BC composer has piece debut with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra after mentorship

BC composer has piece debut with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra after mentorship

BC composer Wylie Ferguson showcased a new composition with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) this spring. Ferguson’s nearly six minute piece is titled “Broken Earth” and the VSO played his composition on May 30. The 30-year-old composer is very pleased with how it turned out; he describes the composition as “monster music, like something out of a Godzilla movie.” He adds that most of his works lean towards the “dark side.” Ferguson, who is based in Nanaimo and whose parents live on Cortes Island, applied last September to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s composition mentorship program. He was accepted and began the seven month program last October. Ferguson studied and taught at the Squamish Academy of Music and studied composition at Capilano University in North Vancouver. Ferguson says he’s influenced by a number of contemporary composers in both the jazz and classical fields, most notably Frank Zappa. With his VSO mentorship now complete, Ferguson hopes word will get out about his compositions and he will be sought out for commissions. In the meantime he continues composing and teaching as well as playing in a number of musical ensembles. Hear some of Ferguson’s Broken Earth composition and his reflections on the VSO mentorship program in the interview below with CKTZ News:...
Local Death Caring Collective expands services, helps community navigate health care options

Local Death Caring Collective expands services, helps community navigate health care options

Cortes Island Death Caring Collective is looking to expand its services and hire a staff member as the local island’s population ages. Collective Co-founder Margaret Verschuur says that more community members are needing help to navigate the myriad of health care options available for addressing physical or mental health needs, or both. She adds that those needs can be due to physical limitations, loss of a loved one, or ageing in place. To that end, the collective is expanding its services and hiring a Compassionate Communities Coordinator to help with death care on the island. Verschurr says the position is funded through a grant from the BC Centre for Palliative Care and administered through the Cortes Community Health Association. The Compassionate Communities model, from which the collective is taking a lead, is based on recent British research indicating that community members fare better when they have help accessing services and are able to continue participating within their community. The Cortes Island Death Caring Collective was formed in 2018 and works to support “death as part of life” in the community, according to its website. Direct support is available to people nearing the end of life and their loved ones. As well, Verschuur says its email list and online community continues to grow and currently has 105 members. It posts weekly articles on a local website regarding death and dying and also hosts workshops. Find out more about the Compassionate Communities project by listening to the CKTZ News interview below with Margaret Verschuur:...
A new marine waste pick up service gets underway

A new marine waste pick up service gets underway

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management Centre on Vancouver Island is launching a new marine waste eco pick up service next week. Services Coordinator Stephanie Valdal says the centre will send trucks with large bins to communities to pick up marine waste that has been collected by individuals, community groups and First Nations. She adds that at this point the service will be by request and will be monitored to measure demand. Image courtesy of the Comox Strathcona Waste Management service. She says spring is typically the time when community groups organize beach cleanup efforts to collect materials that have accumulated due to storm surges, the aquaculture industry and boaters, prompting launch of the pick up service at this time. Valdal says one of the first mobile pick up events is occurring May 27-28 on Quadra Island. Local waste management depots on Quadra and Cortes islands have contracts with CSWM. She adds that a partnership with the Ocean Legacy Foundation allows for most of the collected material to be recycled and not added to landfills. Valdal talks about the expanding marine waste collection initiative in the interview below with CKTZ News:...
Cortes Island has its first Economic Development Officer, housing a top priority

Cortes Island has its first Economic Development Officer, housing a top priority

Editor’s Note: Kate Maddigan is an occasional CKTZ News contributor.  The Cortes Community Economic Development Association has hired Kate Maddigan as its first formal Economic Development Officer. The position has long been identified as necessary for the association to carry out it’s economic vision for the island, according to Chair Colin Funk. He says the move has been about five years in the making and funding has now come through the BC government’s rural diversification initiative to hire Maddigan for a two-year stint. The role is community-driven, Funk adds, and focuses on building strong relationships between stakeholder groups, pursuing partnerships and working relationships with First Nations, the business community, local industry and home-based businesses to create a healthy local economy. Image provided by Cortes Community Economic Development Association. For Maddigan, addressing Cortes Island’s housing crisis is a top priority, as well as fostering more economic diversity on the island beyond tourism, such as creating a business plan for value added wood products made from trees harvested locally. She’s also committed to working with other island communities involved in the Rural Islands Economic Partnership organization, to share ideas about what’s been successful on Cortes Island and on other islands when it comes to creating economic diversity. Maddigan and Funk describe opportunities for the Cortes Island economy in the interview below with CKTZ News:...
Village Commons land moves to community input phase of development

Village Commons land moves to community input phase of development

Editor’s Note: Manda Aufochs-Gillespie is a programmer at CKTZ Radio.  After consulting with community and establishing a presence, the Village Commons land in downtown Mansons Landing is gearing up for its next phase. The Cortes Island Community Foundation stewards the land and Executive Director Manda Aufochs-Gillespie says grants are in the works from the BC government to move forward on development plans. Up until last winter, the Village Commons was in the hands of the Cortes Community Economic Development Association, she adds, and the organization received community input over the past couple of years to arrive at a vision for the space. The next steps on the ground, to be accomplished over a two year period, include construction of a central gazebo for events, concerts and gatherings, as well as a boardwalk and additional spaces for vendors to complement the weekly market held in Mansons Landing Community Hall, Aufochs-Gillespie says. The foundation is currently seeking a project manager to oversee the next phase. Aufochs-Gillespie adds that along with managing physical construction projects, the successful applicant will need to continue interacting with community groups and other stakeholders to ensure the development’s success over the next couple of years. Aufochs-Gillespie discusses next phases for developing the Village Commons in the interview below with CKTZ News:...