 10), Science World will unveil its new and improved lights which will once again shine every night from dusk till dawn.
"The replacement of the dome’s exterior lights marks an exciting symbol of the ongoing progress being made to the dome," reads a recent press release. "This state-of-the-art lighting system not only enhances capabilities but also boasts the latest LED technology, making it more sustainable and energy-efficient."
The dome now has 651 LED lights, three times as many lights as before which can be programmed to multiple colours and gradients. The new lights are able to sparkle and strobe in waves.
Science World will continue to offer opportunities for events, charities and non-profits to illuminate the dome in colours that raise awareness for their cause.
“We know many have been eagerly waiting for Science World's dome to illuminate the night sky once again," says Tracy Redies, president and CEO of Science World in the release. "We are grateful the federal government has recognized the importance of our mission at Science World and provided funding for this project as well as other visitor and critical infrastructure improvements."
"Science World has been a popular Vancouver attraction for 35 years, and now the iconic dome will illuminate our city skyline brighter than ever before,” adds Vancouver MP Harjit Sajjan, the Minister of Emergency Preparedness responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.