Report for the Fiscal Year 2018

We wish to acknowledge the toq qaymɩxʷ (Klahoose), ɬəʔamɛn qaymɩxʷ (Tla’amin) and the ʔop qaymɩxʷ (Homalco) Nations whose territories the Cortes Island Museum & Archives is situated upon.

The three words reflect, imagine, celebrate capture the essence of the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society (CIMAS). We have used these watchwords to create a new style of report for 2018 which we feel more closely reflects our organization today.


Two feature exhibits are taking shape in our gallery this season – Curiouser and Curiouser and A 20 Year Retrospective. The first, curated by Christian Gronau, takes us back to the days of “wonder rooms” – the precursors of many present-day museums. It is now understood that these early museums grew out of collections appropriated from other cultures and were designed from a colonial perspective. In reflecting on this, CIMAS decided to reconsider the past twenty years of our own operations and use this exploration to inform our retrospective. By applying this new lens of awareness on our past practices and exhibits, we have the opportunity to reflect on and examine our own stories and history. This retrospective exhibition will continue to be a work in progress through the coming year.

The process of considering where we’ve come from as an organization leads us on a journey towards a more holistic understanding of our identity and purpose and provides us with an opportunity to adjust and better serve our community. In reflecting on 2018, we discovered that our staff and volunteers were raising important questions that we were unable to fully answer at the time. For example, have we been an inclusive organization? From what and from whose perspectives have our stories been told, and our exhibits and programs emerged? What can we do to engage the pockets of our community that don’t yet feel heard or represented? What can we do to address the island’s emerging needs and changing demographics?

We are an organization that has demonstrated we’re willing to listen, take risks, and strive for excellence in all we do. 

Board of Directors 2018

  • President: Lynne Jordan
  • Vice President: Nancy Kendel
  • Treasurer: Nora Disney
  • Secretary: Connie Brill

Directors: Laurel Bohart, Ian Disney, Rose Hanson, Bonnie MacDonald, Donna McLaren, Donna Manson, Carly Mersereau, Jill Milton

Staff 2018

Managing Director/Curator: Jane Newman
Director of Public Programming: Brittany Baxter
Administration, Exhibit Host, Website: Gina Trzesicka
Summer Student Host: Liam Baron-Preston

Reflections on 2018

Board Focus

A priority for CIMAS was to begin implementing a succession plan focusing on the recruitment of staff, board members and volunteers from different demographics. The timing of this was particularly critical as President, Lynne Jordan, required an extended leave of absence.

Staff Focus

Support the CIMAS Board of Directors by reducing workloads through hiring a permanent part-time Managing Director/Curator & Director of Public Programming.

CIMAS Fundraising

CIMAS generates income through memberships, donations, the Museum Shop, a Creative Spaces Tour and Misty Isles Cruises.

Grants Received

  • Employment & Social Development Canada – a portion of the Summer Host Wages
  • Library & Archives Canada – arranging backlog of donated archival material
  • BC Gaming – support for Public Education and Archives programs
  • BC Arts Council Operating Assistance – Managing Director/Curator wages
  • BC Arts Council Enhanced Capacity – Director of Public Programming wages
  • Strathcona Regional District – Grant-in-Aid – Wild Cortes rent & exhibit support

Training for Staff and Volunteers

  • CIMAS Board Training & Workshop
  • CIMAS Staff training & mentoring
  • AABC – Archives 101 Workshop
  • BCMA – Cultural Competencies Workshop (BCMA Bursary received to attend)
  • BCMA Conference & Technology Workshops (BCMA Bursary received to attend)




108 volunteers donated 4631 hours!

Tourist/Visitor Information Booth

CIMAS, as the official Tourist/Visitor Information Booth for Cortes Island, provides pamphlets, maps and local information. This service benefits CIMAS by attracting people to also explore our Archives, Exhibition Gallery and Museum Shop.



Our Funders


Public Education Program


Refuge Cove: Moving with the Tide was held over in the main gallery until September.  A temporary photographic exhibit was followed with two new exhibits Curiouser & Curiouser and A 20 Year Retrospective. These two exhibits fit well together; the first looking back at how museums came to be and the second reflecting back at some of the exhibits CIMAS has produced since 1998. These exhibits will be further developed in 2019.

Wild Cortes

The natural history satellite exhibit, housed at the Linnaea Education Centre, is a joint endeavour of five organizations: CIMAS, Linnaea Farm Society, Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI), Children’s Forest Trust, and Discovery Islands Eco-mapping Project (DIEM). This partnership is in the early stages of development and has generated a lot of interest.

Artifact Collection

The Artifact Committee is continuing to process the many donations of artifacts received, ensuring that those added all fall within the collection mandate. Many pieces of the collection will be featured in the on-going 20 Year Retrospective Exhibit, including a newly donated dollhouse and furniture for kids to arrange.

Heritage Garden

The garden continued to evolve with additional heritage plants that provide interesting form and colour during spring, summer and fall.  Drought tolerant plantings were of interest to visitors. Several events were held in the Heritage Garden in 2018, including craft demonstrations that were part of programming to encourage both visitors and residents to visit the Museum. The garden was also part of the Museum sponsored Creative Spaces Tour in June. It is designed, planted and maintained by volunteers who numbered eight in 2018.

Public Programming

Public Programming & Community Outreach

The Director of Public Programming, Brittany Baxter, hired through a 2-year BC Arts Council Enhanced Capacity Grant, created a new brand and style sheet for CIMAS. Brittany also provided support for curators and enhanced our community engagement opportunities. A special achievement was the documenting of the art and stories contributed to the community quilt making project through the book hɛkʷ čɛ θ tuwa? | where do you come from? | weaving our stories together. 


  • five presentations – 311
  • three Artists at the Museum – 56
  • Quilts in the Garden – 40
  • Spirit of Gilean Douglas Tanya Henck – 40
  • seven museum tours – 120
  • three nature tours – 17

CO-SPONSORED EVENTS: (Audience – 2532)

  • five Literary Afternoons – 134 (Seniors Helping Seniors)
  • one presentation – 110 (CI Garden Club)
  • three nature tours – 43 (FOCI, Bird Studies Canada)
  • Blanket Exercise – 65 (Klahoose)
  • Deep Roots – 180 (Klahoose, CKTZ Radio, Community/Radio Funds Canada)
  • Nine Vintage Vignettes – 2000 listeners(CKTZ Radio)


There were 559 student visits (CI Public School, Cortes Island Pre-school, Ecole Phoenix Middle School and the home-school program) to explore the exhibitions and participate in CIMAS sponsored and co-sponsored programs. Highlights of the year include the school’s Great Blue Heron Come to School project co-sponsored with Friends of Cortes Island, and the opportunity for the Cortes school senior class to participate in a plant walk with renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Nancy Turner.

Archives Program

Archives Collection

A large backlog of records was processed through a Documentary Heritage Communities Program grant from Library & Archives Canada. Descriptions of archival holdings are available at the Museum and online at MemoryBC.  New donations were received: records of the Island Women’s Club, May and Elmer Ellingsen, and the Whiting family.

There were 25 requests for research using the archives and public information files


  • Jill Milton
  • Donna McLaren
  • Valerie Wernet


Imagine CIMAS as an increasingly relevant, inclusive and responsive organization, working to strengthen existing relationships, forging new partnerships, and curating meaningful experiences. Recent surveys have identified that the museum visitors of today are explorers, facilitators, experience seekers, and spiritual pilgrims – motivated by curiosity, through tactile experiences, and behind the scenes opportunities.

Imagine people finding us and wanting to contribute their energy and expertise to this vision by:

  • envisioning and curating exhibits that invite wonder, discovery and exploration,
  • joining the Board,
  • contributing to our grant writing process,
  • guiding our budgeting, financial and statistical reporting,
  • sharing knowledge and stories in public presentations.

Can you picture yourself as part of this renewal?

We have lots of questions. Imagine finding the answers together! CIMAS is committed to seeking input and direction from this community. In 2019, we will facilitate conversation cafes, focus groups, surveys, and tours that offer a chance for us to gather ideas, direction, and inspiration directly from all of you! Come share your thoughts.


We have reason to celebrate! We celebrate our dedicated members, our hardworking volunteers, our inquisitive visitors, and the vibrant Cortes community. We celebrate our organization’s courage and resilience to explore and dream a more inclusive future. We celebrate a year full of programs, exhibits, and events that gather us together in wonder and joy!

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