Top 10 Sports and Arts Stories from Tofino and Ucluelet in 2021 – Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News


Here’s Westerly’s “Year in Review” for the best sports and art stories of 2021.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song and show

Two brothers from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation have collaborated on a healing song and dance to document the COVID-19 pandemic and produced a video to share worldwide.

Nuu-chah-nulth language advocate Timmy Masso and artist Hjalmer Wenstob came up with the idea of ​​producing a healing song last summer and, with funding from the Canada Council’s Digital Originals Program, Canada, the project evolved into a dance the brothers posted online.

“Whenever there was a major event, traditionally there was a totem pole carved or a song written and a dance made for that incredible event or even a very tragic event that happened,” Masso told Westerly. News. “Hjalmer and I both noticed that in much more recent or modern times there was so much lack of traditional methods. We wanted to talk about what’s going on right now, talk about COVID and how it’s a story of now. I think it was really important as a way of resurgence of culture and our traditional ways.

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Tofino author Christine Lowther collects tree poetry

Tofino’s poet laureate shone the spotlight on trees this year.

Last June, Christine Lowther launched a call for applications for an anthology of arboreal poetry.

“We are looking for poems with a passion for trees and forests, especially ancient west coast temperate rainforest species. Poems that express careful observation, fierce protection, commitment, respect, caring, activism. Poems that strive to keep trees rooted and dispel the myth of dangerous and troublesome trees. Startling poems that tackle issues like climate and clearcutting by poets who open up new ways of seeing and being with our branched brethren,” Lowther’s appeal read.

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BC Arts grant breathes new life into community theater in Tofino

It’s been a tough year for Tofino and Ucluelet choir director and prolific musician Sophie L’Homme, but she has plenty to smile about. On March 24, the BC Arts Council unveiled its list of 47 arts infrastructure grant recipients and the Clayoquot Sound Community Theater Association (CSCTA) received $75,000 in funding.

The grant enables CSCTA to embark on the first phase of a major renovation project that will transform the nearly 40-year-old aging community theater into a healthier, more accessible space for everyone.

“We jumped for joy when we were told we had received the grant. It is an honor to be on this list of recipients. It’s really amazing,” L’Homme said. She thanked Senior Theater Consultant Scott Windsor and Tofino District’s Cindy Hutchison for helping to bring the dreams of the new theater to life.

When the pandemic closed the theater, L’Homme lost her job as a theater manager. Choir practices were also canceled and the Tofino Jazz Festival was axed.

“COVID is really, really tough on the arts. We couldn’t play and the artists couldn’t come, but somehow it gave us time to take a step back and it was the perfect time for me. I didn’t have a choir, but I finally had time to work on the scholarship project. It gave us time to think about the future,” she said.

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Opening of the Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art

The Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art unveiled its inaugural exhibition on June 13.

“I’m excited, nervous and can’t wait to sleep again,” laughed gallerist Leah McDiarmid in an interview with the Westerly News ahead of the opening.

McDiarmid has been tenaciously preparing its new space since January in hopes of creating a cultural hub for locals and tourists alike.

“It’s going beautifully. It’s an intimate space with wonderful acoustics,” she said. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love and I’ve been supported and mentored by some amazing people within the broader arts community and I really appreciate that support.”

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Netflix Thriller ‘Lou’ Films in Ucluelet

In August, some 200 cast and crew spent a week in Ucluelet filming a scene from the movie “Lou” starring Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney and Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett. Directed by Anna Foerster from an original screenplay by Maggie Cohn, “Lou” is set in 1986 and tells the story of two women tracking a kidnapper across an island in order to save one of the women’s daughters.

“The filmmakers chose Ucluelet as the location because of its unique beauty and stunning coastline,” notes the film’s publicist, Lorraine Jamison.

About 40 residents of Tofino and Ucluelet were hired as background artists.

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Surfing champions crowned in Cox Bay

Cox Bay came out strong on Sunday, September 26, delivering stellar waves for the finals of the 2021 Rip Curl Pro Surf Canada National Championships.

Canada’s queen of surfing, 18-year-old Mathea Olin, rode through the competition winning national titles in the Women’s Longboard, U18 Girls and Pro Women divisions.

“I couldn’t be happier. It was a bit of a rollercoaster for me after El Salvador, so I was really happy to get the win. The conditions couldn’t have been better,” Olin said after his final run of the contest. “Thank you to Rip Curl and Red Bull and Dom (Domic) for putting this event together,” she said, noting that she would be putting the $2,000 cash prize for winning the Pro into her savings.

Rising star Reed Platenius, 17, beat Tofino surfing legends Peter Devries and Sepp Bruhwiler in the Pro Men final.

“That was my goal for sure going into this competition. I feel like I got off to a good start and then I got lucky in some good waves that gave me some good sections. “It was tough there. It looks like fun from the beach, but then you get out there and get lost chasing different peaks,” said Platenius, who also won the U18 Boys division with an excellent score of 9. 0 on a single wave for performing a 360 degree aerial maneuver.

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Gust of Wind Concert Series

Grizzly Waves frontman and songwriter Luke MacDonald has dropped seven videos as part of the Gust of Wind concert series.

Set in scenic Clayoquot Sound, the Gust of Wind Concert Series features West Coast musicians singing along at seven unique locations.

“Essentially, we wanted to shine a light on our musical community and the beautiful places that have influenced musicians playing in those places,” said MacDonald, who kicks off the series by performing three songs in an old growth forest near Tofino’s Tonquin Beach.

The second video features Geoff Johnson from Virgin Falls, followed by Kieran Campbell from the Rosie Bay Tidal Cave. Then we have Willie Thrasher of C’isaqis, the place where Tla-o-qui-aht Chief Moses Martin told loggers during the 1980s protests, “I would like to ask you to join us for a meals, but you have to leave your chainsaws in your boats.

Ben and Sarah, winners of Island Shores’ West Coast Screech play, Steve Bick performs from Freedom Cove, and the final video is Haida artist Ms. PAN!K from Wickaninnish Island.

JESSIA, a West Coast graduate, is now a rising Canadian pop star

With her inspirational single “I’m Not Pretty” going viral and catapulting her onto the Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25, West Coast born and raised pop singer-songwriter JESSIA proclaims to be part of a new wave of “real music that breaks boundaries”. ”

She remembers writing the lyrics to “I’m Not Pretty” over Christmas 2020 from her childhood bedroom in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. Verses like “But I can’t find a way to lose weight/Without literally starving” and “But sometimes I hate myself/I get in my head and think I somehow deserve it.” another” spilled onto the page.

“I came to my mom about all this stuff and she told me to say it. She said go for it. Her encouragement is definitely why these verses are as cheeky as they are. Big shout out to my mom,” said JESSIA, who graduated from Ucluelet High School in 2012 and continued her studies in music at MacEwan University in Edmonton.

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Ucluelet High School honors residential school survivors and children who never came home

Students at Ucluelet High School were immersed in activities to honor survivors and children who never got out of Canada’s residential school system.

In Shannon McWhinney’s 9th and 10th grade art class, teens discovered Orange Shirt Day by designing and screen-printing their own orange sweaters.

Literary Studies class 11 studied the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, and First Peoples of British Columbia class 12 researched specific residential schools in British Columbia.

An excursion to Tin Wis and the former site of the Christie boarding school took place.

From September 24 to October 1, student-led work on residential schools was displayed in the new multi-purpose hall alongside a museum-quality exhibit curated by the Legacy of Hope Foundation titled “Escape from Residential Schools: Running to Save Their life “.

Jason Sam, Nuu-chah-nulth education worker, said all ASU students attended the exhibit as well as grades 6 and 7 students from Ucluelet Elementary School and Ucluelet Elementary School. Wickaninnish community. During the public exhibition on September 30, 206 people visited the exhibition.

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New ‘Island Eats’ cookbook hits shelves

West Coast chefs gathered on October 21 to celebrate the release of “Island Eats,” a 200-page cookbook that showcases Vancouver Island cuisine. Eleven of the 41 restaurants featured are from the Pacific Rim/Alberni Valley area.

Co-authored by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari, Island Eats features a collection of over 80 recipes. Postnikoff said the idea for a Vancouver Island cookbook was born during a media trip to Tofino in March 2019.

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