Creative. Distinctive. Self-sufficient. Supportive. These qualities bond together Cortes Island’s close-knit community.
The 1,000 year-round residents of Cortes Island are a diverse bunch united by a desire to live independently, together. Farmers, loggers, artists, and teachers, retirees and city refugees — our community events are full of the spirit and hardy passion that comes with life on the fringes of British Columbia’s vast coastal wilderness. Though we don’t agree on everything, our commitment is to discussion, community service, and a lifestyle that challenges the norm creates an atmosphere of empowerment, support, and trust.
Welcoming and Open-Hearted
You’re not a stranger long on Cortes Island, a place where you rarely wait to hitch a ride. Events at Mansons Hall and the Gorge Hall draw residents and visitors throughout the year for performance, workshop, and fun. In the summer time, Locals gather on the rocks at Hague Lake and the sunset beach at Smelt Bay, soaking in the summer sun. The island’s passionate spirit comes to life in vibrant societies and initiatives, at the Friday market in Mansons Landing, and at community meals throughout the year. Cortes Islanders are gregarious and curious, and excited to share their island with visitors from all over the world.
A Diverse Group
The Cortes Island community is notable for its diversity. All events and island gatherings are all-ages — our children dance at our community festivals and play alongside us at island soccer and ultimate frisbee games. We believe that creative interactions between generations help the young in becoming elders and remind our elders how to stay young at heart. These intergenerational bonds help bind us together, creating a strong Cortes Islander identity.
The Community Makes the Difference
A visit to Cortes Island is never simply a vacation. Maybe inspiration will strike on the ferry, while chatting with an island artist with a view over the mainland mountains. Maybe browsing a local artisan’s wares at the Mansons Landing Friday Market will invite a flash of your inner creativity. Maybe the warm smiles and the flowering gardens will inspire a new idea of how to live connected with your own community.
No matter how it strikes you, it’s the rich community life on Cortes Island that leaves the longest-lasting impact on our visitors. Many Cortes Islanders came for a visit and stayed for a lifetime. Is it the wildlife, the serenity, or the friendly smiles on people’s faces? Come and visit to find out for yourself. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.