The realtors from RE/MAX of Duncan-Mill Bay held a bottle drive and donated the $10,000 in proceeds to Nourish Cowichan. Pictured holding the cheque and surrounded by RE/MAX agents are, from left, Rod Allen, president of Nourish Cowichan, Corrine Thompson, co-chairwoman of Starfish Cowichan Valley and Fatima Da Silva, executive director of Nourish Cowichan. (Submitted photo)

Business notes: Realtors raise $10,000 for Nourish Cowichan

The latest from Cowichan’s business community

The realtors from RE/MAX of Duncan-Mill Bay saw a need and managed to raise $10,000 by holding a bottle drive for Nourish Cowichan, a charitable society created to feed children in need in the Valley.

Part-owner Doyle Childs said the 28 realtors at the firm decided they wanted to do something to help out in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, and decided that after months of staying at home, there might be a lot of empty bottles stashed away in people’s homes.

“Nearly all of our agents participated in the bottle drive at some level,” he said.

“We raised $5,300 through the bottle drive; some realtors who could not help donated some cash and then the office topped up with another $4,500. We chose Nourish Cowichan to donate the money to because that group does a lot of good in the community. We’re always looking for ways to give back to the community.”


Van Isle Windows recently handed over $42,150 to food banks on the Island, including ones in the Cowichan Valley.

Van Isle Windows general manager Linda Gourlay said the company decided to give $25 per window from sales in April and May to food banks to help communities on Vancouver Island through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cheques for $7,025 each were given to food banks in Courtenay, Cobble Hill/Mill Bay/Shawnigan, Nanaimo, Victoria’s Mustard Seed, St. Vincent De Paul and Living Edge Community.

“We are a local company who have been manufacturing windows on Vancouver Island for 42 years and it’s important for us to help where we can,” said Gourlay.

“We always make sure we give back.”


Cowichan businesses making local products can now get a free marketing boost from the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s Island Good Program.

Economic Development Cowichan and Community Futures Cowichan have partnered with the VIEA to offer local producers a free Island Good licence.

The VIEA developed the Island Good brand program as a way for shoppers to easily identify local food products on grocery shelves.

“There is a growing demand for locally made food and products, and we know it can be hard for small producers to stand-out,” said Cathy Robertson, general manager of Community Futures Cowichan.

“To help them be seen, and hopefully increase their sales, we will support these businesses to take advantage of the successful Island Good program.”

Barry O’Riordan, manager of Economic Development Cowichan added that the organization is delighted to support Cowichan businesses in leveraging the Island Good branding to boost sales and support economic recovery in the region.

Cowichan businesses that generate products on Vancouver Island or sell their products from the Island may qualify for this free licensing opportunity, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the funding is spent.

To fill out an application form, visit the Island Good website at


Coastal Community Credit Union has been recognized as one of the best places to work in British Columbia by the Great Place to Work Institute Canada.

Coastal Community, the largest Vancouver Island-based financial services provider, made the 2020 List of Best Workplaces in British Columbia after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work, said to be the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures.

The list is based on direct feedback from employees of the hundreds of organizations that were surveyed by Great Place to Work.

To be eligible for the list, organizations must be Great Place to Work Certified in the past year, be headquartered in British Columbia and have at least 10 employees working in the province that participated in the Institute’s Trust Index employee survey.

Great Place to Work determined the best based overall Trust Index score from these employees.

“We are so grateful for our amazing team of employees,” said Bruno Dragani, chief people and administration officer for Coastal Community.

“Our place on this list is due to their hard work, expertise and leadership, and we thank them for helping to create a great work environment on every level.”


Connor Loch-Labelle, from Duncan Christian School, was one of eight Grade 12 students from across Vancouver Island who was recently selected by the Coastal Community Credit Union’s scholarship program to receive $2,000 each toward their post-secondary educations.

The credit union has been offering annual scholarships since 2005 to Island students who plan to attend undergraduate college or university, trade school or special interest school.

Grade 12 students apply by submitting a plan for a project to improve their community.

Based on these plans, eight students from Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Victoria were selected this year.

Allyson Prescesky, senior manager of community and communications for the credit union said all eight winners sent in a thoughtful and creative plan to improve their community.

“Building healthier communities is part of our DNA, and what better way than to support Island young people with a dream of giving back while looking ahead to the future,” she said.

“Even in difficult times, these young people are thinking of others. We’re proud to give them a helping hand with their educational goals.”

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