Lonely Planet Writer

This red couch is going on tour around Canada to celebrate its 150th anniversary

A travelling red sofa will be the centre of attention when it is unveiled at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa. Called the Canada 150 Red Couch Tour, it’s one of 38 signature projects chosen out of 387 expressions of interest to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The Canada 150 Red Couch Tour will travel around Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Image: ELPIO Production
The Canada 150 Red Couch Tour will travel around Canada to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Image: ELPIO Production

The cross-Canada tour will visit ten provinces and the country’s three territories in 2017. Testimonies will be collected from people from all walks of life while sitting on the sofa, on what Canada means to them. The idea is that it will create opportunities for Canadians to participate in celebrations that will help build a sense of pride and attachment to the country on its 150th anniversary.

The Canada 150 Red Couch Tour will travel around Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Image: ELPIO Production
The Canada 150 Red Couch Tour will travel around Canada to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Image: ELPIO Production

Embossed with geometric white maple leaves and the words ‘Canada 150,’ the red couch has been crafted by hand at the Lunar Lounge furniture workshop in Winnipeg. The design was led by chief product designer Jonathan Sebastian.

 

The tour is the brainchild of ELPIO Production, run by Ela Kinowska and Peter Sobierajski. When it’s completed, a video will be produced from the individual testimonies gathered and posted on YouTube. A photographic exhibition of Canadians met on the road will also be posted on the website, painting a portrait of contemporary Canada.

The Canada 150 Red Couch Tour will travel around Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Image: ELPIO Production
The Canada 150 Red Couch Tour will travel around Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Image: ELPIO Production

Canadian Heritage is funding the project up to $155,000 through the Canada 150 Fund, established to support nation-building projects pitched by Canadians with the theme “strong, proud and free.” The couch will depart in March by plane and train to span the north, before embarking on the east-to-west tour in an RV from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Canadians can also track the travelling couch’s trip live online.