Carol-Ann Rolls is the new executive director of the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association. (Submitted)

Carol-Ann Rolls is the new executive director of the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association. (Submitted)

Business notes: Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association has new executive director

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley business community

Carol-Ann Rolls is the new executive director of the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association.

Rolls will officially take the reins on April 5, replacing interim ED Susan Lake, who will return to her role as office manager.

For 17 years, Rolls was the face of the RCMP Community Policing and Crime Prevention programs and services in the area, and this past year she supported seniors and volunteers as the coordinator for Volunteer Cowichan’s Better at Home/Safe Seniors program.

Rolls currently serves as the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #53’s director for honours and awards, and the B.C. Senior’s Games Zone 1 equestrian sports chairwoman.

She has also planned, organized and executed many community events and fundraisers, including the RCMP Musical Ride three times, which has donated to CTRA programs.

“The board is very excited to welcome Carol-Ann to our organization,” said Patrick Hrushowy, CTRA’s chairman.

“Carol-Ann brings a wealth of experience from the not-for-profit and public organizations she has worked for in the past that will be of benefit to CTRA.”


The people of Vancouver Island showed their generous spirit once again last week when Enrico Winery joined forces with CHEK News’ the Upside to raise money for Cowichan Hospice.

Lorin Inglis, the general manager of Enrico Winery, was approached by the Upside team wanting to do a segment and Inglis was inspired to make it extra special by giving back to a local cause: Cowichan Hospice.

Viewers of the Upside on March 10 were encouraged to call in or make a donation online to be entered into one of four draws.

“Our hope was to raise something in the $10,000 range and as usual, Upside viewers and Enrico supporters blew that number out of the water within 15 minutes of the segment airing,” Inglis said.

“By the end of the night, we had raised in excess of $50,000.”

Cowichan Hospice staff answering the phone lines were shocked at the volume of calls.

“Within seconds of the segment airing, all of our phone lines were ringing off the hook and remained that way for at least three hours,” Zoe Lauckner, communications coordinator for Cowichan Hospice, said.

The funds will be used to provide compassionate hospice services to people from the Cowichan region.


In response to surging demand for youth mental health support in the province, London Drugs has announced the launch of a new fundraising campaign, called BE KIND.

Between March 12 and April 1, 25 cents from Carlton and Papyrus Greeting Cards at London Drugs will go directly to the Kids Help Phone.

At the same time, the BE KIND campaign encourages British Columbians to lift each other up by sending handwritten cards of encouragement, positivity and appreciation to each other.

“We are all living in more isolated circumstances,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs’ president and CEO.

“Sending uplifting, reassuring and positive handwritten cards to friends, families, and neighbours is one way to improve our overall well being and sense of connection.”

Last year, Kids Help Phone experienced a 102 per cent increase in the number of calls, texts and connections from youth in B.C.

For more than 31 years, Kids Help Phone has been the only 24/7 mental health support service available to youth in Canada.

Young people can text ‘TALK’ to 686868 any time and receive free and confidential support.


Construction was brisk throughout 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board expects many nominations for its 14th Annual Commercial Building Awards.

The awards show will be held in late April and be virtual for the second straight year.

Commercial, industrial, and revenue-producing projects — including renovations — completed within the VIREB area between Jan. 1 and Dec 31, 2020, are eligible for nominations.

There is no cost to enter, and the nomination deadline is March 31.

“Construction and real estate have been among the strongest sectors to drive the Vancouver Island economy last year, and we expect a large number of nominations,” says Mark MacDonald of the Business Examiner, which coordinates the event.

A team of independent judges from the real estate sector will choose the winners in at least 11 commercial categories.

There will also be a Judges’ Choice Award for best overall entry, won by Tourism Tofino last year.

For additional information and nomination forms, contact Sue Lessard at


The Cowichan Valley Regional District is developing a directory of local businesses that are working for the betterment of their community to be used for routine purchasing needs by district staff and others.

The directory will include businesses that hire and train those with physical and mental barriers, Indigenous people and women in non-traditional roles, and those that have certified green credentials and other initiatives and programs to advance their communities.

Erin Annis, the CVRD’s procurement manager, said the directory is being made in partnership with the Coastal Communities Social Procurement Initiative, and CVRD staff and other members of the CCSPI will use it when making routine purchases on behalf of their organizations.

“It’s a way of using money that will be spent in a community go further,” she said.

Businesses will be able to get their name onto the directory by completing a simple form through a Request for Information process that the CVRD and the CCSPI have launched.

By participating in the directory, local businesses will gain access to potential opportunities for their business, capacity building and knowledge for other opportunities for both district purchasing needs, as well as those of other Vancouver Island communities involved in the CCSPI.

“We know our local businesses are passionate about their community and we want to foster a culture of purchasing from businesses that add social value into our communities where we can,” said Aaron Stone, chairman of the CVRD.

“This directory is a natural first step to identifying suppliers who can readily respond to some of our more routine purchasing needs, but may have been intimidated by government purchasing opportunities in the past.”

The CVRD is hosting an information session webinar on April 1 for an overview of the process, a walk-though on completing the Request for Information forms and to answer questions from prospective business owners.

For more information about the initiative and to register for the information webinar, go to

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