Natural History Museum

Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) was originally founded in 1965 by BBC Wildlife Magazine. The Natural History Museum partnered in 1984 to develop the competition as it is known today, which features an annual exhibition of the competition winners. WPY has grown to be the most renowned wildlife photography competition in the world, attracting nearly 50,000 entries from more than 90 countries.

Header image: David Doubilet,Turtle Flight  

Image by Thomas P Peschak

Image by Morkel Erasmus

the story

Dave Ireland found himself in awe when he visited the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London. Inspired by the stunning refections of the diversity across our natural world, Dave knew he was experiencing something truly unique.

Seeing the potential to educate and engage audiences about conservation and wildlife, Dave led the initiative to bring the exhibition to Canada at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). His efforts were a success; the ROM hosted the North American premiere of the exhibition in 2013, and has continued to partner with the NHM to present the annual exhibition. 

Image by Connor Stefanison

Image by Don Gutowski


Image by Audun Rikardsen



The annual presentation of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the ROM has attracted wide audiences and encouraged critical dialogue about conservation. Each year, Dave has developed a Public Engagement Strategy that goes beyond the walls of the exhibition, inspiring active public participation. 


  • 2016 Lecture by Paul Nicklen, renowned Canadian-born photographer and marine biologist 
  • Public ROM Photographer of the Year Competition (2013 - 2015)
    • 2015 Competition featured a Grand Prize trip to the Arctic, presented by Quark Expeditions
  • Google+ Hangout with Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Photographer 
  • Photography Workshops 
  • 2015 Lecture by WPY Competition Winner David Doubilet 
  • Upcoming (2017): Hands-on Workshop: Digital, Drones and Post-Production

Image by Andrey Gudkov


2013: 35,000 Visitors 

2014: 55,000 Visitors 

2015: 60,000 Visitors

2016: 85,000 Visitors

Image by Deborah Samuel - The Beauty of Birds (2016)