We *Heart* Whales! - Human Aerial Image & Community Art Project On The Beach, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 10:30am
MacKenzie Beach / Tofino, British Columbia

Hundreds of Pacific Rim Whale Festival participants laid down (on the beach!) to declare their love for whales and call for whale protection in a human aerial image directed by artist John Quigley on MacKenzie Beach - a traditional whaling beach - in Tofino, BC.

Click on the images below to view larger versions!
We HEART Whale! project on MacKenzie Beach. Photo by Jeremy Koreski (jeremykoreski.com) and Spectral QWe HEART Whale! project on MacKenzie Beach. Photo by Jeremy Koreski (jeremykoreski.com) and Spectral QWe HEART Whale! project on MacKenzie Beach. Photo by Jeremy Koreski (jeremykoreski.com) and Spectral Q

Orchestrated by 2010's Pacific Rim Whale Festival coordinator Marla Barker and directed under the guidance of professional producer, activist, and artist Spectral Q's John Quigley, a large-scale image was created using people as the medium! The goal was to create a formation that could be photographed from the air to express to the world that “We Love Whales".

This was not your average Sunday morning! Those who were there can attest to the extreme weather conditions that kept many under cover the morning of the event.  Directed by John Q and applying principles of biomimicry and mathematics, a hearty crew of community volunteers began at daybreak to draft the large-scale image on the beach. Howling winds, driving rain, a rapidly rising tide, and the timely 'springing ahead ' of our clocks made for some challenging circumstances.

For those who were there, it was an extraordinary way to close off the 2010 Festivities.  More stories, personal testimonials, images from the event, and behind the scenes video footage will appear here as submitted.

Check out this slideshow with soundbytes created by Westerly News reporter Stefania Seccia from her perspective as a participant in the event!

Noteables & Quoteables:

-The plane was nearly unable to fly that morning due to extreme wind conditions.
-Yes! Folks are lying in the wet sand to accomplish this image!
-There are 3 generations of a local family creating the 'bulge' on the left of the heart.
-An enthusiastic local, Haley, forms the tip of the tail with her hands in the air - despite the tide washing over her lap!
-Bright raingear added wonderful colour to the image. Other appropriate attire that was sported? Wetsuits, whale-watching cruiser suits, and ponchos - no additional props were used to highlight the image.
-Visitors travelled from Washington to take part, hearing of John Quigley's involvement in the project.

Boatloads of thanks to:

Artistic production by John Quigley (spectralq.com)
Aerial photography by Jeremy Koreski (
Flight by Tofino Air & pilot Max Roger (

Videography by Jeff Hochhalter and Warren Rudd.
Additional ground photography by 
Aperture Overtures Photography and Jeff Hochhalter.
Bucket truck & ground support by
Seaview Cable.
Special thanks to the hearty early morning ground crew of Andy Loiselle, Bobby Lax, Jeff Hochhalter, Kim Trudgeon, Marla Barker, Marny Saunders and Rich Kalcevich.

For more info on the project or to submit photos, video, testimonials, or commentary on the event please contact info@pacificrimwhalefestival.com.