4 March 2008

Robert Bateman Wildlife Writing and Art Contest Launch at the New Brunswick Museum

The New Brunswick Museum joins partners across Canada in launching the 2008 Robert Bateman Get To Know Writing and Art Contest. This free event will be held on Thursday, March 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm . Come learn how you can enter this national youth wildlife writing and art contest, open to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Try your hand at wildlife art in the galleries with artist David Strickland. There will be refreshments and prizes including Bushnell binoculars and family passes to Magnetic Hill Zoo.

The New Brunswick Museum is also planning a Robert Bateman Writing and Art Contest Party! On Sunday, March 30, from 1:30-2:30 pm , join the Museum in offering congratulations to the 2007 art winner from Saint John, Erica Gautreau, age 9. You will have an opportunity to learn how you can enter this national contest and “Get To Know” your wild neighbours.

The Get To Know Contest was inspired by noted wildlife artist Robert Bateman and launched in March 2000. Bateman's premise for the contest is that caring for the planet begins with getting to know our neighbours of other species. Bateman hopes that students who enter the contest will get outside to develop a better understanding of their wild neighbours, become more connected to nature and more passionate about protecting the environment.

The contest is open to all Canadian students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, ages 19 and under. There are four age categories: Kindergarten to Grade 4; Grades 5 to 7; Grades 8 to 10; and Grades 11 to 12. There are two new categories this year, for a total of three: “My Wild Neighbours”, “Amphibian Crisis” (New), and “Pollinators” (New). Youth are welcome to submit entries to more than one category. Entries must be postmarked by April 22, 2008 (Earth Day).

New Brunswick participation in the contest has increased every year, and the New Brunswick Museum hopes to see this continue. Museum Program Manager Rose Poirier says, “Youth participation in the contest can only spell good for the future of our planet. This year we hope to see lots of entries in the new categories of “Amphibian Crisis” and “Pollinators”. I encourage all New Brunswick youth to “get-to-know” their wild neighbours this year!”

The winning artwork and writing from each age category will be featured in the 2009 Robert Bateman Get to Know Calendar. They may also be published in one or more of the following: the Canadian Wildlife Federation's WILD magazine, the 2009 TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Robert Bateman Contest Calendar, and one of the contest's partner newspapers. Winning entries will also be posted on the www.gettoknow.ca website. Winners receive a personal written congratulations from Robert Bateman, a VIP invitation to attend or participate in one or more special events held across the country, wild prizes and more!

Schools who submit more than 100 entries will be entered into a draw to win a copy of Robert Bateman's Backyard Birds for their school library, or other prizes. Details about the contest are available at www.gettoknow.ca.

Locations across Canada participating in the March launch include the New Brunswick Museum, the Magnetic Hill Zoo, the Vancouver Aquarium, Royal Alberta Museum, Assiniboine Park Zoo, Kortright Centre for Conservation in Toronto, and The Rooms in St. John's, Newfoundland.

For further information:

Rose Poirier

Program Manager

(506) 643-2339

Wendy Martindale

Head, Community Services

(506) 643-2338