Canada’s First Surf Museum to Preserve 60+ Years of History

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Canada’s First Surf Museum to Preserve 60+ Years of History

The history of surfing runs deep in these waters. From pioneering characters like Jim Sadler–who arrived on horseback from Alberta in the late 1940s and paddled the swells on a 13-foot plywood board–to hometown hero Pete Devries winning the 2009 O’Neill Cold Water Classic, the stories spanning over 60 years are as unique as they are legendary. 

And now thanks to Tofino local Devorah Reeves–Curator of the West Coast Surf Museum project–this celebrated surf culture is on track to be preserved for generations of wave riders to come. Read on for how you can help.

With a love for surfing and appreciation for history and the arts, Devorah got the idea for the West Coast Surf Museum project in 2010. She dove right in, researching archives, articles and books on other surf museums at popular destinations like Hawaii and California. To say she is passionate about this project is an understatement, spending untolled volunteer hours creating the vision that will give the west coast’s surfing heritage a voice.

“There are so many incredible stories to be told!” declared Devorah. “We have some photos, artifacts and lots of memories, but as our surf pioneers leave us, so do their stories. I believe we need to document, protect and honour that history, and as the mecca of BC’s surf scene, Tofino is just the place to make that happen. 

"The goal is to open the West Coast Surf Museum in a physical, interactive space by spring 2014. But we need funding to do that, which is why we’re so excited to be hosting the 1st Annual SOHA on Nov 9th. Whether you’re a surfer or an enthusiastic spectator, this is going to be an epic day.”

She means it! There's a full day of SOHA (short for surfing, ocean, history and art) celebrations queued up at the Marina West Motel in Tofino on Saturday, November 9th:

Free and open to the public, it includes a surf swap and consignment area, artisans market, surfboard shapers, music, and a West Coast Surf Museum booth with historical items on display.

Call 250.725.3277 for advance $10.00 tickets including a DJ, live band, dancing, door prizes and a silent auction. 

Staying at Pacific Sands this coming November long weekend… Nov 9 to 11? Why not make this part of your Saturday plan? With all event proceeds going to help the West Coast Surf Museum find a permanent home in Tofino, it sounds like a fun way to meet some locals while supporting one of the things that makes Tofino so special.

Check out this video for a slice of Tofino’s storied past and why it’s earned a place in surfing history: