Conservation Champions at Calgary Zoo

Conservation Champions Festival

Shaping champions for conservation who are inspired and empowered to make their world better for wildlife and wild places.


Conservation Champions Festival

Conservation Champions Logo

Elevate your classroom experience and join the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo’s thrilling Conservation Champions Festival! This fully funded program isn’t just about learningit’s about igniting a passion for conservation and empowering your students to become true champions for wildlife and wild places.  


The Conservation Champions Festival offers an extraordinary opportunity for teachers and their students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 to dive deep into conservation-based education. Running from September to May, this program encourages students to embark on inquiry-based learning journeys and take action for conservation. They’ll culminate their efforts by showcasing their conservation action projects at our annual May festival—an event you won’t want to miss!  

Designed to inspire and empower, this program equips your students with the knowledge and skills they need to make a real difference in the world. From exploring the wonders of the natural world to taking meaningful action in support of wildlife and the environment, the Conservation Champions Festival is where young minds become conservation champions. Plus, enjoy the benefits of participating in a fully subsidized program, including a one-day invitation to the on-site festival with complimentary admission and bussing for your students and up to six chaperones. Teachers will gain exclusive access to our virtual classroom, complete with captivating videos, conservation resources, and optional lesson plans and activities designed to ignite your students’ passion for conservation. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity—easily book your school program online on the School Programs page today!



This exceptional program is open to all classes registered in a school program at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo in the current academic year. School programs can be easily booked online through the School Programs page. We have a few spots left in the current Conservation Champions Festival – be sure to submit your registration form today to secure your spot!  



Become a Conservation Champion!

Join us in nurturing the next generation of Conservation Champions, and together, let’s create a brighter future for our planet. Register for the 2024-2025 Conservation Champions Festival program and embark on a conservation journey like no other.  

Program Timeline

There are five simple steps to the program and you will receive guided support along the whole way. 

Conservation Champions Festival

Step 1

Register for the Program
September to February

Register for the Conservation Champions Festival after you’ve signed up for a school program at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. The registration process is quick and easy and should take you about 5 minutes to complete.

Step 2

Teacher Workshops
November, December, January

Attend one of the scheduled teacher workshops to become familiar with the program. Afterward, teachers will gain access to the virtual Canvas classroom, where a treasure trove of engaging resources awaits. Inside Canvas, you’ll find captivating videos to ignite your students’ curiousity, a wealth of conservation materials, and optional classroom activities.

Step 3

Select a Project Topic
October to January

The topic of your project can be focused on an animal at-risk from the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo or on the Wilder Institute’s conservation programs. Alternatively, you can select a broader conservation issue that piques your class’ interest. Research why your chosen subject needs conservation support, and start planning a conservation action project to make a difference.

Step 4

Conservation Action Project
December to April

As the festival approaches, your class will embark on a journey of creating an impactful project. Your class will need to produce a compelling 2-minute video about your conservation project, due in April.

Additionally, your class will create a learning artifact that will be displayed and presented for all zoo guests to see during the festival.

Step 5

Conservation Champions Festival

The grand finale! Your class will be invited to attend one day of the Conservation Champions Festival, taking place in early May. On this day, your students will:

  • Present their project to the public in small groups, sharing their passion and hard work.
  • Explore the projects of other Conservation Champions, gaining insights and inspiration for their peers.
  • Enjoy a day at the zoo, allowing your students to connect with wildlife and nature in a hands-on way.

Celebrating Conservation Action

Amur Tiger


Garden of Champions

Step into the world of our Conservation Champions and be inspired by their remarkable work. The Garden of Champions Journal showcases the videos created by each class of Conservation Champions from the Conservation Champions Festival program. These heartfelt videos are a testament to the dedication of our students in making a difference for endangered species and conservation issues. View their videos to ignite your own passion for change. 

Conservation Champions Alumni

Explore the achievements of past Conservation Champions from different academic years. Click on the links below to access their inspiring conservation action videos: 

Rockhopper penguin


The 2021 Conservation Champions Festival celebrated the conservation action of 635 students in 31 classes from 19 schools around Alberta.

Snow Leopard


The 2022 Conservation Champions Festival showcased 19 classes from 12 schools who spent the year learning about a conservation topic of their choice!

Western lowland gorilla


The 2023 Conservation Champions Festival celebrated the unique conservation action projects of 1,113 students from 46 classes from 19 schools across Alberta.

Thank You

Conservation Champions Festival was generously supported in part by the Shaw Charity Classic and the Birdies for Kids program. 

Wilder Institute


We are passionate about wildlife conservation

We are an internationally recognized leader in the science of saving endangered species. Your support of the zoo means you’re also being a conservation champion.