With the cutting of a discarded fishing net, an international facility more than 30 years in the making was officially opened Monday afternoon.
The Victoria International Marina grand opening celebrated the 28-berth large, luxury yachting marine centre – the first of its kind in North America and, according to CEO Craig Norris, the greenest in the world.
“The Victoria International Marina (VIM) is truly a grand achievement and is one of a kind,” Norris said in an address at the opening. “Purpose-built for large yachts, using the most sustainable materials and technology available, the marina now plays host to rendezvous of large vessels from around the world.”
The marina, conceptualized 30 years ago, didn’t see any ground broken until 2016. The marina did a soft opening last summer, and according to Norris, the international yacht community is already getting excited about the new, $42 million completed project.
“We’re finally open, the message is getting out around the world,” he said. “We’re getting called, ‘the gateway to the Pacific.’”
|Craig Norris, CEO of the Victoria International Marina, says the facility is one of the greenest and most sustainably-built of its kind. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Norris said Victoria’s geographic characteristics makes it an excellent location for yachts, but the super yacht facility is really the cherry on top.
“We have the cruising corridors, the protective waters…We are who we are because of geography but we needed to build this facility that could actually respond.
“The world’s modern-day ocean explorers are looking for exactly what the West Coast has to offer. What we refer to as, ‘the pacific marine lifestyle.’”
The marina has been hosting yachts for a year, but it was only recently, through a partnership with the Ocean Legacy Foundation, that the idea of an environmental fashion show came to fruition.
The tri-partnership includes the Natural Talent Alliance to create ‘Future Oceans’ a resource for new engagements, sponsorships and events – in particular, the Eco-Fashion Show taking place at the marina on Monday.
“The Future Oceans fashion show – part of our grand opening – has taken on legs we never imagined,” Norris said. “Fashion is the second largest polluter of the oceans, with micro plastics. So we thought lets marry fashion with a cause.”
Designers were tasked with creating pieces that use ocean plastics in a mission to promote both art and awareness of ocean pollution. Tickets from the event benefited the Ocean Legacy Foundation.
|Victoria International Marina CEO Craig Norris says the new facility will play host to rendezvous for international yachts. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)