Tag Archives: Frabjous Day Bay Co-op

Denise Wolda (Part 2 of 2): Coming home to Cortes Island

The course of Denise Larson’s life took a radical change in 1983, when she and two of her band members came to Merville. They were professional musicians promoting her third record. It was nice to get out of Vancouver, but Denise did not have any expectations of a small dance in the Merville Hall. Then Ron Wolda walked into her life. She had actually met him two years earlier in Courtenay, but at that time they both had other partners. Now they were single. Ron sat himself down beside her at the dinner being given for the musicians. The next morning, Ron took her out to see the home he built beside the ocean.  

Continue reading Denise Wolda (Part 2 of 2): Coming home to Cortes Island

Denise Wolda (Part 1 of 2): From Farmer’s daughter to Professional Musician

If Cortes Island had an anthem, it would very likely be the chorus of ‘Feel the Island.’ The songwriter, Denise Reinhardt Larson, was a professional musician for twenty years prior to her marriage to Ron Wolda. Her story goes back through the Folk Revolution to rural Saskatchewan.

“ My maiden name is Reinhardt. I’m from a grain farm in southwestern Saskatchewan. It’s about 21 miles south of Etonia, and just about a mile and a half up from the South Saskatchewan River, with lovely hills running from the river up to the edge of the farm. It’s a beautiful spot, and I’m the last one of the family to still own land there. I have two quarters. That feels odd, and it feels quite lovely at the same time,” she explained.

“ We had halls in our small towns, just like we have our Gorge Hall and Manson’s Hall on Cortes. That’s where I got my beginning.”

Continue reading Denise Wolda (Part 1 of 2): From Farmer’s daughter to Professional Musician