Cowichan photo of the week
Claudia Weiss snapped a photo of this iconic sign just in time — the sign came down this week at the empty lot along the Hwy. 1 at Boys Road, just south of Duncan. It’s our photo of the week. Email your photos to jacqueline@thediscourse.ca
Cowichan Valley

Cowichan This Week: Spring cleaning

Jacqueline Ronson March 11, 2021

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

  • Heads up that the next edition of Cowichan This Week will come out in two weeks, on March 25. The Discourse team is taking the week of March 15th off to rest and recuperate, so we can come back refreshed and ready to serve our communities with in-depth news that matters. 
  • B.C. is booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments ahead of schedule, and will open call centres up to seniors over the age of 85 (or turning 85 this year) at noon today, March 11. Island Health will vaccinate all willing adult community members at once in select remote communities, including Penelakut and Thetis islands. Most Cowichan region residents will register for immunization according to their age group. Vaccinations will take place at the Cowichan Community Centre gym, and at the Aggie Hall in Ladysmith.
  • The milkman is back in town. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Cowichan Milk Company was ready to expand its home delivery model — and support other local food businesses as well. David Minkow reports for The Discourse. This article is part of the Food for Thought series.
  • Many in the Cowichan Valley are reeling after the stabbing death of a 17-year-old student. Reporter David Minkow checked in with the school board and local youth counsellors on how teens and their parents can access trauma and grief supports
  • On Monday, The Discourse hosted a virtual gathering to mark International Women’s Day and honour essential workers. The event featured original poetry by Délani Valin and Carla Stein, and a feature interview with Audrey George, manager of assisted living at Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum in Duncan. George spoke to the successes of her team in keeping Indigenous elders safe through the pandemic. Watch the video
  • .The Cowichan Valley School District is open to offers to purchase the former Yount Elementary School property in Youbou. The district has accepted an offer on the Charles Hoey VC school property in Duncan, subject to financing. 
  • This week in the B.C. legislature, Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau asked why the province has failed to act on the “urgent” 2019 recommendation from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to decriminalize simple possession of drugs through tools within the B.C. government’s powers. Sheila Malcolmson, minister for mental health and addictions, said the government has asked police departments not to arrest for simple possession and will move forward on a “made-in-B.C.” solution towards decriminalization if the federal government doesn’t act quickly to decriminalize nationally. Video of the full exchange is on YouTube
  • Film crews will take over downtown Chemainus next week to shoot a Hallmark movie, the Chemainus Valley Courier reports
  • BikeWorks, a youth program operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Cowichan Valley branch, has reopened at a new location. The program, now at 360 Festubert St., offers youth the opportunity to learn bike repair, create art and build community
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association’s Cowichan Valley branch has ended extreme-weather shelter operations at Cowichan Tribes’ Si’em Lelum Gymnasium. Emergency shelter remains available at Warmland House. 
  • North Cowichan councillor Rob Douglas is pushing to pilot a regional model of forest management, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • The Ladysmith Museum will receive $89,000 in provincial money for upgrades at the facility, according to a news release
  • Work has begun on a new public washroom for downtown Ladysmith, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports
  • The Ideological Conflict Project is offering free online mediation to people in the Cowichan Valley involved in water-related conflict. Message the group on Facebook for more information.
  • The Shawnigan Lake Historical Society will receive $480,000 from the federal government towards its museum expansion project, the society announced.
  • The Stz’uminus First Nation’s public works department has recognized Jimmy Seymour for exceptional service to the community, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports
  • Last week youth volunteers removed 1,114 pounds of garbage from the Cowichan River estuary. Youth 20/20 Can Cowichan organized the clean-up.

Community events

  • 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. 
  • Tuesday, March 16: 🌊 The Cowichan Valley Naturalists’ Society invites community members to a virtual Vancouver Island wildlife photo journey, plus a talk on Surfrider Vancouver Island’s beach clean-up efforts. 
  • Wednesday, March 17: 🍎 Economic Development Cowichan is hosting an information session on the new Cowichan Food Innovation Program, a virtual program to help local food businesses launch, pivot or grow. 
  • Wednesday, March 17 through Friday, March 19: 📽️ Youth 20/20 Can Cowichan is hosting a three-day March Break Film Club, to watch and talk about TV, movies and screenwriting.
  • Friday, March 19: 🍾 The Youth Community Action Project team is hosting a bottle drive at the HUB at Cowichan Station, with proceeds going to the HUB. 
  • 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. 
  • Monday, March 29 through Friday, April 9: 🤝 The CommUNITY Together to End Poverty Hw-nuts’ulwum (As One) project invites community members in Ladysmith and Stz’uminus to sign up for one or more poverty challenges, to raise awareness of the challenges people living in poverty face. 
  • Thursday, April 1 and Friday, April 2: 🌿 The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is hosting a 1.5-day restoration workshop, led by David Polster. The course includes components both online and in the field.
  • Wednesdays: 🗣️ Cowichan Tribes Prevention is hosting weekly live Hul’qumi’num lessons on Facebook. The first video lesson is available now
  • Available now: 🎸Local songstresses Beverley McKeen and Cara McCandless performed an International Women’s Day concert at the Duncan Showroom. Video from the performance is on YouTube. 
  • Through Wednesday, April 7: 🖼️ Catch artwork by a collective of Maple Bay painters at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council gallery.

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


In your words

We’ve received such great comments on our story about the Cowichan Milk Company since it was published late last week. 

“They have been awesome,” wrote George Gates. “We love the milk and use it in our restaurant and sell it in our farm store at the Farm Table Inn. Between Cowichan Milk Company and the Cow-op.ca it’s amazing all the local products you can get delivered right to your door.”

Cathy Gilroy offered this hot tip: “If you enjoy making homemade ricotta you need this milk in your life. The 3.8% non cream top is perfect for a rich and creamy cheese. The best.”

Thanks for the feedback!