Youth Education


Since 2011, Artists for Conservation has been developing and delivering youth programming in association with its annual festival. Until 2016, this has involved field trips and on-site workshops. In 2017, AFC is piloting a new model that is free to participate and widely accessible for participation directly in classrooms outside the immediate area of the festival, and around the world. 

The student mural will be showcased at the 8th annual Artists for Conservation Festival and the 27th International Ornithological Congress at Vancouver’s Convention Centre August 22 - 25th.


Silent Skies Student Mural Project (Gr. 3-7)

The Silent Skies Student Mural Project is a youth education pilot program focused on conservation and the study of endangered species through research, art and community engagement. It specifically targets students grades 3 through 7.

This curriculum-based program offers students a unique opportunity for direct involvement in a major international event and to have their artwork exhibited among many of the world’s leading wildlife and nature artists. Educators register and download grade-specific teacher resource kits, free of charge. Each student selects an endangered bird species for study and to depict it in art. Educators select and submit scans of the student artwork for inclusion in a youth virtual mural on the AFC website. 

A class or individual student will choose a species of their choice from the IUCN Red List to research and determine the multifaceted threats facing this species. Using this foundation of knowledge students will hypothesize a solution to help build the species population through one or multiple aspects of their plight.

Using their hypothesis as a basis for their artists statement the students will create a pictorial composition through a medium of their choice (paint, sculpture, collage). Teachers will select the top works of art to be uploaded into a virtual mural hosted on the Artists for Conservation Festival Website. 

In 2017’s Pilot Project a selection of student works of art will be displayed on a poster at the Artists for Conservation Festival (Nov.9-12) at VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver BC. The selected students will receive family passes to the festival.

In 2018 through a juried process student works selected will used to create a mosaic panel mural displayed at the 2018 International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver, BC. The first place winner of the mural exhibition will be given the opportunity to participate in day of exploration with a IOC scientist and an AFC artists with their family at the 2018 IOC / AFC Festival.

The project builds directly on an existing large scale initiative titled “Silent Skies” – an international collaborative super-mural mosaic featuring all 678 endangered species of birds of the world and bringing together brings together many of the world’s most recognized nature and wildlife artists. The 100-ft-long installation will form the artistic centrepiece of the 8th annual Artists for Conservation Festival (AFC Festival) and the 27th International Ornithological Congress (IOCongress) at Vancouver’s Convention Centre. It will also be represented with a virtual exhibit. The initiative involves a partnership between the world’s leading artist group supporting conservation - AFC and the flagship event of the world’s oldest and most important organizations dedicated to bird studies - the International Ornithological Union.

The Silent Skies Student Mural Project adds an important layer to the aforementioned mural initiative, by engaging educators and students directly in learning about conservation, endangered species and individual bird species facing extinction.


A limited number of classes will be accepted for the "Silent Skies Student Mural Project" launching February 2018.

Please apply below if you are interested in participating. If your class/group is eligible, we will send you information to register and access all program resoureces. Your class must be avaliable to participate before end of May 2018. If you already received an invitation to participate, please refer to the documentation provided which outlines the registration process.

Apply to Participate in Silent Skies Student Mural Project

For any other inquiries, please email

Festival Highlights

Vancouver Convention Centre is located at:

1055 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3

Admission to AFC Festival includes the IOCongress Nature & Birding Expo & Vancouver International Bird Festival.  

  • Day Tickets: Adult $10, Youth (age under 16) $5, Family (2 Adults, 2 Youth) $20

  • Week Passes: Adult $20, Youth $10, Family $40

    Purchase your tickets online or at the event.

  • Art Exhibit
  • Youth Silent Skies Mural
  • Kids Crafts 
  • Live Artist Demos
  • Live Wildlife Encounters
  • Music and Performances

  • Art Exhibit & Expo
  • Nature & Birding Expo
  • Silent Skies Mural
  • Live Art Demos
  • Music and Performances
  • Watch Films
  • Special Presentations

  • Fill the register form

  • Come to the Festival
  • Spread the Word
  • Purchase a Bird Mural
  • Buy Orginal Art
  • Make a Donation
  • Buy an AFC Book
  • Volunteer
  • Sponsor the Event



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Next Event

AFC Festival 2018
@ Vancouver Convention Centre
Partnership with IOC2018 (International Ornithological Congress)
22 August - 25, 2018
Vancouver, BC, Canada


AFC Festival 2017
@ VanDusen Botanical Garden
9 Nov - 13 Nov, 2017
Vancouver, BC, Canada

AFC Touring Exhibit
Lanwan Art Museum in Lanwan Eco Art Park
4 Aug - 30 Sept, 2017
Qingdao City, China



About Us

Artists for Conservation is a Canada-based international non-profit, with a mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation and environmental education through art that celebrates nature. 

Through international art exhibits, collaborative art-science expeditions, festivals, awards and online initiatives, AFC informs and inspires the public to conserve our natural heritage. Among its membership, AFC serves to foster artistic excellence and empower passionate artists as effective ambassadors for the environment. 


#wildlifeart #conservationartists #endanageredspecies #natureart #environmentaleducation #widlife #lovenature #conservation




For general information about the festival, including registration, please contact us at:


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