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News and announcements
- COVID-19 case numbers are way up on Vancouver Island, much higher than they have ever been. At the peak of the first wave, a little more than a year ago, Vancouver Island saw an average of about five cases daily. Now, it’s seeing close to 60 cases on average per day. And while vaccinations are preventing deaths by protecting the most vulnerable, new variants of the virus are spreading faster and causing more serious disease, including in younger people. Those who survive COVID-19 often experience long-term impacts from the disease, including alarming rates of neurological and psychological conditions. Public health officials are reminding residents to avoid non-essential travel and avoid indoor gatherings. Check out the provincial restrictions and guidelines for more guidance.
- British Columbia has launched an online registration system to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Registration by phone and in person at Service BC locations is also available. Registration is currently open to seniors born in 1951 or earlier, Indigenous adults and those who are extremely clinically vulnerable. Visit the website for details.
- The Little Zimbabwe Farm near Duncan offers a cultural exchange through farming, food and music, The Discourse reports. This story is part of the Food For Thought series.
- The Discourse reporter Shalu Mehta recently appeared on Cortes Radio to talk about housing issues in the Cowichan Valley and on the West Shore. The program is now available as a podcast.
- Protestors are digging in at old-growth logging blockades near Port Renfrew despite a B.C. Supreme Court order calling for their removal, according to reporting by the Canadian Press. The activists have seen a surge of support in the days since the injunction.
- A groundbreaking sustainability plan for the Koksilah watershed could restore the ecosystem and point to solutions for other B.C. watersheds, The Narwhal reports.
- The Cowichan Green Community has received funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust towards a shared commercial kitchen to support small scale producers, according to a news release.
- The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is inviting the business community to contribute to a time capsule, to be opened in 2040. The deadline is April 31.
- Cowichan Tribes’ Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre will receive a provincial grant to help fund its response to the overdose crisis, according to a news release.
- The Cowichan Valley Regional District will again offer rebates of up to $2,000 to households that replace older woodstoves. The Cowichan region has seen improvements in recent years in terms of air quality and the rate of child hospitalizations for respiratory conditions, according to the news release.
- Cowichan Tribes councillor Albie Charlie led a ceremony on March 25 to transfer the land for the new Cowichan District Hospital from the Cowichan Valley Regional District to Island Health. The province expects to break ground on the $887 million hospital next year and open its doors in 2026.
- The Municipality of North Cowichan is asking for public input to guide a master transportation plan. The survey is open through April 22.
- A five-storey development planned for Ladysmith cleared a public hearing this week, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports. The development was originally pitched as seniors’ rental housing, but is now slated to become a strata condo complex.
- New Statistics Canada data shows that Canada is reducing poverty and inequality, The Tyee reports. The data covers up to 2019, so the impacts of COVID-19 on that trend are uncertain. However, experts predict that the trend likely continues, due to the government’s interventions to ease the financial burdens of the pandemic.
- This month: 🌱 The Cairnsmore Volunteer Gardeners Group’s 10th annual plant sale fundraiser is going online this year. Email [email protected] for details. The sale begins April 10, with distanced pickup beginning April 24. Funds allow the group to purchase gardening supplies and plants to beautify the gardens around Cowichan Hospice House and Cairnsmore Place.
- Friday, April 9: 🎸 The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre invites you to a free, virtual live-streamed performance by local band Cabin Fever. The event is a dress rehearsal to help test the centre’s new live-stream capabilities.
- Tuesday, April 13 through Thursday, April 22: 💃 The BC Assembly of First Nations is hosting its annual Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People’s dialogue sessions virtually this year.
- Through Monday, 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.
- Friday, April 23 through Sunday, April 25: 🏺The Cowichan Artisans’ spring tour will go ahead this year, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Visit the website for more information.
- 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 Ashley who shared this note in response to reporter Shalu Mehta’s story on Little Zimbabwe Farm:
“Love love love love this article!!!”
I’m so glad! I loved it, too.