The Flying Shingle
Between Wood & Water: in-production documentary set afloat on Gabriola
by Alina Cerminara
Monday, December 31, 2012
Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo
Tobi Elliott (left), Kate Bradford, and Tony Grove shoot their trailer for Between Wood & Water. ~ Photo by Klint Burton

What may be “the oldest, still sailing vessel” in Canada, currently resides on Gabriola in Shipwright Tony Grove’s shop. 
New Gabriolan resident and emerging Producer/Filmmaker Tobi Elliott along with Videographer, Sculpter, and former CBC Production Editor Kate Bradford, are in the midst of producing a one-hour documentary on her restoration, titled Between Wood & Water.
Elliott moved to Gabriola to work on her film The Trapper of Peace River, she said in an interview on Dec. 5 at Old Crow Café.  But during her first weekend here, she met Grove at his shop on the Thanksgiving Studio Tour, was introduced to Dorothy and “couldn’t pass the story up”.
In a Dec. 13 email, Elliott said: “As soon as I walked into Tony’s shop during the (studio) tour in October, I knew there was something special there”.
“I saw an entire film made the instant he said … ‘I’ll soon be restoring BC’s oldest sailboat’.”
In an interview with Grove at his shop on Dec. 10, Grove said that the filming of Between Wood & Water is “excellent because there’s not enough documentaries on this sort of thing. This being the oldest boat, it needs to be recorded.”
Bradford and Elliott “both know it’s an important story of BC’s history that deserves to be told,” said Elliott.  “As Dorothy is restored, it’s a moment in time that we’ll never get back, and it feels important to both of us to document it and find an audience for it,” she said.
Dorothy was doomed to be crushed after the Maritime Museum, which is funding the restoration, held a boat survey to see if it was worth working on.  But Grove didn’t “see that many problems with the boat,” he said, and thus decided to tackle the project.
“This (documentary) is what I’ve been working on like crazy since I got here,” said Elliott.  “We just put the trailer up and …  starting mid-December we’re going to start shooting for the exploratory as Tony Grove opens up Dorothy for the very first time.”
The website to promote the film states that they “are now in a race against time to prepare Dorothy for her launch next fall at the 2013 Victoria Classic Boat Festival and Race – a fitting and dramatic finale for the film, as the 115-year old boat contends for her title as the oldest and fastest little wooden ship in the west!”
“The trailer is fantastic,” said Grove.  “I get butterflies every time I see it.  They did a really good job, and they worked hard on that, really hard.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better collaboration with everyone involved,” said Elliott.  Bradford “has that artistic eye, and incredible control over the camera. Tony has been super helpful … The Maritime Museum of BC … have opened their archives to us … And we keep turning up great stories from her former owners, which is really key.”
Grove stated: “It’s been fantastic working with Tobi and Kate so far… (they) have so much energy”.
“We won’t start filming in earnest until we have a production partner,” said Elliott, “so they can work with us to develop a story that’s right for their audience.”
Elliott explains her passion for producing documentaries: “Since I graduated in 2010 from Concordia University in Montreal, I knew I wanted to produce – partly to realise my own dreams and tell interesting stories that I see around me, but how other people do that too.”
For more information or to view the trailer, please go to

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