Things To Do Arts & Culture

Our small community has a rich art scene, with artists, carvers, musicians, painters, photographers, and ceramicists injecting soul into the everyday. Indigenous culture and art thrive and are at the heart of Načiks (Tofino).

A reverence for nature surrounding Tofino inspires artists and makers who call these far stretches of Vancouver Island home. A vibrant arts and culture scene thrives with open mic nights, markets, independent storefronts, concert series, and annual festivals. Here, the creative spirit is truly free.

Multicoloured fishing buoys hanging from a line
Tall metal Indigenous sculpture

Culture and public art

Self-expression is woven into the built environment of Tofino. From upcycled marine debris to Nuu-chah-nulth carvings and striking sculptures, the art installations here make a statement. Follow an Art or Culture Walk around town or along the ʔapsčiik t̓ašii Multi-Use Path, created by the Tofino Arts Council, to find the public art displays that speak to you.

Take a walk
Person working on a carving in their workshop
Close up of the eye of an Indigenous sculpture

Artists and carvers

Carvings are the physical embodiment of a unique history, culture, art, and storytelling coming together. Totems stretch to the sky and masks hang proudly on the walls of homes, galleries, restaurants, and shops. Take a peek inside Henry Nolla's Carving Shed, perched on the shores of North Chesterman Beach to breathe in the aroma of fresh cedar in this hub for local carvers.

Photographers capture the raw beauty of Clayoquot Sound, surfers battling waves, and black bears foraging for crabs. Ceramic artists create textures inspired by nature, like waves and kelp. Painters stand in the elements and work plein air (outdoors) to capture enchanting scenes in real time. 

Events and festivals

A vibrant music scene thrives with open mic nights, concert series, and annual festivals. Come March, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival announces the beginning of the spring season, while the Tofino Jazz Festival kicks off summer in late June. Queen of the Peak is the annual women's surf competition at the end of September in the warm early days of fall, while Tofino Oyster Fest is the perfect event for a reprieve from the November rains. 

Mark your calendar
Large group gathering in front of a jazz band playing on an outdoor stage

Sunseta Media

Shopper looking at the works of photography on the gallery wall
Visitors looking at the art and sculptures in the First Nations gallery

Museum and galleries

Gallery hop around town to find unique creations by painters, sculptures, photographers, carvers, textile artists and more. The arts flourish with the abundance of space and inspiration comes from living close to the ocean in this place of timeless beauty.

Embrace the arts
Colourful fish in a tank
Octopus in a tank with a person looking at its tentacles

Ucluelet Aquarium

This aquarium started from humble beginnings in 2004 as the first collect-and-release facility in Canada. Wander through this picturesque harbourside oasis to see marine life gathered from local waters, tidepools, kelp forests, and eelgrass beds. Get up close to jellyfish, sea cucumbers, octopus, sea urchins, and more. Touch tanks allow visitors to get even more acquainted with these sea animals.

Open seasonally between March 1st and November 30th. Come winter, the sea life is released back into the waters where they were found.

Come visit
Band playing in the gazebo of the local farmer's market

Tofino Market

Shop for upcycled finds, ocean-inspired jewelry, fresh-cut flowers, baked goods, local artwork, and more. Adjacent to the local playground for kid-friendly fun, the market is a great place to mingle, shop, and feel the beat of everyday Tofino life. On Friday evenings in July and August, music lovers gather to listen to The Gust of Wind Concert Series on the Village Green and peruse the Friday Night Market.

Shop the market every Saturday from May until early October at the Village Green.

Shop local

Uncover a thriving artistic culture

Find pieces inspired by nature, shop weekly markets of hand-made goods, and watch local carvers create masterpieces.

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