Bringing the Victorian Era Back to Life

Craigdarroch Castle’s New Advertising Campaign
June 13, 2016

Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, BC is a National Historic Site and affectionately known as “Canada’s Castle”. The Victorian-era castle was built in the 1890’s by the wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir, and was the stately home of his wife and 10 children. Robert Dunsmuir died before the castle was completed.

Craigdarroch Castle is a significant attraction to both locals and tourists alike, and all marketing efforts focus on showcasing both the castle and the family who lived here as a means to stimulate visitation. This approach has proven to be highly successful with significant increases realized.

Over the last three years, Trapeze has been involved in the re-branding of Craigdarroch Castle, and well as digital and print based advertising campaigns, and the redesign of the website.

This latest advertising campaign is designed to further tell the story of Craigdarroch Castle through the fascinating lives and times of the people who lived there. At Trapeze, our core idea was to bring the Dunsmuir family “back to life”.

This project has truly been a labour of love, with the full collaboration of our client and team of historians, expert costumers, and (we think) some pretty amazing casting.

Each execution of the campaign is designed to reveal a little bit about the personalities of the family and the mores of the times. Definitely check out one of the video clips below, which will be used in the digital marketing program and on the Craigdarroch Castle website. It definitely brings a chuckle and further brings this amazing story to life.


Many thanks to our photographer, Jo-Ann Richards for her efforts – and to Janet Lewis of Pacific Opera Victoria for casting assistance.

“What really intrigued us about this new advertising campaign is the focus on the people associated with Craigdarroch. We tell so many family stories throughout the castle experience but have never put faces to the voices before this. I love the clearly modern feel to the photographs while the actor’s expressions convey so much and add a layer of personality that we haven’t be able to convey before. This creative project was a big departure from our usual approach to advertising and was a lot of fun to do!” - John Hughes, Executive Director