Saturday, October 30, 2010

Launch of My Nature

Chris Lowther had a great launch for her new book of poetry, My Nature. There was a fun open mic with local writers, followed by Chris reading a selection of her poems with slides to accompany the poems.

Here are a few articles — here and here — about Chris and her latest project and Long Beach Radio's interview is here:

Chris has graciously allowed me to publish one of her poems here. You can find copies at local bookstores or through Leaf Press. Congratulations, Chris!

shore chant

The inlet shore must be an unfathomed parallel universe.
This is where a lichen gleans nutrients
from the breath of sea lions.
This is where some plants
need the tide to reproduce: sibilant sand,
coaxed by each tender surge,
massages the seeds, abrades them
into germination. This is where
bears graze on shore grass,
long strands like spinach linguine
hanging from black rhythmic mouths.
This is where hummingbirds zoom in
from their own space-time continuum,
riding the cracks between worlds
to sip from salal blossoms
overlooked by the bears.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tofino on Lonely Planet's Top 10 List

The marketing wizardry of the storm watching in Tofino has made inroads with Lonely Planet. Stormwatching is number 3 on their list of Top 10 Canadian Adventures. I suspect this model is being studied and taught in marketing courses everywhere — "How do we market the 'bad weather' to bring people here in the low season?"

I have to say that I like this list. How can you not when #8 is to visit the Narcisse garter snake dens?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why is Tofino Called Tough City?

The signs are everywhere . . .

So why does Tofino call itself, Tough (or Tuff) City?

I have heard two versions:

The first, is that for people in the outlying communities in Clayoquot Sound (so, Opitsah, Ahousat, etc.) it was a shortened form of Tofino — and a bit of a play on words. (e.g., "We're going to Tof.") This only works, of course, when you say Tofino as the locals do, as "Tuh-fino." We don't say "Toe-fino." (Well, not many of us at least.)

The second, is that at one time Tofino was much more of a tough town, especially when the fishing and logging industries were the main employers and the money flowed, especially after a good herring season. The Maquinna was notorious (as in bad) and brawls happened with regularity.

I'd like to hear from others. What do you think?

[UPDATE: Make sure you check out the comments for more thoughts on this. greg b. also contributed this on Facebook:

"The Tough City" moniker is all about urban street image, i always thought. We're so polar-opposite from urban culture that it's an ironic pun. It's also shorter than Milquetoast Small Town.

I call it Toff City, from the Brit slang "toff" -- "a mildly derogatory term for someone with an aristocratic background, particularly someone who exudes an air of superiority." (Wikipedia)]

And here's another update on the first use of Tough City in a business.

In the late 1980s, early 1990s, Anne Gauld designed clothing and had a local shop. She and her partner Crystal Heald first ran the shop out of a boat - The Boatique. Then, when they moved to land, it was Tough City Clothing. After that, of course, came Tough City Sushi, Inn, etc.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tofino Slide Show

CBC has just posted a slide show with audio about Tofino. (Well, it's mostly about surfing and Tofino.) I can't say I agree with everything — especially the statements that there is nothing else to do here in the winter and that surfers "rule the town" — but there are some great images. (I really hope no group thinks they "rule the town," but perhaps I am naive. There's a lot going on here besides surfing.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bagels and Beer in Tofino

Well, almost. The Tofino Bagel Company is up and running and open for business. I can't find a website, but you can find them in all their bagely goodness at 4th and Campbell (in the Wilson Building). We had a serious taste test around here the first week they were open and these were definitely the best bagels I've tasted in a long while and better than any I've tasted on the island.

And the Tofino Brewing Company is on its way. They're not open yet, but check their web site for updates.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Caroline Woodward's Book Launch

'Tis the month for book launches it seems. Next Friday, join Caroline Woodward to celebrate the launch of her book, Penny Loves Wade, Wade Loves Penny. The event is 7 pm at the Salal Room of the Wickaninnish Inn. After the launch, Caroline will collapse at her home, which is here.

Update! - Caroline tells me there is a launch on Saturday, 3 pm at Wild Heather Books. THEN she gets to go home and collapse.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Surf Comp. Photos

If you missed the surf competition (and even if you didn't) here are some great photos from the week, taken by photographer Kathleen Hinkel.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Benn, Pete and Sepp Move On

Congratulations to Tofino locals — Benn Murphy (an Aussie, but we'll claim him as he's calling Tofino home), Sepp Bruhwiler and Peter Devries have moved on in the O'Neill Coldwater Classic. Due to the order of their heats, Devries is into the third round while Bruhwiler and Murphy have advanced into the second. More on yesterday's news here and here and you can keep up on the latest here and on our community channel, Channel 3.

Update: Great pictures and live audio and video here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Murder at "You-clue-no" General Hospital

What a great community turn out for the murder myster gala and fundraiser for new equipment for the Tofino General Hospital. Local teacher and playwright, Gary Marks, put a huge amount of work into creating the play, the actors (most from the hospital) were fabulous despite their nerves, and a hard-working team of local women put together the gala (the Legion was transformed), prepared the food, sought donations for the silent auction and more. Congratulations to everyone who was involved.

Keven at The Westcoaster posted this article with photos that summarizes the event well.

I helped put together a Power Point presentation of old slides and other info. re. medical services in the area. Here's one of the photos of the original hospital,

and one of my favourite quotes comes from Dr. John Robertson who was the first doctor in the hospital shown in this photo. In 1937, a he wrote a story for The Canadian Hospital (now Dimensions in Health Services) about his time as a physician on the west coast in the early days. From Dr. Robertson:

When I came here a little over two years ago I found it necessary to do emergency appendectomies in the homes, with no running water and no means for safe sterilization.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tofino's Rollo-rama

I've said it before, but it always boggles my mind when people ask me, What do you do here? Almost every evening it seems — especially in the "off season" (i.e., not summer) — there are usually 2 or 3 things I could be doing outside the home. Movie nights, book clubs, all sorts of musical events, readings, public meetings on myriad topics, cooking classes, stitch and bitch events, potlucks with friends . . . the list goes on. But a few weeks ago (sorry, still a little behind) there was a new one on the agenda — roller skating!

The music started blasting late in the afternoon. It had been a beautiful fall day, school had just begun and finally the town was quieting down a bit. In short, it was a great time for a community event. The Rec Commission borrowed bins of skates and helmets from Ucluelet, fired up the bubble machine and opened the gates of the outdoor ball hockey rink. Of course, apropos to what I wrote above, I had already planned to go to a reading about this book, by raised-in-Ucluelet writer, Eric Tamm, so didn't have time to strap on the skates. Next time! As you'll see from a few of these photos, groovy pants and leggings were much encouraged! Hmmm, where is my neo-pink 80s Spandex when I need it?