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General News · 11th July 2015
Nancy Kendel
A week ago I posted our concerns about the upcoming RAVE - with the outcome being that the organizers did the right thing and cancelled it due to the extreme fire hazard that presently exists on Cortes Island. During the process of researching the RAVE I learned a few things that I thought others might be interested in knowing too.

The area around Carrington Bay is a Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Park. The land itself is a Crown Lease which expires in 2035. The SRD is responsible for the Park and for carrying liability insurance, the same as it does for all the areas on Cortes that it manages.

Saying that, the Parks By-laws and Special Events By-laws that were inherited from the Comox-Strathcona Regional District when the SRD was formed have no “Event Permits” so have “little teeth” when it comes to managing or regulating events that are held in the park (the same would apply to Hank’s Beach or Kwas Park.). The SRD recognizes that the above by-laws need to be reviewed and updated and have set that as a priority for the next year. Noba Anderson, our Director, has agreed that islanders need to have discussions this fall/winter regarding possible Parks and Special Events By-law changes to determine what we want to have happen for Cortes. Businesses are not allowed to operate within a park or on crown land. However, it is sometimes difficult to prove something is a commercial endeavor.

Carrington Bay Park is not included in the fire area of the Cortes Island Fire Department. Therefore if a fire occurred in that area they would not respond. The area would fall under the Ministry of Forests (MOF) for fire suppression. The MOF restricts the use of the lands they manage only if there is an active fire, or when there is extreme forest fire danger. They typically do not restrict recreational use, though they can close areas if they deem it necessary and work with other land holders or forestry companies that own the land.

If a fire started MOF would do a tactical evacuation of the immediate area with the assistance of the RCMP. They would not be responsible for the public evacuation of the Island. That type of evacuation is the responsibility of the SRD through the Cortes Emergency Social Services Program chaired by Chris Dragseth.

The Carrington Bay RAVE or “Camp Out” as it is now referred to is organized by The Naked DJs. If you want to learn more about them you can check out their website at

I have tried to summarize what I uncovered in my discussions with various agencies. If I have put something down that isn’t quite correct I apologize. If you didn’t see the message from our Fire Chief Dan Pippin regarding what each of us can do to reduce the risk of a fire on Cortes check out comment # 20 in my first article titled RAVE Concerns.
Much more to learn and a few things to consider
Comment by ben howells on 1st August 2015
Hello Nancy,

Thanks for your comments and concerns. As always when looking in from the outside things seem much scarier.

For one your post had zero bearing on our decision to cancel the event. Although as always the general concern of residents is always put into consideration. We are stewards to this land and have been for a lot longer then its been a park. Our decision to postpone had been on the table for weeks previous to your tideline post.

SRD special event permit bylaws only apply to events larger than 1000. In addition does not apply to FREE gatherings of the people. After all that is why we have parks in the first place. To attempt to not allow people to gather in community celebration would be one small step away from fascist behavior. I have been asked to act as a consultant for the special event permit amendments in the CVRD as both the CVRD and SRD are hoping to revamp in the coming years. Id be happy to explain in more detail by phone or email how these things work.

It is offensive and compleatly false for you to imply this is a for profit event as it has run for 18 years completely free from monetary exchange. This event happens because residents put forth their time, money and equipment for free and at a cost to themselves.

Yes the nakeddjs (all of which grew up on cortes) are some of the organizers but there are many more that take part and have for almost 20 years.

Personally I grew up on Cortes and have called this place home for 34 years.

If you would like to have more information or have questions I am very easy to get a hold of. It would indeed be prudent to get info straight from the horse's mouth.

I would love to have a chat with you about your involvement and years spent on Cortes Island and humbly suggest you acquire much more information about the reality of parks and how we as free humans gather in celebration.

It is a conversation I am happy to have anytime.


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