Tag Archives: Kristen Schofield-Sweet

Ann Mortifee: Coming Home To Cortes Island

Conclusion of a 4 part series.

Hollyhock brought Ann Mortifee to Cortes Island. She was one of Vancouver’s leading singers, but had no previous teaching experience when they invited her to do a workshop. That was 40 years ago. 

“Martha Abelson convinced me to give it a go. I remember the first workshop I did. I went into a wild panic because I’m not a teacher, I’m a singer. I went to the library to find out how I could teach,” she explained.  “At the end of the first session in the morning, I told  Shivon Robinsong (a co-founder and Director of Hollyhock), ‘I can’t do this. I’ve used everything that I was going to use in the five days in the first morning. I have no idea what I’m doing for the rest of the week. I have to give them the option to leave. I’ll pay for everything that Hollyhock would lose.'”

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Birthing of the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery

“I think that artists have a finger on the pulse of what’s going on. We need a place  to show work, and we need to gather and see what’s going on.” – Janet Turpin. 

“For me personally, it gives me a sense of connection to the deeper understanding of what’s behind art and it’s a mirror of what’s going on in the community. It’s a mirror of what’s going on in the world.  That’s what I think artists tap into.” – Lynne Barker 

“Art reflects life and then life reflects art again.  Personally, it helped me grow as an artist. If I look back in 1997 and I look back now,  I grew in this gallery. As artists, we come together. We talk about the shows. We talk about art, I have learned so much.” – Meinsje Vlaming. 

They were responding to the question, ‘why is the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery important?’

The Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery just celebrated its 26th anniversary. Some of its early posters and reproductions of artwork were put up on the walls for the society’s recent AGM. During conversation with some of the earlier members, Cortes Currents learned the gallery was in operation prior to the beginning of written records in 1997. 

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The 2023 Creative Spaces Garden & Studio Tour

The ‘Creative Spaces Garden & Studio Tour’ returns on Saturday, July 8. 

“This is a self-guided tour, and once you get your ticket, you can choose what gardens or artist studios you want to visit, in what order, and you can stay as long as you want at each place,” explained Nancy Kendel, a museum board member whose garden will be among those exhibited. 

“We have 17 venues this year, 21 participating artists and gardeners,” added Managing Director/Curator Melanie Boyle.

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Seafest 2023 At Squirrel Cove 

About 350 people* came to Squirrel Cove for Seafest on Saturday May 20. There was a flow-through crowd and not much more than a third of this number appeared to be at the six-hour long festival at any given time.

“I think Seafest is great, it brings a lot of cultures together and  lots of different seafoods,” said Sharon Francis, a Squirrel Cove resident and member of the Klahoose First Nation.

Curt Cunningham, owner manager of the Squirrel Cove General Store which hosted this year’s festival, added, “They’ve done an incredible job. We’re going to have a good day, a good summer, and this is gonna kick it off!” 

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DFO ‘responds’ to shellfish growers concerns

On March 27 Cortes Currents published some of the concerns shared by many Cortes Island shellfish growers. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) did not have adequate time to respond, which it eventually did by email on April 6, 2023. Cortes Currents was hoping to secure an interview and sent DFO a list of topics to be covered. The most important was ‘the problems of liveaboards and recreational boaters coming too close to shellfish growing sites.’

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