Pickleball dominates the courts of Cortes, inside and out

Pickleball dominates the courts of Cortes, inside and out

 As the popularity of pickleball grows nationally, the sport has become a regular pastime on Cortes Island with the resurgence of team sports this winter. The school gym is booked four nights a week for adult sports, with pickleball offered twice weekly. If the weather is nice, pickleball moves to the outdoor courts at the Cortes Island School as well. Alex Hornby is a regular pickleballer at the courts and shared his early impressions of the game with CKTZ. “My first thing I heard about it was [that it was] a sport that old people at nudist clubs play.” Hornby was encouraged to play pickleball on Cortes Island and now he loves the sport. Hornby described it the way many other players do: “addictive.” His partner, Darshan Stevens, said one of the reasons it’s so easy to get into is that people improve quickly. “It’s a sport that is very rewarding when you first start playing it…you can do fairly well at it fairly quickly. And people just get hooked and then they wanna play more,” Stevens said. Aside from being fun, Stevens highlights the health benefits of the sport.  “Pickleball has led me down a whole road of getting really into fitness in general. So it’s been like a gateway drug for me …and really good for my mental health to get into fitness. So yeah, pickleball has been really good for me and my family.” Drop-in pickleball is offered for free Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. at the Cortes Island school gym.  To hear more about the pickleball scene, listen to the CKTZ News Update...
City Councillor reflects on lessons learned so far on potential Powell River name change

City Councillor reflects on lessons learned so far on potential Powell River name change

Content warning: This story discusses colonial history and its negative impacts on Indigenous people of Canada. In upcoming Powell River City Council strategic planning meetings, Coun. Cindy Elliott looks forward to making decisions on recommendations from the Joint Working Group she participated in last year. The group was set up following an official name change request to the municipality in May 2021 by the Tla’amin Nation Executive Council. Powell River currently carries the name of Dr. Israel Wood Powell, who was the first BC Superintendent of Indian Affairs and instrumental in the implementation of colonial practices and structures such as residential schools. In spring 2022, the city staged a diverse community engagement campaign that included public education on regional colonial history and way for community members to express their opinion, ranging from open mic forums to letters and surveys. The Joint Working Group summarized the process and outcomes in a report, which was submitted to city council in July 2022. However, with upcoming municipal elections that fall, further work on the possible name change issue was deferred to early 2023. The group’s report gives 11 recommendations, which fall into the categories of community engagement, relationships and reconciliation, racism, and city name change. Elliott hopes that by early summer 2023, the city council will have clarified an action plan comprised of tasks and budgets to move the process forward. Listen to the CKTZ News interview with Powell River Coun. Cindy Elliott...
New dance collective takes shape on Cortes, hosts winter event

New dance collective takes shape on Cortes, hosts winter event

Put on your dancing shoes, Islanders: there’s a new dance collective in town. Last summer, Connie Quayle and Val Lange began seeking opportunities on Cortes Island to start a dance temple collective. They hosted a dance temple in August and have managed to double their efforts with Mary Lloyd and Dancing Wolf joining in. This weekend, Lloyd and Wolf are hosting the first Dance Temple Cortes event of 2023. Dance temple is a form of ecstatic dance, also known as “movement medicine,” the organizers say. Lloyd is a Victoria-based silent disco DJ that started offering events and rentals on Cortes in 2022 and is calling on the community to dance this Saturday. “Just bring your bodies, bring yourselves, whatever is moving in you and your life at this time. It’s a pretty amazing space. It can be really healing and transformative and also just really playful and fun.” The organizers also encourage enthusiastic locals to join the collective and help host future events more regularly: the team of four dancers are hoping with more involvement, they can possibly offer a monthly event on Cortes. “We’re really calling in other people that wanna come and help and make it a true collective and collaborative,” Lloyd said. At the the Jan. 28 event, doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Mansons Hall. If locals want to volunteer for the event, they can contact Lloyd at mary@silentdjvictoria.com. To learn more about the collective, Dance Temple Cortes, contact Connie Quayle at mooncatmagicals.com. To hear more about Dance Temple Cortes, listen to the CKTZ Update...
Women’s Resource Centre breathes sigh of relief with stable 2023 funding

Women’s Resource Centre breathes sigh of relief with stable 2023 funding

Since its inception in 2019, the Cortes Island Women’s Resource Centre has struggled to find funds to ensure delivery of its basic services, but Director Tanya Henck says 2023 will see stable funding thanks to a number of grants from regional and national organizations. The organization received $42,000 through the Victoria Foundation ($5,000), Cortes Island Community Foundation ($17,000), and the Canadian Women’s Foundation ($20,000). The non-profit helps with finding safe spaces for women in crisis, along with helping clients with internet access, long distance phone calls and food security. They also offer skill building programs and opportunities for women to connect and share their experiences in a non-judgemental supportive environment. An initiative that began more than a year ago to create a local non-violent crisis intervention team is moving forward, the director said. On a remote rural island with roughly 1,000 year round residents, quick response in critical situations is required, just as it is in urban settings, Henck adds. The centre allocated $2,000 over the past year to help people cope with cold winter weather and Henck emphasizes that Cortes Island continues to experience a crisis when it comes to accessing affordable housing. Henck outlines the funds received and how they’re helping the centre to deliver needed services in the interview below with CKTZ...
Forestry cooperative explores value-added timber products as way to do more with less

Forestry cooperative explores value-added timber products as way to do more with less

According to the BC government, recent projections indicate there will be a decline in timber supply by 2025 throughout the province. As a result, the Cortes Island Community Forestry Cooperative (CCFC) is hoping to find creative ways to repurpose timber on the island. The organization is holding a public meeting this weekend that aims to get public input on creating value added wood products from timber harvested on its nearly 4,000 hectare tenure. “Value-added products include treated lumber, engineered wood products, shakes and shingles, posts, poles, log and timber-frame homes, mouldings, pallets, boxes, cabinets, furniture, art and other finished or semi-finished goods. These products generate more economic value per unit, but their manufacture is typically marked by low volumes of output,” the BC government wrote in A Vision and Action Plan for Further Manufacturing. In November, the CCFC put out an initial call for proposals for the creation of value-added products. However, the response from Cortes Island citizens was minimal. CCFC president Carrie Saxifrage says it’s an opportune time as the BC government invests $90 million in forestry dependent communities for secondary manufacturing. An artist carved post in the Saxifrage home on Cortes Island. Photo by Greg Osoba. Saxifrage says the organization is a partnership between the non-Indigenous community on Cortes Island and the Klahoose First Nation. She adds that the public input from the upcoming meeting will result in a roadmap to guide the creation of locally made value added wood products: Saxifrage sees the strategy as a way for forestry dependent communities to create jobs and determine their own destiny as timber supplies dwindle. Funding for the initiative...