We share the grief of the community of Tofino at the sudden loss of Councillor Dorothy Baert. Since the late 1980s, she has given her time for the betterment of this special place by advocating for many of her passions, including (but certainly not limited to) the preservation of the old-growth forests of Clayoquot Sound, the growth of arts and culture offerings, sustainable development and the attainment of affordable housing. She opened her business, Tofino Sea Kayaking, weathering a time when Tofino had yet to be seen by many as a tourism destination. Her Main Street Gallery has become a hub for for artists to share their work and for all to enjoy a coffee with a view. We remember that she played a pivotal role in creating and running the Clayoquot Oyster Festival for well over a decade, providing sustenance to local oyster farmers and a celebration to people with the November blues.
Dorothy was also one of the first Board members who helped shape the vision and structure of Tourism Tofino. Shane Richards, Executive Director of Tourism Tofino, shares: ‘Dorothy’s passion for Tofino as a destination and a community was at the forefront of her time with Tourism Tofino, Council and as long-time Tofitian. Her spirit will be missed but her legacy and efforts will live on in the community.’
Thank you, Dorothy, for your strong devotion to everything Tofino.