Project Mermaid protecting Okanagan waterways

Her mission is to attract attention with beautiful photographic art to some very serious threats our environment and economy face.

In honour of B.C. Water Week, May 1-7, Bonne Belle Photography launched its environmental awareness campaign: Project Mermaid Okanagan. Its mission is to attract attention with beautiful photographic art to some very serious threats our environment and economy face.

Project Mermaid Okanagan logoMany residents and visitors to the Okanagan are unaware of the issues that can affect one of our most important and valued natural resources—our lakes. “The mermaid is a gentle water guardian, watching over the lakes,” said founder Bonnie Donovan. “She is an ambassador between us and our environment and a reminder of how precious our waters are. Everyone loves her.”

The project consists mostly of a series of one-minute commercials and print ads featuring beautiful portraits of mermaids on Okanagan beaches, to circulate on social and local media.

When asked about the fact that mermaids are in the ocean not in fresh water lakes, Donovan responds: “Do you really believe there are mermaids in the ocean?”

“The mermaid is a fictional character, much like the Ogopogo, and we can put her wherever we want. We have a dolphin statue downtown, and we don’t have dolphins in Okanagan lake, either.”

See the first one-minute video at:

Project Mermaid is pleased to support the work of the Okanagan Basin Water Board. The portraits draw your attention to the issues such as the invasive mussel species threats to our waters, conservation and protecting our wetlands. The viewer enjoys the beautiful images, and is taken to links to the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s websites with information on steps they can take to help sustain the beauty and health of our lakes and wetlands.

One goal of the project is to create a coffee table book next year, featuring prominent women of the community posing as mermaids on our beaches to help raise awareness. Each photograph in this project has an official Project Mermaid Okanagan stamp on it. There will be artistic photographs on canvas at various venues in the Okanagan for visitors to see, with a link to follow for educational information.

Donovan got the idea to bring mermaids to the Okanagan from two photographers in Southern California who also take pictures of mermaids on the beaches with a message about littering.

Donovan has volunteered her photographic skills for multiple charitable organizations over the years, including Pets and People Visiting Society, Wish Come True Society, Wild Women Wise Women Foundation, 100 Women Who Care, Open for Change, and the Central Okanagan Hospice Association’s annual fundraiser: Swinging With the Stars. Her company, Bonne Belle Photography, puts 100 per cent of its profits back in to funding Project Mermaid Okanagan.


If you would like to have your portrait taken as a mermaid in support of the project, or for your own personal use, contact Donovan at

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