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Special Supplement May 2011

Enjoy the warmth of the Warm Land

Cowichan

Valley Visitor

Inside:

One week in Cowichan

A 2011 visitor’s guide to the Cowichan region


2 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011 Surrounded by Vineyards Vinoteca Food & Wine Bar

Al Fresco Dining

The Cowichan Valleys’ Centre for Cycling OPEN Mon - Sat 9:30-5:30 Thurs to 8:00 pm in Duncan Village Mall

bikes@cowichancycles.com www.cowichancycles.com

Service/Repairs

250-748-BIKE (2453)

Zanatta Winery 250-748-2338 Vinoteca Food & Wine Bar 250-709-2279

5039 Marshall Rd. (Glenora)

www.zanatta.ca

Today I discovered... how to y.

Connect at QMS

www.qms.bc.ca www w qms bc ca

Duncan, Vancouver Island, BriƟsh Columbia T 250 746-4185 | admissions@qms.bc.ca

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

University Preparatory High School hool for Girls Gir Equine Sciences, Pre-Engineering and Mediaa Arts Program rogram g Canada’s Only On-Campus Ridingg Pr des 6 - 12 1 Boarding School for Girls, Grades


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Cowichan

Valley Visitor A 2011 visitor’s guide to the Cowichan Valley PRESENTING ONE WEEK IN COWICHAN: Day One: Enjoy a family day in the City of Totems Day Two: Some golf, some paddling and some feathers Day Three: Get out to the big lake and the wilderness beyond Day Four: Farm fresh food and pastoral splendour Day Five: Great heights, unique tastes and the majestic orca Day Six: Art, history, theatre and a dip in the Emerald Sea Day Seven: Planning your return visit

i t n n e In n a g i r B NEIGHBOURHOOD PUB & RETAIL LIQUOR STORE

LOCATED ON THE BEACHFRONT IN MAPLE BAY

Great Pub Food • Ten Beers On Tap Dock • ATM • Sunday Night Music FULL SERVICE LIQUOR STORE 6777 Beaumont Ave. • Duncan Pub 746-5422 • Liquor Store 746-5452

Produced by: The Cowichan News Leader Pictorial Editor: John McKinley Publisher: Bill Macadam

Located on Vancouver Island on Canada’s rugged West Coast, 40 minutes north of the capital city of Victoria, the Cowichan and Chemainus valleys are a diverse mixture of arts, agriculture, natural beauty and heritage. As its newspaper of record since 1905, the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial prides itself as being the source of information for the region. The Valley Visitor is your guide to all the obvious and secret treasures this community offers. Published annually by the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, Unit 2, 5380 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan B.C., V9L 6W4 Phone: (250) 746-4471 Fax: (250) 746-8529 E-mail: editor@cowichannewsleader.com Web site: www.cowichannewsleader.com

Travelling...?

hing eryt y v e e ualit s, hav We need! Q kpack el c you age, ba es, trav g u g p rs c. lu ets, ries, et l l a w esso acc

Duncan Mall

250-748-8009

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


4 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Vancouver Island Peace Center & Retreat Garden You are invited to enjoy a Walk through the Forest alongside the beautiful Cowichan River, a peaceful setting for a thousand years. We Invite you to come for Tea and ask about our “Discovery Package”. Become part of the Legacy.

VI Peace Center and Retreat Garden Administration Office: 365 Day Rd, Suite 105 Duncan, BC V9L 3K4 Phone: 250.710.7594 email: buddha@viretreats.com website:www.viretreats.com

“Make Life Taste Better!”

★ Electronic Bingo ★ Paper Bingo ★ Slot Machines ★ 10 am - 1 am everyday For more info 250-746-6300

www.chancescowichan.ca

Proudly serving Canada’s best premium beef!

748-1212

270 TRANS CANADA HWY. DUNCAN

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


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Day One Enjoy a family day in the City of Totems

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f you’ve got a visiting tyke in tow on your weekend jaunts around town, there a number of Cowichan Valley kidfriendly hotspots you’ll want to stop by. I can’t imagine a child not noticing either the red-and-blue plastic tubes hanging from the side of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre or its next-door-neighbour arena’s mega, Guinness

The fine arts are always on display in Cowichan at the Cowichan Theatre in the Island Savings Centre. World Record-size hockey stick mounted on the entrance wall as they’re coming into Duncan along the Trans-Canada Highway. “What’s that?” they’ll ask. Then comes the all-too-familiar “Stop there” tantrum. Cowichan’s pool has to be one of the coolest indoor cooloff spots on Vancouver Island. Facility designers mimic Cowichan’s earthy, treed, ocean and river landscapes. The pool deck has miraculously sprouted tall fir trees (sorry, but not for real) that watch over swimmers navigating the lazy river system as well as the main pool area that boasts waves as big as the

Pacific Ocean’s (OK, a tad exaggerated). The tubes eyed on the outside of the building are waterslides accessed from inside. Moms and dads, there’s also a 25-metre pool, steam and sauna rooms, hot tub, as well as a fitness area that overlooks the pool. The other neat thing is having the hockey hardware right next door. Snap a shot of the stick — it’s a pretty wicked sight. Guinness World Records keepers recently declared the 205-foot (62.48 m), 61,000pound handler, along with puck, the world’s biggest. If you’re a hockey fanatic,

take the brood to watch the Cowichan Valley Capitals Jr. A squad rough it up with another team at the “Big Stick.” While you’re slinging your camera, catch a shot of Cowichan’s North American Indigenous Games Spirit Pole posted outside the pool, watching over visitors. Most tots (and their parents) will also find the “Aww cool” factor in Duncan’s B.C. Forest Discovery Centre. Children strolling around the100-acre, open-air museum with its operational steam-train railway will for sure be checking every nook and cranny for Thomas and Friends. more on 6

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


6 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

It can’t always be about the kids

The Cowichan Aquatic Centre is a great way for the kids to unwind. from 5

The centre features forest and marsh trails, and the story of B.C.’s forest industry is shared through exhibits, heritage buildings, and logging artifacts. Locals often tap into the centre’s Christmas Express train run, as well as its Maple Syrup fest. The centre holds more than 5,000

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

artifacts ranging from operational steam locomotives to chainsaws, as well as a dozen heritage buildings. You might even learn a thing or two. The centre’s recent blog delves into the world of a conductor’s whistle. “When the engineer is given the signal to move forward by the conductor, he gives two short toots. This is an acknowledgment that he has received the hand signal that it is safe to move forward. “If the conductor requires the engineer to move backward, the hand signal is acknowledged with three short toots. “When the train starts to move or slows down to stop, it is required to ring its bell until fully stopped or well underway in its movement.” The toot-toots are magical treats for the ears while the eyes feast on its enchanted wooded landscape. —Ashley Gaudreault

We know it can’t always be about the kids. You may be looking to get a break from your lil’ rug rat, especially when you’re hoping to take in everything from a new place. If you have an eye for arts and culture, Duncan’s got loads of neat places to put on your itinerary. Get your First Nations fix from the Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre, as well as Duncan’s Totem Tours. The tours will give you the story behind the forest of Coast Salish icons that are Duncan’s trademark. The QCC, offers a deeper look into local First Nations history and culture through displays and demonstrations of things like carving and the knitting of the worldfamous Cowichan sweaters. Or take a walk through the Cowichan Valley Museum. Located in the distinctive train station in downtown Duncan’s central park, the museum offers insight into Cowichan’s pioneer roots and what you are now experiencing came to be. Skip the dudes, gals, and hit downtown Duncan’s street-side shops. The downtown core offers a one-stop shop experience with a variety of small, friendly businesses with more merch than you could ever want or need. Downtown also boasts several trendy cafes and eateries as well as art galleries like the E. J. Hughes Gallery on Station Street and the gaming centre Chances Cowichan. It also plays host to the Duncan Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning. A night on the town should definitely include the Craig Street Brew Pub in the mix. No. Not all Cowichanians only swig Lucky Lager. A lot of us also enjoy swigging the brew pub’s crisp German-style Cowichan Bay Lager, or any of the other delicious brews Chris Gress, the pub’s brewmaster, creates.


Live

at the

Met 2011 - 12

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Presents

a second season of The Metropolitan Opera’s productions include: ■ Donizetti’s Anna

Bolena Don Giovanni Siegfried ■ Glass’s Satyagraha ■ Handel’s Rodelinda ■ Gounod’s Faust ■ The Enchanted Island ■ Wagner’s Gotterdammerung ■ Verdi’s Ernani ■ Massenet’s Manon ■ Verdi’s La Traviata ■ Mozart’s

■ Wagner’s

Watch for the Cowichan Theatre’s fall brochure for dates and times Tickets available at the Cowichan Ticket Centre

COWICHAN TICKET CENTRE | 250.748.7529 | 2687 James Street, Duncan BC V9L 2X5 | www.cowichantheatre.bc.ca

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


Experience Duncan

8 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

DOWNTOWN

HEART OF COWICHAN

Downtown Duncan where the Island shops! Everyone knows that shopping in Downtown Duncan is fresh, fun and fabulous! Park your car and explore this jewel, boasting hundreds of remarkable shops and services whose quality and diversity surprise and delight visitors from near and far. The few blocks that make up Downtown Duncan are a vital, living and diverse community with so much to offer. Be astounded by the variety of unique products carefully selected by friendly shopkeepers, so passionate and knowledgeable about what they do so very well! Seasoned shoppers will tell you how they love the one of a kind items, the handmade treasures, the eclectic restaurants and the affable atmosphere. Discover the secrets, come Eat, Shop and Play in Downtown Duncan!

glam it up with...

jewellery hats scarves purses dresses

110-80 station st. 250-701-6209

FREE CUSTOMER PARKING IN ALL OUR CITY CAR PARKS A Fantasy World of Toys at

“The Best Toyshop in the Whole Wide World�

The Red Balloon Toyshop 250-748-5545

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


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HEART OF COWICHAN

Experience Downtown Duncan

AUTHENTIC TEXAS SmokeHouse

• Celtic Jewellery • British Foods • Giftware - Irish, Scottish, English & Welsh • Authentic Sports Shirts

RIB SPECIALISTS 231 Government Street, Duncan

250-597-3466

SHOP! EAT! PLAY!

in Downtown Duncan unique affordable fashions

Organic Whole Food Grocery

*Organic Bakery *Organic Coffee Bar *All Vegetarian Café Open 7 Days per week in the beautifully restored Duncan Garage

Downtown Duncan

147 Craig St. Downtown Duncan 250-597-1415

Store: 250-748-6227 Café: 250-748-6223

Offering Wheat Free, Gluten Free and Vegan Alternatives

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


10 The Valley Visitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

HEART OF COWICHAN

Experience Downtown Duncan

• Professional Framing • Local Art • Unique Gifts

139 Station Street Downtown Duncan

250-748-3311

• Mens • Young Mens • Jr. Ladies • Boys & Girls clothing & accessories

Embrace Your Spirit Books Music Jewellery Inspiring Gifts 125 Station St. 250-748-9411

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

For Conscious Living!

MONDAY TO SATURDAY 9:30 - 5:30 SUNDAYS 12:00-4:00

33 Station St.


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HEART OF COWICHAN

Experience Downtown Duncan

EAT! SHOP! PLAY!

in Downtown Duncan

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


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Day Two Some golf, some paddling ...and some feathers

S

ince a bad day at the golf course is better than a good day at the office, you can’t go wrong with the Cowichan Valley’s selection. The calibre of your game notwithstanding, it’ll still be a slice to tour the Mount Brenton Golf Club, Arbutus Ridge Golf and Country Club, Cowichan Golf and Country Club or Duncan Meadows Golf Course. If it’s a walk in the park you’re seeking to coincide with your golf game, Mount Brenton or Cowichan will fill the bill quite nicely. Otherwise, if you want to drive a cart and save your driving ambition for the tee box, Arbutus Ridge or Duncan Meadows might be more suitable. A round of 18 holes can easily be played

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

Pacific Northwest Raptors lets you get up close and personal with dozens of majestic birds. within the 4 1/2 hour mark at any of the four courses so it’s a great way to start the day, with plenty of time left for more activity in the afternoon. Mount Brenton, located in Chemainus, has a long-standing tradition in the community, expanding from its original nine-hole layout to 18 holes. The spectacular finishing hole, with water fronting the green, is typical of the shorter, but challenging course. Arbutus Ridge, located in Cobble Hill, has its own charm nestled around a residential community with lots of water hazards and a great view of the ocean and the mountains in the distance from its elevated tees. Cowichan’s charm lies in its wonderfully wooded location just south of Duncan. The course is more difficult than it looks and keeps players coming back for more to try and better their scores, mostly to no avail. Duncan Meadows, located just west of the city, offers a terrific contrast in courses. The first nine holes are more like a Scottish links style, and the second nine is more traditional, with the woods and water to whet your appetite. Speaking of food, it’s a good idea to fuel up at any of the restaurants at the four courses after playing. The selection is superb and

each site provides views of the courses that will allow you to reflect more positively on what went wrong with your game. From Duncan Meadows, you’ll get a nice view of the Duncan area’s northern landmark, Mt. Prevost, home of a hike-worthy war memorial cairn, hang gliders and mountain bikers. Farms dapple its shoulders, as does the Cowichan Exhibition complex — home to annual September weekend of agriculture and community fun, as well as the annual August Sunfest country music festival and other events year-round. After lunch, head to the Pacific Northwest Raptors site on Herd Road just outside of Duncan. more on 14


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250-748-5004

The

Shipyard

Restaurant & Pub WEST COAST FLAIR

Enjoy great food on the patio with great harbour & ocean views. Open year ‘round for Lunch & Dinner Reservations Recommended (250) 746-1026

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


14 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Cowichan is the ideal gateway to the extraordinary paddling, sailing and powerboating opportunities of the Salish Sea. from 12

It’s a unique tourist attraction dedicated to birds of prey. Watch as eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, vultures and more fly freely, but always return to the site since that’s their home. You can get up close and personal with the birds. They’re more than happy and willing to pose for pictures or take a break perched beside you. Flying demonstrations are amazing to watch, captivating people with the pure beauty and even the size of the birds. There’s still time at the end of the day to head the short distance to Maple Bay or Cowichan Bay for some kayaking. Wilderness Kayaking in Maple Bay has extensive programs appealing to all levels of kayakers. But the most popular, for obvious reasons, is the discover sea kayaking

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

option. It’s a 2 1/2-hour session and no experience is necessary. You can learn about the kayak and equipment and go on the water for a shoreline paddle. Only two people are needed to run a session. You’ll marvel at the sights around the bay. It can give you just enough of a taste to come back another time and take a more extensive tour, or enjoy a specialty event such as moonlight or sunrise paddles. Similar opportunities are offered out of Cowichan Bay by Cowichan Bay Kayak and Outfitters. Boats are all over the place on the waterfront in Maple Bay. The Maple Bay Yacht Club has long been at the forefront on the foreshore. After all that fresh air, you’ll be ready to sleep like a baby and dream of all those other things you’ll want to do on another visit to the valley. —Don Bodger


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Cowichan Golf & Country Club

Great Island Hospitality!

Coast Salish Art Gallery Cultural Tours Conferences, Weddings, and Special Events

RIVER WALK CAFE

Contemporary Native Cuisine June-September Reservations 250-746-4370

Great Island Golf!

PROFESSIONAL CLUBFITTING

THE LATEST IN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S APPAREL

RESTAURANT 250-746-7211

Email: warmlandhospitality@shaw.ca

STORMIN’ PRO SHOP 250-746-5333 Email: stormin@island.net

4955 Trans Canada Hwy., Duncan www.cowichangolf.ca

5000 Genoa Bay Road, Duncan 250-746-7621 www.genoabaymarina.com Toll Free 1-800-572-6481

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


16 The Valley Visitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Day

Three

Get out to the big lake and the wilderness beyond

I

f it’s West Coast wilderness you’re looking for, then west is the direction you should be looking to in Cowichan. They don’t call it the wild west for nothing. The Cowichan Lake area has a lengthy list of cool stuff to do, and most of it involves the great outdoors. Make the trek along the lake’s south side to the hospitable, humble hamlet of Honeymoon Bay. In addition to a regular series of community events, the village plays host to Gordon Bay Provincial Park, a perfect spot to make your home base. The park is one of the most popular jewels in Vancouver Island’s acclaimed chain of provincial parks. It offers visitors treed-camping spots, walking trails and a nice sandy beach. It is a perfect spot for family outings. Cowichan Lake itself, meanwhile serves up a platter of fun activities including waterskiing, powerboating, boat tubing, houseboating and suntanning. If you’re not down with the whole lake idea, the Cowichan River is also a summertime hotspot too. Cowichan’s trademark summer pastime is grabbing a tube — rentals are available — and escaping the hot sun by floating bumper-to-bumper downstream in the peak months of July and August. A popular launch spot is the riverhead in downtown Lake Cowichan. There are other, more adventurous choices as well. Hike a series of trails along the river in the Skutz Falls area. Head northwest along rugged logging roads through the Carmanah

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

old-growth forest, or try your hand windsurfing in Nitinat, out on the edge of the Pacific. Or, go to the southwest along the Pacific Marine Circle Route to Port Renfrew and check the tide pool wonders of Botanical Beach, or the open-water salmon fishing. If time limits you from taking a full-day journey to these destinations, just make the 56-kilometre round trip around the lake. Every September, hundreds follow the unpaved route on foot in the annual Great Lake Walk. We suggest hopping in your vehicle instead, leaving from Honeymoon Bay and ending in quaint Youbou, which boasts a not-so-quaint eatery. (You’ll be blown away how nice the Youbou Bar and Grill is). Kick up your heels and enjoy a gorgeous sunset from the porch at the pub to cap a fun-filled Cowichan trip. —Ashley Gaudreault

The Cowichan Lake area is your gateway to the rugged wilderness of the West Coast and every type of watersport imaginable.


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Kayak Instruction • Rentals • Sales • Tours since 1990 in Beautiful Maple Bay

6683 Beaumont Ave, Duncan, BC, V9L 5X8 (250) 746-0151 info@wilderness-kayaking.com • www.wilderness-kayaking.com

SASKATOON BERRIES

U-Pick and Pre-Picked Saskatoons

SASKATOON BERRY FARM

Sparkling SASKATOON BERRY WINE now available. 743-1189 Homemade pies and jams also available. 1245 Fisher Road, Cobble Hill

E 2011 SEASON Live Professional Theatre The Playbill Dining Room The Gallery

Encore Limousine Service Serving the Cowichan Valley

PH sENCORELIMOUSINESERVICE SHAWCAsWWWENCORELIMOCA

1-800-565-7738 www.chemainustheatrefestival.ca VANCOUVER ISLAND’S THEATRE GETAWAY Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


18 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Day Four Farm fresh food and pastoral splendour

Y

our epicurean-fan cousins from England call. They’re coming across the pond this summer to check out the global buzz about Cowichan’s agri-food movement. They’re coming to the right place. First, they need a place to stay. Why not one of Warm Land’s many bed and breakfast places — some nestled in Cowichan’s wine country, others in our rugged forests, or along our waterfront. Many options are available elsewhere in this guide, or at the Cowichan B&B Association website www.southvanislebnb.com.

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

The Damali Lavender Farm is just one of dozens of pastoral farms that dot the Cowichan landscape. Once they’ve stretched their legs, they might have a hankerin’ to get out and enjoy the pastoral beauty. You could walk or bike on one of Cowichan’s many footpaths, but you think they may prefer some four-legged transportation. They can call Cobble Hill’s Alpine Stables that has a barn load of mounts for all ages, plus information about scenic trail rides through the valley’s mountain-view trails. They could choose to use the TransCanada Trail linked to Cowichan’s biggest heritage diamond, the wooden Kinsol Trestle. Reputed to be largest wooden railway bridge in the old British empire, the spectacular structure has undergone an extensive upgrade and is slated to open to hikers by early July. The graded trail is perfect for horses, hikers and bicycles.

Your cousins can dismount and hike to the Koksilah River below the trestle — publicly restored by timber pros MacDonald and Lawrence — or trot across the trestle’s sturdy new deck. A mid-day spell in the saddle ends with feedbag thoughts. They can be filled in Glenora at Cowichan’s oldest vineyard, Vigneti Zanatta Winery and Vineyards where wine sampling is paired with dining in Vinoteca bistro. more on 19


Spring 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Valley Visitor 19 Dwight International School

Dwight International School offers both the International Baccalaureate Diploma and BC Dogwood graduation programmes for day and boarding students in grades 6-12. Located on beautiful Shawnigan Lake, DIS offers bus service to and from Duncan and the Westshore.

Choose the Best for Your Child’s Education! (250)929-0506 • admissions@dwightinternational.org • www.dwightinternational.com

from 18

Of course, tastings can also be had year-round at most of Cowichan’s other dozen or so wineries dotting the valley’s bucolic backroads. And, if your cousins visit in the fall, their lucky stars will shine on the sixth-annual Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival spanning Sept. 14 to 18. That cork caper includes Shawnigan Lake’s Merridale Estate Ciderworks pouring an array of ciders plus brandies near orchard-side la Pommeraie bistro. Further proof of Cowichan’s other gastronomical goodies is seen (call first) at the Archer family’s Fairburn Farm near Duncan where their prize water-buffalo herd yields organic mozzarella cheese. Some of that mozzarella may grace foods made at chef Bill Jones’ Deerholme Farm where he teaches classes and serves monthly dinners. Jones is among Cowichan’s many world-class chefs using valley ingredients in the Warm Land’s slow-food dishes sure to lure your cousins away from simple bangers and mash. Deerholme Farm may be a good dinner idea — after visiting Cobble Hill’s Saskatoon Berry Farm to taste the place’s homemade pies and jams. Nearby is the slope side, purple-hue Damali Lavender Farm boasting a winery, skin-care products, a labyrinth, a vinegary and more. Cowichanians know food is a perfect pairing with local arts. Your cousins could stuff a suitcase with original souvenirs of most genres sold during the valley’s annual Visions Summer Art Studio Tour (June 30 to July 4), or at studios run year-round by the Cowichan Valley Artisans group. Maybe your family’s visit could become an annual affair to see what they missed here in the Warm Land. —Peter W. Rusland

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


20 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Day

The annual Cowichan Bay Boat Festival is one of the many seaside attractions in the rustic funky seaside village of Cowichan Bay.

Five

Great heights, unique tastes and the majesty of the orca whale

I

t’s absolutely silent except for the sound of you panting and wind blowing past your warm earlobes. You’ve just finished hiking 427 metres through heavily wooded trail systems and now you’ve stepped onto an open, grassy summit. After finally catching your breath, you lose it again. Is it extreme exhaustion or just higher elevation? Maybe it’s the large, white metal cross standing over the peak. Maybe you’re having some kind of out-ofbody, out-of-mind, sublime experience? Who knows? Seeing, touching, or posing for a picture near the cross that lives solo on top of Mt. Tzhouhalem is a thrilling feeling.

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

The Zoo sits east of Duncan on the north shore of Cowichan Bay. It has a vast network of intertwined trails — some technical , some novice — leading to the summit. It’s a wicked trip if you’re feeling adventurous and maybe still clinging onto a New Year’s resolution to shed a pound or two or 10. Do the hike early on in the day, as it will likely take, depending on your athletic capabilities, a good hour and a half, up to two hours (max), out of your day. The mountain is also a paradise for mountain bikers. If you’re seriously into the sport, check out this website: http://mtzoo. wordpress.com/. At the foot of the Zoo sits its next-doorneighbour, Providence Farm. Take my word: this is a neat place with staff and volunteers producing not only organic veggies, but heaps of feel-good vibes from volunteers who have dedicated themselves to restoring the spirit and skills of those with physical, mental and emotional challenges. They offer a farm store, plant sales, music fests, craft fairs, hoedowns and more — including July’s annual Islands Folk Festival. The site’s a beaut too, especially the threestorey, red-roofed former school building, Providence House.

It’s an appetizer for an afternoon with Cowichan’s cool eclectic aunt, Cowichan Bay. Salty Cowichan Bay is where arts and appies meet at joints such as True Grain Bread, Hilary’s Cheese, The Mud Room, Rock Code Café, Cowichan Bay Maritime Museum, or artist extraordinaire Art Vickers’ gallery. There is a ton of other great eateries perched over the waterfront in Cowichan Bay as well as funky shops selling fresh seafood, eco clothes and ice-cream cones. Little wonder Italy’s Cittaslow (slow life) brass branded Cow Bay one of its members two years ago. more on 24


Spring 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Valley Visitor 21

experience...

Cowichan Bay

Ice Cream Parlour

• shops • hotels • restaurants • maritime museum • galleries • guided whale & kayak tours

“The Way Ice Cream should taste” Open Year Round 1721 Cowichan Bay Rd.

250-746-4300

1765 Cowichan Bay Rd. • 250-748-2333 • 888-749-2333 www.cowichanbaykayak.com paddle@cowichanbaykayak.com

1705 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay Tel: 250.748.3714 | www.themastheadrestaurant.com

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


22 The Valley Visitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Discover...

1759 Cowichan Bay Road Cowichan Bay, BC, V0R 1N0 phone 250 746 1550

rockcodcafe.com courtesy ofcourtesy CBIA of CBIA xUNDER NEW MANAGEMENT xSPECTACULAR OCEAN VIEWS xFULL KITCHEN IN EACH SUITE xINDOOR POOL, HOT TUB,

AND FITNESS CENTER

xCOMPLIMENTARY WIRELESS

A quaint, friendly, fun, unique, scenic, historic, relaxed.....

INTERNET AND PARKING xLIQUOR STORE xEVENT AND MEETING SPACE

“Fresh off our own Boats”

RESERVATIONS AND INFORMATION 1-800-663-7898 | www.oceanfrontcowichanbay.com Located inside Oceanfront Suites, Terrain Regional Kitchen is Cowichan Valley’s newest casual dining experience. Executive chef Kyle Gignac creates exquisite dishes made entirely of locally sourced ingredients. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 250-597-0050 | www.terrainregionalkitchen.com

Local Fresh In-Season SPOT PRAWNS Cowichan Bay Seafood Ltd. 1751 Cowichan Bay Rd. Cowichan Bay BC V0R 1N0

Open Tuesday - Sunday 10 am -5:30 pm

clayworks

1725 Cowichan Bay Rd Cowichan Bay B.C. 250-710-7329 themudroom@shaw.ca

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

250.748.0020

cowichanbayseafood.com info@cowichanbayseafood.com

Unobstructed views, great food, great atmospherein the heart of historical Cowichan Bay Open daily from 11 am

1695 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay Phone: 250-748-2330 FAX: 250-748-2356 www.baypub.ca


Spring 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Valley Visitor 23

Cowichan Bay Graphic byGraphic Kevine Kevin Creative.com by Kevine Kevin Creative.com

seaside village, only 45 minutes from Victoria or Nanaimo

            

 

       !! " #  $%&'%()'$&&*

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


24 The Valley Visitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

from 20

Cowichan Bay is home to several festivals, including the Spot Prawn Festival in May, the Boat Festival in June, and the Artwalk in July. It’s also the launch point for another popular venture — whale-watching tours by Ocean EcoVentures. Slap on your survival suit and head out with Simon Pidcock, head captain and owner, in his orange zodiac for a cruise with killer whales, humpbacks, grey and minke whales as well as porpoises and sea lions. Pidcock has spent his whole life on and around the ocean. His knowledge and great personality is enough to put anyone at ease, and everything about the trip will put you in awe. After an afternoon spent spotting spyhopping orcas it’s back to the dock for some more food, drink, and the sun setting over the Cowichan River Estuary. —Ashley Gaudreault

The legend of the Zoo Most people don’t even bother trying to pronounce the name of the landmark mountain on the north shore of Cowichan Bay; they just ask. Here’s your answer: zoo-hay-lum. The mountain itself, which overlooks Cowichan Bay and Quamichan Lake, was originally called “Shkewetsen,” meaning, “basking in the sun,” after a huge rock on the side, which resembled a frog warming itself. The name changed after the 1859 death of warrior Tzouhalem who lived in a cave on the mountain after he’d been exiled from his tribe for killing people. Talk around town says Tzouhalem was also maybe a ladies man, having several wives at a time and that he, not being too fond of commitment, when he tired of them, threw them off the peak to fall to their deaths. Mountainside ghost stories have made their way into talks too.

pegasus01@shaw.ca

5838 Trans Canada Hwy (behind A&W)

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

250-597-2299


Spring 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Valley Visitor 25

250+ Loose Teas Tea Related Items

Light Meals, Cream Teas High Tea by Reservation Movies/TV on 174” Screen Weekly Jam Night, Wifi Please call for schedule.

H 9885 Maple Street

Chemainus BC 250-246-1541 Open 11-11 Closed Wednesdays

Alice

GREEK

&

MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE

In the Secret Garden on Willow Street

Specializing in Homestyle Cooking using fresh, locally grown produce.

EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL FOOTWEAR!

AVAILABLE AT:

CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE

SUMMER HOURS: Open 7 days a week Starting May 30 through to Labour Day Tues. - Sat. 10 - 5 ish Sun. & Mon. 11 - 4:30 ish

9745 Willow St., Chemainus 250-416-0371

•Salads •Soups and Sandwiches •Mediterranean Cuisine

•Desserts •Daily Specials •Vegetarian Selections

•Weather Permitting •Reservations Welcome Across the lane from Chemainus Theatre in the Secret Garden, Willow Street, Chemainus

250-246-4100 or 250-246-4199

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


26 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Day Six

cut

The 2010 hit Guys and Dolls is typical of the first-class theatre entertainment found at the Chemainus Theatre Festival.

Some art, some history, some theatre and a dip into the emerald sea

E

arly-morning sun sparkles and bounces across the surface of the Salish Sea, but you’ve only got eyes for the line you’re following into the darkness below. Covered in shifting sea anemones, you swim alongside the

cable as you dive, descending into an eerie, emerald glow. Suddenly, the silt and sediment clears, and you see it. The artificial reef of Chemainus. It’s a graveyard for a Boeing 737 aircraft, seemingly at the bottom of the world. The scene is made all the more haunting by the ethereal jellyfish that pulse and float their way around the wreck. But you’re warm and toasty in your dry-suit, and much like

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

the sea creatures around you, you propel yourself forward. You feel like a treasure hunter, exploring your way through the visual delights of this man-made, underwater marvel. Before long, it’s time to return to reality at the surface. By now, the sun hangs high above you, and you’re ready to soak in a totally different kind of Chemainus experience. All you really need to experience The Little Town That Did

— or Mural Town, to others — is your own two feet. You can pound the pavement for hours as you absorb the history, and enjoy the boutique shops and cuisine. And you haven’t truly experienced this town of character until you’ve taken in the dozens of murals that rescued a dying mill town by turning its history into vibrant public art. As the summer temperature continues to rise, you’re forgiven if you stop for two scoops of your favourite flavour at Willow Street’s Small Tall Treats Ice Cream. It’s the perfect time to stroll through the shade of Waterwheel Park and head into Old Town Chemainus. Colourful murals meet character homes and lush gardens, and the overall effect transports you into a different time entirely. A late, light lunch at a local teahouse will complete that welcome blurring of reality. Suddenly you catch an intriguing comment from a couple close by — a seaside walk in a town 10 minutes down the road? You’re there. You arrive in Crofton, and the late afternoon sun settles on your shoulders as you contently stroll the small town’s seawalk. The Salt Spring Island ferry can be seen pushing away from the shore on its short-but-sweet journey to the neighbouring Gulf Island. And the physical embodiment of commerce pushes i’s way into the evening sky from the smokestacks of the local mill. more on 27


Spring 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Valley Visitor 27 from 26

Your day has been full and action-packed, but you know there’s one thing left to do, because no trip to Chemainus is complete without a visit to the Chemainus Theatre. You return to Mural Town with a hankering for entertainment and an evening meal. Luckily, the Chemainus Theatre offers both — professional theatre in an intimate setting with the table set by a sumptuous feast at the Playbill Dining Room. And later, as the sun sets and you return to your cozy room at an accommodating B&B, you think back on your time in The Little Town That Did. You reflect on a day full of arts and culture, exercise and experience, and you decide the Little Town That Did is a little town worth doing. —Krista Siefken

LIVE ENT ENTERTAINM

MIDWA Y RIDES

143rd Cowichan Exhibition September 9th, 10th & 11th, 2011

KIDS SHOWS

EXHIBITION PARK

Home of the Cowichan Exhibition K North of Duncan on the Trans Canada Highway LIVESTOC SHOWS R FOOD CRAFTS TRACTO & PULL C HOBBIE OURT ION S COMPETIT Plan your next event at Exhibition Park: Multipurpose Hall, Meeting Rooms, Grassy Fields, Barns, Riding Ring. Contact Cowichan Exhibition for more information. www.cowex.ca cowex@shaw.ca 250-748-0822

FREE PARKIN G

!

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


28 The Valley Visitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

Incredible ocean views at the Gateway to Saltspring Island

•Nanaimo ferry to mainland

Ladysmith• •Chemainus Lake Cowichan•

www.litoscafe.ca

•Crofton

ferry to Saltspring Island

Duncan• Cowichan Bay• Saanich • Mill Bay• airport, ferry to mainland Shawnigan Lake•

Lito’s Café & Galleria

1532 Chaplin Street, Crofton

way High nada s Ca Tran

Local Art Espresso Brownies Fantastic Coffee Famous Butter Tarts Cards Great Food Gourmet Muffins Gifts Best Ever Granola Bars

Highway 18

• Victoria

250-246-5406

How to find the Valley Come see why Providence Farm is an inspirational place. Pick up a free Farm Map and tour the farm and gardens. We’d love to meet you!

The Farm Store hours are 9-4, weekdays year round, and the Greenhouse hours are 10-4, 7 days per week, from mid-April to mid-September.

The Cowichan Valley is located on southern Vancouver Island, about a half-hour by car north of British Columbia’s capital city of Victoria. Its major centre is Duncan, with the smaller communities of Ladysmith and Chemainus to the north, Lake Cowichan to the west and Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake and Cobble Hill to the south. Duncan is about 40 minutes south of the B.C. Ferry terminal in Nanaimo and about the same distance north of the Schwartz Bay ferry terminal outside Victoria and the Victoria International Airport. For more information, call our info centres: Duncan: 250-746-4636 1-888-303-3337 (toll free) Chemainus: 250-246-3944 (seasonal) South Cowichan: 250-743-3566 Crofton: 250-246-2456 (seasonal) Lake Cowichan: 250-749-3244 (seasonal) Ladysmith: 250-245-2112 Other useful numbers: BC Ferries Cowichan Hospital RCMP Forest fire alert

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

1-888-223-3779 250-746-4141 250-748-5522 (non-emergency) 1-800-663-5555


Spring 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Valley Visitor 29

Day Seven Pause, take a deep breath and consider your checklist for next time

H

ere are some of keystone attractions for the Cowichan Valley and where to go to get more information about them: Bard@Brentwood: An annual theatre festival in Mill Bay in early July. See bard. brentwood.bc.ca B.C. Parks: For information on Gordon Bay, Bamberton and other local provincial parks and campsites see env.gov.bc.ca/ bcparks/ B.C. Forest Discovery Centre: Learn the history of the B.C. logging industry, explore the wooded gorunds north of Duncan and ride a heritage steam train. For details on exhibits and special events, see bcforestmuseum.com Chances Cowichan: Bingo, electronic

slots and more in Duncan. See chances.ca/ locations/cowichan/ Chemainus Festival of Murals: To learn more about the murals that decorate the walls of Chemainus and special events in the community, check muraltown.com Chemainus Theatre Festival: Yearround professional dinner theatre. Details at chemainustheatrefestival.ca Cobble Hill Fair: An old-fashioned agricultural fair for south Cowichan at the end of August. For details go to cobblehillfair.ca Cowichan Bay: A rustic seaside village centre specializing in art and local food, perched above a marina. For details on attractions and events like the Artwalk, the Spot Prawn Festival and more, see cowichanbay.com Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre: A waterfront pier dedicated to maritime history and the restoration of classic boats. More details at classicboats.org. Cowichan Exhibition: The valley’s largest community fair, with a midway, and the pride of local agriculture arrives the second weekend of every September. See cowex.ca for details Cowichan River tubing: Grab an inner tube and float through paradise. See cowichanriver.com for details. Cowichan Valley Museum: The history

of the community in an historic train station in Duncan. The website cowichanvalleymuseum.bc.ca has more. Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival: A September weekend of fine wine and food at sites throughout the region. Go to wines.cowichan.net for details. Duncan Cowichan Summer Festival: Every July the streets of Duncan come alive with fun and entertainment. Go to cowichanfestival.com for details. Duncan Totem Tour: Learn about the magnificent carvings lining the city streets. The site downtownduncan.ca/duncan_totem_tourNEW.html has more Great Lake Walk: a 56-kilomete trek around the shores of Cowichan Lake, the third Saturday of September. Go to greatlakewalk.com for more. Islands Folk Festival: a venerable, intimate weekend event featuring good times and good music from dozens of international performers, held near the end of July at picturesque Providence Farm. Island Savings Centre: The Duncan home of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, the Cowichan Capitals Junior A hockey team, the acoustically blessed Cowichan Theatre and the world’s largest hockey stick. Details at cvrd.bc.ca/index.aspx?NID=92. Kinsol Trestle: Hike to the freshly restored largest wooden railway bridge in the old British empire, near Shawnigan Lake. Learn more at kinsoltrestle.ca Pacific Northwest Raptors: Flying demonstrations and intimate interaction with eagles, hawks, vultures and other birds of prey. Go to pnwraptors.com Qu’wutsun’ Cultural Centre: Your doorway into the rich history and culture of the Cowichan First Nations. Details at quwutsun.ca. Sun Fest Country: An annual two-day mid-August country music blast on the grounds of the Cowichan Exhibition. Go to sunfestconcerts.com/index.shtml for more. Visions Studio Tour and Art Sale: a studio tour throughout the region offering a peek at local artists at work. Details at visionsarttour.ca/index.php. Whale watching: Hop a Zodiac out of Cowichan Bay bound for spectacular marine life. Details at oceanecoventures.com. Wineries: Cowichan is home to several wineries, most of which offer tastings and tours. For more, log on to the website cowichanvalleywineries.ca. Xihwu Artificial Reef: Dive in the skeleton of a sunken Boeing 737 in the waters off Chemainus. For details, see divemaster. ca/boeing.

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


30 The Valley Visitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011

COWICHAN’S BEST B&B’S Hillcrest Farm B&B

250-743-4100

info@damali.ca www.damali.ca

Forest Reflections

LUXURY BED AND BREAKFAST “in the Heart of Wine Country”

250-743-7689

relax@forestreflections.ca www.forestreflections.ca

250-743-3843

hillcrestfarm@shaw.ca www.hillcrestfarm.ca

1-866-748-7430

stay@affinityguesthouse.ca www.affinityguesthouse.ca

Jacquie Gordon’s Bed & Breakfast

250-746-7736

jacquiegordon@shaw.ca www.jacquiegordon.com

250-597-1502

holmesdalehouse@shaw.ca www.holmesdalehouse.ca

Cherry Point Oceanview Bed & Breakfast

250-746-7028

quamichaninn@shaw.ca www.thequamichaninn.com

250-743-0319 1-877-888-0319 Toll Free

contact@cherrypointbedandbreakfast.com www.cherrypointbedandbreakfast.com

Enjoy Our 3 Acre Property, Beautiful Terraced Gardens, Nestled Amongst Tall Trees.

250-746-3664

stonewoodbandb@shaw.ca www.stonewoodbandb.com

Enjoy The Hospitality And Atmosphere From These Fine Hosts Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


Spring 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Valley Visitor 31

• Daily Flying Demonstrations • Hands-on courses & experiences • Kids’ Summer Camps (July & August) • Open Daily March 14 - October 31

PACIFIC NORTHWEST RAPTORS LTD. Bird of Prey & Falconry Centre 1877 Herd Rd. www.pnwraptors.com 250-746-0372

spring has sprung... and summer is coming soon!

Steeples Restaurant is now a cool summer destination restaurant!

2JK¹¹M@<NJIN¹OJ¹?DI@¹<O¹1O@@KG@N

Reservations 250-743-1887

1. 5 Star rating from Times Colonist 2. Casual Gourmet Dining with ďŹ&#x201A;air 3. First class service 4. The Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best Mango-Peach Bellini 5. Red Chili Honey Glazed Calamari 6. Sunday Brunch overlooking our magniďŹ cent garden 7. Birthday & Anniversary Specialists 8. A magniďŹ cent mix of local estate wines and international vintages 9. Tableside Caesar Salad to die for 10. A garden deck to catch the fantastic sunsets

In the heart of Shawnigan Lake Village 2744 East Shawnigan Rd. Every day at 11:30 Sun Brunch 10-3 pm email reservations@steeplesrestaurant.ca www.steeplesrestaurant.ca

Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial


32 The Valley Visitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2011 A Country Market set among old growth maples & smiling faces

Trevor & Karen Paterson

Vancouver Island’s Larges

t Selection of Local Produc

e

•ICE CREAM PARLOUR

•Cones •Sundaes •Old Fashion Milk Shakes •Frozen Yogurt made with local farm fresh fruit

•FULL SERVICE DELI

Stop in for delicious homemade •Soups •Sandwiches •Fresh Fruit Pies •Garden Patio

The Home of Local Produce 1 km South of Duncan on the Trans Canada Highway

New! •

Arcade

www.htr.ca Courtesy of the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

OPEN DAILY ALL YEAR ROUND

Cowichan Valley Visitor  

A travel guide for the Cowichan Valley

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