Engle and Völkers Vancouver Island North and their salmon. From left to right: Caila Holbrook, Jeff Nield, Dana Taylor,Chantal Jakobsen, Abel O’Brennan, Erik Clevering, Nathan King, Lucie Himmelova and Laurenne Barnsley and Brian Storey.

A school of Engel Völkers salmon to support Kus-kus-sum Project in the Comox Valley

Engel & Völkers Vancouver Island North and their associated advisors are decorating the Kus-kus-sum (the old Field Sawmill) fence along Comox Road with a school of business salmon.

“The vision for the Kus-kus-sum property is something we’re excited about. We are proud to support Project Watershed, K’ómoks First Nation, and all the partners in regenerating such an important part of our ecosystem from an industrial site back into its’ natural state,” said Jeff Nield, managing broker.

Engel & Völkers is a real estate brokerage focused on selling luxury homes. Their salmon will represent a $7,500 sponsorship, with $4,500 coming from the real estate brokerage and $500 coming from six of their seven advisors (the seventh advisor had previously set up an alternative donation program). In addition, all seven advisers have committed to donating $100 from every transaction until June 30, 2020.

“Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is grateful for this kind of ongoing support from a local business to help purchase and restore the Kus-kus-sum property,” said Bill Heidrick, vice-chair of Project Watershed.

Business salmon are a continuation of the Sponsor A Salmon fundraiser which has raised around $10,000 for Kus-kus-sum and resulted in 300 salmon up on the fence along the property. The original program was part of an education initiative sponsored by the Peninsula Co-op. The business salmon are made from plywood donated by Central Builders. All salmon will be cut out, painted and hung by volunteers.

RELATED: Students get involved with Kus-kus-sum fundraising

Once sponsored by a business the salmon is decorated with the business’s logo and attached to the fence along with the painted salmon. The business salmon come in three sizes. “Pink” salmon are two feet long and can be sponsored for $500; “Sockeye” salmon are three feet long and can be sponsored for $1,500; and “Chinook” are four feet long and can be sponsored for $4,500.

“We are hoping to populate the entire length of the fence with salmon,” said Caila Holbrook, manager of fundraising, outreach and mapping at Project Watershed. “Our objectives are to illustrate the community support for this initiative, connect people in our community to this place, raise awareness, and beautify the area.”

It is estimated that over 30,000 cars pass by the site daily, making it an ideal location to promote the project.

Project Watershed’s last payment to Interfor for the Kus-kus-sum property is on June 30, 2020. The organization’s application to the federal government for $1.1 million was denied, leaving a large funding gap that needs to be filled by the June deadline.

“If we don’t make the deadline, the property will go back on the market and we could lose this opportunity to restore important habitat in the heart of our community,” said Jennifer Sutherst, Project Watershed’s staff biologist.

Businesses and others can sponsor a salmon at www.kuskussum.ca/salmon, by calling Project Watershed at 250-703-2871 or by visiting their offices at 2356a Rosewall Crescent in Tintown.

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