The Wild Pacific Trail Society was all smiles as they gathered around Bruce Schmaltz and his $2,000 donation cheque. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

The Wild Pacific Trail Society was all smiles as they gathered around Bruce Schmaltz and his $2,000 donation cheque. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

‘Wanderer’s Tree’ yields $2,000 donation for Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

Event also unveils artist Mike Camp’s newest sculpture: ‘The Wolf’

Cheers of gratitude filled Bruce Schmaltz’s outdoor steel sculpture gallery on July 4, as the Ucluetian restaurateur and art enthusiast handed a $2,000 cheque to the Wild Pacific Trail Society.

“Anytime you can donate to an organization like this that is contributing not only for this year, but perhaps the next 300 years, it’s just a great feeling,” Schmaltz told the Westerly News. “The donations of time and energy that the average person on the Trail Society puts in is greater than the dollars, but you need dollars to make things work also; it’s a form of energy and my wife [Monique] and I are very proud to contribute to it.”

READ MORE: Wanderer’s Tree a giving tree for Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

The trail’s innovator and manager ‘Oyster’ Jim Martin was elated by the donation and told the Westerly that Bruce and Monique have been key and consistent contributors to the society’s efforts.

“We just love having them here in our community and we’re thrilled that they are engaging the public the way they are in this location. This cheque is a result of that interaction and it just underlines the support for the trail community-wide and even wider than that,” Martin said. “It’s very gratifying from a personal and a society aspect to have support like we have from these two…It just feels really really good.”

The money stemmed from donations drawn in by the ‘Wanderer’s Tree’, a steel sculpture created by artist Mike Camp. The tree stands at the corner of Bay Street and Peninsula Road and residents and visitors are encouraged to write a message on an oyster shell from Schmaltz’s nearby food truck Oyster Forte and hang it on the tree for a donation.

READ MORE: New marker for Ukee wanderers

The tree was planted within Schmaltz’s steel art garden in 2015 and, Schmaltz said, it has brought strong “cathartic” emotions from those that stop by it to write a message.

“It performs some type of function, I don’t pretend to know what it is, but I see a tremendous satisfaction in people for just that second of collecting their thoughts, collecting their images and putting it on a shell as precise as possible. That seems to give them a great feeling of, perhaps, worth in our busy society,” he said adding that he enjoys speaking to visitors and explaining where their donations are going. “That chit-chat back and forth I think broadens my view of what life is about.”

The donation event also gave Schmaltz an opportunity to unveil his newest addition to his growing public art display as ‘The Wolf’ joined ‘Surfer Girl’, the ‘Wanderer’s Tree’ and the locally revered ‘Raven Lady’ at the site.

READ MORE: Surfer Girl joins Raven Lady in Ucluelet

All four pieces were created by Camp and Schmaltz said ‘The Wolf’ meshes perfectly with the spirit of the Wild Pacific Trail.

“It represents the wildness. It represents that feeling of being in nature,” he said. “When we’re out in the forest, I think we feel a whole different thing in ourselves, in our nature, in our spirit. It brings something to us that perhaps we’ve lost in our civilization of big cities and concrete. It’s a reconnection at a deep level.”

Camp told the Westerly he spent about a year creating the 2.5-metre tall, 3-metre long, steel wolf at his secluded Ontario cabin and hopes it encourages viewers to reconnect with their natural surroundings.

“Most of us live in cities now and we’re over civilized and over domesticated and this is hopefully an image of raw primitive nature, man’s inherent nature struggling to get out,” he said. “I think with technology and all the machines doing everything for us, we’ve lost some of that connection with nature.”

Schmaltz has long been a fan of Camp’s work and said displaying it out in the open allows viewers to engage more meaningfully.

“Art is really important to be able to come up to and be able to touch. I don’t care for those that jump on it, but I do think it should be accessible,” he said.

“Art is part of us, so we have to be able to access that part of us. It’s done in a public manner like this so people can come up, think about it, meditate on it and great art is a thing that transports you just for a second; it takes us out of our everyday funky life and we see something greater than ourselves.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: VIDEO: Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail welcomes new feature

READ MORE: VIDEO: Massive waves destroy chunks of Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(B.C. Government photo)
POLL QUESTION: Are you in favour of B.C.’s three-week ban on in-restaurant dining?

Dr. Bonnie Henry called the three week stoppage a “circuit breaker”

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Theatre manager Sophie L’Homme is ecstatic to share the news that Tofino’s aging Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre is finally getting upgrades. (Nora O’Malley photo)
BC Arts grant funding breathes new life into Tofino’s community theatre

“Once it’s done, it’s going to be a pride of the town.”

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

Pickleball is a favourite recreation for older adults on the West Coast. (Westerly file photo)
Pacific Rim Hospice releases older adult survey report

One key theme unearthed during the research process was the need for companionship

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read