Care for Cortes 2022 Survey
The Village Commons is a model of social impact that inspires self organization and layered experiences for positive community impact. In January of this year the Village Commons title was transferred from CCEDA to Cortes Island Community Foundation. Now we get to carry this project into the future. Over the next year and a half, the CICF will work to develop the land by creating a permanent stucture and a traditional indigenous welcome pole.
Pod Office Space
The POD office space is booked and used every week day by a combination of CICF, CCHA and CCEDA staff, a notary from Quadra and a few individuals. Desta Beattie of CCHA continues to manage POD bookings, and is doing a great job threading the space between a rigid structure and flexible self-organizing. Bookings are now by 1/2 days rather than full days, and the POD is available to use ad hoc on booked days if it’s vacant, with the understanding that those who have the booking can request you to leave if they need to use the space. So far so good! The contract to manage the POD ends this coming January. At that time we hope the POD will become a CICF asset. It makes sense to all the parties involved for the amenities (POD, resource shack/contents, big tent) on the VC land to be managed and owned by CICF.
We now have a carver engaged to create our welcome pole! Ernie Puglas, member of the Weiwaikum nation and now resident on Cortes, is very excited to get to work on a 20’ welcome totem pole. Since he was 12 he has worked and learned under some of the best regional First Nations carvers, including his Bill Henderson, who is a master carver of the Kwakwaka’wakw of Village Island. He and his wife Stephanie Hansen of Klahoose will be working together to create the pole over the next year. We’ll be working closely with him to develop the right spot for their work, and we hope to involve him in the educational component of our work with CIA over the next year.
We have hired Richard Andrews, local builder, as our Project Manager. He is excited to take on the work of bringing the community dreams for the VC into reality. Listen to his interview with Cortes Currents here. He has been coming up to speed with VC neighbours and stakeholders with the help and support of CICF staff and Kate Maddigan of CCEDA. At present we have the funding to build 3 elements from the concept plan; a pavilion, a welcome pole, and a commercial vending space. Our timeline to build these elements is between now and Nov 30 2024.
We have hired Bruce Haden, Principal architect for FLUID Architecture, as our new Designer/Planner who will help refine the existing concept plan into a working site plan to guide the building to come. He will also be considering our VC in the context of the wider Mansons Landing area and soliciting community input. We’re very lucky to have Bruce on our team, and he is passionate about the Cortes community.
Friday Market Music
The big tent is serving as a music venue on Friday Market days thanks to coordination and technical support by Jemma Hicken (CICF Outreach Coordinator) and Louis Belcourt (Awesome Tech Volunteer). We at CICF are also collaborating with SCCA staff on Fridays by helping their staff pack tables and signs away after the market. This takes a load off their staff and makes it possible for them to imagine collaborating with us by directing some vendors to populate the VC on Fridays. Our hope is that some Friday market vendors will want to expand into the VC, and maybe hear some music. It would really connect the market scene with our events, and give us a sense of how people meet this land.
Several big announcements were made and a robust list of collaborators were present on February 1st, 2024 for an update on the development of the land that is known as the ‘Village Commons’ in Mansons Landing. The evening of presentations had a strong theme of collaboration and neighborhood togetherness. We heard from multiple stakeholders about future plans and discussed the communities feedback on these plans. Read more here!