Wildlife conservation centre celebrates 20 years
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 10:53 am
The Alberta Institute of Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) is celebrating 20 years of saving Alberta’s native wildlife with a celebration gala on April 5, at the Red and White Club in Calgary.
“We’re celebrating 20 years of saving wild lives,” said Deb Oldfield, who fundraises for AIWC.
The gala, called Call of the Wilds 20th Anniversary and Silent Auction, will be hosted by Global Calgary’s weatherman Paul Dunphy and will feature keynote speaker Brian Keating, wildlife television host and naturalist.
Keating will be presenting “Going Wild, a spirit-lifting journey into some of the planet’s best wilderness locations,” according to Oldfield.
“We’re really looking forward to that,” she said.
The event will also include dinner, a live performance from the Calgary Show Band, a silent auction with items such as a guitar signed by artists who participated in the Alberta Flood Aid Concert, WestJet vouchers, artwork and more.
Oldfield said there will also be a speed painting exhibit with artist Mark Cromwell painting a wildlife piece at the event to be auctioned off at the end of the evening.
Proceeds from the evening will go towards medical supplies, food, rescue equipment and clinic items for the trauma centre.
AIWC was founded in 1993 in the basement of the founder Dianne Wittner’s home. The registered non-profit organization has operated as a wildlife hospital serving Calgary, Southern Alberta and the North West Territories.
The organization provides care for approximately 2,000 of Alberta’s native animals each year, with about 1,700 reported last year. According to a press release about the gala event, approximately 95 per cent of all animal-patient injuries treated by AIWC are a result of human-created hazards: they are hit by vehicles, electrocuted on power-lines, fly into windows, become entangled in barbed wire, are poisoned by toxins or are attacked by pets.
AIWC’s mandate is to provide comprehensive and humane rehabilitation for injured and orphaned wildlife, promote awareness and encourage greater stewardship of Alberta’s native wildlife, research issues to improve rehabilitation protocols and help people co-exist with wildlife, according to a press release.
“It’s going to be an interesting and engaging evening,” Oldfield said of the April 5 event, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. “Help us celebrate our past and help raise funds for the future.”
Tickets to the event are $100 per person or $750 for a table of eight and can be purchased at www.aiwc.ca or by calling AIWC at 403-946-2361.