20 April 2009

Robert Bateman Get-To-Know Contest Launch April 22 at the New Brunswick Museum!


The New Brunswick Museum joins partners across Canada in the 2009 Robert Bateman Get To Know Contest launch. This free event will be held on Wednesday, April 22, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm at the New Brunswick Museum, Market Square. Come learn how you can enter this national youth wildlife writing, art and photography 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 calendars from Magnetic Hill Zoo.

The 2009 contest theme is ‘Biodiversity’. Next year (2010) will be International Year of Biodiversity. Celebrate the wonders of nature by creating art, writing or photography (a new category this year) about the plants or animals that can be found in your neighbourhood. The Robert Bateman Get to Know Program is based on the philosophy that caring for the planet begins with getting to know the names of our neighbours of other species - plants and wildlife. The contest is all about getting outdoors and then sharing with others the discoveries you have made.

This year Get to Know is partnering with Wildlife Habitat Canada for the first ever Canadian Youth Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp. One winner’s artwork will be featured on the inaugural stamp which will be sold across Canada, with proceeds supporting wildlife conservation projects undertaken by youth.

Winners of the 2009 contest age 12 and up will be invited to attend a multi-day residential program at the Parks Canada Palisades Stewardship Education Centre in spectacular Jasper National Park! Youth participate in fun activities, connect to the mountain landscape through a variety of artistic mediums, and are mentored by talented local artists.

The Get To Know Contest was inspired by noted wildlife artist Robert Bateman and launched in March 2000. 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. The 2009 contest will run from Earth Day, April 22nd to May 27th, 2009.

Museum Program Manager Rose Poirier says, “Earth Day is a great day to come out and celebrate nature’s complexity and beauty.  This contest has encouraged Canadian youth for 10 years now to stop and cast a critical and artistic eye on the creatures and plants in their own neighbourhood. Let’s celebrate this web of life on planet Earth by learning and participating in the 2009 Robert Bateman Writing and Art Contest. Get those pens, paintbrushes and digital cameras out and go exploring!”

The winning entry will be featured in the 2010 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest Calendar; the 2010 TD FEF Robert Bateman Special Edition Get to Know Contest Calendar; and the Get To Know website. Winners receive personal written congratulations from Robert Bateman, VIP invitations to special events held across the country, wild prizes and more! Details about the contest are available at www.gettoknow.ca 

Locations across Canada participating in the April launch include the New Brunswick Museum, Greater Vancouver Zoo; Toronto Zoo; Canadian Museum of Nature; Magnetic Hill Zoo; and The Rooms.

New Brunswick Museum, Market Square, Saint John. For more information: 1 888 268 9595

For further information

Rose Poirier
New Brunswick Museum Program Manager
(506) 643 2339

Vita Kipping
New Brunswick Museum Community Relations
(506) 643 2358