From photos to canvas, Canada East to West (Canada E|2|W) is an art initiative by Allison Robin Smith, a Canadian artist and illustrator. The idea for the project came from a dream of travelling across the country, painting scenes of Canadian landscape from coast to coast. When her daughter was born in 2014, Smith dismissed the idea as unfeasible. Still, the dream remained with her, until she decided to approach it differently. Instead of painting her own journey across Canada, she would like to see Canada through another perspective, through the stories, experiences and photographs of other travellers. With the timing of CANADA 150, Smith knew she had an opportunity reframe her dream into a new lens and to do something great in 2017!

For the project, Smith has made a formal call out to photographers, both amateur and professional from across the county to share their most cherished photographs of Canadian landscape. Through social media, and word of mouth, Smith received over 300 photos from across the country. She then selected 3 images from each province and put them up for vote online.  The voting process engaged over 2000 participants, all eager to help select the photographs that they felt best represent our Canadian landscape.

On Canada Day, July 1st, 2017, Smith revealed the 13 photos that received the most votes and over the course of the next two months she set out to paint the 13 photos while documenting, and blogging the process to share her artistic experience as it unfolds.

Smith will be donating 50% of the proceeds of the original artworks to charity. 25% of which will be going directly to a local art school to establish a bursary program to help less fortunate youth study art. The remaining 25% will be given to each selected photographer’s charity of choice, which will allow for the funds to be distributed to various causes across the country. Smith anticipates she could raise between $5,000 to $8,000 the sale of her original art in total. More info on the charities can be found by visiting

Art prints and postcards of the entire series of 13 paintings will be available for purchase, both online and at the exhibit(s).


  • The mission of Canada E|2|W is to celebrate Canada and connect Canadians through visual art.

  • To celebrate our landscape, identity, diversity and indigenous people.

  • To inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation of our country, its land, environment and people.

  • To engage in conversation, share our stories and perspectives.

Slideshow Gallery of the 13 selected photos:

Gallery Block
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