August 2018 was marked by the Vancouver International Bird Festival. The event was held in coordination with the International Ornithological Congress which was hosted in Vancouver that summer. Locals and visitors were treated to a range of fun and interesting activities to get the whole family involved. Activities included the opportunity to weave birds nests with local artists. All the nests were used together creating a large scale sculpture, erected temporarily in the city.
There were also photo exhibitions, bird films, and 4D Albatross experiences! Plus event visitors could enjoy a wide range of entertainment including comedy, art, poetry and talks.
The actual festival itself was held between August 19th and 26th. And what a jam packed schedule! We hope the event organisers will hold another similar event when life has returned to normal. In the meantime we can relive the highlights of the 2018 festival.
Van Bird Festival Schedule 2018:
18th August: Festival Preview
Held at the Vancouver Public Library on West Georgia Street. A free, family friendly event to meet the teams and enjoy bird themed art and entertainment.
22nd August: “Getting into birding” presentation at Science World, Quebec Street.
Jody Allair presented a talk about getting started on your bird watching journey.
23-25 August: Nature and bird Expo, West Building at Vancouver Convention Centre
An opportunity to meet the staff from Bird Studies Canada and discuss research and conservation.
24 August: Birds of a Feather: The Reciprocal Benefits of Protecting Biodiversity, West Building at Vancouver Convention Centre.
Purnima Barman and Midori Nicholson speak about the relationship between humans and birds, and the significance of birds in the Kwakwaka’wakw native culture.
25 August: Birds and Yoga. Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver Convention Centre.
Kate Fremlin leads a 1 hour yoga session. There are plenty of yoga poses inspired by birds, so here’s a chance to explore nature’s influence on the practice.
Other notable events included the Parade of Birds! Stilt walkers in bird costumes paraded from Harbour Green Park to Jack Poole Plaza, delighting the crowds of spectators. There was also a huge mural featuring more than 650 endangered birds artwork. Plus the whole occasion was marked by the Canadian Postal service with a special set of bird stamps.
Festivals that highlight the natural world and how we can live a more eco conscience life are a great experience for the whole family. We know it is hard in 2020-2021 to envisage a time when festivals like this can run again. However, it will happen! And when these events are held please support them.
How you can help
If you live in an area of natural significance or near a wildlife sanctuary perhaps you can get involved! Fund raising and raising awareness are key elements of any movement. We all owe it to the natural world and to future generations to protect birds and wildlife. We can start by educating each other and our children. Getting involved in fun festivals such as this is a great entry point.