Tanya Henck: Cortes Island Women’s Centre

Tanya Henck: Cortes Island Women’s Centre

This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. The Covid-19 lockdown has sparked an upsurge in domestic violence both in Canada and worldwide, as well as making it harder for support services to offer counseling and shelter for victims. On April 15, 2020, I interviewed Tanya Henck, founding member of the first Cortes Island Women’s Centre which opened in January 2019. A combination of diligent sanitization and long microphone cables, plus a newly constructed and never-inhabited space, enabled us to set up for Covid-19-safe recording.  (The room was so bare that you may hear a certain amount of natural reverb in the podcast.) Tanya has lived on Cortes Island for 14 years, and has long been aware of the persistent and under-addressed problem of domestic violence.  Every community whether rural or urban has to deal with this issue, she says, and Cortes is no exception.  Yet Cortes, she feels, has been for years “behind the times” in coming to grips with this problem. Photo credit: “Domestic Violence Hurts” by ghetto_guera29 via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) Cortes Currents: De Clarke interviews Tanya Henck from the Cortes Island Women’s Centre History of the Women’s Centre project Tanya’s desire to support women in crisis led her into contact with what was then Campbell River Transition Society, a charitable organization offering crisis counselling, shelter, and other resources to women and children at risk from domestic violence.  When she first set up a table at Friday Market with Transition Society literature, it was new information for islanders.  Most people on Cortes, she recalls,...
BIG Fir Farm: Local Food

BIG Fir Farm: Local Food

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. Podcast: Interview with Anne Dzakovic and Sam Gibb about their life as market farmers on Cortes Island. Congratulations to Anne and Sam on the safe and successful birth of their second child, Graciella!  Just prior to their departure from Cortes Island to await her arrival on the big island, I had the pleasure of  interviewing Sam and Anne at their home on Blue Jay Lake Farm. Big Fir Farm Cortes Currents: De Clarke interviews Anne Dzakovic and Sam Gibb: Big Fir Farm, Local Food Anne and Sam run Big Fir Farm, a small market farm;  it’s their primary livelihood, and they sell fresh produce at the Friday Market and through the Co-op.  In this interview, I ask them what it’s like being a small market farmer, producing organic local food for a living.  How hard is the work?  How many hours a week?  What kind of crops have they found successful?  What kind of planning and logistics do they practise?  What advice would they give to other people who feel inspired to support local food systems by becoming producers? Sam and Anne tell us how they got into farming, what skills they started with and what kind of learning they did along the way.  They explain why starting small makes sense, and how much can be done with small plots (quarter to half acre).  They discuss the pros and cons of machinery use, the farmer’s yearly schedule, symbiosis between livestock and vegetable operations, produce prices, time management,...
Interview With Mark Lombard Contract Manager For The Cortes Forestry General Partnership

Interview With Mark Lombard Contract Manager For The Cortes Forestry General Partnership

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. On Saturday March 14th, the monthly Cortes Currents news/talk show featured an interview with Mark Lombard, contract manager for the Cortes Forestry General Partnership.  This podcast explores what the “Community Forest” is, and how it works.  Did you know that CFGP’s license now covers far more hectares of Cortes Island than the MMB/IT/Mosaic license? This and many other interesting details are discussed in our program (such as what “MMB” and “IT” mean). All photos taken from the Squirrel Cove cutblock Cortes Currents: De Clarke interviews Mark Lombard, Contract Manager for the Cortes Forestry General Partnership A Tradition Of Selective Woodlot Harvesting Mark Lombard is a “seventh generation logger” from a family with a long tradition of selective woodlot harvesting.  He grew up working on family woodlots.  In addition to years of hands-on experience, he also has an undergraduate degree in business finance and a graduate degree in environmental policy with a focus on climate change, energy policy, and forest policy — “specifically community forests, and capacity building for community forests.”  So the Cortes Community Forest project was a perfect fit.  He served on the Board for a few years before stepping down to assume the operations manager role. In the course of the interview, we talk about what sustainability means; the economics of selective woodlot operation (as opposed to industrial clearcut logging); and how the CFGP (a for-profit corporation) covers its operating costs.  “We want to be known for producing high-quality timber,” says Mark.  This means investing more heavily in woodlot maintenance and selective harvesting — aging the forest to...
From CIBATA To CCEDA: Changing Visions Of Development

From CIBATA To CCEDA: Changing Visions Of Development

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. On February 8th 2020, Cortes Currents was pleased to welcome Adam McKenty of CCEDA as the first guest on our new monthly live talk show component. CCEDA (Cortes Community Economic Development Association) is the new name for the organisation formerly known as CIBATA (Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association). Its 6-member board includes three members from prior CIBATA boards. Mic by Dennis Hill via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 LIcense) (Cortes Currents broadcast Feb 8th (1 PM), 11th (5 PM) & 12th (9 AM): De Clarke interviews Adam McKenty of CCEDA) CCEDA is a member organisation registered as a BC Non Profit Society. Its goal, according to Adam, is to put community well-being at the centre of economic development. “Community Economic Development is an existing thing, a concept that is already out there under that name,” says Adam. What’s the idea? to focus first on well-being and happiness in the community, then figure out what economic activities enhance that well-being while also generating revenue, jobs, etc. “It’s a reframing of what economic development is for and what it looks like… If we can develop local business and industries so that we actually have the ability to hire people on the island doing things that folks want to do for a livelihood, and at a level where it’s possible to afford housing and a decent lifestyle here… then that changes the equation.” Adam emphasises that CCEDA doesn’t see its role as telling Cortes Island what it should do,...