Artists for Conservation will showcase their annual art show of renowned wildlife artists and their new ‘Silent Skies’ mural. Top contenders for prizes for a VIBF photography contest will be on display, indigenous artists will be creating art work in Vancouver, and art workshops led by professional artists are planned around the city. Lectures by leading ornithologists, tour leaders and more are in the works.

The following community events are provided by our Key partners as part of the Vancouver International Bird Festival.


See a complete list of events.


The Bird Expo at the Vancouver International Bird Festival is the largest showcase of birds and nature in Canada. From 23-25 August 2018, the Bird Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre West Wing will have booths and displays from camera, binocular and tour companies, Artists for Conservation annual show and their Silent Skies Mural, The Pacific WildLife Foundation’s Avian Photo Contest top ten winners, a great line up of speakers, and much more. Watch here for more information.



Speakers will speak at the Bird Theatre in the Bird Expo of the Vancouver Convention Centre 22-26 August 2018.

Purnima Barman, 2017 winner of the Whitley Award and 2018 winner of 'Nari SHakti Puraskar', the highest civilian award for women in India, an advocate working with women and their communities for stork conservation across India. Learn about Purnima Barman.

Jennifer Ackerman, American science writer and author of The Genius of Birds (Penguin, 2016). Learn about Jennifer Ackerman.

Steve Burrows, Canadian mystery writer and author of the Birder Murder Mystery series. Learn about Steve Burrows.

Justin Peter, natural history speaker and Director for Quest Nature Tours. Learn about Justin Peter.

Chris Earley is a naturalist, writer, speaker and international tour leader for Quest Nature Tours. Chris was given Ontario’s Nature top award for educators in 2013. Learn about Chris Earley.



Coming soon, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join over 50 trips to see birds and wildlife, and experience nature around Vancouver and abroad with great guides and international delegates to the International Ornithological Congress. We have everything from day trips to longer pre- and post-festival trips in the works.


In August, 2018, scientists and bird enthusiasts from around the world will be flocking to Vancouver for the 27th International Ornithological Congress, and First Annual Vancouver International Bird Festival. We’re planning to greet them with a grand opening parade along the seawall in Vancouver's beautiful Coal Harbour. Birds on stilts! Bird puppets! Bird flags and Bird choruses, representing and celebrating local and migratory birds from our communities.

The main body of the parade will be a Bird Stilt Chorus*: a gathering of as many people on stilts as we can assemble, embodying the movements and sounds of birds that live in or migrate through British Columbia. Each will be wearing a mask and wings that identify the bird they have come to know.

In preparation for the congress and festival, we will be offering Bird Stilt Workshops in interested communities, in the spring of 2018. There will also be workshops in July and August for birds on stilts and other parade elements, leading up to the grand opening of the congress and festival on August 19.

Join the Parade!

Send us a note and let’s talk about how we can help your community create a flock for local parades, and represent your region at the big gathering next summer.

Birds on Parade! is a celebration of the importance of birds in our communities, reinforcing awareness and feelings of connection between the bird and human worlds.

contact paula jardine, parade coordinator

*We currently have a number of Raptors and Songbirds on stilts, available to make appearances at community celebrations and bird festivals.


Artists for Conservation will showcase some of the worlds best nature art at the Congress and Festival. Artists for Conservation has been engaged as the official visual arts partner to organize, curate and deliver all official programming related to visual arts, which includes AFC’s annual juried exhibit, a collaborative mural, artist demo and lecture series and an artist booth expo. AFC is theming its 10th annual festival for the purpose of supporting the Congress and Festival, and welcomes new members to join in the competitive process to participate in the visual arts component. For all programs with exception of the mural, participation is juried or will be by invitation. For more information contact the AFC (

Visual artists not affiliated with AFC and artisans can exhibit and sell their work by purchasing space in the exhibition areaIn addition, the Vancouver Park Board is planning Arts and Cultural activities around the City during the Vancouver International Bird Festival and IOCongress2018, 19 - 26 August, 2018. Opportunities to participate in these activities will be posted on the Vancouver International Bird Festival website as they become available.


Science World will be offering a summer long series of bird films from around the world. Science World is one of Vancouver’s star attractions with easy access from the Vancouver Convention Centre and the downtown by skytrain, car or bicycle. Titles, times and showings will be posted in the calendar.


The Silent Skies Student Mural Project is a youth education project focused on conservation and the study of endangered species through art, research and community engagement. It specifically targets students in grades 3 through 7. The project builds directly on an international collaborative super-mural featuring all 678 endangered bird species of the world; depicted by leading internationally recognized artists. The 100-ft-long installation will form the artistic centerpiece of the 8th annual Artists for Conservation Festival (AFC Festival), the 27th International Ornithological Congress (IOCongress2018) and Vancouver International Bird Festival (VIBF) at the Vancouver Convention Centre (August 20-25, 2018).

The program offers students, educators, schools, parents and their respective communities a unique opportunity for students to have their work published online and potentially selected for exhibit in a major international cultural and scientific event.

Educators check this link ( ) to register and download grade-specific program kits free of charge. A selection of 100 student artworks will be printed and mounted in a physical installation alongside the professional artist version at the aforementioned events.


Calling all photographers. The 2018 Bird Photo Contest in conjunction with the International Ornithological Congress and Vancouver International Bird Festival is now live. Celebrate birds and help raise funds for the Pacific WildLife Foundation’s conservation work. There are prizes and a chance to show your photos at the Congress in August 2018.



All exhibitors are coordinated through the Congress website. For more information and to learn about how to become an exhibitor click below and we’ll be sure to contact you with updates and details!


An exciting program of music, art, lectures, films, parades, workshops, field trips, exhibits and much more are in the works. If you want to be on the program contact us.


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