Gorge Harbour Marina Resort fires new co-managers, shakes up management team

Gorge Harbour Marina Resort fires new co-managers, shakes up management team

New Qathen Xwegus Management Corporation General Manager Jason Johnson. Photo courtesy of Jason Johnson. After being sold last year to the local Klahoose First Nation, Cortes Island’s Gorge Harbour Marina Resort got off to a rough start this spring. The new co-managers hired by Klahoose Nation’s business arm, Qathen Xwegus Management Corporation (QXMC), were recently fired. The two co-managers for Gorge Harbour Marina Resort were let go on July 24. Image courtesy of QXMC. Heather Reimer and Ron Quire were let go on July 24 following complaints by Gorge Harbour Marina Resort staff and local Cortes Islanders. Five longtime staff had resigned in recent months including former co-managers Bill Dougan and Tammy Allwork who suddenly quit back in April, even though they had agreed to stay on and help with the management transition until August. CKTZ News reached out to Reimer and Quire for comment, but they declined. Quadra Island RCMP confirm that they continue to investigate allegations surrounding the management changes, but no charges are pending and they have no comment at this time. Maintenance employee Scotty Martin was one of the staff members who quit. “I resigned from the Gorge with great sadness because of the new managers and assistant managers. I quit because of the assistant managers who had no clue what they were doing although they acted like they did. All the managers did not care about the community at all…they were only out for themselves. I offered to come back once I heard of the mess the place was in after they were fired. I’m now working three days a week back in maintenance.” Jason Johnson took over as...
Recent study shows concerns about road safety on Cortes Island

Recent study shows concerns about road safety on Cortes Island

The results of a Strathcona Regional District study have come in and residents are reporting concerns about road safety. Image courtesy of the SRD. The Cortes Island Active Transportation Planning Project Study was recently conducted by the Strathcona Regional District (SRD), via a $20,000 grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, and the results are in. Cortes Islanders were canvassed on methods of transportation, road safety and trail networks. SRD Manager of Planning and Parks Meredith Starkey says the findings come as no surprise: residents are concerned about vehicle speeds, narrow roadways and inadequate road shoulders. About 120 residents took part in the study. Collecting the data was useful, she adds, as it now allows the SRD to apply for infrastructure grants from the BC Ministry of Transportation to address road safety concerns. If successful, up to $500,000 could become available to carry out road improvements. Starkey also says the desired infrastructure enhancements will be added into Cortes Island’s Official Community Plan, or OCP, next year. CKTZ News speaks with Starkey in the interview below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Recent study shows concerns about road safety on Cortes Island This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Cortes Island Academy urgently seeking fall housing for students

Cortes Island Academy urgently seeking fall housing for students

Kate Maddigan (left), volunteer with the Cortes Island Academy with her mother Anne MacDonald (right). Photo by Greg Osoba. The Cortes Island Academy is launching its inaugural semester of programs for high school students this September. The Cortes Island School only accommodates students up until Grade 9. The Cortes Island Academy, or “CIA” as it’s known, is the creation of a number of Cortes parents, who wanted to ensure students did not have to leave the island for Grades 10, 11 and 12. The program is part of local School District 72. Volunteer Kate Maddigan says all the courses within the curriculum are for credit within the school system. She adds that the unique programs features courses in leadership, marine and wildlife biology, radio journalism and filmmaking. With 24 students registered for the upcoming semester, Maddigan says there are still half a dozen who need housing on Cortes Island. She adds that people who house and feed students will receive about $900 per month. She speaks with CKTZ News about the housing need and program details in the interview below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Cortes Island Academy urgently seeking fall housing for students This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
30 years of Olatunji drumming and dancing celebrated on Cortes Island

30 years of Olatunji drumming and dancing celebrated on Cortes Island

Gordy Ryan and ensemble perform at the Seattle World Rhythm Festival. Image courtesy of Seattle World Percussion Society. Since 1990, members of Babatunde Olatunji’s Drums of Passion ensemble have been teaching West African drumming and dancing at Hollyhock Leadership Learning Centre on Cortes Island. Babatunde Olatunji. Image courtesy of last.fm. “Baba”, as he’s known, was based in New York City after immigrating from Nigeria in the 1950s, but it was in British Columbia in the late 1980s where the drumming master began his public teaching. In the summer of 1990, he brought a stripped down version of the Drums of Passion troupe to Hollyhock, including Gordy and Zoe Ryan. Baba passed away in 2003, but the Ryans have kept his legacy alive by continuing to teach through the decades. They had hoped to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Baba’s programs at Hollyhock in 2020, but the pandemic thwarted that effort. With restrictions eased, and live programs once again underway at Hollyhock, the Ryans have returned. Their much anticipated anniversary program gets underway on the evening of Wednesday, July 27. Cortes Island hand drumming teacher Claudia Raaen. Photo by Greg Osoba. For the past 30 years, many Cortes Islanders and those who’ve taken programs at Hollyhock have learned about Yoruba culture, especially drumming and dancing. Some have gone on to have professional musical careers. Gordy Ryan speaks about Baba’s special connection with Canada’s west coast in the interview below with CKTZ News: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - 30 years of Olatunji drumming and dancing celebrated on Cortes Island This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of...
Cortes Island docks, local harbour authority recommend some easy steps to ensure security

Cortes Island docks, local harbour authority recommend some easy steps to ensure security

Harbour Authority of Cortes Island manager Jenny Hartwick. Photo by Greg Osoba. Summer is the busiest time of year for recreational boaters, and docks on Cortes Island are popular. Harbour Authority of Cortes Island Manager Jenny Hartwick anticipates one of the busiest seasons on record. She advises vessel owners to secure valuable items on board in a locked area and encourages them to call the RCMP if anything goes missing and to advise the Harbour Authority as well. Mansons Landing government dock. Photo by Greg Osoba. Hartwick says so far she isn’t aware of any thefts this year from docks on Cortes Island. She adds that a number of the Authority’s docks have security cameras. Hartwick says in past year’s there have been issues of over crowding at some docks. But, she believes the situation is being mitigated somewhat with a new reservation system having been introduced at the beginning of April. Hartwick provides details in the interview with CKTZ News below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Cortes Island docks, local harbour authority recommend some easy steps to ensure security This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....