Returning each year, salmon have been a significant part of Campbell River,

from the Indigenous people’s ancient use, to present day sport fishing and eco-tourism. Most people in the world only know salmon as something on a menu or in a can. The people of Campbell River are lucky to know salmon more intimately. In fact the town has been crowned as the Salmon Capital of the World. This film will look at the local First Nations people’s usage of salmon throughout the ages, the rise of sport fishing, tourism ventures such as whale and bear watching, commercial fishing, enhancement, aquaculture and much more. We aim to create a place of dialogue and intrigue and even a little conflict. The goal of this film is to showcase how, throughout time, salmon have been the common thread running through the town, and how they hopefully will  be long into the future.      

This film is in the pre-production stage and we are seeking the funding required to complete it.

We have received commitments for a good portion of the funding and are seeking the rest through the Telus Storyhive Documentary grant program and local businesses.
Salmon Capital of the world film

Community relevance.

Campbell River has a long-held pride as a fishing mecca, dating back to the 1930’s when Roderick Haig Brown settled here and wrote about the river and its fish. Prior to that the local first nation’s people sustained themselves for centuries from the salmon. Today there is a rivalry with Port Alberni as to which town is the Salmon Capital of the World.  Through conversations with local people we aim to show that it really is Campbell River. In the course of this film we will talk with first nations elders, commercial fisherman, sportfishing guides, recreational anglers, tourism operators such as snorkeling with the salmon and bear watching, stream keepers, environmental stewards, hatchery personnel, aquaculture industry people, BC Hydro, government agencies and more. Some of the locations that will be featured in the film will be spots on the Campbell and Quinsam Rivers, the fishing pier, Quinsam Hatchery, Haig-Brown House, Tyee Club, Discovery Passage and other locations around the city.

Visual style and story telling method.

This documentary will be an in-depth look at the various facets of the community that are involved with salmon. It will be done mostly in the form of conversations between different people and the host. These conversations will take place in the location or facility that is applicable to the person to show context, using a style that is free flowing rather than a strict back and forth interview.  The storytelling method we use will get to the heart of each person’s issues, not our own (the filmmakers) version of the salmon story.  There will be competing views among various user groups that will highlight some of the challenges facing salmon. A limited narration will be used to carry and direct the story when needed.

If you are involved with salmon in any way and live in Campbell River we would love to consider having you in this film.  Please contact us and tell us a little about your story.    email

To see information about the film "Heartbeat of the River" click HERE.