Canada Line’s Pixel Train, the World’s Largest Piece of Moving Public Art?

Put your face on the Pixel Train and help build the world's largest piece of moving art, all in the name of charity.

Credit: Flickr / Kenny Louie

Riders can put their face on the Canada Line Pixel Train.

Put your face on the Canada Line Pixel Train.

Pixel Train sends photos of everyday Jacks and Jills from around BC along for your morning commute while raising money for charity


Somewhere on the border of creepy and kind of cool, the Pixel Train project will see a Canada Line Skytrain become a moving piece of art wrapped in pictures of thousands of little faces, all in the name of charity.


The Pixel Train concept

While working at InTransit BC (the organization behind the Canada Line project), BCIT Master of Digital Media grads Yangos Hadjiyannis and Sheng Yu Yang came up with the idea of connecting commuters to the very train that takes them to and from their places of work and play. The result? A giant celebration of diversity and art that raises money for four local Vancouver charities.


The Pixel Train is an art project that could save lives and help those in need to flourish, with donations collected from the “sale” of pixel spaces divided among Hope in Shadows, YMCA, Arts Umbrella and BC Children’s Hospital. Participating in the project is a great way to support local youth, arts, recreation and health.


For a donation, people may buy a space on the side of the Skytrain and have their face added to a mosaic of other commuters. The goal is to cover an entire Canada Line Skytrain car. Anyone wanting their mug-shot waking up commuters each morning as part of regular Skytrain service can participate.


The key is this: the bigger the donation, the bigger the photo of your face plastered across the train. The pixels come in three different sizes based on donation amounts, from $10 (7×7 cm) to $500 (21×21 cm).


Once you have decided on your level of donation and corresponding pixel size, you select a spot on a virtual train, perhaps near a door or toward either end. The spot you select on the virtual train will be your spot on the real train. You will then be prompted to upload your photo.


Once the organizers have received enough faces to cover the train, it will take about a month to produce the art piece. You can probably expect to see the train in late October or November of this year.