Retiring CTRA Executive Director Anne Muir with Tonka. (submitted)

Cowichan Coffee Time: New faces, saying goodbye, and saying thanks

• Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is saying farewell to their executive director and welcoming a new one.

On Nov. 14 they will be welcoming Debbie Berg, who is taking over the reins from Jane Sterk.

Berg has an extensive background in counselling, housing management, quality improvement, addictions services, program development and human resources.

Berg says she’s excited to be part of a program that “works with preventative models of care along with support for women, youth and children who have faced violent or traumatic events.”

“CWAV Society has benefited tremendously from outgoing executive director Jane Sterk’s stewardship over the past five years,” says Board Chair Anne Hilker. “We are fortunate to serve an expanded scope of the community, we enjoy deeper relationships with community partners, and we now have a permanent building to house many of our services. We are confident that Debbie Berg will be able to build on the strong foundations Jane leaves behind.”

Annually CWAV Society provides refuge in the transition house for 150 women and children, fields over 500 crisis calls, and assists more than 3,000 women faced with family and sexualized violence. Individual and group counselling to more than 100 children a year is also provided along with outreach programs on healthy relationships and personal safety that involve over 600 youth. The Society offers pre-employment skills for up to 100 women who experience barriers to obtaining employment and helps women navigate the court system through community victim services. A new CWAV project offers counselling for men committed to changing their relationship with violence through the well-received Men Choose Respect group.

“Debbie Berg comes to the Cowichan Valley at a time when the community is asking for leadership around issues of increasing safety for all women, reducing risks of homelessness, and forwarding reconciliation of non-Indigenous communities with their Indigenous friends, families, and neighbours,” reflects Hilker. “Debbie’s willingness and ease at engaging with a variety of people, community partners and funders opens doors and brings fresh options. It is exciting to look towards new connections and opportunities.”

CWAV Society’s next event is the Dec. 6 Vigil from 5:30-7 p.m., meeting at Sands Funeral Chapel, 187 Trunk Rd., Duncan. This event is to honour missing and murdered women in Canada. Candles are provided along with hot beverages and snacks at reception after the walk.

• The gardeners at Jubilee Community Gardens are giving a whole bunch of shoutouts to those who have helped them along the way this year:

“I hope you have had the opportunity this year to enjoy the Jubilee Community Gardens at Centennial Park. Forty dedicated gardeners have tended their plots for your visual enjoyment, and several communal gardens to donate to the needy. We were able to give 107 bags of fresh produce to the food bank, the women’s shelter, and cancer patients.

“As the gardeners are mainly seniors we have had a lot of help from the community. The City of Duncan has given us the opportunity to beautify a tiny part of Duncan plus Leanne and her landscaping crew have helped whenever possible.

“Peter at Innisvale Blueberry Farm, B. Dinter Nursery, Providence Farms, Country Grocer, 49 Parallel Grocers, and Buckerfields donated plants.

“Len Bridgen, Orion Robinson, Chris Pyatt, Matt Canute, Forty Oaks Tree Service, Queen Margaret’s School staff and students, Vitals, Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation, and Hiiye’yu Lelum Society donated their time, energy, and knowledge.

“Rex at Cowichan Rentals, Copycat Printing, Home Hardware, Coast Environmental, Serious Coffee, Mill Bay Masonry, Windsor Plywood, Gord at Integral Hockey, Doug at WeeChip Cowichan, Over the Moon Coffee, Mike Marshall, Doreen and Dave Gray, Inge Morris, and Lenard Lachance donated service and supplies.

“This is a garden powered by the community and we the gardeners at Jubilee Community Garden Society would like to sincerely thank the above list for their generosity. Boy do we appreciate it!”

• The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association announced in their fall Leading Rein newsletter that Executive Director Anne Muir will be retiring in January.

Janet Barclay, chair of the CTRA board of directors writes:

“I have been very fortunate, as a member of the Board of Directors of CTRA, to observe and appreciate her direction. I am very sorry to see her leave, as are those who have received this news.

“Anne has been at the helm for over five years and has successfully steered CTRA in the direction of stability and respect. She has been in charge of the maintenance and improvement of our century-old facility and in the direction of the management of its hundreds of occupants, which include staff, participants, volunteers and horses. With charm and cool confidence, along with a terrific sense of humour, she has ensured that our strategic planning goals have been achieved (consider the successful Jane James Used Tack Shop and its mobile Coastal Tack Shack as examples). As CTRA’s chief ambassador, Anne has kept our many community connections alive and active, recently giving a presentation to the local 100 Women Who Care organization that resulted in a wonderful financial gift to CTRA.

“We will miss Anne and her positive energy, however I am hoping not for long, as I believe she is considering a return to CTRA as a volunteer in the not too distant future — good news.”

• The Rotary Club of South Cowichan (Mill Bay) and the Mill Bay Marine Search and Rescue are thanking everyone who came and contributed to their Casino Night on Nov. 2.

“This year’s event was one of our first jointly organized events,” they said, and the total funds raised were approximately $6,000 for each of the organizations. “Thanks to your support and the support of our community.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Debbie Berg is the new executive director at CWAV. (submitted)

Just Posted

Veronica Scott is Making Magic, in the window of Imagine That! in Duncan in November, 2020. (Submitted)
A&E column: Fundraising for the arts and more; whimsical windows

Two fundraisers and the latest at Imagine That!

Defenceman Cullen Ferguson had a goal and an assist as the Caps took the Nanaimo Clippers into a shootout last Friday, one of three games in four days for the busy Cowichan Valley Capitals. (Citizen file)
Busy Cowichan Capitals get a look at newcomers

Caps play three games in four nights before two-week break

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Victoria and Nanaimo

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for help from the public to identify the driver of a vehicle after a hit and run in Duncan on Oct. 22, 2020. (File photo)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP looking for driver after man hit in crosswalk

The hit and run is reported to have taken place on Thursday, Oct. 22

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

Most Read