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General News · 24th September 2019
Kristen Scholfield-Sweet
“Good in the beginning, good in the middle, good at the end.” This quote from a wise man regarding contemplation also applies to our long history of Seafest. A seafood festival was reawakened in 1999 by John Shook, Marcel Cerurer and Brent Petkau, and later rejuvenated with the team of John and myself at the helm. What began with my willingness to be in the cook tent on the lawn in front of the Cove restaurant during the 2003 Oyster Festival, has culminated in our organizing 72 volunteers to create and serve a gourmet lunch to approximately 600 Island residents and guests at Seafest 2019. But at long last, John and I have come to the end of our organizing of this community event.

This announcement of our retirement is first of all a thank you letter to this amazing community: the board of the Seafood Association, friends who volunteer, island musicians and vendors, and especially the oyster growers and the good folks of Gorge Harbour Marina Resort. Truly none of our success would have happened without you. If I start mentioning all the people who have given of their time and energy, this letter would go on for pages. Those of you who cook and serve and promote year after year without any monetary compensation, who wait in impossible ferry lines to pick up oysters and groceries, who flawlessly deliver the art of music, who still smile after shucking oysters for 3 hours, who put together tents that behave like jigsaw puzzles, who decide to clean frying pans with a pressure washer, who cope with long cues at the store, no dock space, and missing cases of green onions know who you are. Please know that you are deeply appreciated.

So, what now? If no new version comes forward, a seafood festival on Cortes will be a beautiful island memory. But it doesn't have to end here. John and I are willing to give advice (but not physical labour or time) to an organization or group who wants to explore a new Seafest under their direction. We have loads of tricks, gimmicks and sure-fire solutions to share.

Over the years, so many people have said to us, “Seafest is how we begin our season,” or, “We always come to the oyster festival on Cortes Island,” or “Where can we find out about Seafest, we hear so much about it.” John and I hope our retirement is not the end of Seafest, but only the close of our part of a long legacy of excellent food and great music offered up with Cortes island hospitality. May it always be so.

All the best, Kristen Scholfield-Sweet

Oh dear how sad.
Comment by Caz on 25th September 2019
I always loved the seafest. You both did an amazing job making it happen all these years.Each one better than the one before.Thank you for all your hard work.
You did it with such grace.
We will miss you but maybe not. I’m hoping someone else will come forward and you can both come and eat seafood, relax and enjoy yourselves.♥️♥️
Great community spirit!
Comment by Stephen Reid on 24th September 2019
You guys have done a WONDERFUL job with one of our best and most popular festivals!!!


Huge Thank You
Comment by Dana Solomon on 24th September 2019
Dear Kristen and John,
You huge contributions to our community are like a bouquet of flowers and ferns and branches and fruit. From Seafest-and all the ways you contribute and participate, seen and unseen.
Deep appreciation and gratitude.
And blessings on this time in your lives.
Dana Solomon