"I hope to combine the collective history and energy of 40,000 Canadians from across the land, into the Canadian flag, weaving together a colourful, diverse, true life look at the Canadian cultural tapestry," Van Horn writes on his Canadian Mosaic Facebook page.
Van Horn started the project in October 2008. So far, he has travelled 67,000 kilometres and taken 7,000 portraits as part of the project.
He plans to shoot people from all walks of life — in a country of about 35 million people that's no small feat.
The giant outdoor flag he will eventually produce by July 1, 2017 will be made up of portraits reflecting the values, ideals and scenery that unite Canada.
The Canadian Mosaic project also includes plans to create a book, an online experience with an interactive mosaic exploring Canadians and Canada, and a mobile educational pavilion which will cross Canada starting on the country's 150th birthday.