Tag Archives: swag

Victoria Classic Boat Festival Memories

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It’s been a month since boat show season ended in the Pacific Northwest. Some of you are hopefully still on the water, while others are buttoning down for the winter.

Wait, did I say winter? It can’t be! Forget that – it’s still glorious fall in the PNW! You still time to get out on the water if, like me, your boat is waiting for you but you only put the sails up … once… and haven’t actually gone sailing yet. (My excuses are pitiful. Believe me, I know I do a disservice to anyone who lives in the prairies when I let a whole summer go by without sailing. If there’s one thing DOROTHY has taught me, it’s that experiencing life with a boat is better than without!)

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So let’s think of kinder, warmer things, like boat shows! We had a fantastic time at this year’s Victoria Classic Boat Festival, the 40th annual. While nothing could make up for the absence of John West, a key founder and integral, energetic part of the festival over its four decades, the sun shone bright on the docks full of beautiful boats and interested visitors.

It was the first year the Maritime Museum of B.C. took the helm and led the organization and programming, and they did an admirable job running the show. Congratulations!

DOROTHY was on hand in spirit, if not in physical form. As it was her 120th anniversary, we celebrated with cake in the hall of the MMBC, and a hearty Happy Birthday.

To make sure she was present “on the docks”, we hosted a table Saturday and Sunday with promotional materials, photographs and new 2018 calendars and anniversary T-shirts for sale. I was delighted that former owner Angus Matthews was able to join me on Sunday to chat with people on the docks.

It was interesting to hear the response when we asked people whether they had heard of “Canada’s oldest sailboat”. Most said, no, but were intrigued. Then we’d ask where they were from and roughly half the time, they were from Victoria! I realized there are two distinct groups in this small but passionate boat community: those who have been following the Dorothy adventure closely, and those who don’t know anything about her story at all.

I feel we have a lot of work to do in getting the Dorothy story out there. If you want to help with our mission of keeping her memory alive while the committee continues to raise funds for the rest of the restoration, you can help! We still have 2018 Anniversary Calendars for sale, with images ranging from the MMBC archives, her sailing in the 1920s-40s and 1980s, contemporary photos in Tony Grove’s shop, and even an exclusive shot of her from the Langley family that has never before been released to the public.

Or, get our NEW T-shirt (Maroon and Heather Grey) with her anniversary dates 1897-2017. Send one to your friends, family members, or enemies, and tell them the story of DOROTHY. Or get an art card for Christmas mailouts, we have 6 different beautiful art cards. Email me at dorothysails@gmail.com for prices and orders. Christmas is just around the corner!

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After costs, proceeds are split between the restoration fund and the documentary, Between Wood and Water.

For our Victoria boat show round up, the best thing from my perspective was the raft of forestry boats and workboats, most from British Columbia but a few from down south. I love their stories.

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I was intrigued to find out that restored B.C. forestry boats outnumber U.S. boats about three to one. One notable exception is the 90-year old TEAL (image up top) which has a rich history patrolling the Alaskan coast and is now docked at Friday Harbor, WA. She won Best Conversion.

It seemed like there were less sailboats than usual – perhaps because ORIOLE and MARTHA were missing (and perhaps it’s my biased eyes that want to see sailboats everywhere!) – but there were an amazing representation of all kinds of classic boats to grace the docks.

Here were some of the awards handed out:

  • Best Restored Power: the 1963 FLYING EAGLE, a Maine Lobsterboat that travelled to the west coast and was authentically restored by Rick Strollo;
  • Best Restored Sailboat: ISOBAR, with TEAKBIRD getting Honorable Mention (restored by our friends at Abernathy and Gaudin);
  • Oldest Powerboat: 1917 OCEAN BELLE;
  • Oldest Sailboat: 1922 LOON (which was also built by J.J. Robinson, DOROTHY’s builder);
  • Best Overall Powerboat: DEERLEAP;
  • Best Overall Sailboat: PACIFIC GRACE.

The second best thing about the festival was hanging out with our friends Eric and Steve from OFFCENTERHARBOR.com. They were doing double duty as boat oglers and storytellers, getting some juicy bits on their favourite boats in the PNW. We love OCH videos, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, you should definitely subscribe because they feature not only the hottest boats, but the best stories on people making and restoring them.

Look for them to feature PACIFIC, MESSENGER III and STITCH – all workboats of some kind – in the coming weeks.

So that’s it for our boat show season – how was yours? Did you participate? Drop us a line or write a comment if you have a story to tell. Because after all, next to an insane desire to drop 1000s of dollars on our beloved vessels, the stories we get to tell about them is the next best reason to own them, right?

If you have friends, neighbours or family members that don’t know about Canada’s oldest functioning, Canadian-made sailboat, consider giving them a Dorothy-related gift this year and helping us spread the word.

Thank you Friends! And happy sailing!

Tobi

 

So what’s a Dorothy Doc Indiegogo, anyway?

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Producer Tobi Elliott and the amazing Allana Thorne of Thorne Crate Co. (www.thornecrateco.ca) at the Gabriola Street Arts and Fair last Sunday, promoting the Dorothy documentary and Tee-shirts, AND the best lil’ gift crates you’ve ever seen!

Dear Dorothy Documentary Supporter and Fan,

You may be new to the Dorothy team, or you’ve recently seen the project in the media, or you might have been with us since we started shooting the restoration process in December 2012 at Tony Grove‘s shop — or you are so excited about Dorothy you jumped on board and bought a T-shirt at the fair last weekend!

Wherever you come from… WELCOME to the adventure, THANK YOU for joining the team, and KUDOS for being one of the rockstars helping create this documentary.

I have to admit, I’m a little nervous right now… because on Sept 12 I am launching the biggest campaign of my life on Indiegogo.com, an online social fundraising platform.

Indiegogo – which is like Kickstarter but more global and less U.S.-based – allows anyone around the world to support a project and boost it from idea to reality. This campaign is to be able to fund some of the production costs for the documentary about the restoration of Dorothy, the oldest sailboat in Canada, happening right now on Gabriola.

Together with my awesome co-producer Kate Bradford, we developed a solid storyline for the doc (that wowed broadcasters and many filmmakers I look up to) captured some great interviews with previous owners, and have the Maritime Museum of B.C.’s total support in accessing the rich library of Dorothy archives. So lots of good news. The hard part is that we’ve had to personally finance the project, because broadcasters across Canada aren’t into supporting this kind of film (*another story! later date*)

Although we are totally committed to and passionate about this documentary, the financial load is a lot to carry, so we’re opening up the project to ask for community support. So, what IS this campaign about, and where are we headed?

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Here’s how it works:

1. SEPT 12 VIRTUAL AND ACTUAL LAUNCH PARTY at a yet-to-be-disclosed location, featuring the film trailer and a new video clip of Tobi getting embarassingly real and honest with her fundraising pitch. And of course there will be dancing and good tunes curated by some amazing friends of mine. You can even come if you’re in Montreal or the Azores, just log in to Indiegogo and give us some love.

2. SPREAD THE WORD: Through our website and Facebook page, I let people know the campaign has begun, and where the ‘Dorothy Documentary’ site is. The more people who are aware of the campaign and are getting our newsletters, the better chance we have of getting off to a good start – so please encourage people to enter their email in the “FOLLOW DOROTHY” box on our front page!

3. DONATE: People around the world can log in and donate any amount they want toward the production, or donate anonymously.

4. GET AWESOME SWAG IN RETURN: Donors get a perk at the level they donate after the campaign is over, such as a Tony Grove print, a crate of handcrafted goodies from Gabriola Island, a lovely package of natural facial care products, a work of art (the list of donor artists is growing by the day!), a Dorothy T-shirt, or a Hi-res download of Dorothy under sail from a period of your choice. Donors in the US can claim a charitable tax receipt because I’m working with a fiscal sponsor in the U.S., From the Heart Productions.

5. BE PROUD AND SING IT LOUD: You tell people that you just gave to the Dorothy documentary, and encourage them to do the same.

6. SUCCESS! We reach our goal of $20,000 to keep filming through this fall and winter without too much stress, and celebrate with YOU and a great party on October 30th! Yay!

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To know more about Indiegogo, I encourage you to browse the site and read some active campaigns. As the world’s largest democratic global fundraising platform, they help 1000s of innovative projects – from unbreakable sunglasses to better socks, from the newest smartphone technology to in-vitro fertilization for an struggling couple to have a baby – get off the ground.

Final note: this campaign is not about money, it’s about community.

It’s true – I don’t actually have all the resources to pay what it takes to make this the beautiful film Dorothy deserves. But it’s not financial need that’s driving this campaign. It’s the thrill of not doing it alone.

As a filmmaker, I stumble around the world trying to understand things through the lens of a camera and audio recorder. Most of the time, when I come across a story I see a glimpse of something great, and then labour in quiet agony for years trying to capture the essence of that story for the world to see. (See “The Trapper of Peace River”) It’s a lonely and often heartbreaking process. And, I found out, it doesn’t really work.

You can’t make a film in a vacuum. Filmmaking takes a community. And documentaries, because they pick up on on social and cultural threads that touch all of us, are even more so. And frankly it’s not fun to bang your head against the wall in some kind of gloomy misunderstood-artist funk, and do it alone.

So I abandoned that idea, enlisted the help of some able friends, and wow, then things started to really get cooking! So many great things have happened since we began opening this up to the global community of Gabriolans and boat lovers and documentary fans that I know we are on the right track. People want to get involved, want to help, want to cross-promote and assist.

People are basically lovely, giving, generous human beings. I love people.

So thanks *all you wonderful people* for coming on this journey. It’s just so darned exciting to do things together.

Let’s make a movie.

Love, Tobi

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