Cowichan This Week: Moo-ving into March

Welcome to Cowichan This Week, your source for the latest local news and events. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Thursday.

News and announcements

  • Economic Development Cowichan, in partnership with Spring Activator, has launched the Cowichan Food Innovation Program. It’s a 12-week virtual program designed to help new and existing food and beverage processing businesses to launch, pivot or grow. The training is being offered at no cost, and applications are due March 31
  • Multiple community groups are working towards solutions to bring more meat processing options for small-scale farmers in the Cowichan region and the South Island, Shalu Mehta reports for The Discourse. This article is part of the Food For Thought series.
  • Chef Jared Qwustenuxun Williams consulted two Quw’utsun knowledge keepers on how colonization impacted Coast Salish food systems. The article is second in a three-part series on Coast Salish food and cooking, and is also part of The Discourse’s Food For Thought series. 
  • Jules Sherred, a disabled food photographer and advocate based in Duncan, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of an art exhibit called Disability, Culture and Food Through Art. The plan is to create a photography and video exhibition featuring the food stories of disabled Canadians, culturally diverse Canadians and Cowichan Valley food producers. Visit the website to learn more or get involved. 
  • Seniors born in 1931 or earlier, and Indigenous seniors born in 1956 or earlier, can call to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment beginning March 8, the B.C. government has announced. Seniors born in 1936 or earlier and in 1941 and earlier will be able to call in subsequent weeks. On Vancouver Island, call 1-833-348-4787 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., any day of the week. Visit the website for more information. 
  • The B.C. government plans to make changes to rental housing rules that would extend a rent freeze through the end of 2021, protect renters from illegal renovictions and improve the dispute resolution process, according to a news release
  • A 17-year-old was stabbed to death in North Cowichan in the early hours of March 1, according to RCMP. The Cowichan Valley School District has mobilized its Critical Incident Response Team to support affected students, staff and family members, according to an emailed statement from the school district.
  • RCMP have identified the vehicle and driver suspected in a fatal hit and run that took place on Feb. 14 in Chemainus, according to a news release
  • The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is seeking funding for a child and youth advocacy centre, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. The centre would help co-ordinate a response in cases of child abuse and other crimes agaisnt children. 
  • The City of Duncan will pay for paint and brushes to support business owners to cover up graffiti, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. The project is based on a successful program in Port Alberni. 
  • A 60-year-old woman has died in a boat fire in the Ladysmith harbour, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports
  • Major donors have pledged $60,000 in matching funds to support the Chemainus Theatre’s annual campaign, the Chemainus Valley Courier reports
  • Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley will lead a special committee on reforming B.C’s Police Act, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • The Raptors Rescue Society in North Cowichan will receive $387,350 in provincial funding towards the construction of an education centre, according to a news release. The money is part of B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

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Community events

  • Monday, March 8: 💃 The Discourse Cowichan, in partnership with Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day, will host a virtual ceremony to mark International Women’s Day and honour essential workers. Audrey George, manager of the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility in Duncan, will be the keynote speaker. Poets Délani Valin and Carla Stein will read at the event. The event will broadcast to The Discourse’s Facebook page at noon. Here is the Facebook event page
  • Monday, March 8: 🎥 Youth 20/20 Can Cowichan is hosting Part 2 of its virtual workshop on screenwriting, for youth ages 15-29. Email to register. 
  • Friday, March 12: 🍲 The Cowichan Valley BC Greens invite you to Keeping Cowichan Nourished, a virtual conversation with local food security advocates and MLA Sonia Furstenau. Any funds raised during the event will support Nourish Cowichan.
  • Monday, March 15: 🌱 The Young Agrarians are hosting a free, 3-hour virtual workshop on the basics of starting an urban farm business. 
  • Monday, March 15: 😷 The Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area is hosting a workshop for member businesses on how to de-escalate conflicts with customers, including those who refuse to wear masks. Space is limited. 
  • Saturdays, March 20 and 27: 🎶 The Koksilah Music Festival is going virtual, with performances, workshops, discussions and more. Funds raised will support Gidimt’en Yintah Access and a Quw’utsun housing project. 
  • Available now: 🎷 Check out local blues icon Eugene Smith on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre Podcast. He talks about his family history, experiences of racism and the impacts of COVID-19 on performance industries, and also performs on the kalimba. 

What did I miss? Let me know what events are coming up near you by sending me an email

In your words

Our colleagues over at IndigiNews took to Facebook live this week to give a little behind-the-scenes peek at their work reporting Indigenous news on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan. 

“Hello from Cowichan Valley, love your work! Thank you all for working hard during this pandemic, take care & be safe,” wrote Deanna, in the Facebook comments.

Thanks, Deanna, and thanks to the IndigiNews team for your inspiring work! It motivates me to do better every day. [end]

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