Cowichan This Week: It’s gonna be May

Hi, I’m Jacqueline Ronson, The Discourse’s lead reporter for the Cowichan region. Welcome to Cowichan This Week! In this edition, you’ll find essential COVID-19 info, the latest local news and events, highlights from The Discourse’s in-depth reporting and more. Thanks for checking it out, and please consider signing up to get this information in your inbox every Thursday.

Highlights from The Discourse

genoa bay cafe

Local restaurants change with the changing times

 Reporter David Minkow catches up with the tourism-reliant restaurants he spoke with a year ago to see how they have pivoted and adapted in the face of an ever-changing pandemic situation. Read more.

‘We are here to be the voices of our loved ones’

 Two Nations come together to hang red dresses and remember lost loved ones on Stz’uminus territory. Anna McKenzie reports for IndigiNews.

Your Cowichan Valley newsletter

When you subscribe to this newsletter you’ll get Cowichan This Week, your quick update on recent local news that matters and upcoming events you’ll want to know about. Straight to your inbox every Thursday.

When it comes to the housing crunch, tiny homes have their place

 Julie Chadwick reports on how tiny homes help some find affordable living on Vancouver Island, even as regulations against them get in the way. Read more.


The Highlanders: A community unites against urban incursion

Residents of the Highlands, near Victoria, are fighting to maintain their community as a forested refuge away from urban bustle, Shalu Mehta reports. Subscribe to The Discourse West Shore newsletter to get the next article in this series in your inbox.

Essential COVID-19 updates

  • The first weekend of non-essential travel restrictions on BC Ferries went very smoothly, CTV News reports. Under the new rules, travel is prohibited between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland for tourism, vacations, recreation and visiting. The restrictions are in place until May 25.
  • Vaccine registration is now open to all adults in the province. B.C. is currently booking appointments for those born in 1959 or earlier.

More news and announcements

  • Students at Mill Bay Nature School travelled to the B.C. legislature this week “to protest the garbage & neglect of our dear elder Tousilum’s traditional territory on Xwaaqw’um,” on Salt Spring Island. Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau met with the students. Check out photos and video from the protest on Twitter
  • The City of Duncan is asking for expressions of interest to help repair and maintain the cob oven at Centennial Park, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • The Cowichan Green Community has received a $200,000 grant to support its Cow-op online farmers’ market and strengthen the local food supply chain, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • IndigiNews managing editor Emilee Gilpin and child welfare reporter Anna McKenzie recently appeared on CHEK News’ Our Native Land podcast to talk about their work. Watch or listen to that interview with host Tchadas Leo.
  • The Municipality of North Cowichan is investigating the unauthorized removal of valuable red cedar trees at Stoney Hill, Maple Bay resident Larry Pynn reports on his website, 
  • IndigiNews child welfare reporter Anna McKenzie interviewed Marc Miller, Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services, on the implications of the federal budget on Indigenous children and familiesWatch the interview on Facebook. 
  • The Cowichan Valley School District has installed interior and exterior cameras on its buses, according to an emailed news release. The interior cameras will help with COVID-19 contact tracing, and the exterior cameras will help identify people driving unsafely and illegally around the buses, the release says.
  • Volunteers removed 25 tonnes of trash from forests near Ladysmith over the weekend, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports
  • Two thirds of B.C. youth are struggling with their mental health during the pandemic, twice as many as before, according to research by B.C. Children’s Hospital, reported by the Vancouver Sun

Community events

  • Friday, April 30: 🌱 At noon on Zoom, join the journalists behind The Discourse’s recent Food For Thought series for a discussion and Q&A about the work. Register here. 
  • Saturday, May 1 through Monday, May 3: 🐦 The Yellow Point Ecological Society invites the community to participate in YESBioBlitz, an effort to identify as many species as possible in the Yellow Point area. There will be prizes! Visit the website for details.
  • Saturday, May 1 through Saturday, May 22: 🎨 The Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show will take place both in the galley and online this year, with awards and a virtual opening on May 1. Visit the website for more information. 
  • Monday, May 3: 📣 Youth 20/20 Can Cowichan and The Discourse invite youth to join a conversation on how to share your story and have a say on local issues. Email Youth 20/20 for the Zoom link. 
  • Wednesday, May 5 and Saturday, May 8: 🕯️ Cowichan Missing and Murdered Women, Men and Children is marking the National Day of Awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous people. Two people will be in Charles Hoey Park, near the train station in Duncan, from 10 a.m. to noon to hand out red dresses to community members who wish to participate. The dresses may be hung near the train station, along Craig Street or along the highway. 
  • Various dates: 🎶 The Lila Music Centre is offering a number of virtual sessions to explore song, poetry, ceremony and nature, including a Mother’s Day song workshop and a six-week course. Visit the website for more information and to register. 
  • Sunday, May 23: 🍲 BC Marine Trails Network is hosting Coastal Cuisine, an online presentation by Cowichan chef Jared Qwustenuxun Williams. 

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

In your words

I’ve heard so much great feedback about the excellent work my colleague Shalu Mehta is doing, covering both the Cowichan Valley and the West Shore communities of Greater Victoria. Recently overheard in a West Shore café: “Shalu must be so busy doing all of this! It’s like KAPOW!”

She is so busy! And it is like KAPOW! 😂 Thanks for making our day. [end]

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