Red Deer photographer Tim Van Horn has criss-crossed the country five times to capture portraits for his Canadian Mosaic Project.

Photographer criss-crossing country for mosaic project

Almost six years and over 33,000 portrait shots later, Red Deer photographer Tim Van Horn isn’t showing any signs of slowing down when it comes to his mission to unite Canada through a mosaic of photos.

Almost six years and over 33,000 portrait shots later, Red Deer photographer Tim Van Horn isn’t showing any signs of slowing down when it comes to his mission to unite Canada through a mosaic of photos.

The 45-year-old has been living and working on the road since October 2008, zigzagging from places like Victoria, B.C., over to Charlottetown, P.E.I., and back across the county again a total of five times.

He spent this Canada Day in Halifax, at Pier 21, the national museum of immigration, capturing 714 portraits to add to his project — a giant Canadian flag mosaic featuring photos of everyday Canadians.

The final product will be unveiled in Ottawa on July 1, 2017, just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday party.

“I’m travelling from Halifax all the way to Vancouver this year, going to the Prairies and doing a major project in the Wood Buffalo region, shooting up there for nine days,” said Van Horn. “I’ll be wintering on Vancouver Island and then setting out in early spring, to go all the way back across the country.” He added he’ll be travelling from coast to coast right up until the end of 2016 to bring awareness to the Canadian Mosaic Project.

So far, he’s visited upwards of 500 towns and cities.

“It continues to grow. The momentum is amazing,” Van Horn said.

He originally lived out of a van he had gutted and remodelled. But after three years, his body had had enough of the cramped conditions.

“I couldn’t stand up in the van. … When you’re on the road for eight months straight, it’s really hard to live in a van so I wanted to be able to sit at a table, get my workflow going, have power,” he said.

Last month, he upgraded to a 25-foot RV, complete with a newer version of mosaic photos decorating the vehicle’s exterior.

“I have all the amenities and I feel it’s just a healthier environment to be in long term on the road.”

In 2017, not only will the final product — a 10-by-30-metre tapestry of 54,000 Canadian faces — make its first public appearance, but a 12-metre Canadian Mosaic bus (or education pavilion, as Van Horn calls it) will also take to the road for one year to share Van Horn’s story and art in Canadian schools and at community events.

“It’s completely wrapped in photographs, does projection off its top. Audio comes out of it and I’m going to rig up the iPad so that when it goes to a school, it will be an interactive, multimedia display on wheels,” Van Horn said.

“I’m really adamant that as many Canadians see and experience this mosaic as possible, so it simply isn’t enough for me to have it in a museum in Ottawa. … It will give the country something to follow for a year.”

There will also be a new website paying tribute to the project’s end result, with each of the 54,000 portraits uploaded so users can click on each for more information on that citizen.

Van Horn will be self-publishing a book, A New Canada, full of the photos, quotes and stories from the journey as well.

While living on the go has its challenges, Van Horn said the people he’s met along the way who have shared food and inspiring tales drive home how significant the project is. And, despite being over nine million square km, Canada has come to feel like a small hometown, he said.

“I keep running into people that I’ve photographed in different parts of the country over and over again. It’s really surprising in the second largest country in the world that someone I photographed last year in Halifax, I see again this year.”

Van Horn continues to fund the project out of his own pocket and through his online campaign, where the public can sponsor him for $20 per kilometre.

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.canadianmosaic.ca.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Cryptocurrency here to stay says one Red Deerian

Bitcoin is more than just a commodity with an ever changing value,… Continue reading

Lacombe County residential development and golf course proposed

Lincoln Ranch would include 100 homes and nine-hole golf course

Eight flu deaths in Central Alberta

99 admitted to hospital so far

UPDATED: Shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP search for more suspects

Exploring eating disorders in sports and fitness

Eating Disorders Awareness Week runs Feb. 1 to 7

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month