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Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition

Our 2023 competition closed for entries in February. In total we received an incredible 927 entries from both groups and individuals! Over 4,300 children were involved from 57 countries.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Global Canvas children’s art competition is an annual international art contest run by DSWF, to encourage creativity from young people, to display thought and concern for our planet’s environment and the incredible wildlife that inhabit it.

Set up in 2004 by DSWF’s founder, wildlife artist and conservationist David Shepherd, each year, the competition receives thoughtful and creative entries from all over the world, with an amazing array of interpretations of the year’s theme.

2023 Theme
“Biodiversity – the complex web of life”

Our inspiration for the Global Canvas 2023 theme came from the UN Convention on Global Biodiversity which states we are ‘completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy’. Biodiversity is the foundation that will enable us to build back better. Scientists believe there are around 8.7 million species living in the world today, many of which are yet to be discovered. Biodiversity includes all these animals and plants along with the vibrant and complex ecosystem of the planet’s habitats. Biodiversity also celebrates and highlights the importance of the intrinsic relationship and co-dependency of all living matter and the interrelationships between animals and plants. A complex web of life.

Previous themes have included ‘Forests of Land and Sea’, ‘It’s Our World’, ‘We Can Heal the World’, ‘Wild Wonders’, ‘Our Precious Planet’, ‘Into the Wild’, ‘Habitats of the World, Endangered’, ‘Healing Nature – A Planet on the Edge’.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Who can enter Global Canvas?

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

The competition is free to enter and is open to children and young people aged 16 and under. We welcome entries from both groups and individuals. A group can be as small as 2 children, or as large as a whole school!

Entries for group and individual categories will be judged separately and in the following age groups:

  • Ages 4-7 years
  • Ages 8-11 years
  • Ages 12-16 years

Any art techniques can be used to create entries; including painting, sculpture, textiles, collages and we always like to see recycled materials.

Group entrants are asked to make a display based on the theme, please see our blog about displays.

Individual entrants can create an artwork of any size that they like, as long as their entry is based on the theme.

Competition winners will receive vouchers for art supplies, digital animal adoptions, and certificates.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Global Canvas 2022 Winners
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Creating a display for Global Canvas

2023… A record breaking year!

We were delighted to receive a record-breaking number of entries, and the creativity and innovation on display was truly exceptional.

After a comprehensive judging process, winners were announced at our live Awards Ceremony on the 26th April 2023.




Entries Children Involved Countries
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Global Canvas 2024

We are thrilled to announce that our Global Canvas will be returning in 2024, opening for entries in September 2023 with a February 2024 closing date.

As before, the competition will be open to groups and individuals, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of wildlife artists.

We are yet to confirm a theme for 2024, but will do so shortly and if you would like to be kept up to date with the competition, please let us know here, or follow us on social media.

Aged 15 or over and a budding wildlife artist?

Please note young wildlife artists between the ages of 15 and 19 are invited to enter the ‘Youth Exclusive’ category in our Wildlife Artist of the Year competition. Find out more here.

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