Cowichan This Week: Get where we’re going

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

kinpark farm duncan

Duncan’s downtown farm grows more than just produce

The KinPark Youth Urban Farm in Duncan is part education centre, part working farm and part community garden. Read about the initiative in this Food For Thought article.

Royal Bay

This Royal Bay student is responding to anti-LGBTQ2S+ hate with love

Monday, May 17 was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. These Greater Victoria students spent the day repainting a rainbow crosswalk that was vandalized with hate speech over the weekend. In an interview with The Discourse, one of the students explains why he’s choosing to respond to the violence with love and empathy.

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.

Essential COVID-19 updates

  • Restrictions on non-essential travel, indoor dining, social gatherings and events will continue through the coming May long weekend. After, the province plans to announce a slow, gradual lessening of restrictions, Global News reports. Details are not yet available.
  • 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 plans to release details for registering youth ages 12 to 17 today, May 20. Youth 16 and older who are pregnant or extremely clinically vulnerable are eligible for vaccination now.
  • All registered adults are now being sent booking invitations for vaccination appointments. Call 1-833-838-2323 if you haven’t received an invitation or cannot register online.

More news and announcements

  • This week RCMP began arresting protesters blocking logging access to old-growth trees in defiance of a court injunction, CBC News reports. Police worked to clear a blockade and camp in the Caycuse River area. The protesters, under the banner of the Rainforest Flying Squad, continue to maintain blockades and camps in multiple locations, including the Fairy Creek watershed. Some journalists have been turned away from an RCMP checkpoint, and the Canadian Association of Journalists has called on Canadian courts to limit the powers of RCMP to restrict media access when enforcing injunctions. 
  • Island Health is leading virtual community conversations about the wellness and recovery centre slated to open in North Cowichan this fall. The Discourse attended a session on May 19, and representatives with Island Health expressed a commitment to listening and responding to any community concerns that arise related to the facility. As one tool towards that end, Island Health will establish a community advisory committee to help guide the facility in an ongoing way. Island Health has set up a website with more information about the facility and will accept questions and comments by email to The final community conversation will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20. 
  • North Cowichan has launched a survey to get feedback on different growth scenarios for the municipality to inform its official community plan. The survey is open through June 6. There will also be a webinar on Thursday, May 20 at 7 p.m. to gather input. Register here
  • The City of Duncan is also consulting on an update to its official community plan. A survey and discussion forum are available on the PlaceSpeak platform
  • The former St. Joseph’s School site in Chemainus has sold to a group that intends to turn it into a residential drug and alcohol recovery program, the Chemainus Valley Courier reports
  • Construction is underway for a new brewery and pub in Ladysmith, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports
  • The City of Duncan will apply to become Vancouver Island’s first official Bee City, CHEK News reports. The initiative, spearheaded by students at Queen Margaret School, would see Duncan commit to pollinator-friendly initiatives. 

Community events

  • Friday, May 21: 🎷 Eugene Smith plays live at the Cowichan Community Centre. Get your tickets for the live-streamed event here
  • 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.
  • Register now: 🌳 Registration is open for the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre’s popular Science and Nature Summer Camps! Kids will enjoy plenty of outdoor fun on the shores of the Cowichan Estuary learning about the animals, birds and creatures that live here through hands on science, art and play!  
  • Register Now: 🎨 Check out the Cowichan Valley Arts Council’s line up of arts camps for kids, from puppetry to performance.

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

In your words

Vanessa responded to last week’s newsletter: “The article on Ms Detkavich is an inspiration! Thank you! AND thank you for continuing to do what you love. I don’t think it’s easy but you certainly persevere! Well done, Jacqueline!”

Thanks, Vanessa! With your support, I’ll persevere. [end]

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