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Launched in 1998 at Vancouver Canada, SongBird was a long term project designed to bring the power of the arts to sustainability discussions and strategies by pioneering new practices and frameworks of possibility in a major urban centre. It was also designed as field research to observe efficacy of these arts-led approaches, and note outcomes over time.


SongBird's development was rooted in an understanding that the arts have a vital role in bringing transformative change to socio-cultural understandings, behaviours, policies and institutions necessary to turn the tide of an increasingly industrialized world toward a future of sustainable flourishing for all life.


Offering experiences to capture imaginations and engage hearts and minds, SongBird nurtured a shared vision of urban biocultural diversity for future flourishing, and the creation of concrete steps to help us get there.

Building working collaborations across the arts and sciences, and among multiple sectors and diverse publics. SongBird's work was to seed alliances that would take up and continue the collective re-imagining and transformation of urban ecologies into the future.



                 BRINGERS OF JOY


Annual Living City Forum

A public forum and conversational space where invited presenters from a range of sectors - the Arts, Environmental, Academic, Government, NGO, Planning, Activist, Indigenous, Business - engaged with the public to collaboratively envision a more flourishing future, and the actions we can take to move toward that future. We are all stakeholders in a sustainable flourishing future.

The LCF also includes  exhibitions, performances, and exhibition space for regional organisations.  

Annual Dawn Chorus

Linked with annual International Dawn Chorus events, and in partnership with the Vancouver Natural History Society, people were invited to gather at designated "listening sites" in communities throughout Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, meeting local birders to listen to and discover local birds and their habitat. Complemented by a free breakfast gathering, a community bird count and discussion, with celebratory performance.

Annual Gardens of Babylon Urban Habitat Challenge

SongBird core partner, the Institute for Urban Ecology, spearheaded an annual contest for urban dwellers in condos and townhomes to create the best rooftop + balcony habitat for migratory birds and pollinators.

Free workshops on habitat design, and nest box construction were offered, with prizes awarded for the best habitat.

SongBird Oratorio

4 years in the making, the SongBird Oratorio explores human-avian relationships, investigating interspecies relationship and collaboration.

The SongBird Oratorio was a project of partner Savage Media.

SongBird Stories

Traditional, personal, anectdotal -  stories about songbirds and our encounters with them bridge time and cultures, situating us in a shared world.

With the Vancouver Society of Storytelling

One of the important pleasures for me was meeting Beth Carruthers and Nelson Gray of the Songbird Project in British Columbia. It was very clear to all present that they are doing exemplary work...
Dr. David Abram, cultural ecologist, author of "The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World"

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