A Note From Charles August 2021

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Charles McDiarmid
By Charles McDiarmid, Managing Director
Newsletters30 August 2021


While the rest of the world is awash in the heat of late summer days, things can be a little different out here on the coast. August in Tofino often brings a small respite from the most dogged summer days with its cool ocean breezes and morning mists that slowly heat up and dissipate as they drift over the warm land. Though we have certainly seen and felt some more heat than usual this summer, we’ve also seen how wild the west coast can be right here in our own backyard.

Just a few days ago, we had a mother bear and her two cubs slowly foraging on one of our nearby beaches on property. The next day, I was walking with one of our managers in Secret Cove - the small surge Channel beside our Pointe Building - when suddenly we witnessed significantly rustling bushes just over to our left. We couldn’t help but think we were about to have our own chance encounter with the mother bear and her two cubs coming through the underbrush. As it turned out, it was … a raccoon, surreptitiously climbing the bushes to feast on the fresh Salal berries, and I must admit to feeling slightly relieved at seeing our hungry friend’s face poking straight up from the bushes with a mouth full of fresh berries. A few days later, on a sunny afternoon on the inlet side of the peninsula, a family of three Orca whales was spotted swimming towards the ocean on an outgoing tide. The two adults were breaching as they passed by, while the little calf was slapping her little tail and trying her very best to keep up and leap as high as her elders. I have no doubt that practice will make perfect for our young friend. These sights and the majesty of this environment remind me every day of the profound and delicate nature around us.

Throughout British Columbia, we are fortunate to be well into Step 3 of our Provincial Restart Plan. We were thrilled to have opened our borders in Canada to our fully immunized American friends on August 9th, and with continued diligence and care for ourselves and our communities in BC, we look forward to the same when we enter Step 4, when we will hopefully be able to welcome fully immunized visitors from around the world.

Here at the Inn, I couldn’t be prouder of our team’s incredible work - this summer and always. Their tremendous warmth, outstanding service and excellence, and their generosity of spirit breathe life into all we do here between the light gray walls and warm cedar beams that frame the Inn. Those beams, carved and adzed by hand with hand-made tools by Henry Nolla all those years ago, represent the very essence of the Inn as well as the spirit of the west coast on Vancouver Island. I often say if you really want to feel this place, make certain you go to the Carving Shed to experience the legacy of artistry, free-spiritedness, and the live-and-let-live philosophy it represents. Now home to our team of Resident Carvers Feather George and Christen Dokk-Smith, a must-see at the shed that many miss out on unless they know to ask, is to see the short video narrated by Roy Henry Vickers talking about himself and Henry as young artists working together. I could not recommend this more highly to those interested in our story, and the VHS tape is always at the ready in front of an array of camping chairs surrounded by the fragrant cedar curls that pad the floor from new carvings-in-progress.

Always a special time for many reasons, this August is special for one more reason in particular: August 9th, 2021, marked the anniversary of our opening 25 years ago. We celebrated with a small toast in our Salal Room surrounded by some of the very same people that were there with us on day one, together with some of our newest and brightest talent. I had the singular pleasure of sharing a few memories from these last 25 years and a few words of thanks. I’m looking forward to sharing some of those stories with you in this special newsletter edition, both in this month’s featured videos - one of which you can find below - as well as in this month’s staff profile of one Charles McDiarmid.

Thank you most sincerely for sharing our story these past 25 years. Welcoming you has been my great pleasure and privilege. In these next few years, I can say for certain that one of the things I look forward to most are the moments when I see you approaching the Inn, as you start to feel that you are letting go of where you have been and letting this place in. This feeling may start as you drive along the only road that leads to us and winds through the towering mountains and forests before it finally ends in Tofino. It may start as you fly over stunning Clayoquot Sound, or perhaps as you approach our warm cedar beams and all they hold together. In those moments, my hope is that you will start to feel the sense of welcome and wonder that this environment offers - and that has been the magic of this place for my family and me since day one.


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