Protect, Educate, Celebrate.
Salmon play an integral role for coastal livelihoods, cultures, and ecosystems in Clayoquot Sound. And they lead incredible lives, starting in freshwater then migrating to the ocean. Salmon stay at sea for years before their homing instincts guide them back, to the freshwater systems they were conceived in, to reproduce. Celebrating this magnificent species is what inspires Friends of Clayoquot Sound to organize the annual Clayoquot Salmon Festival!
From September 1 – September 10 there will be a variety of events, with something for everyone. The Clayoquot Salmon Festival is timed to coincide with the return of the salmon for spawning on the west coast. Anyone who has witnessed salmon hurling themselves upriver and over obstacles during the spawn knows their tenacious and inspiring drive to give life to the next generation.
The Festival always prioritizes celebrating the salmon return together as a community with creative spirit. For the 2023 Clayoquot Salmon Festival, we are featuring outdoor live music collaboration with Tofino Jazz Festival for the nights of September 1 and 2 . And the music continues inside with Roar Sessions during the afternoons on both weekends. The celebration culminates with a dance party curated by Tofino Tea Party DJs on September 8th at the Village Green.
Clayoquot Salmon Festival aims to offer residents and visitors an opportunity to reflect upon, and build an active appreciation for, the irreplaceable value of salmon in Clayoquot Sound. Salmon are essential to protecting a way of life rooted in the Pacific northwest environment, but salmon are also under significant stress in the environment from climate change and water pollutants from industry. This is why salmon protection is a central theme for the Festival. Come participate, and learn about ocean protection with Surfrider Pacific Rim at the Love Your Beach Clean at Mackenzie Beach on September 9, or the Salmon Fun Run on September 10 with Redd Fish Restoration.
At least 137 different species depend on the marine-rich nutrients that wild salmon provide. As a keystone species, salmon support coastal life including orcas, bears, wolves, and eagles while providing nutrients to the ancient rainforests of Pacific Northwest. Learn more at the Tofino Community Market on September 2 by assisting researchers from Strawberry Island Marine Research Society in constructing the skeleton of a real orca while learning about the biology, ecology, anatomy, evolution, and conservation of killer whales and other marine mammals who are part of the salmon ecosystem.
Throughout Clayoquot Sound, the remaining intact salmon watersheds are composed of free-flowing rivers and dense forests. The forests shelter clean drinking water locally and absorb global carbon emissions, helping to guard against the most severe impacts of climate change to us humans, salmon, and all life. Come learn about the ancient salmon-forest ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound and across the west coast that still need to be protected with a free screening of “Rematriation” and “Salmon Stories” on September 7.
Indigenous Nations continue to lead society in upholding a vibrant, life-sustaining relationship with salmon. On September 5, at Voices for Salmon, Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks will share songs, stories, and dances about salmon, their interconnected role in a healthy ecosystem, and important perspectives on salmon protection and solidarity. This is not to be missed!
Thanks to Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks, Tribal Park Allies, Surfrider Pacific Rim, Redd Fish Restoration, Strawberry Island Marine Research Society, Tofino Jazz Festival, and all the sponsors including District of Tofino, Tourism Tofino, Pacific Sands, Long Beach Lodge, and Hotel
See you there!