Friday, November 26, 2010

Jingle Into Christmas

Sorry for the silence, folks. Busy days in my purple office. If you're in Tofino tonight remember that it is Jingle Into Christmas. This is a chance to leave some of your hard-earned cash in town if you are so inclined to buy gifts at this time of year. It's a fun evening, too. Lots of the shops have, hmmm, how shall we say it . . . entertainment? . . . and things have been known to get a bit wild closer to midnight. If you want a bite before you head out, there is a turkey dinner being served at the legion. Dinner begins at 5 pm. I'm off to fight the snowy (probably slushy by now) wilds of the island's east coast so you'll have to have fun without me.

On another note, there is a new film about Emily Carr, called Winds of Heaven. This article mentions that the film includes mention of her visit to the west coast and some footage of Long Beach. If you are in Victoria, you can catch it at the Cinecenta tonight. Hopefully it can find a west coast venue.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clayoquot Writers Hit the Road

The Clayoquot Writers' Group is off to Port Alberni next Wednesday, November 24, for an evening of readings.

Here is more information on the evening from the CWG web page.

Spread the word!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wait For Me, Daddy

This is a very famous photo in British Columbia and in Canada.

[It was taken by The Province photographer, Claude Dettloff, in October 1940.]

The photo has a strong connection to Tofino. It is on the wall of the Legion and St. Columba Church. You can read about it here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

John Vaillant is Coming to Tofino

Author John Vaillant will be in Tofino this weekend and there are many events to look forward to. I've heard great things about his latest book, The Tiger, and enjoyed The Golden Spruce very much. He did a masterful job of weaving together the mystery of the tree and the man who felled it. It's no surprise this book won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction. I'm so looking forward to meeting Vaillant and hearing the story behind The Tiger (and, of course, reading it myself!) and we're privileged to have him visit Tofino.

Here's a note from Dorothy Baert of Wildside Booksellers, who is sponsoring the event:

I couldn’t put the book down and feel a loss that it is read and over, but now I look forward to hearing the story and seeing the images presented by the author himself. His earlier book The Golden Spruce is one of my favorite books to recommend.

There are three engaging events with award winning author John Vaillant this weekend. Get your tickets early as they expect to sell out.

Writer’s Welcome Opening Reception
Friday, November 12th, 6:00-7:30pm
Driftwood Lounge, WIckaninnish Inn
Complimentary admission, beverages upon consumption
RSVP is appreciated

Book Reading and Slide Show
Saturday November 13th, 2pm
Clayoquot Community Theatre
Tickets $10. (includes book coupon) available at Tofino Sea Kayaking open Wed – Sun.
Phone 250-725-4222

Writer and Readers Brunch
Join a conversation with John in a private oceanfront setting
Sunday, November 14th, 9:00am
McDiarmid Cabin, Shell Beach
$55/person, including tax and gratuity. Alcohol upon consumption.
Reserve your place

Review of The Tiger by Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail

I will spare the intrigued reader the outcome of the hunt, and of the details of the confrontation, the struggle, the collision of irresistible human firepower and immovable animal majesty – but let it simply be said that John Vaillant – whose previous book, The Golden Spruce, won the Governor-General’s Award for non-fiction – has told a tale of astonishing power and vigour, with enough brio and colour to have made it a near-certainty that Hollywood would want this to be offered up in double-quick time. This is a film that demands to be made with 3-D charges of stripes and rifle fire and Dolby-magnified thunder roars. (For what other creature, asks one character, roars back at storms, thus answering the Creator in his own language?)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Memorial for Jo-Ann and Ivan

[Photo by Priscilla Lockwood.]

Yesterday was quite a day. I've read estimates of just over 1000 to 2500 people attending. Regardless, Tofino's population more than doubled as emergency responders from the province, country and even the US, joined our community to honour Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka. The procession stretched for blocks and the huge tent on the school field was close to full. The procession mustered in front of our house, so I do have pictures, but these and these are much better.

[Photo: Wayne Barnes, Tofino Photography]

The weather worked in our favour, with the march finishing without rain. It did start while the service was underway, but I found the sound of rain on the roof soothing, reminiscent of being in a small tent with my family. I guess in a way we were in a tent with our family, just an extended one.

I have some memories of the pair — Jo-Ann teaching First Aid to my Brownies for instance, and Ivan being a kind, caring and attentive waiter at the Wickaninnish Restaurant at Long Beach and just his polite smile when you'd see him on the street — but I will always remember the time they gave our communities. I've been thinking about the emergency responders in our community — ambulance, fire, search and rescue, police, park wardens not to mention the medical professionals — and wondering if I would have it in me to do one of these jobs. I don't think I do, but I think we all need to find a way to serve our community, from coaching soccer to volunteering at community events to being a caring neighbour to serving on council. Doing something, not just bitching about it. Jo-Ann and Ivan remind us of what being an active participant in a community means. They will be — and are — missed in so many ways.

For a news report showing some of yesterday's events, go here and here is a video of the procession as it goes down Campbell Street.

A few more photos, courtesy Wayne Barnes, Tofino Photography:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remembering and Honouring

Tomorrow our town is expected to more than double in size as the community, paramedics and emergency responders from across North America gather to remember and honour Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka. (More here.)

This morning I happened to be driving back home, over Highway 4 where the pair died. I could have driven home last night, but the rain, dark, my own fatigue, and the thought of what would be niggling away at me the entire time made me stop and spend the night on the other side of the island. We still don't know what happened to Jo-Ann and Ivan, but I don't think I'm alone in giving a lot of thought to when and under what conditions I travel that road. I did before, but now even more so. No doubt many of us can recall scary trips along the highway.

A highway memorial has started and no doubt will grow over the next few days.

It's been a tough year in Tough City, with the plane crash earlier in the year, this accident and many more personal tragedies. But although I never ever wish such sadness on anyone or any town, the way in which our town and its residents reacts to these events makes me love living here all that much more. Everyone is pitching in how they can, helping to remember Jo-Ann and Ivan, and supporting their friends, family and community.

This is how the field looked like as of this morning.

(And this is the process that got it there.) I will post a few more photos, if appropriate, in the next few days.

Here is information on a memorial fund in memory Ivan and Jo-Ann.