On top of the world at Grouse Mountain


When I was recently invited to exhibit my painting ‘To the Point’ with Artists for Conservation, in Vancouver, Canada, I was absolutely delighted! The painting had to be stretched, packed and sent off on another exciting journey. This painting  has opened so many doors for me and taken me on such an incredible journey.

Mike Duff Grouse Mountain

Mike Duff manning the welcome table at Grouse Mountain – Thank you Mike for doing a fantastic job!


This years exhibition poster for the Artists For Conservation

A total of 80 artists were selected  for the live exhibition. This year the exhibition kicked off at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver, Canada on Saturday 10th Sept with the Annual Gala dinner and awards evening.  During the weekend festivities they had live demonstrations, musical performances, African drumming, slideshow presentations and a nature art walk to Stanley Park.


Margaret Moore sent me this photo of her standing in front of my painting at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Preview – Thank you Margaret

The exhibition was then moved to Grouse Mountain where the festival continued showcasing the artworks as well as film show presentations, musical performances and Youth School workshops.

Grouse Mountain Lodge

Entrance to the base of Grouse Mountain where we boarded the gondola

When I arrived in Vancouver I couldn’t wait to get to Grouse Mountain to see the exhibition. One of my ex ballet students from South Africa now resident in Vancouver came to collect us and we headed off for the mountain. As we were staying near the inner city we  had to cross over the Burrard Inlet on the  Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to get to the north shore.


View from the gondola 

We arrived at the base of grouse Mountain and took a gondola up to the Grouse Mountain resort. The excitement was palpable and the view was stunning. It was a bit cloudy when we set off but as we neared the top the clouds lifted and the Vancouver panorama just unfolded before our eyes, breath taking.


Such tranquility

I met with Jeffrey Whiting Founder and President of AFC who invited us to lunch so we could  get to know each other. Jeff and I hit it off as we chatted non stop (hard to believe I know) sharing  our common passion for both our art forms and the love of nature. Jeff invited me to participate in the children’s workshop and I jumped at the opportunity as education is definitely the key to preserving our world.

Jess Irene Jeff and Paula

Jess, Irene, Jeff and Paula

Jeff put together a  slide show presentation for the workshops which were conducted over a 5 day period during the exhibition festival.

The presentation was given at the Feast House, a First Nation traditional building constructed for education purposes. Grouse Mountains very own William Nahanee (Kwel-a-anexw), member of the Squamish Nation gave a traditional First Nation peoples welcome and greeting.

Jeff, a superb artist, sculptor and author conducted the first half of the slide show presentation giving a brief outline about AFC  focusing on the Bear and how his artistic passion is linked to nature conservation.


Jeff about to start his demonstration with a captured audience

I conducted the second half of the slide show, which  gave me the opportunity to talk about the rhino and the International ‘SAY NO’ Poster awareness campaign. I was also able to share my artistic passion with the children and how it is linked to conservation and endangered species.  Jeffrey and I then each gave a short demonstration of our chosen subject before the children were invited to draw the animal of their choice.  I felt so privileged to be a part of this event targeting  youth education on the environment, conservation and the roll that an artist can play to spread the word.


Not only the children gave it a go!

William Nahanee gave me the honour of wearing a traditional cape and headdress for a photo.

William and Paula

William Nahanee and Paula

This platform also gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about the  worldwide poster campaign, a global movement  launched  in London to raise awareness of enangered species.