You are invited to make a “connect-spot” video to add to our Courtenay, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni interactive maps.

‘Where is here? Cultural Mapping’ Project was conceived as a result of a group of leisure and tourism researchers, media makers, and geographers wondering what we might learn about connectedness to community if we recorded videos of people in place talking about the specific place in their city’s downtown area where they feel most connected to their city. Then, what might we see differently if peoples’ stories about their connection to place was presented in the bird’s-eye view of a map?
Map of three 'connect-spot' stories.

We agreed that mapping cultural stories about place was an interesting idea so we embarked on an experiment to see how many videos could we capture with a 13 person team; four lead investigators and nine student researchers. Working in three small teams, we captured 84 video stories from three Vancouver Island cities over three days in March and April, 2016! While doing this, we also met a lot of interesting people, heard many wonderful stories, and walked nearly 10 kilometers in each city.
On location

One of the most rewarding parts of this mapping connection adventure has been meeting people who generously shared their stories with us. Click on the buttons below to see a few videos from each city, and to find out how you can GET ON THE MAP!

We invite you to go to your favourite place in Courtenay's, Nanaimo's, or Port Alberni's downtown areas and record a video that tells us in less than 1.5 minutes: who you are, where you are, and why you feel connected to your community in that place.


Filming Instructions:

  • Horizontal (Landscape) Orientation
  • No longer than 1.5 minutes in duration
  • “Connect spot story” told in one take
  • Retake as often as necessary
  • Email to

Pay attention to the following while filming:

  • Ensure the background is attractive and doesn't detract from the speaker.
  • Use a close-up frame to get speaker’s head and shoulders, with some “breathing space” above his or her head.
  • Make sure the background noise level will not overpower the speaker’s voice.

Want to learn more about cultural mapping?

Join the Symposium taking place in Courtenay, BC, July 20 - 22, 2016: This 3-day event brings together over 25 cultural mapping specialists from Canada and beyond to reflect on current practice, exchange knowledge and innovate within the field. Presenters include municipal development actors, academics and artists (many fit into several of these categories). The event includes keynote speakers, panel discussions and art interventions. Click to find out more, or to register for this exciting symposium.

Our sponsors & Funders

We gratefully aknowledge the support provided to this project by a wide range of funders and sponsors.