At The Whale Centre we are committed to customer service from the moment you are welcome as a guest in Tofino to the time we wave goodbye. Our team is dedicated to doing everything we can to ensure that your time on the water with The Whale Centre is spectacular and memorable. As an industry front-runner, The Whale Centre is committed to safe, environmentally conscientious wildlife watching. “What sets us apart from other outfitters is our staff,” owner John Forde says. “Our team is made up of experienced local guides and naturalists - people who were raised here on the coast and have, for the most part, spent their lives in Clayoquot Sound. It's important that the clients we bring out on wilderness adventures feel confident and secure with our team. We have a solid understanding of the local environment and ensure safe yet fulfilling viewing experience aboard sturdy 30 foot Boston Whalers." We work with other members of the industry to continue conservation efforts, and to make sure that the whales' habitat remains pristine for years to come. We look forward to welcoming you aboard for a Tofino Whale Watching, Bear Watching, Bird Watching and Hot Springs Tour with us!
John Forde - Owner & Guide
John has been exploring Tofino's waters for over 35 years! In fact we are pretty sure he has salt in his veins. He spent his summers as a young boy on North Chesterman Beach in Tofino and could just never leave. He worked for two whale watching companies before purchasing The Whale Centre in 1996. You can often find John behind his Nikon lens, volunteering on the Tofino Fire Department or surfing with his daughters. John works to further conservation efforts in the region by sitting on the Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society Board, volunteering to rescue entangled whales and sharing his wildlife knowledge.
Jennifer Steven - Owner & Marketing Manager
Jennifer was born and raised in Tofino - yes you read that right! She met John 25 years ago and the rest is history. Together they are raising their daughters Ruby and Phoebe in beautiful Clayoquot Sound. Her background is in business, having worked for the artist Roy Henry Vickers for 20+ years. Her passion is photography! A self-confessed Orcaholic, you can often find her out on the water behind her Canon camera. Jennifer volunteers her time for Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society and is past president of the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. Jennifer owns the new shop SALT located right above The Whale Centre.
Howie Tom - Guide
Howie is a born and raised Tofino keen adventurer. This Tla-o-qui-aht born Whale Whisperer has spent his life on the water. Howie's favourite tour is the Whale Watching Tour. He enjoys sharing his passion for the ocean and whales with our guests. Howie has been a guide for nine seasons at The Whale Centre. Home for Howie is Long Beach where he participates in a traditional sweat lodge.
Artie Ahier - Guide
Artie has spent the last three years skippering on whale, bird and bear watching trips in Clayoquot Sound. Last winter he ventured to Antartica to guide for Quark Expeditions. He’s living his dream of showing people the great outdoors and sparking relationships to the wilderness that he hopes last a lifetime. His love for food, wine, and music rounds out the free time he’s not out chasing wildlife in wild places. Check out his wife Lisa's restaurant Sobo in Tofino.
Tim Tom - Guide
Tim was born and raised in Opitsaht, nestled beneath Lone Cone Mountain. He brings to the table a lifetime of experience as a guide on the waters in Tofino and with The Whale Centre for nine seasons. When he is not out spotting whales, watching bears or touring up to Hot Springs Cove you can find him fishing for salmon or halibut on his own boat.