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Photographer puts stamp on Canada


For more than four years Tim Van Horn has traveled across the country on project to take portraits of 36,000 Canadians.

With these portraits he hopes to piece together a mosaic of the Canadian flag.

On top of the main project he also does a day-in-the-life look at Canada. And it was through this part of his journey that he happened on one of Canada’s newest stamps.

“While Canada Post was doing a search for their Canadian flag series of postage stamps, which came out in January, they found my ice fishing shack,” said Van Horn.

He was near Port Perry, Ontario on Lake Skugog when he saw an ice fishing village and couldn’t resist driving out and having a look at what was going on.

In the village one shack in particular stood out.

The shack had a large Canadian flag painted on it, so Van Horn took a picture of it.

“Nobody was home when I knocked so I just did a picture of the shack on its own,” said Van Horn.

He never found the people who owned the shack.

“I’m thrilled to pieces to include that with some of my successes in my Canadian mosaic project,” said Van Horn.

The stamp is one of 10 on Canada Post’s Canadian Pride Flag series, which is currently available through Canada Post.

“This mosaic project is all about bringing thousands and thousands of locations together into one visual,” said Van Horn.

“Into one collection of portraits. It’s my mandate to go to as many places as possible.”

Since 2008, he has been on the road, living in a van and discovering Canada.

“I’ve found that Canadians are very liberal and open-minded for the most part,” said Van Horn. “We have all the world’s cultures here. I kind of think as a Canadian as a world citizen.”

While Van Horn said there are many qualities that unite the country, it is a large space to unite people.

“The space divides us,” said Van Horn. “It’s a massive country. I don’t think people have any idea how big it is out here. It is ginormous.

“It’s the space I’m trying to bridge, I’m trying to bring this country together through this crisscrossing of the landscape.”

By 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday, Van Horn hopes to have 0.1 per cent of the population of the country represented on the mosaic.

But this mission costs money and Van Horn is running low on funds. People can sponsor a kilometre by visiting his website, www.canadianmosaic.ca.

 
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