Cowichan Valley

Cowichan This Week – Big news on housing

Welcome to Cowichan This Week, your cheatsheet to what’s up in the Cowichan region. Sign up to get this information in your inbox every Thursday.


Big news! Today, BC Housing, the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan will announce that they plan to build 100 units of supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

What does that look like, in practice? Check out this story by reporter David Minkow on the successful effort to temporarily house 45 people at the Ramada hotel in Duncan. The project has been a “massive success,” according to many people close to it, because residents have been given the support they need to succeed. 

This pandemic has brought a lot of bad news. But it’s also pushing our collective imagination of what’s possible. I’m ready to help build a better future.


News and announcements

  • Hundreds gathered in Duncan last Friday in support of global Black Lives Matter protests. See some of our favourite photos from the rally and march. 
  • The Municipality of North Cowichan has declined to budget for an additional RCMP officer in 2021. Ali Pitargue, intern with The Discourse Cowichan, reports
  • The Cowichan Nation Alliance, including Halalt First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Penelakut Tribe, and Stz’uminus First Nation, has received $1.49 million towards a new Indigenous employment hub, the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle reports
  • The City of Duncan has granted $12,500 towards the 39 Days of July music festival, which will take place by live stream this summer, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • The Cowichan Valley Regional District wants your input on design ideas for a new weir at Cowichan Lake, including possible accommodations for recreation and public art. 
  • The Town of Ladysmith will have new patio areas, lighting and umbrellas downtown this summer to support COVID-19 recovery and economic development, according to a Facebook post by Mayor Aaron Stone. 
  • The Cowichan Valley Regional District is asking residents to secure garbage and bring it to the curb the morning of pickup to protect bears in the area. 
  • The City of Duncan will accept comments on design plans for Whistler St. and 85 Station St. through June 30. It is also looking for feedback on its draft Cairnsmore Sustainable Neighbourhood Plan.
  • The first cohort of Hul’q’umi’num’ students in Simon Fraser University’s Indigenous Languages Program graduate this month, according to a news release.

Community events

  • Saturday, June 20 – Sunday, June 21: 🛍️ Be a tourist in your hometown in Ladysmith, Cedar, Saltair and Chemainus. This year’s event features both in-person and online events and specials. 
  • Sunday, June 21: ☀️ Join Chantell Foss at Providence Farm for a special solstice session of 5Rhythms dance, where you are invited to simply move, free-form, according to however you feel and whatever you notice. Sessions also run on Thursdays in June and July.
  • Friday, June 26 – Monday, Aug. 3: 🎶 The 39 Days of July festival will take place by live stream from the Duncan Showroom this summer. Details will soon be announced.
  • Sunday, June 28: 🌎 Join the Cowichan Valley Earth Guardians for The Youth Behind the Movement: A Climate Activism Webinar.

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


Photo of the week

Wow. Talk about silver linings. Thanks to David Chang Photography for this incredible snap. David grabbed his camera bag, but with no camera inside, and still managed to capture this with a cell phone. 👏

Do you have a great photo of life in Cowichan? Send me an email, I’d love to see what this place looks like through your lens.


In your words

It’s been so cool to see the response this week to intern Ali Pitargue’s article on the history of the Brentwood College School site as a children’s hospital. “Excellent history lesson. Thank you!” wrote Linda Myres. Many people are commenting on Facebook that they have relatives who worked at or stayed at the Queen Alexandra Solarium.

As a side note, we’ve heard feedback that that story should have acknowledged the First Nations history of that site. We agree, and plan to write something so that history can also be celebrated and shared. We are always grateful for your input. 

Tangentially, it’s National Indigenous Peoples Day on Sunday. Keep your eyes on our website and Facebook page. We have a special local history story from Jared Qwustenuxun Williams coming your way.