It was a year to celebrate for the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society (CIMAS)! The Grand Opening of the Exhibit on July 14th celebrated the 125th Anniversary of Manson’s Landing. With the three youngest Manson descendants wielding scissors in a ribbon cutting ceremony, the new expansion was officially opened for guided tours. A large community turnout (over 150) on the beautiful sunny afternoon came to enjoy music by the Sutil Tones, speeches, cake cutting, refreshments and tours. The Ministry of Agriculture also presented a Century Award to Michael & Donna Manson in honour of 100 years of farming at Sunny Brae by the Manson family.
In exchange for a generous donation of 50 comfortable chairs by the Cortes Island Seniors’ Society, CIMAS made the exhibit gallery available for their monthly meetings. This partnership works well for both organizations.
PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM Public Education 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. The history of Cortes is spotlighted, helping to relate the past to current issues and to encourage residents & organizations to preserve important Cortes artifacts and archival materials.
Exhibit Along with the Permanent Exhibit of Cortes History, the Pioneer Kitchen, the Klahoose First Nation and the Comfy Corner reading area, additions were made to the “Wild Cortes – Woods, Wetlands & Waters” exhibit. A new exhibit was created celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Manson’s Landing. The exhibit highlighted the early settlement, the people who created this community and what they contributed, with artifacts on display including loans from descendants of Michael and John Manson.
Collection Committee The expanded collections storage area has enthused a rejuvenated Collections Committee to begin organizing and cataloguing the backlog of donated items on the new shelves. They began regular meetings to sort, accession and photograph the collection with the planned support of seminars provided by Sandra Parrish, the curator of the Museum at Campbell River.
Heritage Garden Heritage Garden structures were greatly upgraded in 2013 with the addition of a double compost box and four new raised beds, constructed of cedar, to replace the former concrete edged raised beds. The long front border was expanded and additional heritage trumpet lilies were planted for early summer colour. The pruning program for the heritage apple trees and other garden trees and shrubs was continued, with frequent monitoring of the apple trees necessary to control tent caterpillar nests. Seating in the garden was improved with a picnic table now placed under the shade canopy of the apple trees.
Walks & Talks Program “Walks and Talks” is an important aspect of the CIMAS Public Education Program. By sponsoring speakers and events on interesting topics we bring Cortes Island history out into the community. During this year we hosted the following events: • Literary Afternoons co-sponsored with the Seniors Society • Manson’s Lagoon walks • Pacific Yellowfin tours • Guided walk to Channel Rock for visiting school students • Geo Cache in the garden is popular with families seeking it out • Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society presentation on animal/bird rescue • Cetaceans & Sea Turtles – Vancouver Aquarium • A presentation on Canada’s Arctic by George Sirk
School Program During this year the Museum was visited a number of times by students from the pre-school and public school. The early primary class visited the Museum, after a co-sponsored presentation by the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society and an exploratory trip to Manson’s Lagoon. The children were amazed at how many familiar birds and creatures they saw in the Wild Cortes Exhibit. The class produced ‘owl’ watercolour and crayon paintings which became part of this exhibit. In the fall the class returned to the Heritage Garden to collect leaves for trace rubbings in their nature journals. During the school year all the students watched Laurel Bohart, local taxidermist, complete a mount of a Belted Kingfisher. Many of those students brought their parents and visitors into the exhibit to show off that mount. The Museum and the school have teamed up, under the expert skill of Laurel Bohart, to produce a Great Blue Heron mount, which is the Cortes School’s mascot. The finished mount will eventually be on display at the school.
History Booklets Booklet #3 in this popular series was produced about Manson’s Landing. Interviewing was begun for Booklet #4 about Squirrel Cove for release in 2014. At $5 each these informative booklets, full of archival photos, are a bargain.
Birding Events CIMAS sponsored two birding events this year. The first was held on May 1st to identify birds spotted during the spring migration. The annual Christmas Bird Count, co-sponsored with Bird Studies Canada, was held on December 15th with 26 participants and 10 feeder watchers spotting 61 species during the day and 10 others during the count week!
Misty Isles Cruises Always popular with off islanders, these cruises aboard Misty Isles, are consistent fundraisers for the Museum. Lead by most knowledgeable hosts Samantha and Mike Moore, participants learn about and experience the beautiful waters surrounding Cortes. It is common for participants to go on more than one cruise, sometimes bringing friends along. Destinations in 2013 included day trips to Cassel Falls in Teakerne Arm, Mitlenatch Island, Von Donop Inlet, ‘Round Maurelle Island, and Desolation Sound. A sunset cruise went for dinner at the Laughing Oyster in Okeover Inlet and one cruise went overnight to Toba Inlet.
Tourist/Visitor Information Booth The T/VIB was expanded this year with the addition of brochure racks on the Cortes Ferry and through CIMAS membership in the Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association (CIBATA) and the Discovery Islands Chamber of Commerce. During the construction phase, when the Museum was closed, tourist information was also available on the front porch of the Museum. Joining these organizations has increased the Museum’s profile. Despite being closed for construction until May, the number of visitors to sign the Museum guest book increased to 2542 in 2013.
ARCHIVES PROGRAM Last year was a huge step forward for the Archives with the completion of the Museum expansion project. In the new and spacious storage room, we can now maintain the proper temperature and humidity for long-term preservation of our collections of original photographs and papers. In the office area, there is a new desk and shelf area with a computer dedicated to archives use, providing better public access to our archival records. During the past year, the Archives committee processed 350 photographs which came from May Ellingsen, and started to work on the photographs in the Gilean Douglas collection. Five new accessions were donated last year, including two small photograph collections, a guide to finding employment in rural areas which was written by a group of Cortes women in 1984, and material from the Seniors’ Building Society and FOCI.
GENERAL CIMAS INFORMATION Building Expansion The building expansion created new climate controlled rooms to house the ever expanding Artifact and Archival Collections. In addition, more office space, work space and a public archives room was created, as well as new and level flooring throughout the whole building.
Fundraising Sandra Wood again assisted the CIMAS Board to obtain additional grant funding. A BC Arts Council grant of $5000 was awarded to create an exhibit and Historic Booklet featuring Manson’s Landing. CIMAS also received the final payments from the Heritage Canada Grant ($30,000), a TIDES Canada grant ($2048) and a Grant-in-Aid from the Regional District ($2000) to complete the building expansion project. A Gaming grant of $12,000 was received in June. Human Resources & Skills Development Canada provided funding for the summer student Host/interpreter position ($5632).
“Creative Spaces – Gardens, Studios & Workshops”, supported by many island artists and gardeners, was a major fundraiser for CIMAS. Other fundraising activities included Misty Isles Cruises, donations collected at the door, Museum Shop sales (including arts & crafts on consignment from local artists) and donations supporting the programs and the building expansion.
2013 Board of Directors Lynne Jordan – President Nancy Kendel – Vice President Debbie Dragseth – Treasurer Mary-Lu Lorenson – Secretary Members at Large: Bonnie MacDonald, Dave Carew, Ian Disney, Donna McLaren, Jill Milton, Maryann McCoy (temporarily resigned 10/13), Lorena Teames (retired from Board 06/13)
The following volunteers provided essential support to the Board: Laurel Bohart (Exhibit Curator), Christine Robinson (School Liaison), Sandra Wood (grant writing), Carol London (accounting support) and Peter Henbury (computer support).
Four part-time employees helped to keep us open year round: Jill Pakulak (summer student), Patricia leRoux, Gina Trzesicka & Samantha Moore.
Membership Society memberships were again promoted at the AGM and throughout the year at the Museum. Memberships are also collected at the Friday Markets and other events. In November an invitation to renew memberships was included in a newsletter distributed in the post to all islanders and off-island members. The membership in 2013 was 210.
Volunteers The commitment of our volunteers is what keeps the Museum a vibrant focal point of this community. A total of 93 volunteers donated an amazing 4200 hours of their time to the CIMAS programs. A complete list of all who helped this year is below. Thank you, thank you, thank-you!
PLANS BEING CONSIDERED FOR 2014
Exhibit • Where Did Wrangellia Go? (C. Gronau) • The History of Forest Fires on Cortes (C. Gronau) • Species & Plant Communities at Risk on Cortes Island (Sabina Leader Mense) • Make additions to the permanent display of Cortes Island history • Refresh the Von-Donop Logging Shed Exhibit
Artifact Collection Committee • Obtain training for committee members to increase knowledge of proper processing • Continue cataloguing & photographing artifacts • Organize the artifact collection on shelving
Heritage Garden • Restore the sundial in the Memorial Circle garden • Update plant labeling to reflect recent new plantings
Community Outreach • Liaise with pre-school and public school to develop educational programs • Host spring migration and Christmas bird count events • Host “Literary Afternoons” featuring local writers, poets and musicians • Host Seniors’ Society meetings while Manson’s Hall is under renovation • Host guest speakers and island walks throughout the year • Produce Squirrel Cove History Booklets to sell • Host book launches for local authors
Tourist/Visitor Information Booth • Maintain summer opening hours of six days a week • Maintain winter opening hours of two days a week • Continue adding to album of comprehensive tourist information • Represent Cortes (& our T/VIB) through CIBATA at Travel & Adventure Show in Vancouver’s Convention Centre March 8 – 9, 2014 • Assist in developing tourist packages planned for shoulder seasons that will include in 2015 entrance to Fishing Exhibits at three local museums – CIMAS, Nuyumbalees & MCR.
School Program • Conduct student visits to the Exhibit and Heritage Garden • Complete the taxidermy demonstration of a Great Blue Heron
Archives Program • Finish inventory of photographs • Continue to work on processing backlog of accessions.
Fundraising Creative Spaces Tour, June 28, 2014 • Find coordinator, gardens, artists, woodworkers for tour
Museum Shop • Create postcards & greeting cards reproduced from archival holdings • Encourage artists to place locally crafted, juried items to sell
Misty Isles Cruises • May 23 & June 14 — Mitlenatch Island • June 15 — Laughing Oyster Fathers’ Day Cruise • July 5 to 6 — Toba Inlet Waterfalls overnight • July 12 — Low Tide Hernando Reef Exploration • July 29 — ‘Round Maurelle Island • July 20 & August 23 — Desolation Sound
Building Projects • Fire door porches will be constructed to protect them from weather
2013 CIMAS Volunteers We couldn’t do it without your help!
Disney Grandkid 1
Disney, Grandkid 2