Maple Leaf Adventures is proud to have welcomed some of BC’s most accomplished landscape artists and carvers aboard this year as part of an art expedition, organized by Mark Hobson and Raincoast Conservation Foundation, in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Now, you can view and purchase the 70 works of art created for the effort, which are available in a beautiful book, Canada’s Raincoast at Risk: Artists for an Oil Free Coast.

"What Lies Beneath" by Chili Thom, from the expedition on the SV Maple Leaf

And, you have an amazing opportunity to bid for the original works – from artists such as Robert Bateman, Roy Henry Vickers, Carol Evans, David Goatley, Alison Watt, Chili Thom … the list goes on.

The artists donated the originals which are up for online auction. And, you can see them for yourself in certain cities. Here are details on all three opportunities:

"Can U Bear to See It" by Ben Davidson, from the SV Maple Leaf expedition

You can also view a Global News photo gallery of some of the paintings and sculpture.

About Artists for an Oil Free Coast

Conceived by Mark Hobson, whom some in the Maple Leaf community will know as a wonderful naturalist and amazing artist, it was funded and organized by Raincoast Conservation Foundation and its generous donors.

The purpose is to raise awareness of what is at stake if oil supertankers are allowed to navigate the narrow, winding passages of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Surprising as it may sound, there is a proposal before the Canadian government to do just that.

"Telling It Like It Is" by David Goatley, from the artists' expedition

Maple Leaf Adventures and Mothership Adventures, two ecotourism companies in the Great Bear Rainforest, donated places aboard their ships to take the artists to the remote and beautiful location on the north and central coast of British Columbia.

Raincoast’s vessel Achiever also took artists out, and others were housed in donated accommodations at the Hakai Research Institute and the Spirit Bear Lodge in Klemtu.

Another Maple Leaf naturalist, Sherry Kirkvold, edited the book and has helped with myriad behind-the-scenes details.

Why Is Maple Leaf Adventures Involved in This Project?

The book of the 50 artworks, plus essays by Wade Davis and David Suzuki

Maple Leaf Adventures and our colleagues on the coast have created and built businesses over decades. We are part of a coastal economy that employs tens of thousands of people in the tourism, fishing, mariculture and real estate industries, who rely on BC’s beautiful, healthy natural environment.

Many of our sectors have great potential for sustainable growth; growth that is just beginning. The very real threat of an oil spill in the tricky, reef-strewn waterways of the Great Bear Rainforest is unacceptable to our businesses.

Our partners in communities in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii have lived on the coast for millennia and will be here for millennia after today.

It is not acceptable to risk their food sources (shellfish, herring roe on kelp, oolichan, and other finish such as salmon), tourism and other nature-based business, or the health of the ecosystems.

The SV Maple Leaf on her tours in the Great Bear Rainforest

As part of a long, consensus-based land use planning process, all levels of government agreed that a conservation-based economy is a key to the future of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Our businesses are part of that. The proposed pipeline puts it all at serious risk: the conservation-based economy, the local jobs, and the entire tourism industry, should a large oil spill occur.

The Great Bear Rainforest, with its fjords that draw the ocean into the mountains, its ancient rainforest, its wildlife (spirit bears, grizzly bears, black bears, coastal wolves, killer whales, humpback whales, sea lions, seals, seabirds, fin-fish and more) is one of Earth’s last great wild places.

It is also the cradle of some of North America’s great human cultures that reach back beyond the ice age and into the present.

Its value to the planet is immense and it must be protected. We are a business, not a conservation organization. We believe business can be run with ethics and a conservation attitude and still be successful. The proposed oil tanker project puts far too much at risk, and that this proposed route is not a good idea.

You can read more about the project on the Raincoast Conservation Foundation website.

You can read more about tours in the Great Bear Rainforest on the Maple Leaf Adventures website.