Angela O’Neill Whiteley of Weymouth designed rocks with Canadian flags painted on them for this year’s Canada 150 celebrations.
After photos of the rocks, taken by her husband Glyn, were posted online and gained popularity, Whiteley decided to keep at it.
“It’s so cool to see this really taking off the way it has. I never expected this for a second,” she says.
The initial impact
Whiteley first came up with the idea around one year but only began painting the rocks over the past month.
She’d gather rocks, paint 20 to 30 at a time, and restart the process a few days later.
“I’d painted well over 150 rocks by Canada Day and started giving them away to people,” she says.
During the Canada Day parade in Weymouth, Whiteley decorated her car with Canada-themed decals and dressed her daughter, Kayla and friends up in Canada shirts to hand out the rocks.
After creating the Facebook group My Canada ROCKS! to follow where the rocks ended up, Whiteley received responses from all over the country and even a Canadian living in Ferrera, Italy.
Submissions have also poured in from across Canada of people celebrating by painting their own rocks or in different ways.
Keeping it going
“This was something I wanted to do for a while, to celebrate Canada 150,” says Whiteley.
“But now we’re going to take it one step further.”
Whiteley will soon be travelling to Ottawa, where she will bring rocks to photograph on Parliament Hill.
She also plans to leave some behind, hidden around the city, for the next chapter of her rock venture.
“Rocks will be hidden around Ottawa and eventually around the country. Each will have a short saying painted on the bottom that reads, ‘Keep me or hide me, but please take a pic and post on our FB page ‘My Canada Rocks!’ with where you took it. Thanks for keeping this project going, Angela W’,” she says.
Whiteley has also purchased the domain name Canada Rocks and has had postcards with photos of the rocks made.
These will be available at her business, Beautiful You Day Spa, as well as Sissiboo Landing.
Even though Whiteley is a professional artist, she never knew the impact this project would have.
“Who knew that rocks would do it, you know?” she laughs.
“It’s good though. I’m a Canadian through and through – I feel it in my bones.”