The new Squirrel Cove exhibit opened in the summer with prayers, drumming and songs by Norman Harry and Ken Hanuse of the Klahoose First Nation whose traditional history goes back thousands of years. Many tours, community outreach programs, fundraising events and creating a new website kept us busy throughout the year. Visitors who signed our guest book totalled 3374, an increase of 23% for 2015.
PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM
These programs include Museum Exhibits, the Heritage Garden, the School Programs and Community Outreach events. Activities are developed to educate and involve the general public, including Cortes residents, First Nations groups, children, seniors, students and tourists. Cortes history is highlighted along with that of nearby islands and inlets. The Museum encourages residents and organizations to preserve their own history with artifacts and archival materials.
With on-going exhibits still popular, the new exhibits Squirrel Cove – A Spirit of Place including a history of the Klahoose First Nation T’oq – A Place of Spirit caught the attention of visitors and drew in numerous First Nation visitors. The Squirrel Cove Exhibits were curated by Lisa Gibbons and Laurel Bohart. The exhibits coincided with the launch of the fourth in our history booklet series, Squirrel Cove, written and produced by Yvonne Kipp and Lynne Jordan with layout by Patricia leRoux. Continuing exhibits were: Wild Cortes—Woods, Wetlands & Waters, Species & Ecosystems at Risk on Cortes, the Permanent Exhibit of Cortes History, the Pioneer Kitchen, When Wrangellia Came Wandering In, History of Forest Fires on Cortes, and the Reading Area. An interesting mini exhibit this year was a tubular formation of gravel melted into glass by a downed power line in August caused by the collapse of a big tree on Bartholomew. A future exhibit will be a “cookie” cut from this famous big tree. Exciting plans are in the works for a satellite natural history exhibit at Linnaea Farm where Wild Cortes will form the nucleus for this expanded exhibit about Cortes flora and fauna.
This committee is tasked with assessing potential donations to the Museum as well as cataloguing and caring for our permanent collection. This year we were honoured to receive Elmer Ellingsen’s famous accordion which had been kept safe by Ann Dewar and Robbie Graham. Currently it is on display in the Squirrel Cove Exhibit and a McKenty daughter made it ‘sing’ again at the official opening in July. We were also excited to work with David Ellingsen who photographed some of the collection for our website and gave lessons on creating photographs for Pinterest.
In 2015 the Heritage Garden was popular with visitors, many enjoying lunch at the newly refinished picnic table in the garden. This table was painted the same blue colour as the Museum building and placed under the apple trees, proving popular with visitors having a relaxing break sitting under the dappled shade of the trees.
Some new perennial plantings were installed, including a lily donated from a Whaletown garden. Yearly garden maintenance included liming lawn areas, pruning and soil improvement. Once again, the Heritage Garden participated in the Museum sponsored Creative Spaces Tour in June.
With the fourth volume in this series now printed and selling well both at the Museum and in the Squirrel Cove Store, work has begun on the next booklet about Whaletown – a larger topic with much more historical information available to draw upon.
Walks & Talks Program
An important aspect of the CIMAS Public Education Program. We sponsor speakers and events on interesting topics, taking Cortes Island history out into the community. During this year we hosted the following events:
Christmas Bird Count
Spring Migration Birding Event
2 Manson’s Lagoon walks
6 Pacific Yellowfin tours
Judith Williams – interpreted 2-day cruise of pictographs in Desolation Sound
Mike Moore – Antarctic Adventures
David Hancock – Incredible Bald Eagles
Lynne Jordan & Yvonne Kipp – History of Squirrel Cove
Tara Warkentin – Arctic talk
CIMAS hosted the following community events:
Creative Spaces – Gardens, Studios & Workshops Tour
Manson’s Landing Dock Mariner Swap Meet, co-sponsored with the C.I. Harbour Authority
3 Literary Afternoons co-sponsored with the Seniors’ Society
Geo Cache in the garden is popular with families seeking it out
Book launch for local author Carrie Saxifrage co-sponsored with Marnie’s Books
Radio interview about Museum history by Lynne Jordan on Gary Cork’s CRTZ program Co-sponsored with Reel Youth – filmed interviews with seniors
CIMAS table at summer/Christmas Friday Markets
CIMAS table at Seafood Festival, Cortes Day & Harvest Festival celebrations
Thanks to Christine Robinson and Laurel Bohart, during this year CIMAS sponsored the following school events:
Final mounting demonstration of great blue heron with presentation to school
2 Cortes school visits with storytelling by local seniors
2 visits by French Immersion classes from Campbell River who overnighted at the school
Class visit from Gold River & Tahsis on biking tour of Cortes
Misty Isles Cruises
CIMAS sponsored the following 8 cruises to:
Mitlenatch Island (2)
Laughing Oyster Father’s Day Cruise
Desolation Sound (2)
Geology of Desolation Sound
‘Round Maurelle Island
Overnight Pictograph Tour
Tourist/Visitor Information Booth
Visitors to the island come to the Museum seeking information about where to camp, hike, swim, find a place to stay or to obtain a map. Thea Block, the 2015 summer student host, graciously imparted valuable information directing visitors. CIMAS maintains the following tourist information:
Local brochures and maps on Museum porch available 24 hours
Summer host attendant with detailed information & maps during Museum open hours
Brochure rack on Cortes ferry
Information about lodges, B&Bs and other available places to stay
CIMAS presence on websites: Destination BC, Hello BC, Tideline & VI Vacation Rentals
The Museum also provides current statistics and information for the annual production of the Cortes Island Brochure and the Discovery Islands Tourist Magazine, along with distribution to the stores and ferry of both these guides.
Teachers from off-island planning class visits to Cortes contact the Museum for help in planning their touring and overnight stays. There were three such trips in 2015.
In 2016 a Driving Tour booklet with historical photos of places on Cortes will be sold at the museum.
The main focus of the Archives Committee in 2015 was processing the May and Elmer Ellingsen fonds. The first stage, an assessment and inventory of the 29 boxes of material in this accession, is almost complete. We expect to finish the arrangement and description of this major collection next year, and to continue processing other holdings. We also participated in the launch of the new Museum website last year, creating content for the Archives section and preparing two online exhibits – Images of Pioneer Life and The Peony.
GENERAL CIMAS INFORMATION
Projects included the completion of the East fire exit, wheelchair ramp and storage room with freezer.
Board members participated in creating a new webpage, providing material to include initially with continuing additions to keep the website fresh. Additions in 2015 to our social media presence include: Facebook, Pinterest, Trip Advisor and periodic blogs.
The following grants were gratefully received:
Community Gaming Grant – $12,000
Human Resources Skills Development Canada – $5977
Strathcona Regional District – $800
Coastal Community Credit Union – $3000
Additional fundraising activities included:
Creative Spaces – Gardens, Studios & Workshops
Misty Isles Cruises, Pacific Yellowfin Charter tours
Manson’s Lagoon Gumboot Tours
Donations and memberships
In memorium & estate bequests
Museum Shop sales
Boarding a boat trailer for sailors off cruising
2015 Board of Directors
Lynne Jordan – President Nancy Kendel – Vice President
Members at Large: Bonnie MacDonald, Ian Disney, Donna McLaren, Jill Milton, Laurel Bohart, Lynn Marttila, Erika Grundmann, and Donna Manson
The following volunteers provided essential support to the Board:
Christine Robinson (School Liaison)
Carol London (accounting support)
Peter Henbury (computer support)
Joe Jordan (support & dinners for President)
Two part-time employees helped to keep us open year round: Thea Block (our home grown summer student), and Gina Trzesicka (office/webpage assistant extraordinaire).
The five year Strategic Work Plan was revisited and updated.
Society memberships are promoted at the AGM and throughout the year at the Museum. Memberships are also collected at the Friday Markets and other events. The membership in 2015 increased from 262 to 280 (over 25% of the population of the island). Newsletters have membership forms attached when they are mailed out 3 or 4 times each year to encourage participation.
Without the efforts of volunteers, our community would be a very different place … and the Cortes Museum would not be in existence. Our dedicated and committed volunteers keep the Museum a vibrant focal point of the Cortes community. A total of 92 volunteers donated an amazing 4028 hours of time to the CIMAS administration, programs and building maintenance. A complete list of the 2015 volunteers is at the end of this report. For sharing your passion and time: thank you, thank you!
BEING CONSIDERED FOR 2016
Install the Big Tree “cookie” in Heritage Garden & create exhibit in gallery in May
Mount new satellite exhibit on Wild Cortes at Linnaea Farm in the fall
Make additions to the permanent display panels of Cortes Island history
Refresh and reorganize the Von Donop Logging Shed Exhibit
Provide curatorial training & hire part-time programmer under BC Arts Council Operating Assistance Grant
Artifact Collection Committee
Receive further training in artifact collection management from the C.R. Museum
Create awareness in the Cortes community of the importance of preserving historical objects
Obtain hard drive copy of the FOCI Reel Youth “outs” from interviews with seniors
Update plant labeling to reflect new plantings
Continue to add plantings for early and mid-summer colour
Design and install a new garden interpretive panel
New weed control measures along front fence
Contribute seasonal garden features to blog on CIMAS website
Host Spring Migration Birding (May 7, 2016) and Christmas Bird Count (Dec. 17, 2016)
Host “Literary Afternoons” featuring local writers, poets and musicians
Host guest speakers and island walks throughout the year
Launch Driving Tour booklet
Host book launches for local authors
Maintain presence with mini exhibits at community events & market days
Provide funding and support to Reel Youth program filming interviews with seniors
Hold a Christmas event
Tourist/Visitor Information Booth
Maintain summer opening hours of six days a week
Maintain fall/winter/spring opening hours of two days a week
Continue adding to album of comprehensive tourist information
Continue providing 24-hour tourist information on covered porch
Liaise with schools in developing interesting educational programs and visits to Museum
Continue taxidermy demonstrations
Continue helping off-island teachers plan class visits to Cortes & the Museum
Continue to arrange and describe papers in the Regional Directors and Ephemera holdings
Continue cataloguing the May and Elmer Ellingsen fonds
Obtain hard drive copy of Reel Youth “outs” from interviews with seniors
Creative Spaces Tour, June 25, 2016
Find volunteer coordinator, gardens, artists, workshops for tour
Increase sales through inclusion of materials produced by CIMAS on webpage
Encourage artists to place locally crafted, juried items to sell in Museum Shop
Increase stock of books for sale, including children’s books
Continue to stock books by local authors
Misty Isles Cruises
Cruises planned for 2016:
May 14 – Mitlenatch Island
June 11/12 – Mitlenatch & Twin Islands – overnight on Twin (NEW THIS YEAR)
June 19 – Laughing Oyster Father’s Day Cruise
July 14/15/16 – Twin Islands Kayaking – 2 nights, 3 days kayaking (NEW THIS YEAR)
July 22 & Aug. 13 – Desolation Sound
Aug 5 – ‘Round Maurelle Island
Aug 24/25 – Cassel Lake & Twin Islands – overnight on Twin (NEW THIS YEAR)
Build stand & roof cover for Big Tree “cookie”
Permanently plumb in new dehumidifier in Archives storage room
Continue adding content to new webpage
Add blogs to new webpage
2015 CIMAS Volunteers – We couldn’t do it without your help!
Abelson, Martha Anderson, Elizabeth Ayers, Julian Baker, Caroline Baker, Wilson Balducci, Laura Bohart, Laurel Bohart, Tom Boles-Craig, Pamela Bonner, Susanna Brill, Connie Butt, Doug Cormack, Gordie Daly, Diane DeTrey, Anicca Disney, Ian Dobb, Holly-Anne Dragseth, Debbie Ekstrom, Christer Ellingsen, Andy Ellingsen, David Ellingsen, Laura Ellingsen, Sue Elliott, Peter
Gibbons, Denise Gibbons, Lisa Gibbons, Norm Gronau, Christian Guthrie, Bill Guthrie, Doreen Hanuse, Kenny Harry, Norman Henbury, Peter John, Sue Jordan, Joe Jordan, Lynne Judie, Hipkin Kendel, Nancy Kendel, Ray Kipp, Yvonne LeaderMense, Sabina leRoux, Patricia London, Carol Lorenson, Mary-Lu
“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!” – Sherry Anderson
MacDonald, Bonnie MacKay, Holly Manson, Donna Manson, Mike Marttila, Lynn Marttila, Ray McKenty Family Band McKerley, Gail McLaren, Donna McPhail, Tamara Milton, Jill Moore, Mike Napper, Chris Nawrocki, Monica Nelson, Julie Ogilvy, Heather Ophoff, Bill Purcy, Christina Robinson, Christine Robinson, Valerie
Saxifrage, Carrie Schick, Adam Schick, Janet Seltzer, Leah Sprungman, John Strijbos, Ester Trzesicki, Gina Trzesicki, Jurek Waddell, Cali Wand, Kelly Warkentin, Tara Watson, Ian Watson, Victoria Westcott, Terri Weyler, Rex Wheeler, Bill Williams, Judith Wolda, Denise Woywitka, Leonard Yendall, Lloyd