Posts Tagged ‘tofino events’

Tofino Municipal Election

Author: The Shore

By Jen Dart

Every three years in British Columbia there is a municipal election, and this year it falls on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Voters in Tofino elect six Councillors and one mayor. This is a rather large slate of candidates for a town with a full-time population of only 1,800. The original reason for this larger council was the amalgamation of the Chesterman Beach neighbourhood into the District of Tofino many years ago. Additional seats were added to council to represent the views of these “new” citizens. This larger number was never corrected, although voters did have the option to reduce the number of Councillors in a recent referendum and turned it down.

Both residents and non-resident property owners can vote in the municipal election. Non-resident property owners have to register as voters and meet several criteria including having resided in British Columbia for six months just prior to the election, and having owned a Tofino property for a minimum of six months. As a Shore condo owner, you can qualify to make your voice heard in Tofino’s election. The district recommends you visit their office prior to election day to fill out an Application to Register. You will be required to provide two pieces of identification and proof of property ownership. Visit this district webpage for more information.

There is an advance poll on Wed., Nov. 9, and voting on both election days take place in council chambers at the Municipal Hall at the corner of Campbell and Third St.

The local Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, along with the Tofino Business Association, is hosting two All Candidates meetings – on Oct. 26 from 7-9pm and Nov. 16 from 7-9pm. Both meetings take place at the Tofino Community Hall on Arnet Rd.

There are two sources for news in Tofino covering the election. The Westerly News is the local print newspaper that’s also available online. In election years past, the Westerly has posed a list of questions to candidates and their answers are published in the paper. The paper also provides coverage of All Candidates meetings.

Local resident Ralph Tielelman’s blog Tofino News is also providing coverage of the election. Ralph’s blog is more informal and readers have the opportunity to comment on his posts.

Friday, Oct. 14 at 4pm was the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers to run for council or mayor. For an up-to-date list of candidates, please see the District of Tofino website. At last check, there were 12 candidates for six Councillor positions and two for the mayoral post.

Council will be facing many issues during its next term, not the least of which is how to fund a secondary sewage treatment plant as the district has been mandated to do by the provincial government. Municipal politics are the closest level of access for most people, as the issues seem to most directly affect residents and property owners.

Image: Jennifer Stoddart

By Jen Dart

An upcoming event recognizes and celebrates a unique culture in Tofino.

The Queen of the Peak women’s surf championships takes place Oct. 15 and 16 at local beaches.

Now in its second year, this contest is a testament to the number of talented female surfers here. This area is unique in that the number of women in the water easily matches the number of men. Some attribute this unusual phenomenon to Tofino’s relatively new surf scene; surfers have only been in the water in any number for about 15 years on the west coast.

It could also be the sandy-bottomed beaches that make this area ideal for beginners.

But Krissy Montgomery, owner of Surf Sister Surf School says it could also be the attitude of the local girls. Montgomery said there weren’t that many women surfing when she first moved to Tofino 12 years ago, but those that did were “inspirational.”

“They set the bar, they all pushed each other,” she said. “And the level of talent raised the bar.”

Montgomery’s Surf Sister, along with Shelter Restaurant, the Wickaninnish Inn and the surf brand Billabong, are the Queen of the Peak’s sponsors.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Westcoast Community Resources Society, a non-profit that assists families on the coast.

Last year’s inaugural run of the Queen of the Peak ran on one day just prior to the start of the O’Neill Coldwater Classic Association of Professional Surfers event.

There was only room for 50 surfers last year and Montgomery said the response was overwhelming, with all the spaces filling up within days.

It was clearly time to devote a whole contest to the girls, who are normally all relegated to one section in other contests.

This year the event will be separated into two days – one for the shortboard contest and one for the longboard.

There are also many associated events the week of the competition, starting with the Boogie Bash on Oct. 12 at North Chesterman beach. This is a boogie- boarding contest open to all ages, both males and females. The entry fee is $10 and all participants are automatically entered into a draw to win a 1972 Volkswagen Squareback (all surfers are also part of the draw).

A spa night and jewellery show is taking place the same evening at the Ancient Cedar Spa at the Wickaninnish Inn. The women’s surf movie Blue Crush is showing at Shelter following the spa night, with trivia and prizes.

Contestants will be treated to a wine and cheese orientation event at Surf Sister on the night before the competition, as well as a gala awards dinner at Shelter on the night of Oct. 16. The Volkswagen draw takes place at 10pm on the 16th, and the winner must be in attendance to claim the prize.

During the contest, there will be a massage tent, and babysitting and dog sitting services on the beach for surfers.

If you’d like to head to the beach to watch the competition on the 15th or 16th, check in with the Queen of the Peak’s Facebook page to find out where the action is being held (it will be either North Chesterman or Cox Bay, depending on waves conditions).

Photo: Sunny Goel

By Jen Dart

Yet another festival is happening this fall, this time showcasing west coast carvers.

Carving on the Edge 2011: A Celebration of the West Coast Carver is a ten-day series of events, workshops, demonstrations, activities and exhibitions, including an ongoing exhibition at the Shore building.

The festival runs from Sept. 16-25 in various locations in Tofino, Ucluelet and First Nations communities.

Carving on the Edge began only last year as a way of recognizing both traditional and contemporary carvings artists that have influenced the west coast.

The Cedar Tree of Life First Nations carving exhibition will run for the length of the festival at the Wya Welcome Centre at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction. This exhibition will feature many First Nations local carvers.

Also at the Wya Centre on Sept. 17 and 18 from 10am-5pm is a carving workshop on two and three-dimensional designs, tool-making, storytelling and carving.

The Shore will be hosting a contemporary wood carvers show for the duration of the festival from 1-6pm at the building at 316 Main St.

A retrospective of the work of influential west coast carver Henry Nolla will be featured in the Salal Room at the Wickaninnish Inn.

Henry was a great influence on many residents of Tofino and Ucluelet, and a source of inspiration for many carvers. He lived on North Chesterman Beach near the Wickaninnish Inn for many years, and his handiwork is all over the hotel. He hand-adzed many of the cedar beams in the Inn, and did many additional carvings for the building. Henry’s touch is also visible at the Common Loaf Bake Shop and the Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino, as well on several signs and pieces of art around town.

Two Nuu-chah-nulth carvers will be passing on their knowledge of canoe-making during the Carving on the Edge Festival. Tla-o-qui-aht carvers Joe and Carl Martin are offering a 10-day workshop, as well as single days of instruction, during the festival.

Nuu-chah-nulth historian and artist Ron Hamilton will be giving a slideshow and presentation on Nuu-chah-nulth artfacts from Captain Cook on Sat., Sept. 18 at 7:30pm at the Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre. These artifacts are on permanent display at the British Museum in London.

On Thurs., Sept. 22 the Eagle Aerie Gallery is hosting “Legends and Carving,” an evening with First Nations carvers starting at 7pm. Learn about how First Nations legends are woven into various carvings.

Carl and Joe Martin will also be doing a traditional canoe steaming at Henry Nolla’s carving shed at North Chesterman beach on Sept. 24, and Carl will be doing daily adzing demonstrations at the carving shed from 10am-3pm.

There will be carving demonstrations and markets on Sat. Sept. 18 from 10am-2pm on the Village Green in Tofino, as well as on Sat. Sept. 25. In Ucluelet, local galleries and shops will have similar exhibitions on the 25th from noon to 5pm.

A Nuu-chah-nulth film called “The New Canoe – a visit to Nuu-chah-nulth Territories” is showing daily throughout the festival at the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

A community celebration and salmon barbecue will close the festival on Sat. Sept. 25 at the Wya Welcome Centre from 10am-5pm.

The Carving on the Edge Festival is a presentation of the Pacific Rim Arts Society, with the assistance of many sponsors.

Please visit the Carving on the Edge Blog for a complete listing of events and locations for the festival.

Images: Carving on the Edge Festival

The Tofino Lantern Festival

Author: The Shore

By Jen Dart

The Tofino Lantern Festival is an annual end-of-summer event that’s both a fundraiser and a favourite local festivity.

Now in its 11th year, the Lantern Festival supports the educational programs of the Raincoast Education Society, a local non-profit organization that’s dedicated to environmental stewardship and education.

The RES started the Lantern Festival back in 2001 and it’s grown into a truly magical evening set in the Tofino Botanical Gardens. There are a myriad of lanterns illuminating the many garden paths, live music, dancing and much more.

It happens this Sunday, August 28 from 7 to 10:30pm at the botanical gardens at 1084 Pacific Rim Hwy.

Both newly made and older lanterns from previous years lit up the evening sky, in more shapes and sizes than you can count. The RES boats a solid permanent collection of impressive lanterns from years past. And for a few weeks before the festival the RES hosts lantern-making workshops, giving everyone a chance to participate in the big evening by parading around their own lanterns and enjoying those on display.

It’s yet another opportunity for locals and visitors to display their creativity in Tofino – and it’s well worth checking out.

Made with papier mache and wire, the lanterns come in all sorts of elaborate forms. Well represented are the flora and fauna of the area, such as bull kelp, fungi, trees, flowers, banana slugs, and skunk cabbage.

Of course there is an abundance of sea creatures that also feature prominently, such as sharks, whales, sea lions, sea otters, octopus and fish.

Also look for a galaxy of planets, constellations of stars, a village of houses, amongst displays from years past.

As you wander the garden paths, you might hear local musicians, and this year there will also be a flamenco performance during the festival.

Darwin’s Café at the Botanical Gardens is open to offer snacks and libations.

Many locals look forward to this festival, both for its magic and as an end of summer celebration.

It’s an added bonus that the night raises money for a worthy local organization. The RES works in the areas of educational programming for local communities, as well as sustainability and stewardship.

In addition to running ecologically based programs with local schools and in the summer for children and teenagers, the RES also has regular interpretive walks, presentations and more. The non-profit is a leader in the area in the area of stewardship, supporting and developing the Tofino Mudflat Stewardship Program.

For more information about the RES, please visit

For more about the lantern festival, visit the RES’ home page.

The Tofino Lantern Festival is a car-free event, so most arrive by foot or bicycle. There is also a Tofino Bus shuttle bus running to and from town.

If you’ve never attended this magical Tofino event, check it out this weekend.

Image: Tofino Time Website

salt water classic

By Jen Dart

The Shore recently celebrated the first ever event to be held in the restaurant space on the dock in front of the Main St. building.

The restaurant and adjacent commercial space and exercise studio are still under construction, but quickly nearing completion.

On July 15 the Shore hosted a kick-off event to the Tofino Saltwater Classic Fishing Derby in the restaurant space. Hosted by Calgary Flames NHL star Brendan Morrison, the Saltwater Classic is a fishing derby that’s in its second year.

Funds raised from the derby go towards various community programs in Tofino.

Morrison also hosted the party at the Shore Friday night to a packed house. Supporters, locals and anglers all attended the event, as did the Shore’s development team.

Guests enjoyed the culinary creations of Chef Tim May of Red Can Gourmet, a new catering and take-away business in Tofino. Chef May and his team wowed guests with their west coast creations and oyster bar.

Morrison mingled with guests and built excitement for the derby.

Shore Marina and Restaurant“It was great to host everyone in our upcoming space and to celebrate the Saltwater Classic,” said Maria Peters, the Shore’s marketing consultant. “Another great year of fundraising for Tofino community organizations and the elementary school.”

The Shore team is still looking for a tenant for the restaurant space, which is on track to be completed by the fall. A marina with boat slips will be located next to the dock, and a waterfront promenade will run along the shore in front of the condominium building.

At the Saltwater Classic kick-off event, guests had the chance to glimpse what diners will enjoy once this space is operational.

After all the fish had been weighed at the end of the derby, there was as tie for first place between Anthony Kelly and Shawn Karp. Both caught 34.5 pound Chinook salmon. Third place went to Mark Kosick with a 34.35 pound Chinook. Matt Harbour had the largest halibut, at 79.9 pounds, and the largest Coho – at 9.6 pounds – belonged to Sean Peach

Overall 98 anglers participated in the event, which raised a total of $25,000 for Wickaninnish Community School, the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, the Tofino Hospital Foundation and the Tofino Parks and Recreation Department.

Morrison has a home in Tofino, and he and his family spends time here in the summer.

In addition to the Shore event, Morrison also held a ball hockey event at the Tofino Community Hall for local kids.

For more on the Saltwater Classic Fishing Derby, please visit

Photo Credit: Salt Water Classic Website