Wildlife festivals are growing in popularity and warrant additional studies of festival visitors. However, comparisons of visitor demographics, motivations, activities, and local expenditure patterns between festi-vals are difficult because different methods of measurement are used. By using a comparative approach, this study evaluates, with the same methods, the visitor characteristics of two ... [Show full abstract] similar wildlife festivals in Western Canada. While providing site-specific context, this study notes variations in total local expenditure patterns, visitor motivations, and visitor activities that result from, in part, different visitor demographics, activities offered, other attractions, and rates of overnight stays. Visitors to these festivals were slightly older age and had high educational levels than the general public, which was consistent with visitors to other wildlife festivals and ecotourists in general. Communities and not-for-profit organizations orga-nize festivals for a variety of reasons; these include pro-viding recreational opportunities, highlighting local natural or cultural heritage, enhancing a community's image, promoting local economic impact, and encour-aging the tourism industry (Gursoy, Kim, & Uysal, 2004). In addition, through their educational mission, wildlife festivals can build political, local, and finan-cial support to conserve wildlife and their habitats (Millar, 2003; Romero & Stangel, 1996). However, much attention is paid to the real and perceived eco-nomic benefits (Long & Perdue, 1990; Uysal & Gitelson, 1994) and visitor demographics.