Based in North Vancouver, Canada, Artists for Conservation is the world's leading artist group supporting the environment. With artist members from over 30 countries, AFC also has a very strong membership chapter base in British Columbia. AFC's flagship event is the annual Artists for Conservation Festival, hosted every year in Greater Vancouver, BC since 2011.
The Artists for Conservation Festival is a multi-day nature-themed arts and culture event that immerses visitors in a cohesive blend of visual art, musical and First Nations cultural performances, art workshops/activities, plein-air sketching walks, live art and music demos and film. In 2022, the festival returns to VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver (operated by Vancouver Parks Board) as the primary programming base with additional programming at Maplewood Conservancy (operated by Wild Bird Trust of BC). Public programming hours are expected to be between 10am-6pm. Programming is typically free or nominal cost to the public with easy access from the street.
In addition to the local programming, AFC Festival serves as the host venue of AFC's annual international art exhibit the world's top juried conservation-themed art exhibit. Typically, this portion of the event, attracts artists from around the globe, many of whom volunteer their time to deliver live demos, presentations and workshops.
The festival is also host to AFC's Pacific Coast Portraits exhibit, featuring the art and music by AFC artists from Vancouver's Lower Mainland.
AFC’s vision is to “To lead a global artistic movement that inspires individuals and organizations to preserve and sustain our natural heritage.” The Festival objectives help fulfill this vision and AFC’s goal to “support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity and environmental education through art and culture that celebrates nature.” The festival is intended as a cultural catalyst for a social change through better appreciation and understanding of nature. In this 11th year of the AFC Festival we expect to deliver programming featuring the work of over 200 visual, musical and performing artists and First Nations performers. The festival is the embodiment of applied art – that is, art in action to make the world a better place. Through collaborative programming, we expect to involve additional local artists, actively participating in public programming and benefiting from learning opportunities the programs offer.
The primary goals of the event are to:
Promote artistic excellence in visual and performance arts in the celebration of nature;
Promote appreciation and understanding of our natural history through inspiring experiences in the visual
and performing arts and First Nations culture;
Foster collaboration between visual/performing arts to provide powerful experiences to audiences.
Artists for Conservation Statement of Reconciliation with the Indigenous Community in Canada
Artists for Conservation (AFC) commits to building healthy and safe communities through the power of belonging, with a richness and diversity in the arts and culture, a rich, diverse and sustainable environment and a strong economy that benefits everyone.
AFC declares its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge and respect that our programs, services, and community facilities are on the traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples.
AFC is aware of the impact that colonial actions, including residential schools, have had on Indigenous Peoples, and we remain committed to understanding past injustices and will continue to move forward for a better future.
AFC is committed to developing and sharing program models, tools, and resources that will improve Indigenous Peoples’ access to our programs and services and will work with Indigenous communities as partners to find opportunities to have an active presence where it is desired.
AFC is committed to playing our role in addressing the Calls to Action that have been made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, such as:
10 i. Providing sufficient funding to close identified educational achievement gaps within one generation. ii. Improving education attainment levels and success rates.
10 iii. Developing culturally appropriate curricula.
14 i. Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.
92 iii. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal Peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.