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The Big Wild launches first ever conservation campaign in Canada using barcode mobile phone technol

Vancouver, BC – The Big Wild has launched the first ever Canadian QR code conservation campaign in Canada. The conservation organization is turning to this new mobile technology to help protect wilderness regions at both ends of the country – the Flathead Valley in British Columbia and the Restigouche watershed in New Brunswick and Quebec.  They’re putting up posters in seven cities featuring a unique 2-D code that will direct supporters to sign petitions to help protect Canada’s wilderness.

Darren Barefoot, program manager for The Big Wild, says:  “We’re always looking for new strategies and approaches to get people\'s attention. We wanted to try out a campaign with these QR codes and add an element of mystery. The idea was that we would entice and intrigue people. The people who might scan the codes are technologically minded, so they would know about the code and know what to do with it."

QR codes are also known as 2-D barcodes and can be read by the cameras on smart phones. They can store text information, SMS messages or a web address. They\'ve been historically popular in Japan and have just started to show up in North America. Another recent example of QR codes in North America is a building-sized banner featuring a QR code in Manhattan, which pointed people to a racy ad for jeans.

The Big Wild QR campaign has already begun to roll out in Western Canada and is set to roll out in eastern provinces by early September. The campaign will appear in seven cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. In western cities, the poster’s QR code directs people to a campaign to protect the Flathead River Valley; in eastern cities, it refers to the Restigouche Watershed.

Founded by Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, The Big Wild is a not-for-profit organization that connects Canadians to conservation campaigns across the country. It calls upon Canada’s political representatives to protect at least half of our public land and water.

Learn more at


Darren Barefoot
Program Manager,