“Gust of Wind” Street Entertainment Pilot Project

“The District of Tofino is piloting a street animation/entertainment series this year as part of the implementation of the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Action Plan.  The first event will be co-hosted by the Clayoquot Writers Group and will feature New Zealand poets Liz Breslin and Laura Williamson, as well as local speakers and performers.

The pilot project isn’t to be confused with busking and will allow for performance and visual artists to showcase their talents in some of Tofino’s favourite outdoor public spaces.  The series will be free and family friendly.  
The pilot series will run: July 22*, 31, August 7, 15, 21 and 28th and feature a diverse range of local talent from approximately 5-8pm on the Village Green. The full list of artists and times will be confirmed by Friday, July 19th and posted on the main community boards.

The program’s name is inspired by the former Gust of Wind community space that once stood behind the District of Tofino Municipal Office. The Gust of Wind was Tofino’s arts and culture hub, showcasing the Tofino’s diversity of talent. 

If you are interested in learning more about the pilot project or are curious about being involved please reach out to events@tofino.ca for more information.  Funding for the pilot series comes from Tofino’s participation in the Resort Municipality Initiative program.”

National Poetry Month, Final Poem

It’s hard to believe that April has come to an end! Thank you to the many poets whose words touched so many readers. And thank you to Sherry Marr for helping with the comments on the website. Given that Day One’s poem was by the late Pat Lowther, it seems only fitting that the series should close with this poem by Kate Braid, dedicated to none other than Christine Lowther, Pat’s daughter.

This time last year Kate and I shared readings in Victoria and on Galiano Island. At the time Kate was launching her latest volume of poetry, Elemental, published by Caitlin Press. This poem is from Elemental. It is a rich reflection of the 2019 theme, Nature.

Photo © Joanna Streetly

Kate Braid has written, co-written, edited and co-edited 14 books of non-fiction and prize-winning poetry, most recently Elemental, from which these poems are taken.  For 15 years she worked as a construction carpenter and the elements she worked with – water, fire, earth, air and of course, wood – are the chapters of this book.

National Poetry Month Day 29

Helen Mavoa is the newest member of the Clayoquot Writers Group, hailing from New Zealand, where she lived and worked as an anthropologist. Nuu-cha-nulth people had stewarded this coast for at least four thousand years before Helen “discovered” it, and she found many parallels with Aotearoa (New Zealand)—vestiges of primaeval forest, a coast that had been inhabited for thousands of years. Helen’s interest in photography has expanded to include words and she’s recently begun setting words to her images, as she’s done with this one.

Helen’s interest in photography began at the age of 12 when her parents gave her a box Brownie camera. Her pursuit of photographic images that evoke questions about relationships has expanded in the last few years when she has spent increasing time in Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. While most of Helen’s images are crafted with and through Nature, some explore the form and function of the built environment, and others capture moments with people she meets.

National Poetry Month, Day 26

It’s impossible to catch all Nature’s happenings. But as Janis McDougall observes, even if you didn’t quite see what happened, it’s fun to guess, deduce, dream, interpret. . . .

Janis McDougall is a member of the Clayoquot Writers Group, a talented jeweller and craftswoman, a longtime part of the Wickaninnish Elementary School staff and citizen of Tofino.

National Poetry Month, Day 25

Before the weather warms up completely and the feel of winter’s chill vanishes from your sensory lexicon, follow Janice Lore on her flight into northern Clayoquot Sound, “a long way from anywhere.”

Photo © Joanna Streetly

Janice Lore is a member of the Clayoquot Writers Group and enjoys the challenge of performance poetry. She makes books to showcase her poetry and is interested in collaborating with other artists. All of this is coming together in an exhibition of her handmade books later this year.

Janice’s partner is a pilot and when she first moved to Tofino, she was sometimes invited to tag along with him as he flew around Clayoquot Sound.
“It was a spectacular introduction to the west coast,” Janice writes, “and when I close my eyes I still visualize the sound and the wild coastline from a bird’s eye view. One Christmas in those early years, we were assigned the awesome task of fetching the oysters for the airline Christmas party. Christmas Oysters is about that memorable trip to Pretty Girl Cove.”

National Poetry Month Day 24

Few people have ever seen a nesting hummingbird, but if you’re one of them, this poem will transport you to that moment with precise and perfect description—and even a lilt of rhyme to lead you along. Mother & Moon was originally published in the Mojave Heart Review.

Photograph © Joanna Streetly

Tara K. Shepersky is a taxonomist, poet, essayist, and photographer. She makes her present home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, with her main literary credential: a tuxedo cat named d’Artagnan. You can read recent and upcoming work in Whitefish Review, Shark Reef, and High Desert Journal, or connect with her at pdxpersky.com.

National Poetry Month Day 23

Next windy day read this poem aloud and cosy up to a tree; “listen as it sings in a long wild key.” This lovely poem was originally published in Kate Braid’s 2018 collection, “Elemental” (Caitlin Press).

Kate Braid has written, co-written, edited and co-edited 14 books of non-fiction and prize-winning poetry, most recently Elemental, from which these poems are taken.  For 15 years she worked as a construction carpenter and the elements she worked with – water, fire, earth, air and of course, wood – are the chapters of this book.

National Poetry Month EarthDay Post

This Earth Day, as news of accelerated climate change darkens the headlines, and the future seems grim, let this poem by Tofino local Janis McDougall reset your mind. What really counts? Jan lists her priorities in this simple and beautiful list poem.

Janis McDougall is a member of the Clayoquot Writers Group, a talented jeweller and craftswoman, a longtime part of the Wickaninnish Elementary School staff and citizen of Tofino.

National Poetry Month Day 19

Enjoy the intense quiet of this poem, Scarce, by Yvonne Blomer. If you hold your breath you might even hear “the pant and beat of the wings.” This poem can be found in Ravine, Mouse, a Bird’s Beak, Nose in Book Publishing, 2018, a collection of poetic responses to the paintings of Robert Bateman.
See image here: https://preview.tinyurl.com/y2n7jg86

Yvonne Blomer was the City of Victoria Poet Laureate 2015-2018. She lives, works and raises her family on the traditional territories of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), Lkwungen (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation and gives thanks for the privilege of being here.

Her recent books include:
Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur, Palimpsest Press, 2017
& Refugium: Poems for the Pacific, Caitlin Press, 2017 and As if a Raven, 2014, Palimpsest Press.

Web site: www.yvonneblomer.com