In a normal year, Cortes Island’s best known learning centre needs to take in $3 million in revenues to keep operating. 2020 has been anything but normal. As a result of COVID, most of this year’s programs were cancelled and Hollyhock could not rehire most of its usual staff. This has also been a year of innovations: with courses being offered online for the first time and a day-long virtual Hollyhock-a-thon called ‘Shine the Light.’ The Cortes Island centre’s response to this year’s challenges almost amounts to reinventing Hollyhock for a virtual world.Continue reading Reinventing Hollyhock for a virtual world
There were four tables when Mansons Friday Market reopened, on May 29th. Last week there were seventeen. They spilled outside the hall and throughout much of the parking lot. There were a lot of new faces: some covered by masks, but mostly not. This was only one of many examples of Cortes Island slowly reopening.Continue reading Cortes Island Slowly Reopening
For Curt Cunningham, of the Squirrel Cove General Store, it means not having to leave at 5 AM to ensure he can board the first ferry leaving Cortes Island on Monday mornings. He can stay in bed for another two hours. Cunningham will no longer worry about the consequences of being forced to wait for another sailing on the trip home. (Three loads of ice cream melted in the ferry parking lot last year.) There will be no more nights when he is forced to sleep on Quadra, or Campbell River, because there was no room for his truck on the last ferry. He will not have to ask an employee to open the store in the morning. BC Ferries granted assured loading to Cortes Island’s commercial food trucks.Continue reading Cortes Island Stores Granted Assured Loading
2019 was a record year for Hollyhock, and 2020 started out even better. CEO Peter Wrinch says they were expecting 20% more guests this year compared with last year. The leadership team was excited about the prospect of doing facility upgrades, introducing new programming and creating better employment – until the COVID crises began. Now they are asking what will Hollyhock look like in 2021?Continue reading What will Hollyhock look like in 2021?
Many of you probably know Linda Solomon Wood as the Editor-in-Chief of the CANADA’S NATIONAL OBSERVER, but the award winning investigative journalist lived on Cortes Island for five years after 9/11. While she currently lives in Vancouver, Linda returns every summer. I recently had a chance to interview her about her life and why, as the editor of a national publication, she recently hired a reporter to cover Cortes and Quadra Islands.Continue reading Linda Solomon Wood Talks About Cortes Island & Journalism