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General News · 17th June 2010
Cortes Island Museum/Archives
(Saturday, June 19, 2010)

Men are definitely invited on this unique tour of workshops and gardens on Cortes Island. Shops include different aspects of woodworking, metal welding, boat building, carpentry, taxidermy and a blacksmith. Many gardens were created for subsistence like the early homesteads – one was created from the forest in an inspiring true settler experience – another has a woodland pond.

Organic farming is practiced by most Cortes gardeners who are ‘big’ on collecting seaweeds along beaches after storms. Crops are rotated with a variety of plants chosen and planned to replenish soils.

This fun, casual event offers visitors an opportunity to explore some of the more private and unique locations on Cortes Island. Sponsored by the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society, proceeds from the “Creative Spaces” tour contribute to public education and community outreach programs along with the continued development of a Heritage Garden featuring plants from early Cortes homesteads.

Ask questions, compare tools or techniques -- workshops on Cortes, like homes and gardens, are unique and individual. Projects are varied and often more than one are works in progress in the same workshop.

Many Cortes gardens, both newly created and well established, reflect an easy going style that often blends with natural surroundings and incorporate recycled materials for creating beds, trellises and places for plants to grow, not to mention all the inventive ways to combat the deer population!

Lunches are available at the Floathouse at Gorge Harbour Marina, Trude’s Café, Squirrel Cove Restaurant and the Sunset Restaurant, Cortes Market Deli and Market Take-Out (the best hamburgers!) at Manson’s Landing. You’re invited to bring your own picnic to enjoy at parks, beaches, Gorge Harbour Marina, the Museum or at Channel Rock where you can sit overlooking the delightful homestead garden of BC poet and writer, Gilean Douglas.

Tour tickets are $12, including a map with garden and workshop descriptions, and will be available at Cortes Island stores, Hollyhock, Squirrel Cove Craft Store, Cortes Museum and Manson’s Hall Friday Markets.

Visitors from off island can arrive on the first ferry to Cortes and pick up their tickets until 10 am on tour day near the top of the hill up from the Cortes ferry landing – watch for signs at the corner of Seavista Road. From Campbell River, patrons should catch the 8:30 am ferry to Quadra that connects to the 9:05 am Cortes ferry at Heriot Bay. Quadra Island patrons should board the 9:05 am Cortes ferry from Heriot Bay. This will leave plenty of time to spend the day visiting a combination of lovely gardens and busy, creative workshops before catching the last ferry off Cortes at 5:50 pm. Car pooling is a great way to save money and avoid ferry line-up delays.

Don’t miss this chance to glimpse an ‘inside’ view of Cortes Island on Saturday, June 19th, 2010, 9:30 am to 5 pm. (tickets only $12). For more information call Cortes Museum at 250-935-6340 or Lynne at 250-935-6472. Mark your calendars and watch for upcoming information about the Cortes Museum sponsored tour of Art Studios on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, 2010.