Bears are the focus of this year’s BC Conservation Symposium

Black bears have been spotted numerous times on the Mission Creek Greenway in Kelowna this summer. Courtesy Brenda Martinson/ Global Okanagan

VANCOUVER – The plight and conservation of bears is the focus of this year’s BC Conservation Symposium, in connection to the international Artists for Conservation Festival.

This is the second annual symposium and although the event did not have a theme last year, this year organizers wanted to focus on one of B.C.’s most important animals.

“One of the outcomes that we wanted from this project was a regulation of a legacy or support for bears,” said Jeff Whiting, president and founder of Artists for Conservation.

The symposium is a one-day event with guest speakers, taking place today, but the Artists for Conservation Festival takes place on Grouse Mountain and runs from Sept. 26 to Oct. 5.

Speakers at the symposium will also be asking audience members to vote on an International Bear Day.

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“The biggest point is that by protecting bears as an apex predator you by definition protect the entire ecosystem below them,” said Whiting.

The symposium features speakers from around the province but the festival features artists from around the world.

“We see ourselves as a cultural platform for connecting science with the general public,” said Whiting.

For more information on the symposium and the festival, go to the Artists for Conservation website.

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