Big Rock Campbell River

big rock and logo small“Big Rock Campbell River ” is a dynamic, interactive web-based project that presents the history of Campbell River’s Big Rock and its various cultural facets.  It also facilitates a virtual canvas for the people of Campbell River to contribute to.  The “Big Rock” is a forty foot tall glacial erratic that commands the shoreline just two kilometres south of the city centre of Campbell River; its presence is lent to this project for its themes, purposes and significance.  The Big Rock has been a cultural focal point for millenia, acting as a waymarker, mythic embodiment, community messageboard and a personal canvas.  Frank Assu, a member of the We Wai Kai First Nation of Quadra Island and local advocate for the restoration of Big Rock, calls it part of “the collective history of Campbell River”.

Like its namesake, the Big Rock Campbell River website will also act as a cultural clustering point.  The website will feature an introduction to and history of the Big Rock complete with historical and contemporary photographs.  It will also feature an interactive interpretation of the Big Rock.  Visitors to the website are invited to submit visual and media materials for inclusion onto the interactive Big Rock, as if they were ‘tagging’ the actual Rock with their personal expressions.

As a local cultural icon, the Rock stands as a metaphor for local culture – straddling ocean and land and displaying many of the connections, patterns, diversity, cohesiveness and contentions that add to the creation of the community’s particular culture.  But in particular it displays an ever-evolving layering of individual and group expression, a constant sedimentation of commentary that provides a rich, multicoloured backdrop for the newest layer.  The Big Rock is birthed again and again as a cultural map, a monolithic point of reference for the community.

The Big Rock website will be activated in December 2013 for a five-month period. During this period the public is invited to submit their expressions for inclusion onto the interactive Big Rock.  A formal call for submissions will begin in December; an invitational marketing campaign that informs the community of the goals of the project and the various ways they can participate in the virtual evolving landscape of the Big Rock.