Cowichan Valley

Cowichan This Week – Welcome to the re-opening

Welcome to Cowichan This Week! This is your essential reading for staying connected to what’s up in the Cowichan Valley. If you want to receive this information straight to your inbox, sign up for our Cowichan Valley newsletter.


On Tuesday, British Columbia entered Phase 2 of its COVID-19 restart plan. That means more businesses and services open, and more opportunities to carefully expand social contact. 

To open up safely, we must continue to maintain physical distance where we can, wash our hands, and avoid touching our faces. And, importantly, we must stay home if we feel even a little bit sick. This pandemic is not over, and we can expect further outbreaks. But if we’re careful and vigilant, they can be controlled. 

“I have no doubt that we will get through this by working together and working out the kinks over the coming weeks,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Tuesday. “And by continuing what we have been doing all along, which is being kind and being calm and being safe.”


Campaign update

I’m so happy to report that 57 people have stepped up to support The Discourse Cowichan in the last two weeks. There’s just a few days left to hit our goal of 100 new supporters by May 23.

Will you help us get the rest of the way there? Every little bit counts, and will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous pair of local supporters. Make your contribution today.


News of the week

  • The Cowichan Valley branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association is on probation after an investigation into allegations of misconduct. The Discourse Cowichan reports on what we know so far
  • The Oyster Harbour eldercare facility in Ladysmith is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ladysmith Chronicle reports
  • Mustimuhw Information Solutions, a Cowichan Tribes-owned technology company, has partnered with an electronic prescription service to improve healthcare delivery to First Nations people across Canada, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports.
  • A conservation group is calling for protection of old growth trees in the Caycuse River watershed after recent logging of ancient red cedars, the Lake Cowichan Gazette reports. Relatedly, the Ecoforestry Institute Society is calling on B.C. to adopt a new ecosystem-based forestry framework.
  • Cowichan summer tourism season has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Discourse Cowichan reports how one whale watching tour operator made a quick pivot to stay afloat.

Surveys, surveys, surveys

  • The Cowichan Valley School District wants to hear from parents by 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 21 if they would like to voluntarily register students for classroom attendance in June. Are you struggling with the decision? Contact reporter David Minkow, with The Discourse Cowichan, if you’d like to share your perspective. 
  • The Discourse Cowichan has heard that Nanaimo needs more in-depth media coverage. Please point your Nanaimo friends and family to our short survey so we can better understand the issue.
  • The Cowichan Valley Regional District wants to know what business owners need to recover from this pandemic.
  • Social Planning Cowichan has launched a series of surveys on local COVID-19 household impacts.
  • The BC Centre for Disease Control wants to hear about your health and wellbeing over the last few months.

Community events

  • Friday, May 22: 🚘 Cars4Covid is cruising the Cowichan Valley to honour essential workers and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
  • Friday, May 22: 🍺 Donate your returnables to the Royal Canadian Legion in Lake Cowichan to support re-opening costs, including plexiglass barriers, soaps and hand sanitizers.
  • Friday, May 22: 🏘️ Collective Space hosts a live virtual interview with Mark Lakeman on building sustainable and regenerative communities. 
  • Saturday, May 23: 🍾 Drop off your empties and pick up a non-medical mask at the Royal Canadian Legion in Shawnigan Lake, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Preorder if you need a mask, available by donation.
  • Sunday, May 24: 🎶 Join Amy and Tafadzwa Matamba for Little Z’s Sing-A-Long, by donation on Zoom.

Photo of the week

A big thank you to Rhonda Elliott for this gorgeous Monday morning shot over Cowichan Bay!

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.