Showing 18 results

authority records
Cortes Island Museum and Archives Corporate body

Whaletown Women's Institute

  • Corporate body
  • 1923-1963

The Whaletown Women's Institute (WWI) began in 1920 as the Friendship Circle. In 1923 it became a branch of the Women's Institute, a community service organization for women with the goals of fostering the skills of rural women, improving their lives and works, and celebrating their achievements. During its years of activity, the WWI was very active in working for local improvement. Some of their projects included initiating a library service, donating books to the school, arranging for regular visits of a doctor and dentist, hosting an annual Christmas party and providing gifts for all the Whaletown children, maintaining the cemetery, fund-raising for a school playground, financing firefighting equipment and installing an emergency telephone network. The WWI was disbanded in 1963.

Whaletown Women's Auxiliary of the Anglican Church

  • Corporate body
  • 1949-1974

The Whaletown Women's Auxiliary of the Anglican Church (ca. 1949 - 1974) was a group which provided support for the the Columbia Coast Mission and the Anglican Church. From 1949 to 1961, the Columbia Coast Mission maintained a station at Whaletown comprising a mission house, clinic building and the church of St. John the Baptist, which opened on August 13, 1950. Mission properties on Cortes Island were transferred to the Diocese in 1967.

Whaletown Community Club

  • Corporate body
  • ca. 1948-present

The beginning of the Whaletown Community Club (WCC) is unclear as almost all the Club's records were destroyed in a fire in 1950; the earliest records still existing date from 1948. (See Gilean Douglas fonds, Series 8). The WCC became a registered society in 1953 when the Gorge Harbour Community Hall Society disbanded and turned ownership of the Gorge Hall over to the Whaletown Community Club.
The activities of the Club are carried on chiefly within the Whaletown postal area, and are intended to promote the interests of the community in matters of general welfare, to sponsor recreational and sports activities, and to hold land and premises necessary for Club activities. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the Club was a channel through which Whaletown residents organized health and educational services and lobbied for better roads, hydro and ferry service, as well as sponsoring social events. From 1978 until 2010 it sponsored the Whaletown National Enquirer, a monthly community newspaper.
A main function of the Whaletown Community Club is the maintenance of the Gorge Harbour Community Hall. Originally built in 1933, it has been renovated several times and serves as the main venue for community functions in the Whaletown area. Until 1953, when the lease was turned over to the Whaletown Women's Institute, the Club maintained the Church Hall, which was owned by the Columbia Coast Mission and stood at the corner of Carrington Bay and Harbour roads. Before 1958 the Club held most of its meetings in the Church Hall.
Since 1958, when the Whaletown Women's Institute disbanded, the WCC has maintained the library in Whaletown (originally the Farmer's Institute building; now the Louisa Tooker Library) and the old and new Whaletown cemeteries. In 1964 they acquired the lease for the last remaining piece of Crown land with access to Gorge Harbour, to preserve it as a park. They have leased the former Whaletown school property from the School Board since the school was closed in 1974.

Whaletown Church Hall Building Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1919-1920

In 1919, the settlers of Whaletown decided to raise the funds necessary to erect a combined church and hall, to be used for both secular and religious purposes. The new building was attached to the first Whaletown school building, which was then used as a kitchen and dressing room. At this time, the parcel of land on which the school stood, at the corner of present-day Carrington Bay and Harbour Rd. in Whaletown, was deeded to the Diocese of Columbia by Mrs. Alice Robertson, and part of the property was set aside for a cemetery.
After a church was built in Whaletown in 1950, the Church Hall continued to be used for social events. In 1952 the Whaletown Community Club took over responsibility for the Gorge Hall, which then replaced the Church Hall as the main venue for weddings, dances, meetings and parties for both the Whaletown and Gorge Harbour communities. In 1953, the Whaletown Women's Institute signed agreements with both the Whaletown Community Club and the Columbia Coast Mission to assume responsibility for the use and upkeep of the Church Hall and cemetery. The Church Hall was used for a few more years. It was decommissioned in about 1957 and later dismantled.

Southern Cortes Community Association

  • Corporate body
  • 1956-present

The Southern Cortes Community Association (formerly known as the Manson's Landing Community Club) is a Registered Charity incorporated in 1956 under the Societies Act. The object of the society is to promote services and programs of a recreational and/or educational purpose within the community.

A primary responsibility is operating and maintaining Manson's Hall, a center for Cortes community activities. The original Hall was built in 1922 on land donated by Frederick Froud. A major expansion and renovation project completed in 1980 added space for the post office, playschool, cafe, offices, a pottery studio and a library to the original hall. A further expansion in 1986 added space for a medical clinic.

Programs include sponsoring a licensed playschool, a Parents & Tots program, a Summer Youth Recreation Program, a thrift store, and the annual Cortes Day at Smelt Bay. Manson's Hall is a venue for the Cortes Seniors Society's programs, and for group meetings, entertainment events and a variety of regular wellness and exercise activities led by local residents. The Hall houses the post office, a community kitchen, a thrift store, and a playschool. Over the years, it has provided space for many services to start, such as the Cortes Health Centre, North Island College and Cortes Community Radio. The SCCA also owns and manages the Manson's Landing cemetery, and provides space for the Strathcona Regional District's skate park.

Linnaea School

  • Corporate body
  • 1987-2010

Linnaea School was a small independent school located on Linnaea Farm, a land trust with 315 acres of forests, fields, organic gardens and lake-front which is governed by The Linnaea Farm Society, a registered non-profit. Linnaea School offered its holistic, community-based approach to education for 23 years, from 1987 until its closing in 2010.

The school was founded by Donna Bracewell in 1987. It expanded from a first-year enrollment of eleven students to take in close to half of the island's school-age children. Linnaea offered a program of creative, nature-based, alternative learning for Kindergarten to Grade 6. Strong academics were enhanced by farm classes, environmental and outdoor education, mentorship programs, music classes and service projects. A notable project was the annual spring musical play. Bracewell left in June, 2009 to take a teaching position in Vietnam and the school closed a year later.

Island Women's Club

  • Corporate body
  • 2000-2016

The Island Women's Club was formed in 2000, when the members of the Cortes Island Women's Institute withdrew from the British Columbia Women's Institute in order to focus their efforts locally. It was the successor to previous women's service organizations on Cortes, local branches of the Women's Institute and the Anglican Church Women's Auxiliary. Activities included awarding bursaries to graduating high school students, contributing to school projects such as printing yearbooks, sponsoring sports teams and building playground equipment, supporting the community halls and organizing memorial teas on behalf of bereaved families. They disbanded in 2016.

Harbour Authority of Cortes Island

  • Corporate body
  • 1998-present

In 1995, Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was directed to divest all its recreational harbours managed under the Small Craft Harbours program. In the following years, the DFO launched a program to encourage local non-profit groups to assume day-to-day management and operation of fishing harbours.

The Harbour Authority of Cortes Island was formed in 1998 or 1999 to "[r]epresent the community of Cortes Island to preserve and promote the present and future marine infrastructure and maritime transportation links, including wharves; docking launch and moorage facilities until being replaced by a suitable public representative or government agency".

The Harbour Authority of Cortes Island manages five locations: Cortes Bay dock, Squirrel Cove dock, Gorge Harbour Government Dock, Manson’s Landing dock and Whaletown dock. All provide safe well-maintained moorage facilities for a wide-ranging group of marine users year round.

Gorge Harbour Community Hall Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1930-1952

The Gorge Harbour Community Hall Society was formed in 1930, when residents decided to build a community hall. The young people of the area formed the Gorge Harbour Dramatic Society and put on plays and dances to raise funds. The Hall was built on land donated by George Beattie. Volunteers split shakes for the roof and did all the building, with Charlie Allen as supervisor and Bill Ballantyne as work boss. The Hall opened on Nov. 11, 1933, with an Armistice dance.
The Gorge Harbour Hall Society disbanded in 1952 and handed responsibility for the Gorge Hall over to the Whaletown Community Club. From this time, the Gorge Hall replaced the Church Hall as the main venue for weddings, dances, meetings and parties for both the Whaletown and Gorge Harbour communities.

Friends of Cortes Island Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1990

Friends of Cortes Island Society, also known as FOCI, registered as a society in 1990, with the mandate of protecting the physical environment of Cortes Island and adjacent land in the context of ongoing and proposed residential and industrial development.

FOCI "exists to monitor and preserve the health of local ecosystems, and to provide educational programs that foster a greater understanding of the natural environment". Their purposes are as follows:
• To identify environmentally sensitive areas, particularly on Cortes and neighbouring islands.
• To monitor and protect wildlife and the safeguarding of its natural habitat.
• To promote the protection of the forests, lakes, streams and critical watersheds and the enhancement of fish stocks where appropriate.
• To promote the study and preservation of the cultural heritage and historical landmarks of the area.
• To provide educational programs that relate to ecological understanding and appreciation of the environment.

FOCI has worked with many local and provincial organizations, most notably Cortes Ecoforestry Society (CES). Other colleagues include Linnaea Farm Society, Southern Cortes Community Association, Whaletown Community Club, BC Parks, Environmental Youth Team, the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Association, and EcoAction Community Funding Program.

Cortez Lodge

  • Corporate body
  • 1910-1974

Michael Manson started a trading post at Manson's Spit in the 1880s. In 1910, the "Lodge" was built to house the Mike Manson family. Many people - students and loggers - flowed through the building. In 1921 Hazel Manson and her husband Henry Herrewig moved into the Lodge, later turning part of it into a small store. Mr. and Mrs. Jacks rented the Lodge in 1940 and constructed the front half of a new building which became the Manson's Landing store. The Lodge, store and property was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Lowe and their in-laws, Ev and Jack Summers. Many improvements were made including living quarters in the store, cabins for rent along the beach and a coffee shop where Mrs. Summers sold her famous pies. Jim Taylor owned the property in the 1960s and it was sold to the government after his death. In 1974 the government designated the 117 acres at Manson's Landing a provincial park. The store continued to operate until 1995, but the Lodge and other buildings were dismantled soon after.

Cortes Island Women's Institute

  • Corporate body
  • 1984-2000

The Cortes Island Women's institute was formed in 1984. Although Cortes Island had historically been difficult to traverse, and the communities consequently insular, by the 1980s the road systems were such that "a Women's Institute for the whole of Cortes Island" seemed to make sense.
CIWI was founded with the bank balance of a Manson's Landing service group called the Ladies Guild, which was founded in the 1940s. When membership and activity in the guild declined in the 1970s, the focus was shifted to a renovation and addition to Manson's Hall. Once the Hall had been sufficiently updated, it was thought that the remaining funds might be put to use "creating an instrument for better communication between all our women and a chance to work together in the community".
Charter members of the CIWI were Heather Berry, Peggye Newsham, Maryann McCoy, Linda Hendricks, and Mary Block.

Cortes Island Transportation Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1993-

The Cortes Island Transportation Committee was formed in 1993. At a meeting on March 22, 1993 in Campbell River between the B.C. Ferry Corporation and local government representatives, Peter Hughes, chairman of the BC Ferry Corp., recommended that Cortes Islanders form a Transportation Committee to liaise with the Corporation. Director Ralph Nursall convened a public meeting on Cortes to explore the possibility in May. A high turn-out (50+) indicated an intense interest in transportation issues on the Island and a committee of volunteers was formed.

The mandate for the Committee and its Executive, as expressed by Ralph Nursall, Regional Director at the time, is as follows: "It is intended that the Transportation Committee be an independent, community committee operating as it sees fit to collect opinions of Islanders to transport to the B.C. Ferry Corp. and getting information from the Corporation for Islanders...The Committee will also interest itself in Highways and other transportation matters of the Island."

Cortes Island Seniors' Building Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1987-

In 1987, members of the Cortes Island Old Age Pensioners' Organization incorporated the Cortes Island Seniors' Building Society (later known as the Cortes Island Senior's Society) with the following stated purposes:
(a) to operate a facility where persons aged 65 years or older, or persons between 55 and 65 years of age who are in need, can improve their health through physical and other acitivity;
(b) to operate a residential housing facility for such persons;
(c) to carry on social activities incidental to the above purposes, but not to own, operate or manage a social club.
The records of the Cortes Island Seniors' Building Society provide useful insight into their process of envisioning the future of seniors' housing on Cortes Island.

Cortes Island Ratepayers Association

  • Corporate body
  • 1963-1984

The Cortes Island Ratepayers Association (CIRA) was an association of property owners and residents formed in 1963 in order to "further the development of the island and to have a representative body in dealing with the Provincial government." It successfully lobbied for the provision of electrical and ferry service to the island and became a forum for the discussion of other issues such as roads, fire protection, garbage disposal, water quality, rural mail delivery and library services. From the time that Cortes Island was designated Electoral Area I of the Comox-Strathcona Regional District in 1968, the Advisory Planning Commission (usually appointed by the Regional Director) was formed of the elected executive of CIRA. CIRA declared itself inactive in 1984 following a protracted court case it had pursued in defense of the Official Settlement Plan and zoning by-law.

Cortes Emergency First Aid Service

  • Corporate body
  • 1988-1992

In 1988, concerned members of the Cortes community formed the Cortes Emergency First Aid Service (CEFAS). They were trained in basic first aid and provided volunteer service to the island for the next four years. In 1992, the British Columbia Ambulance Service opened a station on Cortes which continued and expanded that service.

Cortes Ecoforestry Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1999-2006

The Cortes Ecoforestry Society (CES) was incorporated in March 1999, under the following mission statement:

"To work in partnership with the Klahoose First Nation, to gain community stewardship of the working forest lands on Cortes to create perpetual ecological and economic benefits for the entire community, and to serve as a model for sustainable ecoforestry."

Preceding names for the organization include Cortes Island Forestry Committee (ca. 1988-1990), Cortes Island Forest Resource Committee (c. 1990) and Cortes Island Forest Committee (ca. 1991-1999). A draft document from October 1991 states that,

"[T]he Cortes Island Forest Committee (CIFC) was formed in 1988. The purposes of the CIFC are to develop ecologically responsible and balanced forest use of Cortes Island forests, to develop a sustainable forest-based economy, to educate ourselves and the public regarding appropriate use of Cortes Island forests, and to work towards a broad based public consensus for the use of these forests."

In July 1999 Klahoose First Nation and CES signed an unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding, stating that the two parties would work together to create a community forest that used eco-system forestry. In 1999 and 2000 the Cortes Ecoforestry Society began planning and preparing a community forest proposal. In 2003, volume was made available for small community tenures, including Woodlot Licences and Community Forest Agreements (CFAs). Klahoose supported the efforts to revitalize the community forest proposal and a small, voluntary advisory group was formed (Bruce Ellingsen, Chief Kathy Francis, Liz Richardson and Ron Wolda). To ensure the proposal was seen to be inclusive of all islanders, the proponent name was changed to the Cortes Island Community Forest advisory group. The community forest proposal stalled, and CES, which at one point had a membership of 400 residents supporting their goals, became less active.

In May of 2011, the Minister of Forests invited the Cortes Community Forest Advisory Group to apply for a Community Forest Agreement (CFA), and in September 2013 a Community Forest Agreement was issued to the Cortes Forestry General Partnership, which was established in June 2012.

The Cortes Forestry General Partnership is managed and governed equally by two partners, the Klahoose Forestry No. 2 Limited Partnership (KF2LP) and the Cortes Community Forest Co-operative. The tenure agreement lasts for 25 years and encompasses 3,869 hectares of crown land, about 35% of the island. The Klahoose Nation holds ancestral tenure over Cortes Island and is currently at stage 4 in the process of negotiating a treaty agreement with the province of British Columbia and the government of Canada.

Comox-Strathcona (Regional District). Electoral Area I (Cortes Island). Regional Director

  • Corporate body
  • 1968-2008

The Regional Director of Electoral Area I (Cortes Island) was the elected representative to the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona (RDCS), one of 28 regional districts in British Columbia. The RDCS covered an area of North Vancouver Island and surrounding islands which included the municipalities of Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland, Gold River, Sayward, Tahsis and Zeballos, and 10 rural Electoral Areas. Initially enabled by the Municipal Act of 1965, Regional Districts act as a regional government over issues affecting their entire region. In the absence of incorporated municipalities, they function as the "local" government for rural areas by providing planning and land use regulations, and facilitating the delivery of services such as garbage disposal, fire protection and house numbering. Cortes Island was designated Electoral Area I when the RDCS was formed in 1968, and was the smallest electoral area in both population and size. In 2008 the RDCS was split, and Cortes Island became Area B in the newly-formed Strathcona Regional District.
Cortes was represented on the RDCS by one Director, elected for a three year term, who appointed an Alternate Director and an Advisory Planning Commission (APC). From 1968 until 1984, the Cortes Island APC was formed by the elected executive of the Cortes Island Ratepayers Association. The first Director of Area I was George Griffin (1968-1973), followed by Gilean Douglas (1973-1978), Irv Reedel (1978-1981), David Hansen (1981-1984), Bruce Ellingsen (1984-1987), Linda Gagnon (1987-1990), Ralph Nursall (1990-1996), George Sirk (1996-2005) and Jeanette (Jenny) Hiebert (2005-2008).