The Artym Gallery is about to host an exciting exhibition with the theme “bears” by BC artists Anita McComas and Vance Theoret. 

Not only is this an amazing show of paintings and sculpture, but a chance to fundraise for a non-profit, The Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) in Smithers.

Gallery owners Connie and Grey Bradatsch started following and supporting the NLWS three years ago when they heard of a small bear cub that was in dire need of help. Found near Panorama, this little cub was fighting for its life, stabilized by veterinarian Dr. Mark Zehnder, and then transported by caring volunteers all the way to Smithers. 

The NLWS were shocked at the cub’s terrible condition. 

“Koda” was unable to stand up, he moved with his head resting on his bent front paws and pushed himself along with his hind feet. He was painfully skinny and his fur was matted and dirty. But what struck the volunteers most was his attitude. Koda wanted to do things and go places. There was no giving up in his mind. 

Feed had to be introduced with great care as his system needed to adjust to a healthy diet. His motor skills were uncoordinated and the safe surroundings were of great importance as he thought he could do it, even when he clearly couldn’t. 

Months passed as the team watched in awe as he regained his body strength, driven by a strong spirit. He was absolutely amazing! Koda starting to gain weight and fill out as he got ready for hibernation. As a healthy young bear, he was released back to the wild at Panorama the next year.

The NLWS has more than 140 bear cubs right now, and will be releasing 124 back to their original habitat in June.

For every bear painting or sculpture purchased between May 17 to 19, the Artym Gallery will make a donation towards “Paws For Freedom” at NLWS. McComas will also be matching the Artym donation, while Theoret will be donating an original bear sculpture, with sale proceeds going to the NLWS as well.

Join the Artym Gallery and meet the artists on Friday, May 17 from 5 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, May 18. The show will continue until June 24. You can also view the show online at

Go to Northern Lights Wildlife Society to make donations directly through their website and learn more about the organization at