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Cortes youth reading from Forest Alphabet
General News · 8th July 2014
Christine Robinson/FTCCIS
One hundred and thirty attendees squeezed into the Sunshine Room at the Linnaea Education Center on June 29th to celebrate the 33 Cortes youth featured in the new publication, ‘Forest Alphabet - Artistic Visions of a Forest in Trust to the Children of Cortes Island’.

The 33 original art pieces featured in the book and Forest Trust banners designed by Lisa Gibbons set the backdrop for the occasion.
The book launch was youth-inspired and youth-led. It was envisioned during an Event Planning Workshop for youth led by Eva Boucek and sponsored by the Forest Trust. Liam Baron Preston and Deva Braaten presided over the ceremony with finesse and flair. Selected readings from the book were given by Sancho Spencer, Nola McPhail, Julian Francis, Melanie Williams, and Bella Meredith-Drometer.

The audience was challenged to recognize ten forest sounds ingeniously offered by Ilo, Makawi and Kaleo Biela. The Children’s Forest Trust youth gifted three copies of ‘Forest Alphabet’ to the Klahoose Resource Library, the Cortes branch of VIRL, and the Cortes School. Trude created a spectacular cake for the children, topped with a perfect, edible reproduction of the book’s front cover.

A display of forest treasures and activities were looked after by Tosh Harvey, while two live cutthroat trout enchanted onlookers. ‘Forest Alphabet’ books, raffle tickets, and Forest Trust logo buttons were sold, making this event the first fundraiser for the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society (FTCCIS).

The FTCCIS Board of Directors extends their gratitude to all 33 artists and authors, and to the organizing youth, for a brilliant celebration! Specifically, thanks to: Deva Braaten, Tara Warkentin, Alma & Laara Huuskonen for organizing; Deva Braaten & Liam Baron Preston for officiating; Ella & Nola McPhail, Kai Harvey, Aislin Downey & Osha Dombroski for set-up; Marnie’s Bookstore, Russ’ Raw Community Chocolate, Cortes Creation’s, Arbutus Arts, Becca’s Beans, Natural Food COOP & Gathering Place for raffle basket contributions.

Copies of ‘Forest Alphabet’ will be for sale ($20) locally at Marnie’s Books & the Cortes Museum and online through the Forest Trust web site at All proceeds from book sales go towards land purchase. The publication of the book has been funded by the sale of art pieces generously donated to the Forest Trust by local and visiting artists (check out Artist’s Journey on our website Special thanks to Rachel Bevington for her outstanding contribution in preparing the print-ready digital file for the printing of forest alphabet!

Final thanks goes to all the youth, families, and adults who came out to support Cortes children speaking out for protection of the Children’s Forest – “a place they call home in the rainforests of British Columbia”.
Zoe Miles presents a Forest Alphabet cake (baked by Trude) to youth artists
Zoe Miles presents a Forest Alphabet cake (baked by Trude) to youth artists
Book signing
Book signing
Hands-on nature exhibits and activities filled one end of the room
Hands-on nature exhibits and activities filled one end of the room