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

Demonstrators lined Hwy 16 May 5 to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Deb Meissner photo)
VIDEO: Smithers gathering marks Red Dress Day honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Approximately 70 people lined Hwy 16, drumming, singing and holding up placards

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

The road to Telegraph Creek (Hwy 51) was closed April 15 due to a washout. On May 4, the road was opened to light-duty passenger vehicles during specific times. (BC Transportation and Infrastructure/Facebook)
Telegraph Creek Road opens for light-duty vehicles

Road has been closed since April 15 due to a washout

FILE – Residents of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory southwest of Montreal continue to monitor a blockade leading to blocked railroad tracks that pass through their community as they protest in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs on Sunday, March 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe
B.C. Supreme Court rejects Wet’suwet’en bid to toss LNG pipeline certificate

Opposition last year by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs set off Canada-wide rail blockades

On any given day, Brenda Mallory can be found holding court in her front yard on her acreage near Tyhee Lake. (Thom Barker photo)
Spice of Brenda: Our long-time columnist gets frank (when wasn’t she?)

Brenda Mallory has packed a lot of creativity into her life

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

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

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read