BC Conservation Symposium


Thank you for join us for the 

2014 BC Conservation Symposium: Bears

September 11, 2014 | 9:00am - 4:30pm
Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC | Vancouver

The 2014 BC Conservation Symposium focuses on bears and bear conservation. From pandas to polar bears, these animals have long been among the most charismatic ambassadors of the natural world. Today, bears offer an engaging entry to issues ranging across the disciplines of ecology, ethics, economics, and aesthetics. Bears also provide a tangible rallying point for action to protect wildlife and landscapes from local to global scales .

Founded in 2013, the BC Conservation Symposium is an annual event coinciding with the international Artists for Conservation Festival, brings together conservation professionals to share information and insights, with a special emphasis on synergies between the arts and sciences. The Symposium is an opportunity for the public to hear directly from a range of conservation leaders about pressing conservation issues. It also offers a unique forum to explore how the principles, passion, and practice of art can strengthen the conservation movement.

A dynamic line-up of speakers will each offer a unique perspective on bears and bear conservation in B.C.

Darcy Dobell
Darcy Dobell
Conservation & Sustainability Consultant
Fmr. VP, WWF Canada
  Brain Falconer
Christina Service
Bear Specialist
Raincoast Conservation
Mark Hobson
Mark Hobson
Artist, Biologist & Activist
Visionary for Art for an Oil Free Coast initiative
  Ken Macquisten
Dr. Ken Macquisten
Grouse Mountain Refuge
for Endangered Wildlife & Education
Faisal Moola
Dr. Faisal Moola
Director General
Ontario and N. Canada,
David Suzuki Foundation
Jeffrey Whiting
Jeffrey Whiting
Artists for Conservation
Jennifer Walkus
Jennifer Walkus
Bears Forever / Coastal First Nations



The 2014 Symposium will be held at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. In addition to a permanent collection of over two million biological specimens, the Museum presents feature exhibitions and has a theatre designed for both lectures and audio-visual presentations


The Symposium is a one-day event (September 11 9AM - 5PM) combining information-sharing and discussion with exhibits of art and film. Symposium participants will hear presentations from scientific and policy experts on a range of topics, each followed by a panel discussion. Topics under consideration include:

  • The role of bears in ecosystems, how our relationship to bears shapes and is shaped by our interpretation of the value of wild landscapes, and how art can help conservation science communicate aesthetic, moral, and spiritual values;
  • The ethics, economics, and ecology of bear trophy hunting; how the debate is framed in popular media, and the extent to which art can influence this framing and open new avenues for communication;
  • How our relationship to bears is reflected in the current debate among conservation scientists about the future of conservation, and what the environmental movement can learn from artists about definitions of success, power, and influence.
  • Tabling of a proposal to establish an "International Bear Day"

The Symposium also provides an opportunity to showcase some of the artwork that will be featured at the AFC Festival. A selection of paintings and sculptures by internationally-celebrated artists will be on display at the Symposium venue. The exhibit will remain available for public viewing for several days following the Symposium. For 3 days immediately following the Symposium, BBM will offer screenings of a selection of short films about bears and related conservation issues.

Art Exhibit

A teaser art exhibit from the forthcoming Artists for Conservation Festival and fine art exhibit will be on display in the Beaty Museum for the enjoyment of symposium attendees and will remain on exhibit through September 14th.


A special selection of Bear and related conservation films will run for three days (September 12-14) for public viewing in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum theatre, following the Symposum.





2014 BC Conservation Symposium is made possible in part due to a grant from the Willow Grove Foundation, which supports inner city child education enrichment programs and environmental stewardship initiatives, including the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. Special thanks as well to University of British Columbia and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the David Suzuki Foundation, Bears Forever and Grouse Mountain.

Top painting credit: "Grateful Griz" by Val Warner. Bear photos courtesy of A. S. Wright. 2013 Symposium photos courtesy of BAM Studios. All images copyright protected.