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Business notes: Cowichan Performing Arts Centre’s marketing director moving to Vancouver Opera

Check out what’s happening in Cowichan’s business community
Ashley Daniel Foot, the marketing and community outreach director at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, has accepted a new senior management role with Vancouver Opera. (File photo)

Ashley Daniel Foot, the marketing and community outreach director at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, is moving on.

Foot, who has been with CPAC for two years, has accepted a new senior management role with Vancouver Opera, starting on Sept. 7.

He said that he will be slowly winding down his duties with the CPAC and the Cowichan Valley Regional District over the next few months.

“I will be working part time at CPAC until the end of the year on a remote basis to aid in the easy transition to a new marketing staff,” Foot said.

Foot said the memorable thing that he experienced in his time at CPAC was the COVID-19 pandemic which virtually shut down arts and entertainment in the Valley, and across the globe.

“No one saw it coming and it was unprecedented in the arts and culture community.

“But we worked hard to recapture what live performances were all about through video equipment and a lot of teamwork, and we kept the theatre alive. I will miss my colleagues here in the Valley. The success of CPAC is a team effort and we all work well together.”


The 2021 Cowichan Valley Wine Festival, which is running from Aug. 1-31, is sold out.

Jill Nessel, the festival’s organizer, said there were a total of 1,800 tickets sold this year, with the number based on how many people the involved wineries could logistically handle during August and still provide an exceptional tasting experience.

“Producing a safe, record-breaking festival during a global pandemic opened up a world of possibilities for the future,” she said.

“We know we can deliver a world-class wine tasting event under very restrictive conditions if we have to. But with high vaccination rates and new standard safety practices, we expect to expand the festival in 2022 to offer an even better experience that includes food, music, accommodations, and VIP events.”

This year’s wine festival features 12 award-winning wineries offering tastings throughout the Valley.

Cowichan has been rightfully designated as a specific British Columbian sub-GI wine region — an important distinction so you know your wine was produced with at least 95 per cent Cowichan-grown grapes.

It’s part of what makes the region’s wine-makers and wine so special.


The Cow-op, a non-profit cooperatively-run food hub that provides convenient online access to the highest quality local products, is launching a version of their web platform specifically for wholesale buyers.

This is the next step in the Cow-op’s journey of becoming the regional leader in creating a vibrant, circular local food economy.

With more than 60 co-op members selling their products through the online farmer’s market, Cow-op’s new wholesale platform is an obvious choice to supply local “farm-to-table” businesses, retailers, and fans of quality food.

Buyers can choose from a range of premium salad greens, vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat, dairy, herbs, sauces, preserves, beverages, seeds, plants, soaps and more, all grown or made in the agriculture-rich Cowichan Valley Regional District and closely neighbouring regions.

Orders placed online between midnight on Thursday and midnight on Monday are delivered directly to homes or businesses from Victoria to Nanaimo on Thursday each week.

Alternatively, orders can be picked up from one of several neighbourhood pick-up locations (see for a complete list).

All fresh produce is harvested to order and in customer’s hands within 72 hours.

Visit or email Rachel Horton at for more information and to create an account.


In partnership with the Vancouver Island Regional Library, the Downtown Duncan BIA has organized another StoryWalk this summer.

It was originally set to run from July 9 until Sept. 8, but the event is now running from Aug. 1 to Sept. 7

Participants can “read” This is Not That Kind of Book, by Christopher Healy, and illustrated by Ben Mantle, by following a map of participating downtown businesses.

After reading the book, participants can try one of a number of fun activities.

Every activity completed enters people for a fun draw prize provided by the library and the DDBIA.

The activity sheets with related fun challenges can be found at

As in the past, sign up for the storywalk is first come, first served.


The four weeks of celebrations of Country Grocer’s 37 years in business on Vancouver Island will begin on Oct. 22.

Tammy Avril, marketing manager for Country Grocer in Cobble Hill, said all of the grocery store chain’s seven stores on Vancouver Island have celebrated the birthday of the first store in Nanaimo every year since it opened.

She said each of the seven stores will be holding give-aways and sales through the four weeks, which end on Nov. 18.

“We’ve sent out letters inviting our suppliers to participate in the celebrations, and we’ll know more about what will be offered during the birthday celebrations in the fall, so stay tuned,” Avril said.

The Country Grocer in Cobble Hill is a full-service store that is recognized for its bustling produce department and scratch-bakery, not to mention colourful floral department, well-stocked grocery shelves, meat and deli cases, and lottery counter.


Jean Cardno is taking home $6,250 as the winner of the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation’s July 50/50 raffle.

When you play the CDHF 50/50 you not only help provide much needed equipment for CDH but you are also helping to support Cowichan families.

Go to to get your tickets or call 250-701-0399 to find out more.

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