This was another busy and exciting year. With financial support from the BC Arts Council, CIMAS hired a Programmer and provided a free Curatorial Principles Training course to interested islanders. An active Community Outreach program, fundraising events, historical tours and increases to the Archival holdings kept many volunteers busy. Two major exhibits opened at the beginning of the summer. Visitors who signed our guest book totaled 4538—35% increase from last year.
PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM
These programs include Museum Exhibits, Heritage Garden, 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 histories through donations of artifacts and archival materials.
The mounting of The Fir, The Fallers, The Fungus: The Story of the Big Tree was in response to requests from the Cortes community to present a major exhibition featuring an iconic old growth fir tree and important landmark, which came down in 2015. The story of the tree, featuring the fallers who preserved it, explored the importance of old growth forests to First Nations and the environment. Artifacts from our permanent collection of early logging equipment augmented the display. The exhibit also included information about the interaction between the Agarikon fungus and old-growth Douglas fir. As part of the presentation, work from The Last Stand by Cortes artist/photographer David Ellingsen was featured. Noted mycologist Paul Stamets presented The Search for Agarikon: Modern Medicine from Ancient Times.
In conjunction with the above exhibition, a six-foot cross section of the old growth Douglas fir trunk and a cedar stump with spring board notches were permanently installed in the Museum grounds. Although these two large pieces presented a number of challenges to move and install, they provided an opportunity to augment the outdoor logging exhibit.
The committee volunteers spent a sunny day sorting and tidying the Von Donop Logging Shed, ably assisted by Monica Nawrocki and Gordy Cormack. Logging items from the collection were provided to augment the Big Tree exhibit, including felling axes donated by Gordie Irwin, a two-man chainsaw donated by Ian Disney, an Ellingsen jack, Ken Hansen’s tree climbing equipment, and various other logging implements. Artists Susan Schelle and Mark Gomes spearheaded the installation of all the tools found in the “Fallers” portion of the Big Tree exhibit.
The garden now has a colourful new Interpretive Panel describing its history and features. Garden development in 2016 included planting additional heritage perennials and shrubs. The Heritage Garden was featured in the annual Creative Spaces – Gardens & Studios tour in June.
Curatorial Principles Training
With a grant to CIMAS from the B.C. Arts Council, Judith Williams spent the winter providing classes, demonstrations and field trips. With the help of Holger Schramm, model-making workshops were provided to give volunteers hands-on experience in the art of curatorial practice. Several committed new interns are currently working with Judith to develop and produce a major new exhibition with the working title: Refuge Cove: Moving with the Tide.
As part of the BC Arts Council’s Operating Assistance grant, CIMAS hired a part-time Programmer in June. Brittany Baxter was welcomed by the CIMAS community and easily transitioned into the job, enjoying the unique and diverse history of the island. In this role, Brittany supported on-going programming and activities at the Museum, as well as creating new opportunities for partnerships and engagement within the Cortes community. Brittany brings her skills as a designer to support the Museum’s outreach, communication, and marketing processes. Her skills as a video producer assisted in the recording of Museum events and expanding the Archives collection of interviews with local residents.
Programming Highlights included:
Supporting the launch of The Big Tree exhibit (posters, event video, pop-up exhibit)
Launching of a new on-going series, Vintage Vignettes, in partnership with Cortes Radio
Submitting a Canada 150 Grant proposal working closely with CIMAS Board Member Rose Hanson and other Klahoose community members
Filming events and interviews with prominent community members for the Archives, including Dennis Newsham, Paul Stamets, Norm Gibbons, and Gunnar & Emilie Hansen
Developing on-going partnerships with Teen Szene and Cortes Literacy Now to develop artistic literacy based youth-driven projects (Zines, animation projects)
A new booklet, Historical Self-driving Tour of Cortes Island, was produced this year. It proved a popular item for sale in the CIMAS Gift Shop.
Walks & Talks Program
This Program hosts speakers and events on interesting topics and takes island history into the community. These well attended events raised donations of $2852. Featured events were:
Storytelling Evening with Jeanette Taylor & Annette Yourk
Seniors’ Tea with archival readings
A Thing for Islands presentation with Alison Watt
Spring Birding and 2 Christmas Bird Counts (Jan. for 2015 count & Dec. for 2016)
Real Thing – Briony Penn’s book launch
Gumbooting in the Lagoon withLynne Jordan (4 of 6 co-sponsored by FOCI)
Interpreted Island tours
Reel Youth Film Festival co-sponsored by CIMAS
Full Moon Lagoon – Monica Nawrocki’s book launch
Sea Without Shores” — Norm Gibbons’ book launch
Search for Agarikon: Modern Medicine from Ancient Times – Paul Stamets
2 Literary Afternoons through the year
Square Sails & Penguins presentation by Hubert Havelaar
CIMAS hosted exhibit tables at the following community events:
International Women’s Day
Nautical Swap Meet, co-sponsored with Cortes Harbour Authority
Friday Summer Markets
Manson’s Hall Christmas Craft Fair
The Museum also hosted meetings for Literacy Now and Memoir Writers.
Lead by Christine Robinson, CIMAS sponsored the following:
2 Christmas Bird Counts for youth in partnership with the Children’s Forest Trust
The Cortes School K/1/2 class visited the 2016 exhibits
The grades 3/4/5 class visited the Museum in June to listen to Dennis Newsham spin exciting tales of cougars and wolves
Grades 3/4/5 students also examined the Big Tree ‘cookie’, and entered their age guesses in the Museum’s contest
Lead by Rex Weyler, homeschooled students spent 7 afternoons researching for reports by:
Examining historical photos and records using archival information
Listening to Shirley Beaulieu who shared memories of early USS Boat Days
Exploring themes of early roads and transportation, logging, Klahoose First Nation, homesteads in Carrington Bay/Lagoon area and early wolf/ranching conflicts
Misty Isles Cruises
Three exciting new trips were introduced this year when Mark Torrance opened his amazing lodge on Twin Islands to guests for overnight visits. Each of these overnight trips included walking tours of the forests, gardens, orchards and extensive off-grid systems on Twin Islands.
CIMAS sponsored the following 8 Misty Isles cruises to:
Mitlenatch Island & overnight on Twin Islands
Laughing Oyster Fathers’ Day Cruise to Okeover Inlet
2 cruises to Desolation Sound
‘Round Maurelle Island through tidal rapids
2 cruises to Cassel Lake in Teakerne Arm & overnight on Twin Islands.
Museum profits from the 8 cruises amounted to $2231.
Tourist/Visitor Information Booth
Visitors to the island come to the Museum seeking information about where to camp, hike, swim, find accommodations or obtain maps. Thea Block, the 2016 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
Supply & distribute the Cortes Island Brochure and Discovery Islands Tourist Magazine
Daily tides schedule with pertinent fishing and red tide closures from Fisheries Canada.
The Archives Committee in 2016 finished the following:
Arranging, describing and properly storing May and Elmer Ellingsen’s substantial collection of papers, photographs, audio tapes and ephemera
Processing the Weiler family fonds, containing 400 photographs and slides of Cortes from 1950 to 1980
Digitizing in an accessible and stable electronic format the collection of aging audio cassette tapes through a $1000 grant from the Friends of the BC Archives
Installing the latest version of the InMagic database program, with up-dated inventories of archival holdings on a new public access computer
Providing additional training for 2 committee members in managing archives and describing collections through a workshop given by the Archives Association of BC
Providing assistance and information to researchers on Cortes or family history
The newly digitized oral histories are now ready for use in the CIMAS on-going collaboration with Cortes Radio for a series of local history radio spots, Vintage Vignettes. (Listen for the steamboat whistle that announces these vignettes on CKTZ 89.5 FM.)
GENERAL CIMAS INFORMATION
Gina Trzesicka continued to maintain and improve the CIMAS website. Efforts were made to solicit new bloggers and topics for the site. The Board made it a priority to increase the CIMAS social media presence. Visitors to the website are steadily increasing.
The following grants were gratefully received:
Community Gaming Grant – $15,000
BC Arts Council Operating Assistance Grant – $10,000
Human Resources Skills Development Canada – $4645
Strathcona Regional District – $2000
Friends of BC Archives (Terry Reksten Memorial Fund) – $1000
Additional fundraising activities included:
Creative Spaces – Gardens, Studios & Workshops
Misty Isles Cruises, Pacific Yellowfin Charter tours
Manson’s Lagoon Gumboot Tours
Walks & Talks
Donations and memberships
In memorium & estate bequests
Museum Gift Shop sales
History Booklet sales at outside venues
2016 Board of Directors
Lynne Jordan – President Nancy Kendel – Vice President Debbie Dragseth – Treasurer Connie Brill – Minutes Recorder
Members at Large: Bonnie MacDonald, Ian Disney, Donna McLaren, Jill Milton, Laurel Bohart, Lynn Marttila, Erika Grundmann, Donna Manson and Rose Hanson
The following volunteers provided essential support to the Board:
Christine Robinson (School Liaison)
Carol London (accounting support)
Peter Henbury (computer support)
Two part-time employees helped to keep us open year round: Thea Block (our home grown summer student), and Gina Trzesicka (host/office/website assistant extraordinaire).
The five year Strategic Plan and detailed Work Plan were revisited and are being updated.
Society memberships are promoted at the AGM and throughout the year at the Museum. They are also collected at Friday Markets and other community events. Memberships in 2016 increased from 280 to 325 (31% of the population of the island). Newsletters mailed out 3 or 4 times a year have membership forms attached to encourage participation.
Without the efforts of volunteers, this island 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 104 volunteers donated an amazing 5493 hours of time to the CIMAS administration, programs, garden, and building maintenance. Thank you for sharing your passion and time: thank you, thank you, thank you! BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS!
“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!” – Sherry Anderson
PROJECTS FOR 2017
Refuge Cove History Exhibit curated by Judith Williams and Curatorial Interns
Refresh the Von Donop Logging Shed Exhibit
Continue curatorial training & part-time programmer position under BC Arts Council Operating Assistance Grant
Create more Vintage Vignettes in partnership with CKTZ Radio
Artifact Collection Committee
Continue working on backlog of artifacts
Finish reorganization and labeling of artifacts in the Von Donop Logging Shed exhibit
Update 2012 garden brochure revising drawings to reflect changes in the garden
Make new brochure available online as well as to garden visitors
Produce plant labels for new plantings
Create & install an interpretive sign about the 3 large heritage apple trees
Provide blogs about the Heritage Garden for CIMAS website during garden season
Further develop on-going projects and partnerships
Build new connections with the Cortes community
Support the launch of the Refuge Cove and the Wild Cortes exhibits
Work with Board to develop a new brand identity for CIMAS
Work on digitizing and recording new material for the Archives
Host Spring Migration Birding (May 6, 2017) and Christmas Bird Count (Dec.17, 2017)
Partner with CISS “Literary Afternoons” featuring local writers, poets and musicians
Host guest speakers and island walks throughout the year
Host book launches for local authors
Maintain presence with mini-exhibits at community events & market days
Open satellite exhibit Wild Cortes at Linnaea Education Centre if funding in place
Tourist/Visitor Information Booth
Maintain summer opening hours of six days a week until September 16, 2017
Maintain fall/winter/spring opening hours of two afternoons a week
Continue providing 24-hour tourist information on covered porch
Liaise with schools in developing interesting educational programs and visits to Museum
Continue taxidermy demonstrations
Offer assistance to off-island teachers planning class visits to Cortes & the Museum
Continue processing the Archives backlog
Search & apply for digitization grants
Creative Spaces Tour, Saturday, June 24, 2017
Find volunteer coordinator, gardens, artists, and workshops for tour
Increase sales through inclusion of materials produced by CIMAS on website
Encourage artists to place locally crafted, juried items to sell in Museum Gift Shop
Increase stock of books for sale, including children’s books & local authors
Misty Isles Cruises
More exciting overnight cruises are planned for 2017:
May 13/14 – Mitlenatch & Twin Islands for Mothers’ Day– overnight on Twin Islands
June 10 – Mitlenatch Island
June 18 – Laughing Oyster Fathers’ Day Cruise to Okeover Inlet
July 13/14/15 – Twin Islands Kayaking – 2 nights, 3 days kayaking
July 20/21 – Lund, Refuge Cove & Twin Is. (overnight) with Jeanette Taylor – NEW!
July 26 – ‘Round Maurelle Island
Aug. 5 and Aug. 22– Desolation Sound
Aug 28/29 – Blind Channel Dining & overnight (NEW THIS YEAR!)
Permanently plumb in dehumidifier in Archives storage room
Continue adding content to website
Encourage submissions of interesting new blogs for the website