The Tree of Remembrance lights up at Cowichan District Hospital on Dec. 6. (Citizen file)

The Tree of Remembrance lights up at Cowichan District Hospital on Dec. 6. (Citizen file)

Coming up in Cowichan: Sea level rise workshop; Run for the Claus; Tree of Remembrance; Purple lights and event against gender-based violence; Hydro gives energy kits

Workshop tackles sea level rise and building resilient shorelines

A free workshop on Sea Level Rise and the Shoreline is set for the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre in Cowichan Bay on Saturday.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 2, with an optional field day on Sunday, Dec. 3, learn about building resilient shorelines in response to climate change with instructor Dave Polster. Polster is a plant ecologist and national expert with more than 35 years of experience in restoration ecology.

Lunch in provided.

Space is limited, so those interested are asked to RSVP to or call 250-597-2288.

Run for the Claus hits downtown Duncan street this weekend

Get ready to Run for the Claus this Sunday, Dec. 3.

Registration is $20 for this annual walk or run that starts off in City Square. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the Run for the Claus taking to the streets at 11 a.m. You can choose either a 3.5 kilometre walk of a 6 kilometre run.

Of course what makes this event different is that everyone doing the run dresses up in a Santa suit (the suit is included in your registration costs).

Proceeds from the event go to the Clements Centre Society.

Tree of Remembrance ready to light up Dec. 6 at Cowichan Hospital

Remember someone you love and bring light to a dark night.

The 2017 tree-lighting ceremony will be held in front of Cowichan District Hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 6, with lights on the tree going on in memory for those who have lost loved ones in this annual event put on by the Hospice Society.

Music in the lobby will begin at 5:30 p.m. and an outdoor ceremony at 6.

“Although I have always felt this is a powerful and profound event to honor those we loved and miss dearly, this will be my first year to participate,” said Sue Plester. “I will turn on a light to honour my husband, Chuck, who died in July. I will also attend to recognize Cowichan Hospice and the care they offer to support the dying and the grieving.”

Katherine Banman’s harp will welcome people to the hospital where some may choose to remember a loved one with a message placed on a tree in the lobby. A brief gathering will offer choral music from the Threshold Choir and Queen Margaret’s school chorus, as well as words of comfort. Everyone will then have an opportunity to turn on one of the lights on the outdoor trees in memory of a loved one. Following the lighting ceremony, Cowichan Hospice volunteers will serve hot drinks and refreshments in the hospital cafeteria.

This will be the 27th year for the tree lighting ceremony which is offered jointly by Cowichan District Hospital and Cowichan Hospice. For more information please contact Cowichan Hospice at 250-701-4242 or

Event marks National Day of Action on Violence Against Women

Wednesday, Dec. 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and is part of the 16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence.

On Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Anglican Church in Duncan, the Multicultural Leadership Group and Warmland Women’s Support Services Society will remember the 14 young women murdered in 1989 at l’École Polytechnique de Montreal as well as all women and children who have died as a result of gender-based violence.

The event will explore youth dating violence and appropriate responses towards other youth who are using manipulation, isolation, control or physically abusive behaviours towards a dating partner. With support from sexual assault advocates, the focus is to empower youth to become more than bystanders to domestic violence in their peer group.

The Cowichan Intercultural Society’s MLG works with community residents to create inclusive caring communities and is open to all ages, all cultures, all faiths, all identities. For more details contact Linda McDaniels at 250-748-3112 or Kendra Thomas at 250-710-8177 or check out the Facebook page warmlandwomen, or email

Light up the night with purple lights to fight gender violence

Warmland Women’s Support Services Society invites Cowichan Valley residents to hang strings of purple lights in homes, business windows, and on downtown trees to light up the Valley in purple to show support that “gender violence has no place in our community”.

The 5th annual Cowichan Valley Purple Light Nights will be displayed Nov. 25 – Dec. 10 during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a global campaign calling for the elimination of all forms of violence against women, highlighting significant dates. The 16 Days of Activism is a time to reflect on what actions we can take individually and collectively to put an end to violence against women and girls in the community and beyond.

“Hanging purple lights may be a simple action but we shouldn’t underestimate the powerful impact it has on survivors of domestic violence,” said Kendra Thomas, program coordinator for Warmland Women. “In this way, we are showing survivors that their stories matter and that our community is committed to doing what we can as individuals to put an end to intimate partner and family violence. We are telling survivors that they are not alone.”

There is a coordinated social response among service providers in the Cowichan Valley to increase safety and reduce the risk of domestic violence such as the Duncan designated Domestic Violence Court, the Violence Against Women in Relationship Committee, an Interagency Case Assessment Team for highest risk domestic violence, programs for men who choose to end their use of abuse in intimate partner relationships, a transition house for women and their children to seek safe shelter, and several counseling and victim services programs to provide immediate and longer term support for women and children experiencing the impact of violence and abuse.

“We are proud to be part of these initiatives and we gratefully acknowledge all the hard work of service providers and community members alike in our efforts to create an inclusive community that is safe for all. We know that together, we are stronger,” said Thomas.

Lighting up purple again this year is the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and the Ladysmith Festival of Lights, who have dedicated a purple lights tree on the corner of Roberts Street and 1st Avenue.

BC Hydro headed to Duncan to

hand out free energy saving kits

BC Hydro representatives will be distributing free energy saving kits in Duncan to help local residents save energy and money this winter.

Energy saving kits, offered in partnership with FortisBC, will provide income-qualified customers with easy-to-install, energy saving items such as LED lightbulbs, weather stripping products, high performance showerheads and water-saving aerators. These products can help customers save up to $80 in electricity costs each year.

Since the program launched in 2008, more than 100,000 customers throughout the province have received an energy saving kit.

BC Hydro representatives will be on site at the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, 5810 Garden St., Duncan on Dec. 12, 11:45 a.m.-3 p.m.

For more information or to apply to receive a free kit online, visit


The Run for the Claus takes off from City Square in Duncan on Sunday. (Citizen file)

The Run for the Claus takes off from City Square in Duncan on Sunday. (Citizen file)