Tofino artist Myles Beeby can add his name to a distinguished list of Pacific Rim Whale Festival poster artists, including the likes of Marla Thirsk (2001 and 2003), Claire Watson (2015), and Marion Syme (2008).
It was Beeby’s use of bright colours, bold lines and dance of the humpback whales that caught the Whale Festival board’s attention.
“It represents the fun and lively nature of the festival,” said Whale Festival co-odinator Sarah Watt.
Beeby, 47, told the Westerly that the day he found out he had won, he felt like he was walking on air.
“This is honestly the biggest honour that I’ve received in my lifetime. I’m so excited. I’m not even kidding. I’ve said this to my friends, I’ve said this to my family, I was just so happy. I never thought that I would get it,” he said.
“I’m so stoked to be part of the Whale Fest story. I work at the radio station on Tuesday nights hosting ‘Taco Tuesday’ and I worked at the Long Beach Lodge too, and all over the properties they have the Whale Fest posters. It’s just such a big part of our culture and who we are. To be included in that is just such a massive honour.”
Beeby recalls his own Whale Fest story. A few years ago when he had only just moved to Tofino from Montreal, new friends at Long Beach Lodge invited him to participate in the Whale Fest Parade.
“I built them a float and made these two massive whale costumes. There I was on the back of their van waving at everyone. I felt so accepted by the community and I made so many friends that day. It was such an amazing experience,” he said.
The 2022 Whale Fest poster titled ‘Aquatic Taijitu’ is all about balance.
“The whales are doing a dance. It’s a balancing act. Half in the water, half out of the water,” said Beeby, who has also designed the logos for the Tofino junior soccer team and the Tofino General Hospital Foundation.
He is thrilled to see the Whale Festival return in a hybrid virtual/in-person format, especially when it comes to the educational aspects.
“The state of the whales is directly tied into the fate of humans as well. It’s very important we have this festival to celebrate and educate people,” said Beeby.
The official dates for this year’s hybrid Pacific Rim Whale Festival are March 18 to 26, 2022.
“From curators of fossil marine mammals to award winning underwater cinematographers, we are excited to announce this year’s line up of guest speakers over the next few weeks,” said Watt.
The 2022 Pacific Rim Whale Festival poster will be available for purchase in March.
Learn more about the event by following the Whale Fest on social media (@pacificrimwhalefest) or visit www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com.