We're building a Biosphere Centre!

The Biosphere Centre will be a gathering place for the communities of Tla-o-qui-aht, Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, Toquaht, Ucluelet, and Tofino to come together to achieve our shared vision of living sustainably in a healthy ecosystem with a diversified economy and strong, vibrant, and united cultures.

Centrally located, the Centre will be grounded in community, Nuu-chah-nulth values and social equity. It will tell the story of the Biosphere Region's global significance and foster communities unified around climate action, reconciliation, youth empowerment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

 

The estimated cost to develop the Biosphere Centre is $11 million. Funding will come from a broad range of sources, including provincial and federal government infrastructure grants, private and public foundations, gifts from socially responsible corporations, and private philanthropy. 

To make a gift or learn more, contact Michelle Hall at the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.

UNESCO

Situated within a UNESCO-designated site, the Biosphere Centre will be a place to unite people through place-based experiential learning, culture, conservation, science, and research, generating a legacy of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and economic resiliency. Our unique project will demonstrate what is possible and inspire innovation globally among the UNESCO-designated Biosphere Regions.

Space

Located at 301 Olsen Road in Tofino, the physical space will include an Elders room, teaching kitchen, visitor centre, offices, shared community areas, research and archives library, shared equipment, shared meeting/teaching rooms, outdoor gathering spaces and 2 residential units.

Number of stories: 3 • Gross building area: 9486 sq ft • Footprint (largest floorplate): 4726 sq ft • Floor Space Ratio: 1.01 • Site area: 9395.8 sq ft • Site Coverage: 50.3%

Creating a permanent space with a capacity to meet the most critical needs of our region has been a goal since 2008.

 

Progress

In June 2022, Tla-o-qui-aht cultural workers Chris and Hayden Seitcher led a ceremony on the land to reflect gratitude to the work done and to envision the next phase of the project. Chris and Hayden had previously led a cleansing ceremony in 2020 to prepare the land for the work ahead.

A Zoning Bylaw Amendment and a Housing Agreement for the Biosphere Centre received unanimous approval and was formally adopted by the District of Tofino Council on April 12, 2022, clearing the path for the project to proceed forward into the subsequent phases, including detailed design and capital fund development.

The Biosphere Centre is estimated to be complete in 2026 and is now focused on capital campaign fundraising.