Welcome to the 25th volume of our ongoing love letter to the Comox Valley.

In 2014, Ross Bodenmann had the honour of writing the first editor’s introduction, which he closed by saying, “Come in, get comfortable, and welcome to the collective.” Since then, we’ve added dozens of contributors and the invitation still stands. We want to keep growing and evolving.

COVID has been hard on all of us. The effects of this strange, unwanted pause will reverberate through our society for decades. As we move through our brave new world (which we hope will soon be a post-pandemic world), we’re thinking about renewal. It may not be the most original spring theme, but I don’t think we’ve ever needed renewal more.

In this issue, you’ll find uplifting stories about food and farmland, bees and blossoms, and people making comebacks after setbacks. We step back in time to revisit the Cold War, World War II, and the whaling era—all of which we’re glad to have in the rear-view mirror. And we shine a spotlight on those creating art, beauty, and community, which are so very necessary in these difficult times.

This year, we’re starting an initiative that gives readers a chance to be part of building the Comox Valley while never missing an issue of the Collective.

With our optional subscription service, 50% of subscription revenue goes to a “Collective Fund” that directly supports grassroots community projects in three categories: Public Art and Events, Recreation and Adventure, and Land and Water Conservation.

It’s a big change to ask for subscriptions, but we’re super-excited about the concept of distributing funds to initiatives that enrich community life. (It’s no coincidence at all that the eligible categories line up neatly with our Create/Play/Explore tagline that inspires every issue of the CV Collective.)

We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our family of advertisers—some of whom have flourished since COVID began, and others who’ve struggled. Our magazine would not have made it through the past year without them. But we realize that the onus to move the Collective forward no longer needs to remain solely on our advertisers (although readers will still be able to pick up the CVC through them).

We’re proud to have earned a cherished place in the hearts of many Valley dwellers, and to have created this collective. Come along and be part of our renewal as we continue to explore the many aspects of life in this amazing, challenging, unique, and beautiful place we call home.