The Cape Mudge lighthouse at the southern tip of Quadra Island, opposite Campbell River. (John McKinley file)

The Cape Mudge lighthouse at the southern tip of Quadra Island, opposite Campbell River. (John McKinley file)

Quadra Island Community Foundation open for business

Goal is to build community’s capacity to look after itself

Quadra Islanders have another tool to help make their community more sustainable and resilient.

Over the past year or so, Michael Mascall and a group of other partners have been working to make the Quadra Island Community Foundation a reality, though he says the idea came about several years earlier.

“The idea came to me several years ago that this would be a good thing for Quadra to have in the long-term,” he said. “It would be another link in our sense of self-reliance here on a small island. Maybe we could look after ourselves a little better if we did have our own foundation.”

Community Foundations are locally-run charities that support other community endeavours. They essentially pool donations from people in the community and use that money to build community resilience and social improvement.

“We all, probably, in British Columbia have heard of the Vancouver Foundation, which has a large endowment fund and hands out grants to various organizations in British Columbia every year,” Mascall explained. “It was motivated by just trying to look after ourselves here on Quadra. It’s part of the ethos of living in a small community: the idea that if something needs to be done, we are the ones that really have to take the initiative. We can’t always wait for Victoria or Ottawa to step in and help us.”

The group has already received around $15,000 from donors, and are looking to expand their endowment, which will be used as the basis for future actions. Mascall said they were already looking to some community projects like the Quadra Island Seniors Society community housing project.

“If (people) feel like they could make a donation so we can develop our endowment fund, which would be made up of property, we would accept land, but we’re also thinking of cash and we probably also could handle stocks,” Mascall said. “Basically they’d be assets that we could manage and get some sort of financial return on them to be able to hand them out each year.”

“We would like to invest that in a responsible way with a sense of ethics. We’re probably not going to invest in fossil fuels these days,” he added. “We would do it responsibly in a way that would reflect our values as an organization and as a community on Quadra.”

Quadra Island is home to various charitable organizations, but Mascall says the new foundation would not be competing with them. Rather, he sees the foundation’s role as enhancing what is already there.

“If we can develop a fund and then hand out money to augment the various donations they have,” he said. “We don’t see ourselves as competing with other charities, but that there’s this other sort of enhancement that we can do either financially or organizationally so that we can work together to make Quadra a better place.”

Donations and inquiries can be made by reaching out to Mascall at info@quadraislandfoundation.ca.

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marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

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