A Kamloops painter says he will donate the proceeds of his next show and sale towards preserving the Nicola Valley grasslands that inspire his paintings.

Vaughn Butland, 75, has found inspiration in the area for over three decades.

“All of the Nicola Valley, all around Kamloops, all around the grasslands is a painter’s paradise,” Butland said. “It’s beautiful. I just go outside my door and I’ve got hills, mountains, grass, trees, wildlife – it’s something that’s really worthwhile. Any artist who walks out into this can’t help but be taken by it.”

Butland’s not only taken by it, but takes his art supplies into the fields to work. It’s this familiarity that Butland said inspired him to partner with the Grasslands Conservation Council.

“I’ve been painting in [the area] for the last 35 years, and I’m very strong in feeling that the GCC is doing a lot of great work,” Butland said.

“There’s a lot of controversy in the area because there’s a mine going in, and a lot of people are against it. What I found out over the years is, I see a lot of what goes on and the wildlife, and not many people have actually been there and have stopped to look at it. I hope this will bring their attention to the beauty they have in the grasslands.”

GCC Executive Director Amber Cowie said the organization had Butland on its radar for a while leading up to this partnership.

“The GCC is always happy to work with local organizations and individuals in grassland communities, and Vaughn has been a pretty recognized and respected artist in the environmental circles for a number of years,” Cowie said. “We’ve seen his work quite a bit before and it celebrates the areas that we also work in and try to protect, so it seemed like a really good fit.”

Cowie said the money raised through the sales will go towards education and outreach operations including the GCC’s magazine, website and events.

“Basically, the GCC went through a pretty tough time financially over the last couple of years,” Cowie said. “We were forced to lay off the majority of our staff and close our office in Kamloops, so we have to be creative about fundraising.”

The show and sale takes place at St. Andrews on the Square in Kamloops and opens Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. It runs Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.