Ucluelet artist Rebekka Lim and Pacific Rim Whale Festival coordinator Sue Payne proudly display the festival’s 2019 poster art, which Lim was honoured to create after being selected by a committee. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Ucluelet artist Rebekka Lim and Pacific Rim Whale Festival coordinator Sue Payne proudly display the festival’s 2019 poster art, which Lim was honoured to create after being selected by a committee. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

VIDEO: Ucluelet local selected as Pacific Rim Whale Festival’s 2019 poster artist

“It has lots of movement, lots of excitement and it’s going to be a wonderful, wonderful, poster.”

The West Coast has notched another Pacific Rim Whale Festival into the win column.

The 32nd annual event came to a close on Sunday after two week’s worth of fun and educational festivities celebrating the roughly 20,000 grey whales that migrate past the West Coast on their way to their Bering Sea feeding grounds each spring.

“We had lots of great comments, lots of great speakers and lots of fantastic events. It went really, really, well,” said the festival’s coordinator Sue Payne. “It’s really nice to show that the communities are working together and there’s lots of excitement around what we can show. The whales are here. Everybody’s happy. It’s great.”

She added a robust roster of sponsors was key to this year’s success and added that while volunteers were down in numbers, they made up for it in spirit.

“We had less [volunteers] than normal this year, but we still managed to make it happen just because of the amazing people that did come out,” she said.

During Sunday’s closing ceremonies at the Pacific Rim National Park’s Kwisitis Visitor Centre, Ucluelet artist Rebekka Lim was announced as the poster artist for next year’s festival.

“The poster art for 2019 is amazing,” Payne said. “It has lots of movement, lots of excitement and I think it’s going to be a wonderful, wonderful, poster.”

She said the poster is a key catalyst for drumming up interest in the months leading up to the festival.

“If the poster art is amazing, then everybody gets excited about the festival and it brings a lot of people here to the West Coast to see our whales,” she said.

Lim told the Westerly News that she’s a longtime fan of the festival and worked to design a dynamic and welcoming grey whale for her piece.

“I really wanted to focus on the soul of the whale. So, I started with the eye and worked out from there. It’s very friendly, a little bit childlike, and I really care a lot about it,” she said. “I love the movement of this piece. I really enjoyed pulling all the blues together and making it really warm and inviting.”

Lim said she has been creating art since her childhood, but did not start taking her work seriously until moving to Ucluelet from Golden 11 years ago and being asked by the owner of the Driftwood Restaurant, where she worked, to put up some art on the walls.

“I have a lot of energy and I like to create things all the time. I work with driftwood. I work with glass. I work with paint. I just really like working with my hands and I’m constantly creating…Our house is always full of art,” she said adding the ocean is one of her favourite sources of inspiration. “The movement, the colours, the way things turn in the water and all the angles; it’s never limited to being on one level. Water is always moving and I never get sick of it.”