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Pacific Rim Summer Fest boosts access to arts around Tofino-Ucluelet

Pacific Rim Arts Society brings arts and culture infusion to Tofino and Ucluelet
Ballet Victoria delighted its audience at the Ucluelet Community Centre on July 9, 2023, as part of last year's Pacific Rim Summer Festival.

An arts and culture infusion will brush across the West Coast over the next two weeks

The Pacific Rim Summer Festival will run from June 30 to July 14 this year.

The popular annual festival has been running for over 30 years thanks to the passionate efforts of the Pacific Rim Arts Society.

“We’re very excited to put it on because we are able to share arts and culture with the community, with the visitors and with the whole West Coast,” PRAS executive director Kelly Deakin told the Westerly News.

She added all the events are either free or offered for “a very low fee.”

“Living in a remote area like we do, it’s hard for people to get out to experience things like the ballet and this wonderful hoop dancer that we have coming,” she said. “This way, the arts society is able to bring them to the community so the community doesn’t have to go to them.”

Local artist and PRAS boardmember Peggy Arnett added that it’s particularly important to expose local youth to a variety of art forms.

“It gives the opportunity, especially for young people, to have experience with arts that they never would have here otherwise,” she said.

“We have a history of young people who actually went on because they were exposed to classical music. Having that opportunity is very important…It gives them the opportunity to think about how their lives are going to go and what arts mean to them in their lives.”

PRAS membership coordinator Katsumi Kimoto added the festival includes family fun events as well as evening festivities and pointed out an Arts and Culture Walk as one locals should definitely circle on their calendars.

“People can go out there and see performances; they can see musicians, they can see painters, they can see drawers, there’s just so much to do and so many events,” he said.

Kimoto grew up in Ucluelet and has been delighted to see the festival grow and provide access to arts.

“For me, personally, we never had that kind of stuff when we were kids. We weren’t exposed to art in that way and for me to see that as an adult having grown up here, it’s a magical thing and it’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “There’s just so much to see and so much to do…There’s lots of great events.”

A full schedule of events can be found at

Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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