Josh Neufeld is the owner of the new Vancouver Island Barber Co., located at 60 Queens Rd. in Duncan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Josh Neufeld is the owner of the new Vancouver Island Barber Co., located at 60 Queens Rd. in Duncan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Cowichan welcomes new barber shop

The latest from Cowichan’s business community

Barber Josh Neufeld said he was nervous when he opened Vancouver Island Barber Co. at 60 Queens Rd. in Duncan last month, but now realizes it was a good decision to start his first business.

Neufeld had worked for The Society Barbershop & Cafe before stepping out on his own.

“I felt it was the next progressive step in my career,” he said.

“I was fully booked for up to five days at a time while I was at The Society Barbershop, so I felt it was time to open my own shop.”

Neufeld has spent five years in the barber business, with the last three years specializing in men’s haircuts.

He said he moved to the Cowichan Valley from Abbotsford when he realized that he could buy a townhouse here for the same price as his condo on the Lower Mainland.

“The pace of life is also way slower here on the Island, and I like that,” he said.

“Business has been good since I opened Vancouver Island Barber Co. A lot of my former clients have followed me here, and I’m getting lots of new clients as well.”


Congratulations to Dickson & Fraser Auto Repair for taking the top award in the Best Auto Repair Shop category in the Cowichan Valley Citizen’s Best of the Valley contest.

But the paper got one of the owners names wrong in the edition on Sept. 30.

The owners of the shop are Marnie and Ryan Isherwood.

The Cowichan Valley Citizen regrets the error.


Paper Excellence, which owns the Crofton mill, has donated $50,000 to Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards program which provides funding to Indigenous students in full and part-time studies in college, university, skilled trades, apprenticeships, and technology programs.

Since 2004, Indspire has provided more than $115 million in financial support to more than 37,500 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students.

“The work that Indspire does to support Indigenous students in their educational journey is an excellent fit with our own ambitions as a company and speaks to our role in reconciliation,” said Graham Kissack, Paper Excellence’s vice president of environment, health and safety and corporate communications.

Kissack said Paper Excellence is also pleased to report that Building Brighter Futures donations are matched by the federal government, which will double the impact of the company’s donation of $50,000, making it $100,000.


As well, Paper Excellence has donated $10,000 to the Alberni Indian Residential School’s Commemoration/Memorial Fund to honour all the children who attended the school, and those that did not make it home.

This is the single largest donation to the fund to date.

Representatives from Paper Excellence took part in National Day of Truth and Reconciliation events last week in Port Alberni, which included hanging an orange shirt banner along the mill fence and taking part in a community memorial ceremony.

“A huge thank you to our friends at Catalyst Port Alberni, a Paper Excellence company, for showing their support,” said Ken Watts, elected chief councillor of the Tseshaht First Nation.

“What a beautiful Orange Shirt banner and $10,000 donation for AIRS commemoration/memorial fund.”

Over the coming weeks and months, a group of Paper Excellence staff will work with survivors of the school and research various locations to gather names of former AIRS students to prepare for the construction of a memorial sometime in 2022.


In partnership with the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Fall Wellness Walk at Somenos Marsh.

The chamber’s website said there is no better way to start the day than with the morning mist, bird activity, and autumn colours that Somenos Marsh has to offer.

Remember to dress warm, bring a coffee or tea, and have a camera or phone ready as there will be plenty of photo ops.

If you would like to join chamber members for this walk, you can register by contacting the chamber directly at 250-748-1111, or go to


In other chamber news, Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport, will be the main speaker at the chamber’s Speaker Series Luncheon in October.

Originally this event was scheduled to be held in March 2020 but due to the pandemic, it was postponed to May 2020 and then cancelled.

If you previously registered for this event, the chamber will be in contact with you shortly.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nanaimo Airport was one of the fastest-growing airports in B.C.

With the heavy travel restrictions over the last 18 months, the Nanaimo Airport had to shift and adapt its process.

Devana will discuss how the airport continues to adapt throughout the pandemic, and the capital plan that is preparing them for the future.

Masks will be required for this event, but can be removed when sitting and eating.

As well, full vaccination will be required to attend the private event.

Arrival for this luncheon will be between 11:30 a.m. and noon, and the presentation and luncheon will begin promptly at noon.


Line Robert will retire in 2022 as CEO of the Island Coastal Economic Trust, opening the position for a new leader to take the helm.

ICET’s board of directors is currently working on finding her replacement, and Robert will remain in place until a newcomer is hired and will work with her successor during a transition period.

“Line’s work leading ICET has been pivotal in helping build and cement strong stakeholder relations across our region in creative, flexible and personalized ways for more than a decade,” said ICET chairman Aaron Stone, who is also the mayor of Ladysmith and chairman of the CVRD.

“I obviously feel quite mixed about her decision to retire, but know that she is leaving behind a lasting legacy within the organization of being community-oriented, future-focused and in lock-step with the vision of the governing board.”

For all inquiries on the position and application process, contact Gary Nason, with JB Consultants, at

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