Marking a significant milestone, the Rocky View County-based Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) is commemorating its 30th anniversary in 2023.
Since its establishment in 1993, AIWC – which is located in Madden – has played a vital role in rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing injured and orphaned wildlife, contributing to animal conservation efforts in Rocky View County and throughout Alberta.
Having admitted over 36,000 animals into its care in its three decades of operations, AIWC has been instrumental in safeguarding various wildlife species, ranging from bald eagles to songbirds.
AIWC places great emphasis on public education, attempting to raise awareness among Alberta of all ages about the critical role of wildlife in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and preserving the region's natural heritage.
“Our community and engagement manager goes out and does these presentations as well as we go to booths for educational and fundraising in different farmers markets and festivals,” said Rachel Swart, communications coordinator at AIWC.
To celebrate its 30-year journey, Swart said AIWC has planned a series of engaging events and initiatives this summer, including a 50/50 cash raffle from Aug. 8 to 28 that offers participants a chance to win while supporting the organization’s work.
Next month, a silent auction will take place from Sept. 6 to 16, featuring unique items and experiences. All proceeds will go toward AIWC's mission of rehabilitating orphaned or injured wildlife..
Swart said the highlight of the 30th anniversary celebration will be an in-person event scheduled for Sept. 16 at cSPACE in Marda Loop, Calgary. The event is free of charge and promises to be a memorable gathering, featuring activities, insights from wildlife experts, and opportunities to connect with fellow wildlife enthusiasts.
More details on the event can be found on AIWC’s website as of Aug. 9, once the event site is launched.
Swart emphasized the spring and summer months typically witness a surge in activity for AIWC due to the higher influx of wildlife patients the animal hospital and rehabilitation centre receives. 2023 has seen an increase in wildlife admissions compared to the previous year, when AIWC admitted 1,960 wildlife patients, received 7,556 hotline calls, and educated 3,192 individuals through public programs.
“This year is definitely no exception,” Swart said. “There’s been a slight increase in patients compared to last year that we’ve gotten in. It’s been very busy the last couple of months.”
The 30th anniversary presents an opportunity for individuals to show their support and appreciation toward the veterinarians at AIWC, who strive to protect Alberta's wildlife.
The celebration is not just a moment to reflect on past achievements but also a reminder of the ongoing commitment needed to ensure the well-being and conservation of the region's diverse wildlife.
As the organization continues its invaluable work, it looks forward to the support of the community in securing a brighter future for Alberta's wildlife.
For more information about AIWC's initiatives and upcoming events, interested individuals can visit the organization's website at aiwc.ca