A big thanks to Megan Elizabeth Photography for sharing this inspiring shot! Send your photos from the Cowichan region to jacqueline@thediscourse.ca
Cowichan Valley

Cowichan This Week: Climb a mountain

Jacqueline Ronson May 13, 2021

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

This group is tackling food insecurity one urban garden at a time

This week, The Discourse’s Food For Thought series took a field trip to Greater Victoria, where Iyé Creative is nurturing body and soul with food gardens, education, culture and connection. Read more.

A parent at the Quarterway family housing complex stands by the address sign on Bowen Road in Nanaimo.

These tenants are organizing to restore safety in their Nanaimo complex

After many months of advocacy, residents of the non-profit family housing complex say they’re seeing change for the better, and others could learn from their experience. Here’s how they did it.

Indigenous food ‘so much more than bannock tacos’ says Top Chef Canada’s youngest competitor

 Chef Siobhan Detkavich, 21, from Cowichan, is the youngest ever competitor on Top Chef Canada. Read her exclusive interview with IndigiNews.

Indigenous children, families and the 2021 federal budget

Canada’s child welfare system “is a broken system that will cost billions to fix,” Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller told IndigiNews in an exclusive interview. Read more here.

Essential COVID-19 updates

  • The B.C. government has introduced paid sick leave for three days of absence due to COVID-19. The employer must pay the employee normal wages and can apply for reimbursement up to $200 per day. Additional support may be available through the federal Canadian Sickness Recovery Benefit.
  • B.C. is now sending vaccine booking invitations to people ages 30 and up.
  • All adults in the province are encouraged to register for vaccination online or by calling 1-833-838-2323, if they haven’t already. This includes those who received a first dose before the registration system opened in early April and those who received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine through a pharmacy. The province expects to vaccinate youth ages 12 to 17 in June, but registration is not yet open to that age group.

More news and announcements

  • The Cow-op online farmer’s market has added a new pick-up location, in Ladysmith. Customers can pick up orders at the Wild Poppy Market on Thursdays. Delivery is also available from Mill Bay to Nanaimo. The Discourse has previously reported on the Cow-op’s pandemic boom here and here
  • The Municipality of North Cowichan wants residents’ input on its Official Community Plan. There will be a webinar on May 20 and a survey, still to come. As the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports, the OCP review process has been frustrated by delays and cost overruns, due in part to the pandemic. At a council meeting last week, the council received a letter from Christopher Crowther announcing his resignation from the OCP advisory group, citing frustration with the process and alleging “unchecked abuse of the OCP volunteer group.”
  • The Cowichan Valley Regional District will again cover costs for local businesses that wish to join the Island Good branding program, according to a news release. Read The Discourse’s recent reporting on the Island Good program here
  • Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society has reached a deal with Mosaic Forest Management to access 1,000 hectares of land behind Lake Cowichan for a network of non-motorized trails, according to a news release
  • The Cowichan branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association has reinstated its Affordable Counselling Program. The service is available for adults and children, couples and families. The cost is $63 per session.
  • Duncan’s 39 Days of July festival may include outdoor events this summer, but organizers are still rolling with the pandemic punches, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • The Regional District of Nanaimo hopes to offer public transit between Nanaimo and Cowichan by next March, the Nanaimo News Bulletin reports
  • The Cowichan Women’s Health Collective is inviting all who identify as women to participate in a survey towards a goal of improving access to health care for women in the region. 
  • The province has launched a new app to offer mental health support to youth ages 12 through 24, CHEK News reports. Find the app here
  • Researchers say the J pod of southern resident orcas have three healthy calves, and the pod is in the best condition in a decade, the Seattle Times reports

Community events

  • Wednesday, May 19: 🎨 Youth 20/20 Can Cowichan is hosting a rock painting night over Zoom. Email the team to get involved.
  • Through Saturday, May 22: 🖼️ The Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show will take place both in the gallery and online this year. Visit the website for more information. 
  • Sunday, May 23: 🍲 BC Marine Trails Network is hosting Coastal Cuisine, an online presentation by Cowichan chef Jared Qwustenuxun Williams. 
  • Online now: 🌲 The Cowichan Public Art Gallery has launched an online exhibit, Forest: Breath of Life, featuring artwork from students ages 10 through 19. 
  • Now: 🎳 The Cowichan Lawn Bowling Club has opened its 2021 season at the Cowichan Sportsplex. The club offers free instruction to new members. Contact Joyce at 250-246-2484 for more information.

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


In your words

I received an uplifting email from Elizabeth this week. She writes: “The Discourse has assembled such talented, intelligent, writers. It’s tough to articulate (for me, not for you!) how your work elevates everyone’s efforts to keep Cowichan moving to where it needs to be. It does.”

Thank you for these words! Please know I treasure them.