Cowichan This Week: Bright sun, calm waters

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

  • Island Health is booking COVID-19 vaccines ahead of schedule, with appointments open for seniors 75 and older (born in 1946 or earlier) as of noon on Thursday, March 25. Visit the website for details on how to call. Some front-line priority workers will get access to vaccines in April through their employers, and do not need to call the health authority. The province now expects to offer a first vaccine dose to all adults by the end of June.
  • B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation is building toad crossings under roads in the Wake Lake area of Sahtlam, CBC News reports
  • The Duncan Farmers Market will welcome back non-food vendors on March 27. Non-food vendors were previously excluded because of provincial COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Protesters gathered in Duncan on March 19 in a show of support for old growth logging blockades near Port Renfrew, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. Forestry company Teal Jones has sought a court injunction to force the removal of encampments blocking access to the trees.
  • Cowichan Tribes Elder Ruby Peter’s life will be remembered in a forthcoming book, CHEK News reports. Peter, who was dedicated to the revitalization of the Hul’qumi’num language, passed away earlier this year. The book, What Was Said to Me, will be released by the Royal BC Museum in June. 
  • The Town of Ladysmith is piloting a yard waste pickup program this spring, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports. Pickup dates will occur in late April and May.
  • The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre’s patio-portal project is fully funded and may be completed by the end of this year, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • The Cowichan Watershed Board, Cowichan Tribes and Halalt First Nation will receive $500,000 from the province to improve salmon habitats in the Koksilah and Chemainus rivers, according to a news release
  • A new report concludes that higher dikes, bridges and roads will be needed in parts of the Cowichan region vulnerable to floods, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. The Cowichan Valley Regional District intends to apply for funding to address the issue.
  • The B.C. government will fund a “situation table” for Duncan and North Cowichan, which brings front-line workers together to better connect vulnerable people with services and supports, according to a news release
  • A Cowichan Bay prawn fisherman says new fishing rules threaten his livelihood and that of other prawn fishermen, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor has called for an emergency review of the regulatory changes. 
  • Through April, the Blue Grouse Estate Winery will donate $1 per bottle sold, matched by winery owners the Brunner family, to Nourish Cowichan. Last year’s campaign raised $10,000 to feed local families in need
  • The leisure pool at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre will reopen on April 6, according to a news release. 
  • Tourism Cowichan is waiving all membership fees for 2021, to support business recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact Tourism Cowichan for more information.
  • The City of Duncan is looking for six volunteers to join an advisory committee for its Official Community Plan review project

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Community events

  • Last chance: 🍺 Time is running out to take the Sip, Savour, Support Cowichan 2021 “Craft Cowichan Tour”. The tour offers a chance to taste the goods at local breweries, wineries and distilleries. Ticket sales end March 26, and the event runs through March 31. 
  • Saturdays March 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. 
  • Through Sunday, March 28: 🍷 Taste the Valley at Dine & Sip Cowichan, a package of special menus and offerings at local restaurants and craft beverage venues. 
  • Monday, March 29: 🏗️ Infrastructure BC is inviting local contractors, suppliers and businesses to an information session on opportunities to benefit from the Cowichan Secondary School replacement 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. 
  • Tuesday, April 6: 🚢 Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is hosting a virtual information session on his proposal to ban freighter anchorages off Vancouver Island’s coast. 
  • Through Wednesday, April 7: 🖼️ Catch artwork by a collective of Maple Bay painters at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council gallery. 
  • Through April 19: 🎺 Catch the best independent music and arts that Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland have to offer at the Woodstove Film Festival 2021. The program of on-demand videos recreates the magic of wandering the streets of Cumberland, B.C. from the comfort of your home.
  • Available now: 🤓 Get nerdy with I Never Would Have Guessed That!, a video trivia series by the Mill Bay Malahat Historical Society. 

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

In your words

Thanks to Linda and Harry for this kind feedback: “We moved during the pandemic from Salt Spring to Saltair and The Discourse has been a source of information about our new community at a time when we are unable to meet and chat with other local residents. Thank you.”

And thank you, too. It means a lot that you value what we are putting out into the world. [end]

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