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Concours d’éléphant

Press release   •   May 15, 2018 08:31 UTC

Labelled ‘from India with love’ Elephant Family’s eclectic new fundraising campaign is set to throw a kaleidoscope of colour across the city of London this summer while driving home a strong conservation message for the protection of Asia’s endangered elephants.

A customised fleet of 12 Ambassador cars, 8 Royal Enfield motorbikes, 2 tuk tuks and a Gujarati Chagda will make up the ‘Concours d’éléphant’ - a cavalcade of designer inspired, quintessentially Indian vehicles – while 30 beautifully decorated sculptures from Elephant Parade® will stand sentinel across the capital, ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.

The new event once again sees Elephant Family partner with Elephant Parade, the world’s biggest touring public elephant art exposition that raises awareness of and support for elephants. Following the success of the two organisations collaborating to present Elephant Parade India, 30, five-foot Elephant Parade sculptures exquisitely decorated by some of India’s best artists, designers and creative talents have travelled from the sub-continent to decorate the streets this summer. These fabulous ambassadors for Asia’s elephants will be dotted throughout Mayfair and Chelsea raising awareness and looking for new homes. Aspirant elephant adopters will have the opportunity to bid for their favourite elephant online.

Under their watchful eyes the ‘Concours d’éléphant’ will continue the race against extinction. A play on the legendary Concours d’Elegance the beauty parade of vehicles have been lovingly art infused inside and out by top artists, designers and fashion houses including House of Hackney, Boyarde, Dan Baldwin, Belstaff, Philip Colbert and Sabyasachi, Rohit Bal, Manish Malhotra, and Gaurav Gupta and are set to get car and bike collectors and enthusiasts, as well as art collectors and fashionistas, vying for ownership.

Launching on 12th June with stunning photo opportunities across the capital, the elephants and cavalcade of vehicles will receive the royal seal of approval when The Duchess of Cornwall joins the celebrations on 21st June. The event will culminate at a high-profile dinner and auction conducted by Sotheby’s Harry Dalmeny, on 28th June at Royal Hospital Chelsea, attended by members of the Royal Family, key conservationists and society figures. Money raised will help protect Asia’s endangered elephants and support projects that protect not only wild elephants and their habitats but the people who share their landscapes.

“We’re setting the wheels in motion to release an unforgettable summer in London,” says Elephant Family trustee and former CEO, Ruth Ganesh - the creative powerhouse behind the charity’s iconic fundraising events that include bringing Elephant Parade to London in 2010, The Big Hunt, Travels to my Elephant and the Animal Ball. “It’s the charity’s 15th anniversary so we intend to mark it in style.”

“Elephants are being squeezed from their traditional habitats by relentless human development, and being forced into conflict with people as they compete for food and space, often with tragic consequences,” explains Ruth Ganesh. “There has never been a more urgent need to raise awareness for the plight of Asia’s elephants or to help protect their wild habitats which in turn help create the healthy forests and eco-systems that we all rely on.”

Mike Spits, Founder of Elephant Parade adds: “We are delighted that our elephants will be returning to London for the third time since 2010. Elephant Parade has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary of public art parades, featuring in major cities around the world and our events with Elephant Family in India and London represent a tremendous highpoint for us. Elephant Family does trailblazing work to support important elephant conservation projects, which is why in 2016 we formally adopted them as our charity partner and we are proud to support their work in London this summer.”

Keep an eye out for the grand unveiling of the dazzling fleet at one of the capital’s leading landmarks at the beginning of June and stay tuned to catch the vehicles zip around the streets of London for the rest of the month creating highly Instagram-able moments involving some surprise celebrities. They will also be making pop-up appearances at some of the capital’s leading summer events chauffeuring VIP guests, to generate hype in the lead up to the auction dinner.


Notes to Editors:

About Elephant Family

Elephant Family is an international NGO dedicated to protecting the Asian elephant from extinction in the wild. In the last fifty years their population has roughly halved and 90% of their habitat has disappeared. Poaching, a growing skin trade, and demand for wild-caught babies for tourism remain a constant threat along with the deadly and escalating conflict between people and elephants for living space and food. Elephant Family funds pioneering projects across Asia to reconnect forest fragments, prevent conflict and fight wildlife crime. Since 2002 Elephant Family has funded over 160 conservation projects and raised over £15m through public art events for this iconic yet endangered animal.

The late Mark Shand was the founding force behind the charity when it launched in 2002 under the patronage of the Rajmata of Jaipur and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Mark Shand was an adventurer, best-selling author and conservationist who dedicated his life to the survival of the Asian elephant. His mission started in 1988 when he rescued a street begging elephant, which he named Tara, and journeyed 800km across India with her. Tara became the star of Mark’s best-selling book, Travels on my Elephant, which went on to win him Travel Writer of the year and touched a public nerve in the 1980s throughout the West.

TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are joint Royal Presidents of the charity.

As joint Presidents my wife and I couldn’t be more proud to support this vital work… After all we are here to ensure that dear Mark’s hard won legacy is maintained and enhanced.” HRH The Prince of Wales

Since its creation fifteen years ago, Elephant Family has raised over £15 million and funded over 160 conservation projects to safeguard the future of Asia’s endangered elephants – but there is always more work to be done.

About Elephant Parade

Elephant Parade® is a social enterprise and runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. Since launching in 2007, Elephant Parade has visited dozens of cities around the world including: Hong Kong, London, Milan, Bangkok, Sao Paolo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Dana Point California, Singapore. In 2013, Elephant Parade did its first ever country tour, visiting 14 UK cities over 12 months.

Limited edition, handcrafted replicas and a select range of products are created from the exhibition elephants. 20% of Elephant Parade net profits are donated to elephant welfare and conservation projects.

Elephant Parade is the world’s largest open air art exhibition of decorated elephant statues that seeks to attract public awareness and support for Asian elephant conservation. Created by local and international artists, each elephant is a unique piece of art. Parades have been run in the following cities:


Rotterdam 2007

Antwerp 2008                      

Amsterdam 2009

Emmen Zoo 2010                           

London 2010           

Bergen 2010            

Heerlen 2011

Copenhagen 2011 

Milan 2011   

Singapore 2011                  

Hasselt 2012

Trier-Luxembourg 2013

Dana Point, California 2013

The UK national tour 2013-14 - a 14-month non stop tour, visiting:

London, Manchester, Gateshead, Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham, Norwich, Newcastle, Uxbridge, Lakeside, Stoke, Watford and Bromley.

Calais 2015

Bangkok 2015

Florianopolis 2015

Taiwan 2016

Chiang Mai 2016

Sao Paolo, Brazil 2017

The Netherlands 2017

India 2018


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