K’omoks Estuary 2014 – Keeping It Living: The Return of Abundance (January 2014)

Keeping It Living 2014 – An art & literature awareness & fundraising campaign to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the preservation and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary; This year includes a Sponsorship Drive and Events.

Thanks from everyone at Project Watershed

Project Watershed thanks the Vancouver Foundation for their donation $20,000 towards the creation of a publicly accessible online Interactive Map of the K’ómoks Estuary – which will be available soon!

Celebrating ART and ACHIEVEMENTS since 2009

Project Watershed has been conducting the The Keeping It Living Campaign to raise awareness and funds for the protection and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary since 2009. We are taking this year to celebrate the art that has honored our cause, the achievements we have made and our future aspirations. To this end we are focusing on our sponsorship artworks and the following activities during the month of April.

  • Keeping It Living Collection Art Display – In the George Sawchuk Gallery of the CV Art Gallery, April 16th to May 3rd

  • Keeping It Living Earthweek Gala – An event featuring wine,  cheese, music, art and performance art

  • Keeping It Living for Earth Day – Estuary art and performance for the whole family

  • Keeping It Living by Bike – A cycling tour of the Estuary

  • Estuary Walks and Talks – Guided walks in the Estuary


The K’ómoks Estuary has been termed “the heart of our watershed”. It is a unique feature of the Comox Valley which enriches our community and supports our high quality of life, vibrate bird communities, wealth of outdoor activities, and rebounding salmon populations. It also has a rich First Nations history. It has been severely impacted over the years but these industries have moved and it is now time to restore its natural abundance. We are inviting residents to contribute to our efforts by:


Protecting the estuary not only makes sense environmentally but also economically. Bev Byerley’s painting speaks to the quality of life we enjoy in the Comox Valley. Economists use property values among others to capture this value financially. The Estuary Working Group has produced a vision document and is  working on a Management Plan to help sustain that quality of life and uphold those economic values. We hope to have this plan adopted by local, provincial and federal governments. Click here for more Estuary and Economy facts!


Estuary Dinner Launches Elevate the Arts

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Project Watershed is presenting “Dine Under the Sea” to raise funds and awareness about the K’omoks Estuary Tuesday 6-9pm at Zocalo Cafe. Showcasing Art, Music and Food this dinner will also launch the week of events associated with Elevate the Arts. A unique seafood focused menu will be featured including Spot Prawn Skewers, Wild Salmon and Chocolate Mouse (a vegetarian option will also be available) created by Zocalo Chef Peter Bradley. The Zocalo Cafe will be transformed to give an under sea feel with over 35 pieces of estuary inspired art submitted to the Keeping It Living Campaign’s silent auction and competition. Bids and votes for artworks can be made at Zocalo from the 3rd to the 8th or online at There will be three winning artworks – People’s Choice, Artist’s Choice and Keeping It Living’s Choice. There is a wide variety of artwork from Pottery to Stained Glass to Jewelry available at a range of prices ($15 – $3,000) and all reserved bids are below retail value.

Popular local singer, Jilli Martini, and the Valley’s favorite Hawaiian Musician, Anela Kahiamoe, will team up to play at this event. Both musicians are looking forward to collaborating their Jillian Garthrighttalents for this evening of music. Anela will be on guitar and backing vocals, accompanying Jill as they perform a variety of favourite cover songs. Listeners can expect to hear some soft rock, blues, pop and easy listening music. Jilli Martini (aka Jillian Gathright) became well-known a few years back, as the host of the acoustic jam at the ‘late’ Pier Pub in Comox. More recently she has been known as the host of the former Showcase Events at the Avalanche Bar last year, and also the leader of the Jilli Martini Band. Jill is also often found performing intimate acoustic gigs in various venues throughout the Valley. She is recognized for her ability to perform a broad range of styles and genres, from sultry standards to rock ballads and everything in between. Her versatility as a vocalist, and the natural way she engages with her audiences has made her an appreciated part of the local music scene.

Dinner is $25 (Zocalo’s regular menu will also be available), donations for the Estuary will be accepted at the door and both Project Watershed and Zocalo’s are proud to accept community way dollars. Project Watershed is asking for reservations to be made at for the dinner component of the evening as seating is limited.

Project Watershed will be presenting other activities during Elevate the Arts on Saturday the 8th including a participatory art installation “Estuary Mural”, professional family photos in Simms Park and a book reading Penelope Piper’s Great Adventure. Visit or for more details.

Celebrate our Estuary – Sunday, 4 September 2011

Join the K'omoks First Nation and Project Watershed Society in celebrating our Estuary

Sponsored by the K’όmoks First Nation and Project Watershed Society

The K’όmoks First Nation (KFN) and the National Historic Site Committee (NHSC) would like to extend an invitation to all Comox Valley residents to take part in an historic signing ceremony. The signing is a celebration between KFN and the NHSC to launch a community bid for National Historic Site Status for the ancient Aboriginal fish trap systems in the Estuary. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society and the KFN have reached a Memorandum of Agreement to work together for the protection and preservation of the Courtenay River Estuary.

The event will be held on Sunday, September 4th at the Puntledge RV Campground located on Condensory Road, at the upland end of the Estuary. The event will start at 3 PM with a welcome and traditional dancing by Kumugwe Dancers. This will be followed by the signing ceremony at 3:30pm.


Emily Spiller, Vancouver Island Music Awards 2011 female vocalist of the year, will perform at 4 PM and again at 5 PM. The announcement of the official bid for National Historic Site Status for the Estuary Fish Trap Systems will be made at 4:30pm.

In addition, the afternoon will feature Aboriginal art venders, traditional first nation’s food, Project Watershed Displays on the Estuary, the KFN I-Hos canoe and more.

“We hope the entire community can join us for this historic celebration,” says Paul Horgen, Chair of the Historic Site Committee and of the Board of Directors of Project Watershed, and Melissa Quocksister, KFN member on the Historic Site Committee.

Look for the signs!

Keeping It Living Silent Auction

Time is running out for you to bid on estuary inspired art. Once again artists from around the Comox Valley and beyond are supporting the protection and restoration of the Courtenay River Estuary by submitting their art to the Keeping It Living Campaign.

Keeping It Living is an awareness and fundraising campaign to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the preservation and restoration of the Courtenay River Estuary. The goal is to bring about the return of abundance to this beautiful and productive natural feature which truly is the jewel in the crown of the Comox Valley.

Forty three pieces have been submitted from renowned artists such as Ken Kirkby, Bev Byerley, Richard Mravik, Sofie Skapski, Brian Buckrell and more. Their art encompasses a variety of styles, mediums, sizes and subjects.

The pieces, beautiful and alluring, are up at and will be on display at Zocalo Cafe, Crown Isle, The Coastal Community Credit Union, and the Royal Bank  from March 1st to 31st. Remember these pieces not only have value as amazing art but also as symbols of the quality of life you are protecting, you can go online to to place your bids.

The Grand Finale of the auction and competition will be the Day of the Estuary event held at K’omoks Band Hall on April 2nd. All art as well as interactive multimedia displays will be showcased and open to the public 1pm to 5:30pm. There will also be an evening session featuring presentations by Nancy Greene on Estuary Archeology aka Sticks in the Mud and Ken Kirkby on Restoration Success. This will be the last chance for bids and will be an event to remember. For more information visit

Holly Hock flats salt marsh

March 17th – Estuary Movie Night – 7-9pm

You are invited to Estuary Movie Night at the Stan Hagen Theater, North Island College, admission by donation.

Project Watershed in conjunction with World Community will be presenting estuary focused movies and a short presentation on our own Courtenay River Estuary.  The two movies that will be shown are a 5 min short on the Courtenay River Estuary and an hour segment on the fight to save the San Fransisco Estuary. The San Fransisco Estuary is the largest estuary in North America and was highly impacted by rapid development; much of the estuary was “lost” or severely degraded.  Then a small group of dedicated people got together and changed its fate ( With less obstacles in our way the Courtenay River Estuary can also become a shining example of people living in harmony with an important natural feature.

The Courtenay River Estuary is the heart of our community both physically, as it resembles a heart, and spiritually, as our beautiful geographic center. Along with the impressive Comox Glacier it frames our world. Come out for a movie night to be inspired and motivated to protect and restore it. If California can do the Comox Valley can do it!

Report on the Estuary Gala Campaign

(Click the box icon in the top right corner of the document to view full size.)

You can view more media from the Estuary Gala Gathering held in 2010 on

Call to Artists and Creative Writers

Mingling WatersJoin us to inspire the vision and open the dialogue for creating the return of abundance by perserving the Courtenay River Estuary.

Project Watershed and the Estuary Working Group are holding an art and creating writing competition and silent auction for Keeping It Living.  For further details, click here

The Courtenay River Estuary – by Blue Bamboo Productions


Michael Fountain from Blue Bamboo Productions has created a beautiful piece that highlights the historical, economical and spiritual influence and presence of the Courtenay River Estuary in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.

Many thanks to Paul Horgen, Mary and Andy Everson, Scott Wallace, Caila Holbrook and Pieter Vorster for this collaborative creation.