Report for the Fiscal Year of 2014

This was a busy year on many fronts for the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society (CIMAS).  The three new exhibits brought in almost 3000 visitors. Both the Archives Committee and the rejuvenated Artifact Committee were busy working on their respective collections.  CIMAS hosted many tours and events throughout the year, with an active fundraising program including the Creative Spaces Tour and Misty Isles cruises.


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 highlighted, helping to relate the past to current issues and to encourage residents & organizations to preserve important Cortes artifacts and archival materials.


Three new exhibits opened in May along with the on-going Wild Cortes Exhibit, the Permanent Exhibit of Cortes History, the Pioneer Kitchen, the Klahoose First Nation, and the Reading Corner.

Cortes Geology – When Wrangellia Came Wandering In,  Curator: Christian Gronau
Species & Ecosystems at Risk on Cortes,  Curator: Sabina Leader-Mense
History of Forest Fires on Cortes,  Curator: Christian Gronau

Artifact Committee

With new volunteers, and training provided by the Campbell River Museum, the Artifact Committee has been busy describing, cataloguing and photographing the collection of artifacts. One interesting donation received this year was a painting by Mary Weiler, presented to Dan Campbell November 22nd, 1969 by the Cortes Community in appreciation of his successful ferry service campaign.

Heritage Garden

Many visitors enjoyed the Heritage Garden. The picnic table in the shade of the apple trees was well used for visitor picnics and to sit and view the garden.  Improvements in 2014 included:

A new base for the Sundial in the Memorial Circle using a vintage milk can
Plantings in the Memorial Circle were upgraded with lavender, often associated with sundials
A new cedar clematis trellis placed along the front fence
The front border was expanded with plantings of bulbs and perennials for summer colour
Soil improvement continued with liming and hay mulches on the raised beds and borders
The pruning program for the heritage apple trees continued, with a very light fruit set in 2014
Community Outreach

History Booklets

Volunteers continued throughout the year working on the fourth History Booklet about Squirrel Cove for release in 2015. 

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 take Cortes Island history out into the community.  During this year we hosted the following events:

Mike Yip – presentation on Island Birds
Judy Williams – presentation on Petroglyphs, Pictographs and Arborglyphs
Christmas Bird Count
Spring Migration Birding Event
Manson’s Lagoon walks
6 Pacific Yellowfin tours

Community Events

CIMAS hosted the following community events:

Creative Spaces – Gardens, Studios & Workshops Tour
Whaletown Dock 100th Anniversary celebration co-sponsored with the Harbour Authority
Writing Course by Jeanette Taylor co-sponsored with Literacy Now
Literary Afternoons co-sponsored with the Seniors’ Society
Reel Youth films co-sponsored with the Seniors’ Society
Geo Cache in the garden is popular with families seeking it out
Book launch for local author Norm Gibbons co-sponsored with Marnie’s Books
Radio interview about Museum history by Lynne Jordan on Gary Cork’s CRTZ program
Tea for Marg Sullivan & friends to gather histories of her stained glass windows in churches
CIMAS table at summer/Christmas  Friday Markets
CIMAS table at Cortes Day celebrations

School Program

During this year CIMAS sponsored the following school events:

A taxidermy demonstration of a great blue heron with the public school by Laurel Bohart
LakeHouse School group visitation of Exhibit Gallery
Pre-school visitation of Heritage Garden and Exhibit Gallery
Misty Isles cruise opportunities for Cortes Youth sponsored by anonymous donor

Misty Isles Cruises

CIMAS sponsored the following cruises to:

Mitlenatch Island
Laughing Oyster Father’s Day Cruise
Overnight Trip to Toba Inlet Waterfalls
Desolation Sound
‘Round Maurelle Island
Desolation Sound Wrangellia Geology

Tourist/Visitor Information Booth

CIMAS maintains the following tourist information:

local brochures and maps on Museum porch available 24 hours
CIMAS attendant with detailed information & maps during Museum opening hours
Brochure rack on Cortes ferry
CIMAS presence on the Websites of: Destination BC, Hello BC, Tideline and Cortes Museum


Last year the Archives Committee completed processing the photographs in the Gilean Douglas fonds – more than 1,000 photographs dating from 1900 to 1993. They also made progress on Regional Directors and Ephemera holdings.  A major accession of the past year was the Linnaea School fonds, which includes six oversize photograph albums documenting the activities of the school from 1987 to 2001. These are available for viewing at the Museum, and will be a big draw for former Linnaea students and their families in the years to come.


Building Improvement

Projects included:

Covered porch and wheelchair ramp for South fire exit of exhibit area
Partial completion of the East fire exit, wheelchair ramp and storage room

Webpage Redesign

Board members planned for a new webpage, applied for grants and secured a webpage designer.


The following grants were gratefully received:

Community Gaming Grant – $12,000
Human Resources Skills Development Canada – $4265
BC Arts Council – $5700
Regional District – $800

Additional fundraising activities included:

·         Creative Spaces – Gardens, Studios & Workshops

·         Misty Isles Cruises, Pacific Yellowfin Charter tours and Manson Lagoon tours

·         Donations and memberships

·         Museum Shop sales

2014 Board of Directors

Lynne Jordan – President                               Nancy Kendel – Vice President

Debbie Dragseth – Treasurer                          Mary-Lu Lorenson – Secretary (resigned)

Members at Large: Bonnie MacDonald,  Ian Disney, Donna McLaren, Jill Milton, Laurel Bohart, Lynn Marttila, Erika Grundmann, Donna Manson, Dave Carew (resigned)

Board orientation training was provided, and a new Five Year Plan was prepared as part of the on-going CIMAS Strategic Plan presented at the last AGM.

The following volunteers provided essential support to the Board:

Christine Robinson (School Liaison)
Carol London (accounting support)
Peter Henbury (computer support).
Three part-time employees helped to keep us open year round: Shayla Sopracolle-Tate, Isabelle Kosterman (summer students), and Gina Trzesicka.


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 a membership renewal reminder was mailed to past members.  The membership in 2014 increased from 210 to 262.


The commitment of our volunteers is what keeps the Museum a vibrant focal point of this community.  A total of 87 volunteers donated an amazing 4500 hours of time to the CIMAS administration and programs. A complete list of the 2014 volunteers is at the end of this report.  Thank you, thank you!




Mount new Exhibit – Squirrel Cove
Make additions to the permanent display of Cortes Island history
Refresh and reorganize the Von Donop Logging Shed Exhibit

Artifact Collection Committee

Receive further training in artifact collection management from the C.R. Museum
Continue cataloguing & photographing artifacts
Create awareness in the Cortes community of the importance of preserving historical objects

Heritage Garden 

Update plant labeling to reflect new plantings
Continue to add plantings for early and mid-summer colour
Paint picnic table a colour that complements the Museum building
Update plant donation records
Begin lawn renovation with liming and weed removal

Community Outreach

Host Spring Migration (May 2, 2015) and Christmas Bird Count events
Host “Literary Afternoons” featuring local writers, poets and musicians
Host guest speakers and island walks throughout the year
Launch Squirrel Cove History Booklet, no. 4 in series
Host book launches for local authors
Maintain presence with info tables at community events & market days
Provide funding and support to Reel Youth program filming interviews with seniors
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

School Program

Liaise with schools in developing interesting educational programs and visits to Museum
Continue taxidermy demonstrations

Archives Program

Continue to arrange and describe papers in the Regional Directors and Ephemera holdings
Begin cataloguing the May and Elmer Ellingsen fonds.


Creative Spaces Tour, June 20, 2015

·         Find volunteer coordinator, gardens, artists, workshops for tour Museum Shop

·         Increase sales through inclusion of CIMAS produced materials in webpage

·         Encourage artists to place locally crafted, juried items to sell

Misty Isles Cruises

Cruises planned for 2015:

·         May 22 – Mitlenatch Island

·         June 13 – Mitlenatch Island

·         June 21 – Laughing Oyster Father’s Day Cruise

·         July 19 – ‘Round Maurelle Island

·         July 31 – Low Tide Reef Exploration

·         Aug 6 – Desolation Geology

·         Aug 14 – Desolation Sound

·         Aug 24/25 – Pictograph Tour (overnight) NEW THIS YEAR!

·         Sept 10 – Desolation Sound

Building Projects

Finish East fire door exit, wheelchair ramp and storage room

Webpage Redesign

Create a new CIMAS webpage with the assistance of web designer, Ester Strijbos

2014  CIMAS  Volunteers     We couldn’t do it without your help!  

Abelson, Martha
Anderson, Noba
Anderson, Elizabeth
Bennet, Marion
Biela, Luka
Boas, Jan
Bohart, Laurel
Bohart, Tom
Bonner, Susanna
Bushe, Catharine
Cormack, Gordie
Daly, Diane
Davidson, Carol
De Natale, Silvana
Disney, Ian
Dombrowski, Conrad
Dragseth, Chris
Dragseth, Debbie
Ellingsen, David
Ellingsen, Sue
Ellingsen, Andy
Elliott, Diane
Elliott, Peter

Gibbons, Lisa
Gibbons, Norm
Graham-Dewar, Ann
Graham, Rob
Gram, Gordon
Greggory, Ashe
Gronau, Christian
Grosse, Birgitta
Grosse, Hannes
Grundmann, Erika
Harwood, Elinore
Harvey, Lovena
Harvey, Ryan
Henbury, Peter
Hentschel, Dianne
Johnston, Mags
Jordan, Lynne
Jordan, Joe
Kendel, Nancy
Kendel, Ray
Kerr, Myrna
Kipp, Yvonne
Kosterman, Isabelle

Leader Mense, Sabina
Lee, Karen
Lee, Rod
leRoux, Patricia
London, Carol
Lorenson, Mary-Lu
MacDonald, Bonnie
McLaren, Donna
Magor, Liz
Manson, Donna
Manson, Mike
Malek, Judy
Marttila, Lynn
Marttila, Ray
Milton, Jill
Napper, Chris
Neill, Kathleen
Newton, Nicola
Ophoff, Bill
Overvelde, Christine
Purcy, Christina
Rae, Murray
Ringwood, Gail

Robinson, Christine
Ruffell, Jacie
Salini, Jim
Sawyer, Lucy
S-Tate, Shayla
Schick, Janet
Schmidt, Peter
Strijbos, Ester
Stryck, Ayami
Trzesicki, Jurek
Trzesicka, Gina
Wheeler, Bill
Weyler, Liam
Weyler, Jonah
Norm’s grandson
Woywitka, Leonard
Yendall, Lloyd

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!” – Sherry  Anderson

Web Design by Ester Strijbos