Recreation programmer Pam Zwicker shows off the free Covid-19 packages she made-up for seniors. The packages include a cloth mask from Epic Pharmacy, hand sanitizer from the Tofino Distillery, a Tofino Soap cube, and educational material. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Recreation programmer Pam Zwicker shows off the free Covid-19 packages she made-up for seniors. The packages include a cloth mask from Epic Pharmacy, hand sanitizer from the Tofino Distillery, a Tofino Soap cube, and educational material. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Tofino launches new rec program for seniors

“One of the greatest strengths of our community is partnership.”

Tofino’s recreation programmer Pam Zwicker created a new COVID-19 safe program for seniors under the banner W.A.V.E.S., which stands for “Wellness Activities for Valued and Extraordinary Seniors”.

In partnership with the Pacific Rim Hospice Society and funded by a $25,000 grant from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, W.A.V.E.S. will work to identify seniors who may need extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have been imposed.

Programming is set to begin this month and will run until mid-2021. Zwicker said W.A.V.E.S. includes virtual yoga and chi gong, a ‘Better with a Buddy’ initiative, and free P.P.E. (personal protective equipment) packages for seniors.

“We look forward to continuing our support through programs and services that help to decrease the impact of COVID-19 on seniors with the impacts of COVID-19, particularly with social isolation during a time of physical distancing,” said Zwicker in a media release.

“Supporting the ability of seniors to stay connected with their community and their family by using technology and providing training and devices that allow them to do so will be a key piece of this program,” she continues.

Tofino senior Robert Love, 78, said he misses the mutual support that came with regular in-person gatherings.

“We really miss the Friday morning meetings. The social contact was really enriching,” said Love.

He said both him and his wife will most certainly try the virtual offerings coming in the fall.

“Tofino is a fragmented community in many ways,” said Love. “It’s harder for seniors to connect. I really appreciate Pam’s work and I hope to have [the Friday meetings] up back and running one day,” he said.

Zwicker said there will be no in-person seniors programming this fall.

“We want to keep them as safe as possible,” she said

The ‘Better with a Buddy’ initiative aims to help mitigate social isolation by creating intergenerational pairings. Zwicker said the goal is to partner seniors with locals in the younger generation. They can build a friendship by playing online chess or having a weekly phone call, she notes.

Tofino boasts over 450 community members aged 55 and better, according to Zwicker.

“One of the greatest strengths of our community is partnership. I am looking to support in helping us support our vulnerable community members. Businesses, individuals, groups… We are interested in connecting,” she said, adding that she is looking for online content to share with seniors (live stream or pre-recorded).

Anyone interested in engaging in the ‘Better with a Buddy’ initiative is encouraged to contact Zwicker at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: Ucluelet senior grateful after trespassers apologize

READ: Want a latte? Bring a mask: Starbucks to make face coverings mandatory in Canada


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

Just Posted

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

A sign outside Ucluelet’s Blue Room on Monday morning advises patrons that the restaurant has gone back to take-out only. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Some Ucluelet restaurants heading back to take-out only as COVID-19 concerns rise

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel urges residents to be respectul of business owners’ decisions.

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation announces lockdown after member tests positive for COVID-19

Essential travel only and restricted to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Tofino Sea Kayaking staff Sable Trafton holds a gift card they are contributing ‘12 Days of Jingle’ draw. One lucky local will has the chance to win $500 worth of gift cards to local merchants. (TLCC photo)
Tofino’s 12 Days of Jingle kicks off holiday season

“We wanted to do it early so people could make purchases and send them wherever they need to go.”

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read