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You can support local Vancouver artists at this nature-themed arts and culture festival this October

2020 is the 10th anniversary of the Artists for Conservation Festival — a nature-themed arts and culture event running from October 1 to 4.
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“In the Shadow of Greatness”, 2019 AFC Exhibit. Painting by Bruce Lawes.

Artists for Conservation — a Canada-based international non-profit with a mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation and environmental education through art — is carrying on with hosting their annual series of special events in Vancouver for 2020 with some special twists. 

This year is the 10th anniversary of the Artists for Conservation Festival — a nature-themed arts and culture event for all ages running from October 1 to 4. Featuring a wide range of local and international artists, the festival highlights the natural and cultural heritage of the Lower Mainland through a rich program of art exhibits, live demos, musical and cultural performances, First Nations presentations, and more activities over the weekend.

New for this year, Artist for Conservation’s virtual event will include a selection of online programming, allowing for more patrons to have access to the festival’s offerings. The opening of the virtual program will coincide with the in-person event but will carry on into mid-October. 

One event will feature a 360-degree virtual nature art walk in which North Vancouver’s Maplewood Flats are enhanced with an outdoor virtual exhibit, featuring local AFC artists.

The annual juried “International Exhibit of Nature in Art” — the world’s top conservation-themed virtual art exhibit and sale — will be available for free online viewing; event participants can freely tour the exhibiting artists’ paintings, sculptures, and other works. 

The 2020 exhibit collection includes a total of 200 artworks by 168 artists from 17 countries, with nearly 80 original paintings and sculptures for sale by leading AFC nature and wildlife artists. It's a rare opportunity for art collectors to buy original artwork by internationally acclaimed artists and directly support conservation work. In fact, at least 40% of the proceeds from artwork sales benefits conservation and environmental education, and each artwork is dedicated to supporting a conservation organization of the artist's choice.


“Ripple Effect”, 2019 AFC Exhibit. Sculpture by Donna Wilson. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Other planned virtual programs include Facebook Live events, livestreaming and pre-recorded events, online films, artist studio visits, and a downloadable musical soundtrack. More virtual festival activities will be announced at artistsforconservation.org/festival. 

Artists for Conservation’s live exhibit and events will be held at the VanDusen Botanical Garden during the festival’s four-day run. As before, there will be an artist exhibit and sale, live painting and sculpting artist demos, First Nations carving demos, live birds of prey, and live music — all re-imagined for self-guided participation.

All provincial health recommendations will be taken to ensure a safe event, including implementing timed admission, limited capacity, all-outdoor, mandatory social distancing, and no-contact protocols for all festival events.

Tickets must be purchased in advance from the VanDusen Botanical Garden website with designated entry times.

By supporting the Artists for Conservation festival— whether by browsing the exhibit, buying original art, or participating in the virtual and live events — you will support the festival artists and doing your part to help save the environment.

For more info, visit artistsforconservation.org/festival.