Friends of Clayoquot Sound Eco-Centre

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Friends of Clayoquot Sound Eco-Centre

Tofino, CanadaTofino, Canada
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Friends of Clayoquot Sound in Tofino will open an Eco-Centre which is designed to tell our story, build our campaigns, and raise funds for campaigning.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Tofino is a tourist destination that about 1 million people visit annually from all over the world. At present there is no place where they can come to learn all about Clayoquot's rainforests, the threats to these magnificent ecosystems, and how Canadian history was made protecting them. The FOCS office can fill that niche, but it needs a bit of sprucing up.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our vision is to renovate the front end and exterior of our office building located in downtown Tofino. The concept is to create a gallery / eco-retail space, with striking images of the wildlife and scenery here, interspersed with iconic historic photos of the mass arrests of 1993. The space will also be a venue for selling t-shirts, hoodies, posters and gift cards—the sort of thing visitors naturally want to buy when on holiday. The emphasis will be on providing education in addition to eco-gifts. We have access to amazing wildlife and scenery photos from many of BC's leading wilderness photographers. The visitors are coming already, and we have an incredible story to tell of one of the iconic wilderness battles in BC. Friends of Clayoquot Sound have made history twice already, and need to do it again in order to stop mining and get fish farms out of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This retail space will be a hub of environmental inspiration and action!
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A visitor to Tofino is eating lunch. They ask their server about the battles to stop the logging of Clayoquot's ancient rainforests. The server is only here for the summer, and is keen to help save Clayoquot Sound, but doesn't really have all the answers or time to provide them. But she knows of the Friends of Clayoquot Sound office through her Tofino Ambassador training at the Chamber of Commerce. She refers the visitor to the Friends of Clayoquot Sound's brand new retail space, where they can stop by and hear directly from FOCS what happened here 20 and 30 years ago, and what is going on right now with the ongoing logging of rainforests, and the threat of an open pit copper mine within sight of Tofino. The visitor gets stoked, purchases some eco-gifts, picks up the latest FOCS newsletter, and joins our Wilderness Team as a monthly donor. They are now engaged, and can begin to join FOCS letter-writing campaigns to help keep Clayoquot Wild!
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Peers and competitors will be fellow members of the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. The Tofino business community is onside with FOCS goals to protect ecosystems for future generations. Most businesses will be pleased to instruct their guides and employees to send people to FOCS—it provides a better visitor experience for their customers, saves their employees' time, and helps build support for campaigns which are in the interest of business owners in Tofino. There may be some reluctance amongst sellers of t-shirts and similar merchandise to send people to their 'competition', but t-shirts are a sideline for most businesses in Tofino. We are the only organization in Tofino advocating for protection of Clayoquot Sound from industrial logging, salmon farming and mining.
Team

Founding Story

was walking through downtown Tofino on a sunny summer day. Hundreds of people are wandering around town looking for something to do. Many are attracted to come here because of the pristine natural environment. Yet our grassroots environmental group does not have adequate funding to run our campaigns to the level we need to. What about if all these people had somewhere to go to learn about the threats to this beautiful place? What if they learned about the history of the successes of our organization, that this is a place on planet Earth where local residents have worked together with local First Nations and succeeded in stopping logging? No doubt we could convince many of them to support our work so Clayoquot Sound remains a place where people will want to visit.
About You
Organization:
Friends of Clayoquot Sound
About You
First Name

Dan

Last Name

Lewis

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Organization Country

, BC, Tofino

Country where this solution is creating social impact

, BC, Tofino

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact

Vancouver, Coast and Mountains, Vancouver Island.

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two

Cost.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

Our vision is to renovate the front end and exterior of our office building located in downtown Tofino. The concept is to create a gallery / eco-retail space, with striking images of the wildlife and scenery here, interspersed with iconic historic photos of the mass arrests of 1993. The space will also be a venue for selling t-shirts, hoodies, posters and gift cards—the sort of thing visitors naturally want to buy when on holiday. The emphasis will be on providing education in addition to eco-gifts. We have access to amazing wildlife and scenery photos from many of BC's leading wilderness photographers. This retail space will be a hub of environmental inspiration!

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Friends of Clayoquot Sound have in past run a similar space to this proposal. The idea definitely worked, but we have never had a professional team look at what we are doing here in order to help us put together an eco-centre that really draws people in an makes us money.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

This eco-centre will provide us with the opportunity to tell our story directly to people who likely care, as they came here for the natural environment. This will help us to build strong international grassroots support to win our campaigns. It will also be able to raise funds which we can devote to campaigning.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

There may be some reluctance amongst sellers of t-shirts and similar merchandise to send people to their 'competition', but t-shirts are a sideline for most businesses in Tofino.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

We will have host a grand opening of the Friends of Clayoquot Sound Eco-Centre during the 2013 Whale Festival!

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Sound business plan in place.

Task 2

Sound plan for the renovations and design of new space.

Task 3

Product lines clearly identified.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

We are going into our second summer of running the Eco-Centre with improvements made based on Year 1 experience.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Revised business plan.

Task 2

New product if needed.

Task 3

Revised displays based on campaign needs.

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

Peers and competitors will be fellow members of the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. The Tofino business community is onside with FOCS goals to protect ecosystems for future generations. Most businesses will be pleased to instruct their guides and employees to send people to FOCS—it provides a better visitor experience for their customers, saves their employees' time, and helps build support for campaigns which are in the interest of business owners in Tofino.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

We will need to attract people in Tofino, but we can begin doing that before they arrive through advertising in Tofino Time, which gets wide distribution. We could also look at adding an online component to the store.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

Next year is the 20-year anniversary of the Clayoquot Summer 1993 mass protests. It is a perfect time to launch a retail space which celebrates our past successes and helps us campaign in the present day as well. Friends of Clayoquot Sound have been re-invigorated due to the threat of an open pit copper mine, so the community is keen to assist in any way they can. Attendance at events is up, newsletter distribution has tripled in the past 2 years. Monthly donations are way up, as are overall revenues. We are on a roll, and we have our work cut out for us!

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list