Who We Are

BlueAct Marine Society is a non-profit charitable society that operate’s the Nicholas Sonntag TidePools Aquarium (formerly Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre). Our Mission is to inspire, educate and change behaviour through the successful operation of a collect-and-release aquarium, community and education programs, and conservation initiatives to sustain healthy Coastal life.

The Nicholas Sonntag TidePools Aquarium resides at the Gibsons Public Market. The Market is run by the Gibsons Community Building Society (GCBS), a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a thriving community through the successful operation of the Gibsons Public Market – integrating vibrant community programs and public gathering spaces, an inspiring marine education centre, and a bustling local market – to showcase Coastal life and support community economic development.

BlueAct Marine Society and Gibsons Community Building Society are partner organizations whose missions align to support, showcase, and sustain healthy Coastal life.

Annual Community Report

Each year, the Gibsons Community Building Society and BlueAct Marine Society come together to present our Report to the Community, which serves as a comprehensive summary of our achievements, activities, and contributions, shared with our valued members and the wider community.

Stay tuned for insights into our collective efforts and impact on building a stronger, more vibrant community.

Nicholas Sonntag

In Loving Memory: Honouring Nicholas Sonntag, Founding President and Co-Founder of Gibsons Community Building Society

The Nicholas Sonntag TidePools Aquarium stands as a tribute to a remarkable individual who devoted his life to the preservation of our planet and its treasures. Nick was more than a leader; he was a devoted family man and friend, deeply invested in nurturing our community. His boundless dedication to environmental sustainability was matched only by his sharp mind, warm humor, and compassionate spirit.

Nicholas Sonntag’s legacy lives on as a founding member of our Society and the inspiration behind this extraordinary collect-and-release aquarium. May his memory continue to guide and inspire us as we embark on a journey to explore, protect, and cherish our precious oceans, ensuring their sustainability for generations to come.

Our Team

Board of Directors

Debbie Amaral, Chair
James Askew
Unni Claridge
Barb Cochran
Aleria Ladwig
Mary Nattrass
Pam Robertson, Treasurer
Doug Rogers


Nancy Cottingham Powell, Executive Director
Christina Wilson, Program Manager & Curator
Emma Briesbois, Senior Aquarist
Lyra Silver, Junior Aquarist
Anna Shephard, Junior Aquarist
Kevin Swaboda, Dive Safety Officer
Claire Armstrong, Program Assistant

To contact one of our staff, please reach out at admin@blueact.org

Join the Team

Careers with Tidepools Aquarium

Do you have a love of the ocean? Do you have a background in marine biology? Have you worked in an aquarium setting? Do you like working with children and talking with the general public? Are you engaged in ocean-based conservation work? These are some of the skills we need to help us run our collect-and-release aquarium and education and conservation programs.

Start Date: May 2024
Hours: Full time, 37.5 hrs per week
Wage: Salary range $42,900 to $48,750 ($22/hr to $25/hr)
Job Summary: Assisting Curator to coordinate and facilitate educational programming for school aged children, including camp programs, and adult and Aquarium interpretive programs. Performing duties including delivery of programs, interpretation, event support, volunteer orientation and coordination relating to educational programs, and working with the public.

Start Date: May 2024
End Date: August 2024
Hours: Full time, 37.5 hrs week
Wage: $20.00/hr + 4% vacation pay
Duration: 16 weeks, with potential to extend for additional 4 or 8 months (includes weekend work)
(ideal for a co-op position but not essential)

(summer position)

# of Positions Available: Up to 4, subject to funding
Duration: Up to 16 weeks, subject to funding
Start Date: May or June 2024, exact date TBD
End Date: August 25-September 3, 2024, exact date TBD
Hours: Full time, between 30-40 hours/week, subject to funding


We’d love to hear from you! Please email us ideas, comments, feedback to info@tidepoolsaquarium.org