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Business notes: Home show important for vendors, home owners

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

John Gaudreault said home shows are very important for him to advertise his products.

Gaudreault, a carpenter and plumber who spends his week days building homes, was at the Cowichan Valley Fall Home Show at Cowichan Exhibition Park last weekend showcasing a number of products that he sells in addition to his construction business.

He sells Miracle Mats, which he says are considered to be among the best door mats ever made, and knives from Rhineland Cutlery, which advertise themselves as the most balanced, ergonomic and beautiful kitchen knives on the market.

“I attend home shows and dinner parties every weekend,” he said while demonstrating Rhineland Cutlery knives at his booth at the home show on Oct. 28.

“I do great at these shows and my family chips in and helps out at the booths.”

The weekend of Oct. 28-30 marked the 28th anniversary of the Cowichan Valley Fall Home Show.

At the ultimate one-stop-shop for all aspects of home care, people had the opportunity to connect with experts in home improvements, renovations, décor, design, and much more.


Nanaimo Airport’s #Reconnect with Canada Coast-to-Coast campaign has earned international industry recognition.

The summer campaign promoting travel between the east and west coasts of Canada was a finalist for an Airports Council International award for excellence in airport marketing, communications and customer experience.

Nanaimo Airport partnered with Halifax Stanfield International Airport to help reconnect travellers with family, friends and loved ones, and travel as restrictions were eased during 2022.

The campaign included a contest offering a grand prize of a six-night trip to Vancouver Island.

“We wanted to symbolize all of Canada reconnecting post COVID-19, through travel,” says Dave Devana, president and CEO of the Nanaimo Airport Commission.

“Halifax to Nanaimo is an easy one-stop flight connecting both coasts.”

Nanaimo and Halifax were the smallest airports to make the finals for the North America award.

They were up against much larger airports — eventual winner Vancouver and Sea-Tac (Seattle), and a Milwaukee and Denver combination — with much larger budgets.


B.C.’s first, and maybe Canada’s first, artisanal cheese vending machine is now at Cowichan Station Creamery.

A press release from Cowichan Station Creamery — a vertically integrated cheese company that grows the grass, milks the cows, and makes the cheese that is sold directly to the consumer — said the vending machine is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week for those with an after-hours craving for its artisan cheese.

“With the ability to take cash, credit card, and Apple Pay, we invite you to come and try this exciting way to purchase your Cowichan Station Creamery cheese,” the release said.

“Our store remains open Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who are looking for a more personal cheese experience.”


Coastal Community Credit Union, the largest financial institution based on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, was recently re-certified as a “Great Place to Work” for the fourth year in a row.

The Great Place to Work certification is based on a thorough independent analysis conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute Canada.

It’s based on direct feedback from employees that was provided as a part of an extensive and anonymous survey about their workplace experience.

“This certification is especially meaningful in the current uncertain climate, and our entire team deserves the honour,” said Bruno Dragani, chief people and administration officer for the credit union.

“Our caring employees continue to go the extra mile to improve our members’ and clients’ financial health, all while dealing with staffing, workload and economic challenges. I thank them for their remarkable work in building a safe and collaborative work culture through thick and thin.”


The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce wants to encourage shopping local at its holiday open house and marketplace on Dec. 2.

For the Shop, Sip & Support Local Open House the chamber’s Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre will be stocked with Cowichan-made and Island Good products that are perfect for stocking stuffers, Secret Santa exchanges and appreciation gifts.

Chamber elves will be on-site to help people create the perfect custom holiday baskets, and there will be all sorts of goodies to snack on and sip.


The annual Christmas fundraiser, Toys Toiletries & Toques, is back for its 12th year collecting new non-food items for Cowichan families in need this holiday season.

This year, the charity is collecting at nine drop-off locations across the Cowichan Valley in November.

The locations are the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 134, located at 1625 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd., The Third Addition, Gifts & Toys, located in Mill Bay Shopping Centre, Chemainus District Chamber of Commerce, located at 102 – 9799 Waterwheel Crescent, Little Angels Children’s Boutique located at 103 – 9844 Croft St. in Chemainus, The Red Balloon Toyshop located at 158 Craig St., SwordFern Boutique, located at 89 South Shore Rd. in Lake Cowichan, Home Hardware, located at 1010 Ludlow Rd. in Ladysmith, 89.7 Juice FM, located at #4 5380 Trans-Canada Hwy., and Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre located at 2896 Drinkwater Rd.

For the first time this year, the organization is also providing the opportunity to donate cash online at

“We use the cash to buy tickets and passes to the movies downtown, Cowichan Capitals games, Kerry Park Islanders games, swimming, skating, bowling, and so much more,” organizers said.

“The food banks tell us this is almost the most valuable donation we provide. Kids need experiences just as much as toys, toiletries and toques. You can help give them a magical holiday season.”

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