Must See Events

MAY4,5,6-Vancouver Island Fibre Fest

So Many Things to Take in and Enjoy

APR.28-Cowichan Valley Garden Fair

Rare & Unique Plants with focus on Rhododendrons

APR.28-Roller Derby Spring Flinger

Don't miss this hard-hitting, fast-paced, action-packed evening!

Things To Do in 2 Hours in the Cowichan Valley - April Spring 2018 Edition

Spring Things To Do

-- 2 HOURS --

 World’s Largest Hockey Stick & Puck: Recorded in the Guinness World Records! Built in 1985 from Douglas Fir wooden beams reinforced with steal. 205ft long. Weighs 61, 000lbs. Island Savings Centre (on the Aquatic Centre side), 2653 James St, Duncan. 250.746.0440.

The Raptor Wildlife Sanctuary: Watch & learn all about these incredible birds of prey. Open daily, 10:30am-3pm. Flying Demo’s @ 11:30am & 1:30pm.  Walk through the woods with a hawk, look in to the eyes of an owl, or spend a whole day immersing yourself in the world of raptors! Book-in ahead of time for a more hands-on experience. Hogwarks can be booked on arrival. For admission prices see, pnwraptors.com.  1877 Herd Rd, Duncan. 250.746.0372.

Shopping & Markets:

Downtown Duncan- Charming historic town with shops, cafés and restaurants. Every kind of store you can think of.  On Station Street and surrounding streets.

Historic Whippletree Junction- A jumble of salvaged buildings from early 1900’s with old-world charm. Rest stop for tourists offering coffee, shopping, restaurants, and wonderful history. 4705 Trans Canada Hwy, Duncan (7kms south of Duncan). 250.746.5250.

Duncan Farmers Market- One of the largest markets in BC! With over 150 producers & artisans of the unusual & unique. Every Saturday, Apr-Oct, 9am-2pm, with LIVE entertainment while you shop including; singers, bands, choirs, magicians and more! Downtown Duncan, Market Square, 200 Craig St. (intersection of Craig & Ingram St.)  250.732.1723. Follow them on facebook!

Salt Spring Island Saturday Market- Meet over 140 artisans & food producers who all contribute to Salt Spring’s international reputation as a hotbed of world-class artists & organic farmers. Open Apr ‘til end of Oct, 9am-4pm (rain or shine). Oceanside at Centennial Park. saltspringmarket.com

Altered Olives Vintage Market- See their upcoming markets on their facebook page! 250.743.7383.

Museums: 

BC Forest Discovery Centre- Shoulder season open hours; Sat & Sun, Apr 7-29, 10am-4:30pm. Train runs every 60mins, 11am–4pm. Don’t miss their special 3-Day Easter Event “Easter Eggspress” (Mar 31 - Apr  2). There’ll be a Scavenger Hunt, Easter crafts, Easter Bunny & more!  The centre shares the history of BC’s forest & logging industry in a fun & interesting way that’s both popular for adults & kids!  2892 Drinkwater Rd, Duncan. 250.715.1113. 

Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives- Showcases the 1886 rural settlement of Duncan’s Crossing, also known as “Alderlea”. Filled with exhibits allowing visitors to experience early pioneer life, including a 1912 home, as well as commercial, recreational & agricultural displays. 130 Canada Ave, Duncan. 250.746.6612.

Shawnigan Lake Museum- Shares the story of Shawnigan Lake from past to present. Featured Galleries include;  EJ Hughes Gallery- a prestigious painter & resident of Shawnigan Lake for 20yrs).  Kinsol Trestle- A Canadian National Pacific Railway line built to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound in 1911. See the 3’ & 10’ scale models and videos showing it’s history and the time-lapse of the restoration in 2010-11. The Last Spike- Historic story of the ceremonious golden last spike hammered in by Sir John A. Macdonald in 1886 completing the 72 mile railway track from Esquimalt to Nanaimo. 1775 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Rd, Shawnigan Lake. Admission by donation. 250.743.8675, shawniganlakemuseum.com

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre: Historic wooden boats & maritime history at the pier.  5 Museums (allow 2-3hrs to complete). Woodwork courses & activities for children, ladies & men. Fleet of outboard/inboard traditional wooden boats of the west coast on the dock that members can take out for a day.  Gift shop and more! 1761 Cowichan Bay Rd., Cowichan Bay.  250.746.4955.

Art Galleries: 

The Ou Gallery *5 STAR*- Incredible space, lovely people, fantastic art, real sense of community, very intimate, grass roots vibe. This month features; OUT OF SEEN; Apr 6 - May 5, paintings & wood sculptures by David Martinello of Alternative Woodworks, free entry!  HARMONIZED MOTION; Apr 14, 7-9pm. Live music/spontaneous art journey with Portuguese fado singer, Sara Marreioros, Laurel Murphy & artist David Martinello. $20 pre-sale only @ theougallery.com. 3091 Agira Rd, Duncan. 250.510.8077.

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre- This month’s Art Show features; “HERITAGE QUILTERS”- Presented by the Cowichan Valley Heritage Quilters. CVRD Arts & Culture Division, 2687 James St, Duncan. 250.748.7529.

Imagine That! Artisans’ Designs- Renowned for it’s high concentration of artists, imagination and fine craftsmanship. Featuring; paintings, clayworks, glass, wood, metal, and fibre. Ever-changing selection from the best artists in the Cowichan Valley and on Vancouver Island. This month features; Robin Millan (mult-media humorous artist) & Robert Andrews (woodworker). 251 Craig St, Duncan. 250.748.6776.

Michaela Davidson Art & Gift Gallery- The entire building boasts 25 stained glass windows, visit the whimsical pond surrounded by stained glass & sculptures, tour the gardens, or browse the gift shop featuring; unique originals, reproductions, giftware, jewellery, and glasswork. Open daily, 10am-5pm. 63 Sahtlam Ave, Lake Cowichan. 250.749.6375.

Station Street Gallery & Frame Shop- Features a wide variety of gifts by local artists & artisans including; functional pottery, woodwork and pewter. 139 Station St, Duncan. 250.748.3311.

Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery- The most comprehensive visual arts organization in Ladysmith!  Bringing together artists, art lovers, unique artistic opportunities & experiences. This month’s art shows feature; “Student Show”- Apr 4-13, emerging youth artists from local schools, classes & university.  “Nanaimo Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists Art Showcase & Sale”- Apr 13-20, variety of styles and paintings.  “Momentum Press”- Apr 21-29, Ladysmith Printmakers inaugural show with traditional & contemporary printmaking. Gallery open daily, 11am-4pm. 610 Oyster Bay Drv, Ladysmith (on the way to Transfer Beach). 250.245.1252.

Salt Spring Gallery *5 STAR*- Fresh contemporary fine art showcasing top-notch ceramics, painting, textile, glass, sculpture & jewelry in a friendly artist run space. This month features; “Inner Passages”- Surreal Paintings & Digital Art by Paul Robert Bryans & Lorence Bryans, Mar 30-Apr 11. “Norma Hoeppner (painting)” Apr 13-May 2.  Gallery open Wed-Sun, 11am-4pm. (1.25hr travel time from Duncan, includes a ferry). 135 McPhillips Ave, Ganges, Salt Spring Island. 250.931.0011. 

Blue Horse Folk Art Gallery *4.5 STAR*- Home to the acclaimed folk art animal sculptures of Paul Burke and uniquely elegant raku vases & lamps of Anna Gustafson. Naturally lit, spacious gallery with paintings, furniture and other works by both artists. Linger by the outdoor sculptures in the Coffee Garden next to an untamed forest. (1.25hr travel time from Duncan, includes a ferry). Open hours Sun-Fri, 10am-5pm (closed Sat’s). 175 N View Pl, Salt Spring Island. 250.537.0754.

Aboriginal Art Gallery: Judy Hill Gallery- Pacific northwest native art & crafts. Popular for it’s totem poles, bentwood cedar boxes, native jewelry, Cowichan sweaters, carved masks & more! 22 Station St, Duncan. 250.746.6663.

See Fine Hand-Blown Glass: GBS Glass blowing- Visit the studio to see their fine art hand-blown glass. Showcasing wine & table-top items, oil lamps and other. Open by appointment. 678 Shawnigan Lake Rd, Malahat. 250.743.5666.

Jewellery Making Workshops: Gem & Bead Supply- Hosts fun jellewery-making workshops for; necklaces, earrings, rings, pendants, repurposing old jewelry into new pieces, fixing broken jewelry and more! 2-378 Trunk Rd, Duncan. www.islandgem.net, 250.597.4369.

Bowling: Duncan Lanes Bowling Center- 5 & 10pin bowling. 271 James St, Duncan 250.746.5421.

Lawn Bowling: Cowichan Lawn Bowling Club- Leagues, tournaments and more! Open Apr - Mid Oct. End of First St, Centenial Park, Duncan. www.cowichanlawnbowling.com

Fun Science for Kids: Mad Science Vancouver Island- They come to you! Science-based fun & educational after-school programs & birthdays. 250.391.1814.

Remote Control Fun:

Floatplane RC Meet-up- Meet with us every Monday, 9:30am at Art Mann Park on Quamichan Lake, (5990 Indian Rd, Duncan)  Bring your own floatplane, meet new friends, or feed the ducks.  Free to fly or watch! See Duncan RC for your remote control toys, big or small.  5797 Duncan St, Duncan.  250.597.0104.

Paintball: 

Vancouver Island Paintball Club- Open daily 10am-4:30pm. 4 fields, Jungle Forest Village and Speed Ball. Recreation play in the village is a favourite! Reservation only. 250.756.6793. VancouverIslandPaintball.ca

Gun Shooting for Adults:

Cowichan Fish & Game Association- Learn how to use a gun, improve your aim, compete in competitions and practice safe fire-arm use. Shooting nights Wed’s & Fri’s, 2pm. Brenda, 250.743.1169. http://cowichanfishandgame.com/

Hunting:

Learn how to hunt with qualified instructors to attain your hunting license. Tanya,  250.746.4537, or cowichancore@shaw.ca  

Horse Riding & Shows: 

Foxstone Stables- Lessons, dressage, shows, boarding, 8mins from downtown Duncan. This month features; “Equestrian Schooling Show”- Apr 6-8. Foxstone Stable, 4770 Waters Rd, Duncan, B.C.  250.748.8577.

Cobble Hill Mountain- A popular destination for horse riding!  Numerous trails of varying difficulty along the 336m summit, many viewpoints and amenities.

FREE Play Reading Nights: The Mercury Players- Every 2nd & 4th Wed’s of the month, 7pm (subject to theatre availability). Opportunity to get a sneak peak of upcoming shows or prepare for auditions. The Mercury Theatre, 331 Brae Rd, Duncan. mercuryplayers.org

LIVE Theatre Performances:

Chemainus Theatre- Exceptional, beautiful theatre. Producing a repertoire of classic & award winning performances. Now showing; “Million Dollar Quartet” - The jukebox legends are back by popular demand! Showing till Apr 14.  Make the occasion extra special and enjoy the lunch or dinner buffet in the beautiful dining room, or visit the Gallery Gift Shop before or after the show! 9737 Chemainus Rd, Chemainus 1.800.565.7738.

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre- See live theatre, music, dance, comedy, art shows, speakers & more! 2687 James St, Duncan. 250.748.7529. http://cowichanpac.ca/

Mercury Players- Fabulous, high quality theatrical performances. This month features:“NEIL SIMON’S The Good Doctor”.  May 10-20th. Mercury Theatre, 331 Brae Rd, Duncan. mercuryplayers.org

Ladysmith Little Theatre- A place to see, act or volunteer in quality community theatre. This month features; “Once Upon A Mattress”- Apr 12 - May 6. 4985 Christie Rd, Ladysmith. Reserve, 250.924.0658. www.ladysmiththeatre.com

Movie Cinema: 

Cineplex Caprice Cinemas- 404 Duncan St., Duncan. 778.855.7867.

The Fritz Movie Theatre- Features everything you’d expect to find in the big city. Open Fri-Tue, monthly & 7 days/week, Jul-Aug.  901 North End Rd. (Central Hall), Salt Spring Island. 250.537.4656.

HUB Film Club- Membership facilitated community cinema. Watch films with friends & neighbours every 4th Friday of the month. Popcorn provided. Bring a cushion! Cowichan Station, 2375 Koksilah Rd, Duncan. Find us on facebook or http://cowichanstation.org/

FREE Library: Cowichan Branch Library- 2687 James St., Duncan 250.746.7661.

Estuary Nature Center: Interpretive center and children’s programs overlooking the Cowichan Estuary 1845 Cowichan Bay Rd. 250.597.2288.

The FAMOUS Historic Chemainus Wall Murals: A visionary in the small town told the history of the town through gigantic murals painted on the many buildings for all to see. Over 40 murals telling the story of the towns history from WWI, the first telephone operators, First Nation faces, settling the Canadian West, the drama & danger of the mills - it’s all there in gorgeous form, shape & colour. Take some time to get off the highway and see this town. “The Little Town That Did”.  Chemainus, B.C.

Hikes & Trails:

The Historic Kinsol Trestle- Open to public for cycling, hiking & equestrian riding. One of the tallest free-standing timber rail trestle structures in the world, near Shawnigan Lake http://www.cvrd.bc.ca/1379/Kinsol-Trestle

Heart Lake Loop- Challenging 6.4km takes about 2hrs. Rewards you with Panoramic spectacular views of the town, Gulf Islands and Mt. Baker. Access from Davis Rd Park at the Holland Creek Trail, Ladysmith.

Cowichan Sportsplex- Has a short nature trail. 5847 Chesterfield Ave, Duncan. 250.746.5666.

Cobble Hill Mountain- Many trails of varying difficulty along the 336m summit with lots of viewpoints & amenities.

Disc Golfing (Frolfing): 18 holes at Hart Memorial, Mouat Park.  Take 1hr to 1.5 hrs to complete the course.Located near the end of McPhillips Ave. on Salt Spring Island.

Free Outdoor Exercise Equipment: Cowichan Sportsplex- 5847 Chesterfield Ave, Duncan. 250.746.5666.

Indoor Tennis: Arbutus Ridge Golf Club- This is the ONLY covered year-round tennis facility between Victoria & Nanaimo. Open year-round, 8am-9pm daily. Men’s Night, Ladies Night, Junior’s Night, Lessons, Tournaments and more!  3515 Telegraph Rd, Cobble Hill. 250.743.5000, or Toll Free 1.800.446.5322.

Waterslides & Wave Pool:

Cowichan Aquatic Centre- Indoor Wave pool, lazy river, twin waterslides, swirl pool & more! 2653 James St, Duncan. 250.746.7665.

Frank Jameson Community Centre & Swimming Pool- Waterslides, lazy river, tot pool with waterfalls & bubbles, whirl pool, 15’ climbing wall in the pool, skywalker, pool rope swing, pool basketball hoops.  810 Sixth Ave, Ladysmith. 250.245.6424.

Swimming Pools:

Cowichan Aquatic Center- Indoor 8 lane 25m lap pools, steam room, sauna, and more! 2653 James St, Duncan. 250.746.7665.

Frank Jameson Community Centre & Swimming Pool- 4-lane 25m pools, easy pool access aquatic lift & stairs, sauna, tot pool and more!   810 Sixth Ave, Ladysmith. 250.245.6424.

Pickleball: 

Cowichan Exhibition Park- Try North America’s fastest growing sport! 7380 Trans-Canada Hwy, Duncan. 250.748.0822. Find us on facebook under “Cowichan Exhibition Pickleball” for meet up times.

Rock Climbing: 

Cowichan Climbing Academy- Open Tue-Fri, 3:30-6:30pm.  Operated by a group of school district 79 teachers. Ècole Mount Prevost school, 6177 Moorfield Rd, Duncan. Closed during school holidays. cowichanclimbing@sd79.bc.ca

Frank Jameson Swimming Pool- One 15’ climbing wall in the pool as part of their fun pool activities. 810 Sixth Ave, Ladysmith. 250.245.6424.

Duncan Boulders- Outdoor hotspot for real boulder climbing. Difficult to find. See this website for directions & more info. http://www.bcclimbing.com/areas/duncan-boulders

Things To Do For Teens:

Youth Rec Room @ Frank Jameson Community Centre & Swimming Pool- (Ages 13-18yrs). Free, safe, welcoming.  Teens can play pool, ping-pong, air hockey, fooseball, Wii, learn to make healthy snacks, create art, surf the net, watch TV, listen to music, meet new friends, or get involved in community events. Open Fri’s 6-10pm. 810 6 Ave, Ladysmith. 250.245.6424.

Youth Group @ Newlife Church-  1839 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan. 250.748.6521. youth@newlifechurch.ca

Cadets: Agricultural Hall- Parade Day, Tuesday, 6:15-9:30pm. 1110 1st Ave, Ladysmith. ladysmithaircadets@yahoo.ca, 250.245.8119.

Women’s Christian Ministry:

Newlife Church-  Study God’s word, make new friends & connect with ladies. Contact Janet Magdanz, jmagdanz81@gmail.com.  Newcomers welcome. Register, office@newlifechurch.ca. 1839 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan. 250.748.6521. 

Mom’s Connect @ Newlife Church-  For moms with children of all ages & stages. Support group for moms in their relationships with family, friends & God. momsconnect@newlifechurch.ca. 1839 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan. 250.748.6521. 

Men’s Christian Ministry:

Men at Work, Men at Play- Hang out with the guys, serve the community or just do fun stuff together.  Newlife Church, 1839 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan. 250.748.6521. 

Men’s Noon Hour Bible Study @ Newlife Church-  1839 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan. 250.748.6521. 

Farms:

Bird’s Eye Cove ‘The Barn’- One of the oldest working farms in the region. Visit cattle, pigs & hens in lush grass pastures. Also provides romantic farm accommodation, fresh farm food & more! 5881 Genoa Bay Rd, Duncan. 250.748.6379.

Dancing Dandelion Farms- Hosting fields of flourishing flowers & abundance of vegetables. 3204 Drinkwater Rd, Duncan. 250.510.7592.

Westholme Teafarm & Art Gallery *5 STAR*Popular tourist hotspot! 5 star rated scenery, atmosphere & tea.  Rare Canadian teas, art gallery, tea culture tours, local & worldwide organic teas. 8350 Richards Trail, North Cowichan. 250.748.3811.

Cowichan Green Community- Community focused, hands-on, educational plant & animal farm. Hosts fun & educational workshops and events. Interesting, eclectic Garden Pantry Store, well worth the visit! 360 Duncan St, Duncan. 250.748.8506.

Providence Farm- rovides nurturing programs for individuals with mental health & developmental challenges with difficulty in mainstream settings to help grow & be part of a community. Visitors can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere, self-guided tours, Mon-Fri lunches, walk through the labyrinth, wander the gardens & trails, and general store. 1843 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan. 250.746.4204.

Deerholme Farm- Hosts cooking classes and wild mushroom & food forages. 4830 Stelfox Rd, Duncan. 250.748.7450.

Alderlea Farm & Café- Family-friendly, historic, biodynamic farm with an organic café & wood-fired pizza. Visit the animals or admire the priceless views of the valley. Open Fri-Sun, 11am-8pm. Wood-fired pizza open Sun’s, 4:30-8pm. 3390 Glenora Rd, Duncan. Reservations recommended, 250.597.3438.

FREE Home Depot Kids Workshop: This month they’re making a ”Bird House” (Sat, Apr 7). Starts 10am. For ages 4-12yrs. Kids go home with their piece of art, handy skills, a Home Depot apron & certificate of achievement award. Must have parent supervision, please register at the special service desk. Home Depot Duncan, 2980 Drinkwater Rd. 250.737.2360.

Antique Furniture DIY Painting Workshops: Altered Olives- 1755 Baden Powell Rd and 1300 Fisher Rd, Shawnigan Lake. See their upcoming workshops on their facebook page! 250.743.7383.

Wine/Beer Tastings & Tours:

Red Arrow Brewery *4.9STAR*- Tour the brewery in 15mins-30mins. Sample all the beers, and find out how they’re made. Please phone ahead for tours.  Large gift shop with really neat items. Open daily. 5255 Chaster Rd, Duncan 250.597.332.

Cherry Point Estate Wines *4.8STAR*- 

Award-winning Double Gold Medal at the 2017 All Canadian Wine Championship in Toronto!  Offers guided tours, wine tastings and dining. Book a 45min wine tour with one of our knowledgeable & friendly staff. Available all year. Book 48hrs in advance. Open for tastings every day, 10am-5pm, sample our award winning reds, whites and our famous dessert wines. 840 Cherry Point Rd, Cobble Hill. 250.743.1272.

Rocky Creek Winery *4.7STAR*- “From corporate suits to gumboots” Taste estate wines of Pinots, crisp whites, red blends and sparklings. Discover our story from Cowichan’s most awarded wine-maker. 1854 Myhrest Rd, Cowichan Bay. 250.748.5622.

FREE tastings at Averill Creek Vineyard *4.6STAR*- Complimentary wine tasting, open 11am-5pm, every weekend.  Guided Winery Tours also available for groups of 10 or more (weather permitting). Must pre-book. 6552 North Rd. Duncan. 250.709.9986.

Merridale Cidery & Distillery *4.6STAR*-  Apple orchard, craft cider house, small batch distillery with a gastropub. Lots of things to eat, drink & do. Tasting Bar, Lounge, Tours & Farm Store open daily, 11am-5pm. 1230 Merridale Rd, Cobble Hill. 250.743.4293.  merridale.ca

Cycling: Cycle Therapy- Bicycle, mountain bike, and electric bike rentals.  #102-360 Duncan St., Duncan 250.597.0097.

Golf Driving Range: Duncan Meadows- 18 hole course, putting green, chipping area and practice range. 6507 North Rd, Duncan. 250.746.8993.