The 2021 Brant Wildlife Festival marks 31 years of raising awareness of our natural landscapes and the species that rely on them. Fern Fennell photo

Brant Wildlife Festival wings its way to local beaches, marshes, backyards + beyond

While the distinctive black-and-white Brant geese are the “poster birds” of the annual Brant Wildlife Festival, this celebration of local species and spaces reaches so much farther.

Marking 31 years in 2021, the festival coincides with the arrival of its namesake birds, landing on local shores to rest and feed during their spring migration. It aims to raise awareness of our natural landscapes and the species that rely on them.

“When we know and love nature we’re more likely to live in harmony with it and protect what we can,” says Ceri Peacey, the festival’s Community Facilitator.

Founded by the Mid Island Wildlife Watch Society, the Nature Trust of British Columbia took the helm in 2006 and today, the non-profit land conservation organization continues to work with local community groups and volunteers to present the festival.

From April 16 to 18, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region invites participants to use the iNaturalist app to record as many species as possible throughout the region, from Nanoose Bay to Qualicum Bay. Fern Fennell photo.

From April 16 to 18, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region invites participants to use the iNaturalist app to record as many species as possible throughout the region, from Nanoose Bay to Qualicum Bay. Fern Fennell photo.

In this year unlike any other, the festival will continue to evolve. Instead of large public events, organizers will share new ways to enjoy this celebration of nature in our own backyards, and the opportunity to learn a few things along the way.

“This year’s festival is designed to continue to give people an opportunity to explore nature,” Peacey says. “Even though we can’t have regular in-person events as usual – self-directed events are equally valuable.”

With a theme of “exploring local spaces,” here’s a look at some of this year’s events:

  • Filming natural places – A series of video interviews exploring locals’ connections to nature that will be posted online and through social media.
  • Painted Brant release – Watch for a “release” of painted Brant in Marchinto local businesses. Take a selfie with the birds and be entered to win a prize.
  • Discover the Bird Trail – Follow a map to bird-watching destinations that will allow you to experience nature in a physically distanced way.
  • The Biosphere-Wide Blitz – From April 16 to 18, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region invites participants to use the iNaturalist app to record as many species as possible throughout the region, from Nanoose Bay to Qualicum Bay.
  • Watch this year’s eagle release – The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre will present a video release of a rehabilitated bald eagle, along with interviews of NIWRA volunteers who work with the eagles.

The impact of a community celebration like the Brant Wildlife Festival is significant, wrote Canadian artist and naturalist Robert Bateman:

“With all forces presently acting to destroy nature in our modern world, it is inspiring to see the success of the Brant Wildlife Festival in bringing many elements of the community together to protect nature. The raising of consciousness is a very important element but the Festival goes beyond this and brings hope for the future.”

Learn more about this festival at brantfestival.bc.ca and stay up to date with the latest news on Facebook.

This year’s Brant Wildlife Festival will share new ways to enjoy this celebration of nature in our own backyards. Fern Fennell photo

This year’s Brant Wildlife Festival will share new ways to enjoy this celebration of nature in our own backyards. Fern Fennell photo

British ColumbiaCanadaFamily activitiesThings to dovancouverislandWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

This image released by SYFY shows Meredith Garretson, left, and Alan Tudyk in the new series "Resident Alien." (James Dittinger/SYFY via AP)
B.C.-shot ‘Resident Alien’ invader gets lift-off with viewers

New Syfy series catching on, proving TV doesn’t have to come from premium cable

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Chris Bullock, Parksville artist, stands next to his ‘Mermother’ series, on display at the McMillan Arts Centre until Feb. 29. Bullock himself will be at the MAC from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Saturday until the end of the month. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Chris Bullock’s unique illustrations on display

‘I’m heavily influenced by old comic book styles from the 1950s’

VIU music instructors Hans Verhoeven, Ben Henriques and Ken Lister (from left) are presenting a weekly jazz performance series with pianist James Darling (not pictured). (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
VIU music instructors presenting online jazz concert series

Musicians getting ‘back in shape’ performing American Songbook standards

Most Read