Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clayoquot Summer of 1993

Perhaps you've heard of the Summer of 1993 here in Clayoquot Sound? It was a long, hot one and not in the temperature sense. I came across this post that has a very brief written summary, but more interesting to you may be the links to several videos at the bottom of the piece. Worth checking out, especially if you have no idea what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RAATU And Earth Week Round Up

All of last week was RAATU (Random Acts of Art in Tofino and Ucluelet). I had my head down working hard for most of the week, but did manage to come across a few random acts. All along the MUP (the multi-use path) little bags of chalk had been hung off signs or trees and people did their chalk art on the path. The rains we had cleaned the slate fairly regularly but I did get out on a bike ride one day and enjoyed the art that had appeared that day. Fun, fun.

And then I came across this beauty on a downtown corner.

It turns out it was created by my little buddy Toby with her little buddy.

Great work, girls. Thanks for making me (and no doubt many others) stop, look and smile.

At the Earth Day breakfast on Sunday morning, there was a flash mob, where some oddly head-dressed people just started to dance (actually, that's not that odd in Tofino).

And then there were the other spontaneous dancers with a penchant for purple and pink.

This day was also the send off for one leg of the Get Out Migration with Cozy Lawson and her daughter Laterra beginning their walk to Victoria. The Get Out Migration is protesting fish farms in coastal waters and are making a stand to protect wild salmon, which are being hammered from all sides. It began with a blessing for a safe journey led by Levi Martin.

Cozy and Laterra were accompanied for awhile by the horses from Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.

Young walkers got a bit of help.

And many local people joined in for the first part of the walk.

Here is a news clip about the start of the Get Out Migration and some background behind it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


The Postelsia Press site is up and running and we are officially launched and on our way. If you are so inclined, please check out our website and let us know what you think. Is there a book you've been dying to see out here? We have a long list of ideas, but are always keen to add more.

Marion and I will be at the Earth Day Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, April 25 from 9 am to 12. Third St. between Campbell and Neill will be blocked off for a market. Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Earth Week in Tofino

Earth Day is just not enough for us I guess! This week — until the 25th — is Earth Week in Tofino. These are the events I know of, but I'll add more as they come up.

Monday, April 19
Bring a clean jar to Ordinary Corner Nursery and receive your choice of organic fertilizer or a liquid root conditioner. Any donations you care to leave will go to the Food Bank.

Anytime during the week visit Jamie's Whaling Station and receive a free seedling (balsam or cedar) courtesy Iisaak Forest Resources Ltd. Any donations you care to leave will go to the Raincoast Education Society.

8 pm @ Clayoquot Community Theatre. Watch: Chemical Reaction: The Story of a True Green Revolution.

Tuesday, April 20

4-6 pm Here We Come: Out to the Garden "A special event for young children and their families." For 3 to 5 year olds. Contact Theresa or Katrina at 250.723-0001 or Stacey at 250.720.2778 for more info.

8:30 pm More than Just Mud Music Fest Coho Room, Weigh West Marina.

Thursday, April 22

8 am Community Bike Ride. Join the kids in a bike parade as they ride to school. [Meeting location TBA.]

1 pm Tofino Water Taxi Electric Boat Tour. Meet at the 1st Street Dock. Donations you care to leave will go to the Raincoast Education Society.

Friday, April 23

12:30 - 5:30 pm Marine Mammal Forum hosted by the Cetus Research and Conservation Society. Presentations will be made by BC researchers with a focus on marine mammal work in the Clayoquot and Barkley Sound regions. Open to the public, but registration is required. To register, call Wendy at 250.726.2775. Meeting is at the Clayoquot Field Station.

4:30 pm Meet a Barred Owl with a representataive from the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society. Salal Room, Wickaninnish Inn. Event also takes place Saturday at 11 am.

Saturday, April 24

8 am -12 pm Discover the Rainforest Tour with Paddle West Kayaking. "Enjoy a four hour kayak tour of the spectacular wildlife and scenery of Clayoquot Sound. No experience necessary, all equipment provided." All proceeds donated to the Raincoast Education Society. Reserve with Jamie's Whaling Station at 250.725.3919 or in person at 606 Campbell St.

1:30-3:00 pm Children's Reading Circle at Mermaid Tales. Children's stories with an earth-friendly theme. 455 Campbell St. Free event.

2:30 - 4:30 pm Guided Walk on the Meares Island Big Tree Trail with Remote Passages. $25/adult; $15/child (plus Tribal Park trail fee and tax). Pre-book at Remote Passages. Meet at the Boat House, 51 Wharf St. Info. 250.725.3330.

Sunday, April 25

9 - 12 Community Pancake Breakfast at Tofino Village Green. Try to bring your own plates and cutlery and ride or walk to the event.

9 - 12 Street Art and the first Public Market of the year. 3rd Street adjacent to the Village Green.

10 -12 MUP Clean Up with the Wickaninnish Inn. Grab your gloves and garbage bags to help tidy up the MUP (Multi Use Path). More info, call Claire at 250.725.3100 ext. 267.

12pm + Start of the walk or ride to the fish hatchery for the tours running from 1-3 pm. Walkers leave Village Green at 12. Bikers leave Village Green at 12:30. Tours 1-3 pm at Sharp Road Hatchery. Donations to Salmon Enhancement Society.

7-9 pm Talk with Michael Abelman, Thinking Like an Island at Darwin's Cafe, Tofino Botanical Gardens.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tofino's Big Year

My goodness, we do like the spotlight. (Hmmm, did I say that recently?) Now it seems like Hollywood is coming to Tofino with parts of town being a location for the filming of The Big Year. Here's the low down. Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin will be hanging out at this house, one of the village's older (and best maintained) homes, with a fab. view:

and this restaurant, The Schooner, which is a Tofino classic.

So this all should be very interesting and I'll be out there snooping around. I actually have read The Big Year (subtitled: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession), which it the true story of three birders and their journeys during their big birding years. (Essentially, it's an informal competition where birders try to see as many birds within one calendar year.) As I recall, it was a great read. Tofino has several avid birders and it is a great place, in particular, to see shorebirds and seabirds such as Marbled murrelets, common murres, cormorants, pigeon guillemotts, etc. (Keen birders may want to check out Just Birding with its guided tours and "Bird and Breakfast." And here's a bird list of the birds you can see in the Tofino area.)

Here's a post from the birding world on this news.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Retrospective: The Art of Henry Nolla

Henry Nolla was a fixture on the west coast for many years. He lived at the north end of Chesterman Beach and carved in "The Carving Shed" nearby. His works, particularly his adze work, appears in many homes and businesses, including the Eagle Aerie Gallery, the Wickanninish Inn and the Common Loaf Bake Shop.

Henry's daughter, Nuri Nolla, in conjunction with the Pacific Rim Arts Society, is hoping to put on a retrospective of his work in mid-September. This is the blurb on their request from Tofino Time:

"This show will be focusing on his carvings, his tools, his influence on local architecture and other artists. They are looking for carvings or tools, which people are willing to lend or allow to be photographed, to feature in the show. (The exhibit will be in a secure location.) Also, they are interested in any quotes or stories about Henry that people want to share. For the architectural influence component of the show we are seeking any local business owners or homeowners that have Henry's work in their building and are willing to have it photographed and publicized. Finally, they would like to make contact with any local artist that feel they have been influences by Henry and would like to be featured in the show."

Please contact Nuri Nolla at henryscarvings [at] gmail [dot] com if you can help. And please do this quickly. PRAS needs to know the level of response so they can begin planning.

I'll try to post some images of Henry and his work soon, but I wanted to get this up quickly. Please spread the word. For now, here is one of Henry's pieces, from my very first post on this blog.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tofino Books: The Oyster Who Looked at the Sky

Although not specifically about Tofino, this book is certainly about the west coast. It was created, though, by two Tofino residents — writer Darcy Dobell and artist Marion Syme. (Full disclosure — both good friends of mine.) And, oh, we do love our oysters here, so a book about an oyster with an adventurous spirit is right up our alley and a perfect read before, during or after a visit to the coast.

The book begins:

That summer day
down at the pebbly end of the beach
the smallest oyster was in trouble again.

"Close your shell," scolded the other
oysters. "You'll get all warm and dry."

"I want to look," said the smallest oyster.

"Oysters aren't supposed to look," said
Great-Great-Grandmother oyster.

"But I want to look," said the smallest oyster,
"I need to see!"

And so the adventure begins with our non-conformist oyster. (He/She would fit right in here.)

Here's Oolichan Books's blurb about this title:

Gentle humour characterizes this story of a wilful small oyster who breaks with family tradition in order to remain true to her own adventurous nature. As she discovers the world around her, and gradually inspires her family to see it for themselves, young readers will delight in a series of playful shifts in perspective that ultimately bring the small oyster's big vision back home. Beautifully illustrated with vibrant artwork that evokes all the magic of the West Coast, this book celebrates the natural curiosity of children in a way that will inspire readers of all ages to see the everyday world as an extraordinary ground for imagination and transformation.

I think my favourite part of this book is the inspiration to look at the world from our little oyster's perspective - "we are at the top of the ocean...and at the bottom of the sky."

You can find this book locally at Wildside Booksellers and Mermaid Tales.

And here's a blurb from when the book was launched locally in 2008.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What to Do in Tofino When It Rains

Living here, I am very tolerant of the rain. You have to be; it is a rainforest afterall and wouldn't be nearly as lush as it is without it. Still, somedays it can feel like too much. Like right now when I'd really like to be out in the garden dealing with something other than mud. But, I shall have to be patient. I am feeling a little sorry for any shell-shocked visitors who might have found their way to Tofino and the west coast this weekend (and who possibly might have had to drive through a snowstorm on the pass to get here). I'm assuming they are hardy sorts who knew that the weather could be a bit cool and wet (or a lot cool and wetter) and who enjoy books and board games and afternoon naps. Still, you might need a few ideas, especially if you have children, so here you go:

1. Buy or borrow good rain gear and get outside for awhile. People pay good money to come here to storm watch, so it can be fun to get out in the weather for a bit if you're fairly well covered and have a nice warm room to go back to. And by good rain gear, I mean a heavy duty jacket and pants. No ponchos, no garbage bags, no ski jackets. Rain gear. Venturing out will be invigorating and you will be perfectly entitled to feel virtuous as you snooze by the fire for the rest of the day.

2. Go into the forest. If it is too stormy on the beach or the tide is too high, try a walk through the forest. Those old growth trees make a damn good umbrella. It can be, ironically, quite a bit drier inside the rainforest — or at least it will take you a bit longer to get soaked. The Rainforest Trails in the national park, about half way between Tofino and Ucluelet, are a good bet.

3. Visit the aquarium in Ucluelet. No, really. You should go. It is a small, but wonderful place with excellent naturalists on hand to explain what you're seeing. Everything is at eye-level and perfect for families. None of the wiz-bang of bit city aquariums, but I'll bet you'll see and learn more.

4. Visit the Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino. My children have grown up here and both always asked to go into this gallery whenever we walked by. It is a quiet, calm space and worth a wander through. It seems perfect for families in a way — there is room to move without fragile art to knock over if you (or your child) zigs instead of zags. The children can loll around in the central "fire pit" while you look at the art.

5. Have a bowl of soup. I don't think I've ever had a bad bowl of soup or chowder in this town. Bring a newspaper and finish with a cup of tea and you that can stretch that out for a few hours. (Okay, if you don't have children.)

6. Check out the bulletin boards. We love our bulletin boards on the west coast. The board at the Common Loaf could take an hour or more to wade through. You'll get an interesting take on the town, that's for sure! If there's a local event going on, it will be posted on a board somewhere. And while you're at it, pick up a copy of Tofino Time or The Westerly News. If there is something go on in town, it will be in one or both of these papers.

7. Go surfing. Weather permitting (based on your skill level of course) you may as well go surfing in the rain. You're going to get wet anyway.

8. Go to the Hot Springs (sea conditions permitting). I never understood why people wanted to sit in hot pools of water on hot days. Hot Springs in the rain is the best. Snow is even better.

9. Curl up and read. Forget a book? We have three bookstores out here. (They're all independents, too. Yeah.) In Tofino, there is Mermaid Tales and Wildside Booksellers and in Ucluelet there is Wild Heather Books. Both communities have public libraries as well.

10. If you are so inclined, take in a yoga class. There are several fabulous instructors in town and all classes are held at the Coastal Bliss Studio. (Or, if you'd like someone else to help you relax, there are several day spas in town as well.)

[Addendum. Another one! How could I forget Tofino's climbing gym, The Alternative. It's a great place to spend a few hours and they are wonderful to children.]

I still lament the loss of the bowling alley and Smiley's in Ucluelet. When we were all going squirrelly when the kids were little that was our stormy day default outing — bundle up in rain gear and go for a hike followed up by chips, hot chocolate and a round of bowling at the alley. Please someone buy this place and get the alley back up and running!

What do you do on a rainy day?

Oh the irony. This is what started to happen when I was composing this post. Yes, that's hail. (Sorry, it was early so the photo isn't the best quality.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Invitation...

to the launch of the WildCoast Project Primer.

And here are some details:

The Wild Coast: A Primer on Our Changing Relationship with Large Carnivores
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Monday, April 5th, 2010
Shelter Restaurant, Tofino BC

Over five years in the making, this publication summarizes leading-edge research on large carnivore and human interactions and provides guidance on proper behaviour when in the presence of these natural predators.

Your support of this project has been invaluable.

We hope you can join us to celebrate the launch of “The Wild Coast.”

Please RSVP to josie [dot] osborne [at] gmail [dot] com.

The project partners will be staying on for dinner at Shelter Restaurant. We welcome you to join us – kindly inform us if you plan to stay for dinner so we can keep the restaurant’s staff appraised.