Photographer Don Dixon’s photo project explores what it means to be Canadian
As Canada marks its 150th birthday, photographer Don Dixon continues his documentation of the Canadian identity, capturing photos of the country’s most celebrated living icons to explore what Canada means to them from their unique perspectives.
Famous actors, athletes, politicians, scientists, and other noteworthy individuals make up Dixon’s “Canadian Icon Project.” Begun in 2010, the project is both a photo session and an interview, and now Dixon’s self-published project is just 23 people away from completion.
In his interviews, Dixon seeks his subjects’ thoughts on what the Canadian identity is, and how much of a role Canada has played in global society.
Dixon points out that Canadians need to recognize their contributions to the world.
“We have the talent, experience and expertise to take a leading role in the world on a multitude of fronts, we just don’t know it,” he says in thestar.com.
His interviewees have varied opinions and perspectives on Canada: some have pointed out the country’s natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes, such as former governor general Adrienne Clarkson and former mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion.
Others, like Olympic champion sprinter Donovan Bailey, exhorts Canadians to own their own success.
The changing nature of Canadian identity is also recognized by several interviewees, such as director Atom Egoyan, who says that Canadians have a “sense of where they are from and incorporating that into this new identity that is being formed and being assessed and being felt by all of us as it’s progressing.”
“It’s an ongoing experience, and we’re testing tolerances and we’re testing all sorts of things that have never explored anywhere else in the world to the degree that we are living it now in this country,” he says.
Check out a sample of the profiles and interviews on thestar.com.