ommemorating a coastal legend
California-born Ada Annie Jordan settled in the Clayoquot coastal rainforest in 1915 with her first husband, Willie Rae Arthur and three young children. Willie was a “remittance Man” from Glasgow with an opium addiction and a wealthy Scottish family who sent him regular cheques to keep him in Canada and to avoid him embarrassing his upper class family. Annie came to this isolated coast to help save him from his habit.
A five-acre garden carved out of the wilderness by Annie provided food and income throughout her long life. The bounty on cougars supplemented her income and she earned her moniker of Cougar Annie by shooting over 70 of the animals. Annie gave birth to eight more children in this remote location.
In 1961 Annie married for the fourth and last time. It was an unsuccessful marriage to a man, 12 years her junior, who drank, stole from the store and sometimes beat her. This man tried to run Annie off a cliff to get the farm but she was wilier than he was and ran him off with her shotgun. When he left never to return around 1967, he was not missed.
Annie rarely left the property until old age and blindness forced her removal to Port Alberni, where she died just shy of 97.
In 2007 Katrina Kadoski moved to an off-the-grid historical homestead /garden located 33 miles North of Tofino. It used to belong to a settler who became known as Cougar Annie. Shortly after arriving she began writing songs about Cougar Annie’s very interesting life. Kadoski spent close to three years at Cougar Annie’s garden and immersing herself in the folklore surrounding the legendary pioneer-settler.
“While most of my research happened during the three years I spent on her land. I have since traveled around Vancouver Island, Manitoba, and Alberta. I have been conducting interviews with relatives, collecting photos, news clippings, and letters,” states Kadoski.
After five years of writing and researching there is now a show called Cougar Annie Tales. It has been recently adapted as a solo theatre piece with support from the Other Guys, Kate Rubin, and Intrepid Theatre.
Now her award winning, critically acclaimed one-woman show has been touring around B.C., and recently showcased at Pacific Contact. Drawing upon many sources, including Annie’s family, Cougar Annie Tales uses dramatic narrative, images, letters, and original compositions to celebrate the unconventional life of one of B.C.’s most colourful characters.
For more information on Katrina Kadoski go to: www.katrinakadoski.com
Cougar Annie Tales
Edward Milne community theatre
6218 Sooke Rd.
Monday, April 28 – Doors 7:30 p.m. – Show 8 p.m.
Tickets at the door or in advance at the Sooke Regional Museum, E.M.C.S. ticket office, Stick-in-the Mud Coffee
( EMCS students – $5 at the door)