THE BEACON PROJECT Companion pieces to 500 Days in the Wild

An artist of settler descent goes on a 24,000 km journey across Canada to find wisdom and pay respects to the land’s ancestors.

The Beacons are companion pieces to feature documentary project, 500 Days in the Wild. In July 2015 documentary filmmaker Dianne Whelan embarked on the longest trail in the world because the world stopped making sense: whales found dead with car parts in their bellies, fish toxic with bellies full of plastic. She began the 24,000 km Great Trail looking for lost wisdom stopping along the way to pay her respects to this land's ancestors. Where she is finding hope is in the old way, the indigenous relational perspective that she learns from the Beacons, the wise ones who, like lighthouses, can guide us through danger to safety.

The Beacon films are made by the Quiver Artist Collective which consists of sound artist/musician Lindsay Dobbin, media artist Ann Verrall and documentary filmmaker Dianne Whelan. All films are collaborations made between the three artists and all those who participate.

The Beacon Project engages youth, artists, Elders and Grandmothers in a collaborative process of listening and sharing, and ask the questions, “What has been lost? What do we need to know?” The films emerge out of this shared reflection and dialogue, and are an honoring of signals, guides, warnings and celebrations as we continue our journey into the future.  

They will be aired on CBC beginning in 2019.



A collection of short films from the Beacon Project.

"Indigenous Knowledge comes from our earth - our mother. It comes from dreams, from visions. "

Cecelia Brooks. Beacon Project. Episode 1

Other Projects

  • bp

    The Beacon Project is a series of multimedia creations in collaboration with Indigenous communities along The Great Trail. A companion piece to the feature documentary 500 Days in the Wild.

  • 500 Days

    Feature film 500 Days in the Wild is an unfolding story that ebbs and flows between documentary and adventure film, along the longest trail in the world – the 24,000 km Great Trail (the Trans Canada Trail).

  • ThisLand_0001_this land 12

    An award winning documentary, book and interactive project by Dianne Whelan about a 2000 km journey in the High Arctic.
    Film and Interactive Produced by the NFB Film with soundtrack by Tanya Tagaq.

  • 40days

    Each spring, over eight hundred climbers attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Some make it to the top of what is considered the world’s most majestic mountain, but others are not so lucky, and in the attempt to reach the elusive summit, many more have tragically lost their lives.

  • Arctic. Ellesmere Island. 2007

    This collection of photos is inspired by the earth. When you listen to her, she speaks.

  • the Scream

    This collection of b/w photographs dates to the beginning of my journey as a visual artist in the early 1990’s.