Robert Bateman, renowned artist, conservationist and teacher has turned 90-years-old. (Bateman Foundation)

Robert Bateman, renowned artist, conservationist and teacher has turned 90-years-old. (Bateman Foundation)

VIDEO: Trudeau, Atwood say ‘happy birthday’ to wildlife artist Robert Bateman

Famed Canadian artist celebrated May 23

A legendary, naturalist and artist with connections to Victoria has turned 90 years old.

Robert Bateman turned 90 on May 24, an occasion the Bateman Foundation calls an “incredible milestone” for an “iconic painter and conservation champion.”

Bateman may be known for his evocative portrayals of the natural world, but his conservation and preservation work has earned the renowned artist recognition by the Audubon Society as one of the 20th century’s “heroes of conservation.”

His art has raised millions for environmental causes and at 90, Bateman still paints, talks about and advocates for wildlife, harnessing the power of his profile for a timeless and vital cause.

Bateman’s work has also earned him friends in high places. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadian literary sensation Margaret Atwood and world-famous conservationist David Suzuki are just some of the faces to appear in a short ‘Happy Birthday’ video celebrating nine decades of the Canadian naturalist.

READ ALSO: Bateman Foundation reflects on 2019, looks ahead to the new year

Located in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature features rotating nature exhibits including Bateman’s work. Locals and tourists alike stop in to the historic building for a glimpse of artwork capturing details of the wild and often unreachable natural world.

The foundation also promotes nature education across the country. Bateman himself worked as a high school art and geography teacher for two decades, and his finely articulated and enthusiastic philosophies on life and nature inspire the foundation’s programs including the newest one, Sketch Across Canada.

The program’s goal is to get 33,000 Canadians (also the number of days one has lived when they turn 90) to “venture outside and become bright-eyed three-year-olds again.”

For those who want to celebrate his 90th birthday, the Bateman Foundation welcomes donations for its nature programs at batemanfoundation.org/support-us/.

Nature-enthusiasts can also send Bateman a personal birthday message by sketching their own nature drawing and posting it to social media with the hashtag #mynaturesketch.

READ ALSO: Robert Bateman Centre re-brands to promote mission of ‘reconnecting people to the natural world’

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

artist

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

Just Posted

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

A vaccine-filled needle awaits injection, during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held Jan. 15, 2021 at Amica White Rock. Community Living B.C.-funded workers learned April 8 that they, too, can now be vaccinated. (Tracy Holmes file photo)
Support workers for those with disabilities given vaccine priority

News shared with Community Living B.C.-funded staff on April 8

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

Scott Wheatley stands with the main Kenyan and Ugandan umpiring crew that he trained at the Nakirebe Complex outside of Kampala in 2020. Wheatley, a member-at-large with Softball B.C. is supporting a recent open letter from the sporting body that calls on the government to reinstate gameplay for kids in organized sports. (Photo: Submitted)
Softball B.C. urges provincial health officer to lift ban on gameplay for kids in organized sports

Sporting body sent open letter to both Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix

Surrey RCMP are looking for these two men after a bank in the 12800-block of 96th Avenue was robbed on March 12. (Images: Surrey RCMP)
Police release images of two men suspected of robbing Surrey bank

Robbery happened on March 12 at bank in 12800-block of 96th Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
3rd COVID outbreak at care home run by Chilliwack church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Police are investigating after a man was shot Thursday, April 8 while sitting in a car in Vancouver. (Black Press files)
Man shot in Vancouver while sitting in a parked car: police

The victim is currently in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is seeking public tips regarding a break-in that left multiple people injured in Vernon Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Cariboo teacher charged in child exploitation case

Charge laid against teacher at Peter Skene Ogden

Most Read