Global Canvas virtual final

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) launched our international children’s art competition, Global Canvas, in 2004 to inspire creation and connection to the natural world.

The idea behind the competition is the same today as it was back then; to inspire children to think about wildlife and the environment, the threats that it faces and how they can help, and to express this through creativity and art.

To enjoy wildlife and the wilderness through a child’s eyes is inspiring and humbling and often born from pure creation and emotion which remains uncomplicated by the world at large.  Children have a freedom of expression which is heartfelt, passionate, and powerful and can see to the very heart of an issue. By communication much of this through process art we can gain a colourful insight into how the younger generation perceive the importance of nature and what poses the biggest threats to environmental stability. 

Global canvas provides a platform for budding artists, animal lovers, creative thinkers and promising environmentalists aged between 4-16 years old to share their thoughts on some of the most pressing issues facing our planet.

Each year the competition has a theme which entrants based their artwork and submissions on. From ‘Healing Nature – A Planet on the Edge’ to the Global Canvas 2022 theme ‘Forests of Land and Sea’, the annual competition tittles help inspire children to not only explore and discover nature-based inspiration but also to uncover learning opportunities around the topic.

In just a 4 year period, 16,920 children from 55 countries, were been involved in creating 497 entries for the competition. Entries range from paintings and sculpture to displays and installations of all shapes and sizes. One thing remains consistent: imagination and creativity. 

In 2020 we took the Global Canvas final online for the first time which allowed us to reach more schools, children, art groups and communities who were able to participate in the winner’s announcement from all over the world.

For our online final we invite guest speakers to share with the participating children and groups their art or wildlife-based stories, offer an insight into the work we are undertaking to protect wildlife and share the outcomes of the yearly competition. In 2021 we also brought the African bush to our viewers through a bespoke virtual safari.

Global Canvas is free to enter, making it accessible to all and is open to children and young people all over the world aged 4-16 years old, both for group entries and to individual young artists.

Global Canvas final 2021

  • March 25th 2021 (2pm to 3pm UK time)
  • Virtual
We’re delighted to invite all of this year’s entrants to our Global Canvas 2021 online awards presentation which will take place via Zoom on Thursday 25 March 2021 (from 2pm to 3pm UK time).