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General News · 4th September 2015
Well many people seem to be making false assumptions about me, due to the reality that I have been accused of “making free of the space while taking no responsibility whatsoever for anything that may happen there” and that “Neither the Executor nor Sedley's daughters are in a position to authorise the occupation of, or the holding of any gathering, at the property.”. The “space” mentioned, 591 Whaletown Road, is a place I have lived in, and cared for, over most of the last two decades at which I am still the official resident and occupant. So, I thought it made sense to get more accurate information out into the community.

Unabridged statements by me can be found in today’s Cortes Marketer

As you may know, for a long time my late husband Sedley and I have wanted to see a community common, a little downtown for Whaletown, occur on this property where Trude’s Café has stood.

Let’s start with Trude-Fest. The rain held off, the sun came out and even the wasps stayed away. It was close to perfect. In my eighties, by necessity, I’m learning to be a public speaker, but I still struggle with what to say when I am holding a mike. Oh Well!

Many of the performers also played Cortes Day, but we had a duo all the way from Revelstoke on stage. One of our messages to folks from far away was to do the same thing that we are wherever they live. Grab a piece of land in the middle of town and build community there. Times are getting tougher and we need central places to meet and work and play in order to have a strong community and support each other.

Some people don’t understand why I would hold a “micro-festival” as a fundraiser – lots of work, not so much money. It actually did fairly well money-wise netting just under $2800 in cash and pledges (after deducting $521 in expenses). Still, this event, more than anything else, was an outreach to the younger generation and a chance for them to show up and participate in meaningful ways.

I’m not so old and foolish to think the younger members of the community have as deep pockets as older folks, but I value $20 from a twenty-year-old almost as much as I value $10,000 from a sixty-year-old. That new adult probably gave up a greater percentage of their “net worth”. So, while auctions, fancy soirees (Trude’s Eve coming up Oct 17 at Gorge Hall) and visioning sessions get me closer to my fundraising targets, my community building targets demand a time for young mothers to let their children run free on the green grass out back. It was great to hear people gush about the “natural amphitheatre” that exists back there and how perfect it is for community gatherings.

In less than a month, my team has brought in $21,290 in pledges towards the purchase of the property. That’s officially just over 20% of the purchase price. It’s a good beginning. As I have been telling folks, if you give cash, we may spend it on expenses (like event insurance), but the pledges are for purchase and post purchase expenses only.

We also have raised $2470.75 in cash, but more than half of it is gone. Our greatest expense by far has been dealing with the executor of Sedley’s estate, Roger Purdy. Between lawyer’s fees, event insurance and a full page explanation in the Marketer, we have spent over $1000. Obviously, it is what we needed to do to get this far, and hopefully all of this unpleasantness is now in the past.

Some people want to know why we are trying to raise $140,000 when the purchase price is only $105,000. Well, past the closing costs, we are looking for $25,000 to $30,000 as part of an initial “roll out”. Here’s some big news. I’m in negotiations with Helene Racine, the postmistress in Whaletown, to have the Whaletown Post Office move to the property in the spring. Helene has said she is in favour of the move and it looks like a strong possibility it will happen. So, we want a bit of money to build a couple of simple small “micro-commercial” units (simple 8’x16’ trailers) to put beside the post office.

If we run short on fundraising for purchase, this will position us to get a small private mortgage here on the island (which now that I have announced it, may be conditionally agreed upon soon – call me if you want to help out there), as the property will have year round rental income available to make modest monthly payments. It also means my espresso machine will be running again – hot coffee in the winter anyone? Also, we want to have space for local entrepreneurs to interact with the tourists that come to the marina (the properties back on to each other – it will be maybe a three minute walk from the store to the post office) during the summer. This isn’t just meant to be a park.

Indeed, at the Trude-Vision event another neighbour starting talking about how the banks aren’t giving meaningful interest and then he said “Why not invest in Whaletown?”, and already a few people including an architect are considering a plan (after the purchase) to replace the old building soon with local money, local material and local labour. That’s the spirit. Let’s do this thing right. Full speed ahead!

Please contact me at 250 935 0193 (you’ll have to yell as I am more than a bit deaf) or better email me at, if you have any questions or want to help me acquire this land for the community.