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Vancouver selected to host premier global event for bird scientists in 2018

January 15 2015

Chickadee © Jay Black
Photograph by Jay Black

Vancouver has been selected to host the 27th International Ornithological Congress after submitting a winning bid to the organizing society.

The congress runs from August 19-28, 2018, and is considered the most prestigious event for bird scientists around the world. It will bring together over 2,000 bird scientists from 100 countries and include public events and exhibitions in celebration of all-things-birds.

Congress expected to provide a boost to birding tourism

The congress is expected to have a significant economic boost and form an important legacy that will help position British Columbia as an international destination for birders. Bird watching is one of the fastest growing leisure activities in North America, estimated to generate billions of dollars in tourism and recreation industries.

The Vancouver proposal enjoys broad support from a number of stakeholders, including the City of Vancouver, the province, Environment Canada, local universities, and an array of conservation organizations.

Given the enthusiasm for the event and the Vancouver Convention Centre as the breathtaking harbour-front venue, the 27th congress is expected to be the largest and most successful bird meeting ever.

Importance of birds

The keen interest in the congress reflects the reality that wild birds are ambassadors for environmental health. Sustaining our rich bird heritage depends on governments working with academia, the interested public, and non-government organizations. The hosts are excited about showcasing Vancouver as a green, bird-friendly city with a world-class bird strategy and several of the province’s birding hot-spots.

History of the annual congress

The congress has occured every four years since its inception in 1884 when it was hosted in Vienna, Austria. Vancouver will be only the second Canadian city to host the conference. Ottawa held the conference in 1986.

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