Janice Shand

Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce hosts Community Connections: A Business Showcase

The showcase took place Oct. 18 at Centennial and was attended by between 200-300 people, organizers say.

The Chamber of Commerce hosted the first annual Community Connections: A Business Showcase at Centennial Hall this Saturday. The showcase, free to attendees, had over 300 people attend. Organizers, exhibitors and attendees expressed their excitement about the event.

“Our members have really come out and done themselves justice. The turnout is absolutely fantastic,” said Katherine Worsley, coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce. Worsley was also part of the event planning committee.

The showcase gathered 40 participating the Chamber of Commerce, event sponsors, businesses and artisans from around the lake to meet and greet with attendees. There was also an exhibitor, Jocelyn Kiser, who came from Victoria to meet the community and introduce FloForm Countertops, which works closely with South Shore Cabinetry.

“We were invited by them and we’re really pleased to be here. It’s nice to get to know the community and surrounding businesses,” said Kiser. “I’m surprised at the turn out. It’s really great.”

Worsley mentioned that attendees came from Lake Cowichan and the surrounding communities, as well as a few from outside the Cowichan Valley and even Victoria.

“I think it was very good exposure for all the businesses,” said attendee Donna Roughly. “There are a lot of businesses I didn’t know were around. They all have their own unique qualities.”

Roughly, who recently moved to Lake Cowichan, also mentioned she thought it would have been nice to see more council members at the event so she could get to know them better.

“I thought it was very well put together,” said Cathy Craft, who Roughly mentioned is thinking of starting a business.

“I enjoyed meeting all the different vendors and meeting up with people I already knew,” said Craft.

“I thought it was very well laid out and very informative. I thought it was nice to have everything in one place, kind of like one-stop shopping,” said Norma Walker of Lake Cowichan.

Pauline Thompson, co-owner of Studio by Us, a multi-discipline art studio in Lake Cowichan, also felt the showcase was a success.

“I’m glad we put a booth in here. The studio’s been open for a year and a half now and people are going ‘oh, I didn’t know it was there.’ I’m hoping this will bring more people in,” said Thompson.

Two interesting audience participation features of the showcase were the passport and the People’s Choice Award.

Greeters gave attendees a passport as they walked in the door and if attendees got their passports stamped by at least 10 exhibitors, they could enter a draw for one of four prizes.

“It was an opportunity to talk face to face with some of the people that we wouldn’t have normally spoken to,” said Diane Jay about the passports.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award, voted on by attendees, was the Country Grocer display, complete with straw man, pumpkins and squash, straw bales and more. Country Grocer received the framed award and bragging rights as their prize.

“It’s always fabulous for being recognized for the community service we do,” said Janice Shand from Country Grocer. “We love getting into the community and being able to give back to the community that provides us all so much.”

The winners of the five prizes were Samantha Oliver, Al Corrigall, Gillian Needs, Del Mauro and Tracy Forrest.

This event kicks off Canada’s Small Business Week, Oct. 19-25.

“It will be an annual event so we hope to see more people out next year,” said Kathrine Worsley.

“I’d really love to see more artisans at next year’s event. They don’t have storefronts, so we’d love to help artisans out in that way too,” said Glenda Osborne-Burg, one of the main event organizers.

Ron McKenzie, president of the Chamber of Commerce, was also pleased with the event.

“Everything went well. It was a phenomenal turnout. I’m so happy,” said McKenzie. “It was a phenomenal way to start off Canadian Small Business Week.”



Just Posted

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Robert Barron column: Some motorcyclists a danger to themselves; and others

I would often bellyache over the mandatory helmet laws in Canada.

Celebrated sax-man P. J. Perry comes to Crofton Aug. 19

Enjoy the sounds of Canada’s king of bebop at Osborne Bay Pub

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Most Read