A wooden gateway with shrubs on either side. You cannoy see what is immediately behind the gate, but there are trees in the distance.

Strengthening Community Connections on Quadra Island

The Quadra Island Foundation hopes to strengthen their island’s community connections. They invited the island’s charities and non-profits to a meeting at the Quadra Community Centre from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Saturday, February 24. 

”We have perceived there has been significant redundancy of projects between organizations. With collaboration between the groups, we will gain some strength, not only in people power,  but also in the strength of ‘asks’ when applying for grants,” explained Jody A Rodgers, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Quadra Island Foundation.

Jody Rodgers, Chair of the Board, Quadra Island Foundation –

“We have nearly 30 Quadra organizations that include charities, nonprofits, clubs and groups.  Of those organizations who have RSVP’d ‘yes,’ we requested that the organization send three individuals. They can be staff, board members or other designated individuals. There is a lot of overlap with people in multiple groups. Sometimes an individual may be representing two or more organizations, and that’s perfectly fine.”

“In addition to the usual sort of practices of being a community foundation, Quadra Island Foundation, is hoping to be the steward of data for Quadra Island and Surge Narrows-Reed Island.”

“We would have all of the indicators that reflect the health of a society.  Not just economic and other demographic details, but things related to transportation, to housing, obviously access to health care,  education, the arts,  secure access to water and other infrastructures that  we need to support expanding communities, if necessary.”

“In other words: if we want to build an affordable housing unit, do we have the water supply? Can we deal with the septic situation? – those sorts of demographics. If we can gather all of that data together, by pooling the information that a lot of these groups have gathered with respect to their own facet of society,  then Quadra Island Foundation itself would be able to utilize all of that information to help strengthen ‘asks’ in the future to different organizations, whether they be public or private, when trying to support a particular project.”

“That’s the intended goal, how we’re doing it  is really going to be under the art and magic of our facilitator Jennifer Banks-Doll. I’ll  be welcoming everyone and then turning the baton over to her.”

“She will be doing various exercises where we’ll come together in little breakout groups, or slightly larger breakout groups,  and talk with each other. We’re going to have some posted notes where people will have some data.  They’ll contribute,  both pragmatic  and wishful thinking information.” 

“Obviously we’re going to gather all of that together and write a report and try to glean what we have learned that we don’t know, and we need to fill out. We’ll also have a stronger network so that we’ll be able to know who to ask.”

“People like to describe a charitable foundation as a three legged stool, where it has community engagement and endowment  and fundraising. I’m hoping that Quadra Island Foundation will be more like the hub of a wagon wheel and that all of these different organizations will be the spokes of that wheel. The rim of the wheel is the community, so that in the center is Quadra Island Foundation to assist and support those entities that truly reach out to the community. It seems to be a better analogy for how we would view ourselves.”

“We’re hoping this particular event is the start of many.  We’re essentially doing a ‘who’s who in the zoo’ at this time, so that we can all meet and network with each other  and realize we need to come back together again and thereby strengthen those connections and come up with some more tangible outcomes.”

Rodgers said the Quadra Foundation’s jurisdiction extends throughout Area C, and they already have a strong relationship with Surge Narrows-Read Island.

Cortes Island is a separate Regional District, but she hopes to see that relationship deepen as well. Rodgers described Cortes and Quadra as siblings, who can learn from each other.

CC: Do you have any final thoughts for the Quadra Community meeting this Saturday? 

Jody A Rodgers: “I  really hope that this is a good start to a wonderful  continuation of working together, supporting each other and becoming more efficient and more effective through our collaboration.”

 On a lighter note, she added, “We’re offering free concessions. All our board members are baking stuff.  So I’m making a Brazilian cheese bread.  I  have a daughter and son-in-law living in Rio de Janeiro. I know a lot of Brazilian recipes.” 

Top image credit: Gateway to the Quadra Community Garden – Photo courtesy Quadra Island Foundation

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