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General News · 12th December 2019
Tanya Henck
Holiday Greetings to Everyone,

I am excited to announce that we have successfully made it through our first year at The Cortes Island Women’s Resource Centre. January 2nd will be our anniversary. It has been amazing to see all the women who have come together to use the space and to create it for what it is! It has been an honour to see women take ownership over the space and use it at their will. We have the most going on at the centre now as the dark hours of Winter settle in. There is a writing group, crafting group and painting group during open hours weekly. We are looking forward to doing movie matinees as well.

The Cortes Island Women’s Resource Centre is now open four days a week and is being used six days a week. We often hold workshops or special events on the open day. Women have 24 hour access to the space. The centre has provided food and personal needs, peer counselling, connection to Safe Home, connection to outreach and crisis counselling. We have provided workshops on healthy relationships, empowerment and challenges of living remotely and domestic abuse. We’ve done advocacy with women confronting violence. The space provides free long distance, computer/internet access and confidential printing ability. Several women are using the space to work and/or create businesses. It has been used for private counselling space. We have regular groups and potlucks to deal with isolation and mental wellness. We have seven volunteers. Cortes Island has a year round population of under 1,000 and the centre is visited between 70-100 times a month, according to our guest/sign-in book.

We have a number of goals in 2020. Now that we have been around for a year we will have more access to grant application. It will still take some time before we can apply and receive funds. We could use help to get us into the New Year. We have a great core of volunteers now and they have all expressed eagerness for more training. We would like to provide training in non crisis intervention, mental health first aid, peer support and stress management. We plan to hold a summertime art auction, provide public education, make cards with crisis numbers and local resources for the community, create a better storage space by acquiring shelving and build a kitchen counter to place the items we have. We have acquired a toaster oven, crock pot, microwave, bread maker, popcorn machine, and of course coffee maker and tea pots. There is always free tea and coffee available and an assortment of food for those who need it.

It is still a work in progress, but we have a website!

The Cortes Women’s Centre graciously received grants from Life on this Planet through the Victoria Foundation, Literacy Now, Grant In Aid through the Strathcona Regional District and LoveFest. We relied heavily on the donations of caring citizens to keep us going. It has been a beautiful journey of generosity!

We are so grateful for everyone that has put time in and financially supported us. It has made it possible to create the space and watch it flourish. There is no way we could have done this without help. This has been a much needed resource on Cortes Island and has already brought so much to the women involved in the organization as well as the women and children we have been able to serve.

We hope that you will think of us when giving donations this year. It would be an honour to receive your support. We are able to give out tax receipts for donations over $25. You can offer donations in cash, e-transfer (to or cheque made payable to CRNI (Campbell River and North Island) Transition Society with memo: Cortes Women’s Centre, other wise it goes into their main account. It can be dropped off in the mail slot at the centre or mailed to 1116 Dogwood St #101, Campbell River, BC V9W 3A2. Please note if you would like to have a tax receipt mailed to you.

I hope this season brings you warmth and love into this New Year!

Tanya Henck

Great work Cortes Womens Centre
Comment by Jennifer Stevens on 31st December 2019
Tanya thanks you so much for your dogged determination to creat, facilitate and manage this centre on Cortes Island. I know that it is appreciated by so many people. I love crafting there and seeing it being used for so many wonderful community gatherings. Blessings and best of the New Year.
Comment by Jason (JT) on 12th December 2019
Congratulations and Kudos to you, Tanya, and a big hooray to all the volunteers and women utilizing this much needed resource. The perseverance it takes to get something like this off the ground and then to not only survive your first year but thrive is inspirational and memorable. I am slowly learning the world is seen through very different eyes when it comes to a man and a woman’s daily life and I am immensely grateful there is a place like this for our community’s women. Thank you Tanya.