Red Carpets Project

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Red Carpets Project
Red Carpets Project

The aim of “Red Carpets Project” is to improve the quality of photos in the biographical articles of the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Wikipedia is a free license encyclopedia, meaning that everyone can reuse content including images. A free photo that circulates on the internet will be widely reused; it is better that it be taken under optimal conditions. This is what the Red Carpets Project from Wikimedia Canada is about. See all images of the Red Carpets Project


All content of Wikipedia, texts, images, sounds, videos, must be under free license. Wikipedia contributors who write biographical articles on public figures, often have the problem of not having photos under free licenses available in Commons, the media library that feeds Wikipedia and its sister projects. Contributors then have three choices:

  1. leave the article without an image;
  2. write to the manager / producer / artist, to obtain an official photo. But when it comes time to fill out the consent form to place the photo under a free license, many change their minds because the photographer's contract is unclear as to who is entitled to the photo;
  3. wait for a contributor to Commons to upload a freely licensed photo.

This last option is the most common, and the result is not always happy because the photo is not taken in good conditions: on the street, in show, out of a building, public events, etc. Bad light, environment and questionable background, the personality does not take any pose, blurred image, etc.

The photos available in Commons and in Wikipedia can be reused by everyone, including social networks, journalists, researchers, websites of all kinds. A poor quality free photo circulating on the internet is not advantageous for the public personality, nor for the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

The aim Red Carpet Project of Wikimedia Canada is to give public figures the opportunity to be photographed by Wikipedians under optimal conditions.

The pictures (on the right) of Cœur de Pirate and Sœurs Boulay are rare exceptions where the production company collaborated with Wikimedia Canada to improve the images of their artists in Wikipedia and in Wikidata.


Wikimedia Canada receives regular requests either to use an official photo or to remove the photo taken by an amateur. In both cases, things are not so simple: in the first case, you have to release the photo via an official email, website or Flickr album; in the second case, the community will favor any image over the absence of an image.

The Red Carpet Project allows both the subject and the photographer to agree from the outset that the photo shoot is for Wikimedia projects.

To make an appointment with a team of volunteers, write to

Success stories[edit]

Cinémathèque québécoise[edit]

In September 2017, during the Sommets du cinéma d'animation, the Cinémathèque québécoise collaborates with Wikimedia Canada and the Café des savoirs libre to improve the images of Quebec's animation personalities.

A photographic kiosk is installed at the entrance of the festival: a bench, horizontal LED lighting, quality camera, a background of brick and climbing plants.

In two hours, Wikipedians were able to realize the portrait of thirty people and thus improve the images at the head of articles, or even create their article if it did not exist.

Since then, the Cinémathèque québécoise has hosted a wikipedian contribution night and invites an artist who spends the evening with the contributors who will feed his article, the article of his works and take photos. Recently, the guest was Canadian filmmaker Matthew Rankin.

See all GLAM-Wiki projects of the Cinémathèque québécoise

The Book fairs[edit]

During the Book Fairs in Montreal and Trois-Rivières, Wikimedia Canada also offered authors to be photographed to add their portraits to Wikimedia Commons. More than twenty portraits have been made. One of the most important writers in Quebec, Michel Tremblay, had no picture of him who was under free licence. After sensitizing him to the importance of making a photo of him available to the community, he kindly agreed to have his picture taken. It was the same for the other artists who agreed to see a picture of them being added to Commons.


Wikimedia Canada Red Carpet Project

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Montreal, Quebec H2L 2P3
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