Filmmaker and Ucluelet Secondary School Grade 12 graduate Tristan Hennessey Hinder-Hohlweg is off to Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a cool $40,000 academic scholarship.
Hinder-Hohlweg was announced the 13th recipient of the annual Pacific Rim Foundation’s Dick Close Scholarship during the June 29 Ucluelet regular council meeting.
“Thank you to everyone. I am so blessed to live in such a community that supports the youth with pride. Ucluelet, Tofino and the entire West Coast have been extremely thoughtful, caring and supportive,” said Hinder-Hohlweg.
“I want to thank the Dick Close Scholarship for providing me with this generous opportunity to help fuel my passion for filmmaking,”
Pacific Rim Foundation president Gary Marks says Hinder-Hohlweg was awarded the Dick Close Scholarship because he genuinely reflects Dick Close’s ideal of “making the world a better place with a life of purpose”.
“Tristan exemplifies the of principle of volunteerism in his own community. In both big and small ways, Tristan has found the means and inspiration to help were he can and give willingly of his time and effort,” said Marks.
Hinder-Hohlweg is a member of the Surfrider Youth Club and participated in the B.C. Junior Achievers Entrepreneurship program. His long list of community contributions include: volunteering at the elementary school’s GoByBike program, delivering meals on wheels during the early months of COVID, and helping seniors navigate the world of technology.
As a high school student, he founded his own company Old Growth Media and released the environmental film Finding Solitude with friend Jaiden George. Finding Solitude premiered in Tofino and Ucluelet with two sold out shows and went on to win Best Young Filmmaker Award at the 2020 Eugene Environmental Film Festival.
“We know that the future is in the hands of inspiring and dedicated young people like you, Tristan,” said Marks.
Parents Sandra and Brent say they are beyond proud of their son. They moved to the West Coast when Tristan was entering Grade 6.
“The community support has been absolutely amazing. I don’t think he would have got this if we were in another place,” said Brent, who is an Emily Carr alumnus.
“It’s a very special place. We’ve always felt that,” said Sandra. “They are the generation that are going to burn the boat and fix things.”
Richard (Dick) Close passed away on Feb. 24, 2016 at his home on Cox Bay in Tofino. He developed Weigh West Marina (now Tofino Resort + Marina), was instrumental in developing the Long Beach Golf Course, and was active in creating the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society.
“Dick himself believed in lifelong learning, and he believed in young people. This scholarship would celebrate the idea of service to others. Dick’s gift allows our young people to dream and imagine greater possibilities of fulfilled lives,” Marks said.