For over seven years Tim Van Horn has travelled around Canada greeting tens of thousands of people in the same way.
“Hi, how are you?” he asks a passerby with his two cameras slung over his neck.“Can I do a quick picture of you?”
His willing subject agrees and poses near his RV parked in front of Hope’s Memorial park.
Their picture will appear somewhere on the Canadian Mosaic. Van Horn’s photography project is to merge thousands of portraits of the country’s citizens into a huge collage that takes the shape of the Canadian flag.
“It’s a responsibility to unite the country in this beautiful portrait,” he says later inside his RV and living space. “Who are we? What does the face of this country really look like?”
The 46-year-old from Red Deer, Alberta. has already photographed 43,000 Canadian faces and aims to have 54,000 by the time he wraps the next mosaic version around an upcoming “40-foot pavilion on wheels” that will soon be in the works.
It’s all for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, when the bus will traverse the country’s landscape to inspire and bring the population together, according to Van Horn.
“This one of a kind pavilion with all these portraits, text and music and flare,” he says. “There’ll be a few characters in costume and we’ll go across the country and inspire the nation. We need that for our birthday.”
Tim has crossed the face of Canada five times during his unique journey, and his ambitious idea to bring together all Canadians in a mosaic, which represents citizens from every walk of life, is proving to be an undertaking worthy of praise, consideration, and is starting to garner the attention it so richly deserves.
Considering it his self-assigned creative tour of duty to his fellow Canadians and to celebrate the greatness of the country — Van Horn is truly reaching the hearts and minds of all he meets with each shutter of his camera.