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

100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
100 Mile mayor calls on residents to ‘work together’ during pandemic

Mitch Campsall also urges residents to follow the health orders.

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Mailboxes at 108 Mile Ranch were broken into on the weekend. (Kelly Sinoski photo- 100 Mile Free Press).
Police report: Mailboxes broken into at several locations across region

100 Mile RCMP respond to 77 calls for service from Jan. 13-19

Chief Leah Stump communicated the state of emergency news through a Facebook video. (Video Screenshot)
Nazko First Nation tightens borders due to COVID-19

Chief Leah Stump said in a video they will be putting up checkpoints before entering the reserve

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch 94-year-old facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C.

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Most Read