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South Cowichan, British Columbia, Canada JUNE 2015 VOLUME 1, NUMBER 7 Shawnigan takes protest to the highway By Peter W. Rusland For the Echo SHAW...

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South Cowichan, British Columbia, Canada

JUNE 2015


Shawnigan takes protest to the highway By Peter W. Rusland For the Echo

SHAWNIGAN LAKE – A steady blast of highway horns was pretty music to Shawnigan Lake residents who took their anti-dirty soil dumping stand to the streets May 24. “The support is super,” said third-generation Laker Rosemary Gibson. She waved a Save Shawnigan Water sign beside the Trans-Canada Highway lined with about 150 of her angry, frustrated neighbours — many of whom say they will block dump trucks legally carrying toxic soil to their area. “I just hope they’ll care in Victoria, because this (issue) affects their water too.” Gibson was talking about the B.C. Liberal government’s refusal to heed Shawnigan folks’ fears and petitions about long-term lake pollution under a provincial soil-treatment permit given to South Island Aggregates. SIA’s 50-year permit is being fought by residents and the Cowichan Valley Regional District who demand the permit be pulled. It allows dumping and treating five million tonnes of contaminated soil in SIA’s yawning quarry off Stebbing’s Road. Under its legal permit, SIA is now building the quarry’s lined pit operation, while accepting, and selfpolicing, soil loads from unknown sources. That mystery soils worried Laker Sheri Becker. “Potentially, yes,” she said, when asked if she’d block trucks. Jenny Stevens said she and husband Bruce are braced for pavement protesting. “We talked about that for years. I’ve heard from many elderly people who are also willing to stand in front of the trucks.” Gibson blamed the Liberals’ environment ministry that she and others said should never have granted SIA’s permit. Instead, ministry bureaucrat, Hubert Bunce, seemed to listen to scientists, not residents. “I voted Liberal, but never again,” she said. • See Also Pages 4 and 5


Breogan O’Moal Dougnaic of Cobble Hill, was among about 100 participants who staged a peaceful roadside demonstration alongside the Trans Canada Highway. The event was hosted by the Shawnigan Residents Association as a way of expressing their disapproval of the dumping of contaminated soil in the watershed. For more (Photo by Andrew Leong) about Save Our Shawnigan Water go to


South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Support for Shawnigan fight gaining support

Shawnigan Lake residents – now being joined in increasing numbers by people living outside the immediate area – are vowing to fight to the finish to put a halt to the dumping of contaminated soils in the Shawnigan Lake watershed. Opponents of the idea of allowing South Island Aggregates Ltd. to dump 100,000 tons of contaminated soil annually for the next 50 years, have been fighting this battle for years. Now that SIA has actually begun to dump the material, the war has escalated and if the threats of some residents are genuine, it could get very nasty indeed. At this point, it seems to have come down to an Everyone versus the Provincial Government fight, which begs many questions. Why has the Province been so committed to allowing this to happen when there is so much opposition to the dumping from local residents – which also includes folks in the Greater Victoria area? Were there not other locations that would have been suitable? Has the Province done all it needs to do in securing a balanced and thorough scientific assessment of the potential consequences?

The Shawnigan Residents Association has led the fight and continues to present valid arguments and ask critical questions. The SIA maintains that the testing and assessment of the suitability of the site’s geology and hydrogeology was inadequate and incomplete. Among its points of contention are charges that the Ministry of the Environment’s reliance on experts in the science community is flawed. Andrew Weaver, the MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, notes there is conflicting evidence between the expert opinion provided as part of SIA’s application for a permit and that obtained by the Shawnigan Residents Association. Dueling scientists! You gotta love ‘em. “Herein lies the critical problem with the entire permitting process,” maintains Weaver. “The Professional Reliance model for project permitting in use in British Columbia is inherently flawed. No matter what project is

seeking approval, when the government bases its decision on the professional advice provided by a project proponent, there will always be public concern. “In fact basing approval decisions on the Professional Reliance Model makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a project to earn a social license to proceed.” Weaver, who admits he was reluctant to wade into this debate and only did so when pressure from constituents who had vacation properties on Shawnigan Lake became to vociferous to ignore, has taken a good look at the situation. In April, he hiked the area along with CVRD Director Sonia Furstenau. He took photos and collected water samples. The pictures aren’t pretty – building materials such as rebar, piping, asphalt, tiles, concrete and a tire had spilled over to parkland areas – and the water samples revealed a substandard level for

drinking water. In one photo taken by Weaver, the water flowing into Shawnigan Creek is orange, indicating an abundance of iron. Jim Sprague is among the Shawnigan residents who appreciate the interest of Weaver and others, including the CVRD, in this issue. “We Shawnigan residents have felt like we’re in this fight on our own, it’s good to hear from someone outside our area,” Sprague told Weaver. Sprague also notes that the safety of this project depends on the proper management of the site by SIA, something that he says already causes concern given Weaver’s early findings. Clearly, the opposition to the “project” is growing by the day. No longer is it merely a Shawnigan issue. Could this evolve into another Lyell Island protest? Something reminiscent of the protest almost 30 years ago against logging on the Queen Charlotte Islands, now officially known as Haida Gwaii. That could be what it takes to put the brakes on something that is unpopular and unsafe. [email protected]

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo



JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

Pit-permit protestor Shelagh (She Momma) Bell-Irving on the edge of SIA’s yawning soil-treatment facility near Shawnigan Lake.

(Photo by Peter W. Rusland)

Opponents threaten civil disobedience By Peter W. Rusland For The Echo

SHAWNIGAN LAKE – Money remains the main ammo being used by Shawnigan Lake folks fighting their provincial government’s refusal to rescind a toxicsoil treatment permit granted to South Island Aggregates pit near the lake. “Use common sense and rescind the permit,” Richard Chilibeck advised Victoria. “Even if they all think it’s fine (soil dumping), err on the side of caution.” Also down in the trenches, many angry residents — fearful their water supplies and lake will eventually be fouled by leachate from SIA’s lined pit — are anteing up dollars for lawyers mounting a judicial appeal about that 50-year permit allowing treatment of five million tonnes of foul soil. Shawnigan Residents Association executive Lois Morrow said the SRA has spent some $625,000 on lawyers — about $300,000 raised so far from community events and donations — to defend the lake, starting with last year’s environment

appeal board hearings. Many lakers and supporters are also ready to stand in front of dump trucks legally hauling dirty dirt, mostly from locations unknown, to SIA’s yawning pit on Stebbings Road, off South Shawingan Lake Road. “If we have to do civil disobedience, I’m quite willing to stand in front of a dump truck,” Rosemary Gibson, 82, told The Echo at a recent rally at the legislature. Grace dePencier also said she’d help halt the rigs. “By the time kids grow up, the lake will be polluted.” Shawnigan Lake School students Kelsey McGaw and Christina Saldat, both 16, said they’d stand in front of trucks. “Rescind the permit and listen to the people,” McGaw said, explaining scientists can be wrong. “Shawnigan Lake is my second home, and I don’t want to see it go to waste.” “This is really important to youths,” Saldat said, “because we'll be dealing with this in the long run.”

Shawingan Lake Director Sonia Furstenau and the SRA are awaiting environment ministry answers about work SIA’s permit says must still be completed at its treatment facility. She and the SRA also expect answers from B.C.’s mines ministry about amendments they claim are needed to SIA’s mines permit for the firm to import contaminated soil, not just residential fill.

Another legal front, that’s costing all Cowichanians, is the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s drive for a B.C. Supreme Court decision on CVRD legal claims that Victoria ignored its regional primary-forest (F-1) zoning bylaws when granting SIA’s permit — albeit loaded with environmental safeguards and monitoring rules. • Continued on Page 5

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

Lorraine Keen expresses her anti-soil stance at SIA's soil quarry near Shawnigan (Photo by Peter W. Rusland) Lake.

Protest at Legislature followed by presentation of 15,000 name petition • Continued from Page 4 Furstenau said the CVRD paid about $550,000 in legal bills during the EAB hearings. Large legal costs are also rising on the CVRD’s zoning in challenge in the high court. Bruce Fraser, a former Shawnigan director, said the area’s F-1 zoning, preventing dumping of material that did not originate on the property, “has been in place since 2004, but the MOE ignored it, and gave out the permit even though it violated CVRD zoning.” Some residents ask why the CVRD didn’t simply invoke its zoning regulations against SIA in the first place. “The environment ministry has jurisdiction over contaminated soil, but the CVRD has jurisdiction over zoning, and we’re asking the Supreme Court ‘Who’s in charge here?’” Fraser asked. SIA’s permit was also granted despite resounding objection from residents and the CVRD board. And it followed last year’s long environmental appeal board process, starring residents, the CVRD, and their respective lawyers and water-science experts. The EAB ultimately backed SIA’s hydro-science, claiming the safeguarded risks were allowable concerning Shawnigan’s water table and lake. “The very thought of putting (dirty dirt) into a pristine lake area is not on,” federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair told The Echo recently. “When government refuses to listen to people and makes decisions benefiting so few, how can that be good governance?” asked SRA president Calvin Cook. Despite losing that battle, the war isn’t

over, vow residents, regional brass and Cowichan MLA Bill Routley. He handed some 15,000 signed petitions from the SRA to the B.C. legislature after a May 13 public rally on the House lawn where some 1,200 valley folks sang, prayed and demanded SIA’s permit be revoked to save their water. “It’s the wrong site, in the wrong place,” Routley said, reading citizens’ letters. “Change your (permit) decision, for the sake of everyone.” Witnesses said B.C. Environment Minister Mary Pollack — who could pull SIA’s permit and potentially have taxpayers pay compensation to the firm — and Premier Christie Clark basically ignored that presentation, and left the House. Routley is also chasing apparently hazy totals of legal bills provincial taxpayers have footed defending the whole SIA decision. He got no hard numbers, during recent House debate, from attorney general and justice minister Suzanne Anton. Routley called the majority Liberals’ accounting “jiggery pokery.” Anton said legal costs will be charged back to the environment ministry. “I can't talk about ongoing (legal) cases,” she said. But Routley persisted. “The public has a right to know (legal costs). Maybe you just shovel money out the door. Do you even care?” Student Saldat said the whole dirty fight “comes down to what your values are. “Why doesn’t the government have the same morals as us?”



JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

OP /ED History, boats and fun in South Cowichan this summer

As we at the Echo get to know folks in South Cowichan, it’s incredibly gratifying to witness the energy and sense of teamwork that seems to be everywhere. Putting together this edition of the Echo has been an eyeopener in terms of helping to promote the various things that are coming up over the summer months, as well as reporting on the recent events that have already occurred. For newcomers to an area – and Vancouver Island is packed with newbies – it’s always a treat to learn more about the history of a new home. To that end, we see that the Bamberton Historical Society will be offering tours of that fascinating community over the summer months. Adding to the pleasure of tours is the fact that visitors will be guided through the old village by residents who grew up in Bamberton. And, not to be outdone, Mill Bay folks are planning their ‘The Good Old Daze’ event for July. They’re billing it as a glimpse of the past you have never seen before. Sounds intriguing and for people who are new to the Mill Bay area, this should be an entertaining and informative event. Speaking of history, the popular Wood Boat Festival in Cowichan Bay is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. This event is a project of the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre, a place that should be on everyone’s ‘must-see’ list. This year it takes place on June 27 and 28. Along with the Wooden Boat Festival, there is the Fast & Furious Boat Building Challenge, a friendly competition that is always highly entertaining. Teams of two to four people are given just four hours to build a functional boat from scratch using up to $100 in environmentally-friendly building materials. Contestants are judged on design and best costumes and two members from each team participate in the friendly three-part water portion of the competition: a paddling leg and sailing leg followed by a ‘get back to shore however you can’ leg. There’s plenty more taking place in the South Cowichan Valley this summer. Watch the Echo for all the details.

Economic development – Yea or nay?

Watching paint dry is a wonderful analogy. On the surface (no pun intended) nothing is happening. But in the end a change will have taken place even if we don’t notice it right away. Economic development is something like that. To most people it is invisible. It takes time. And even after it has run its course, if it ever does, you don’t necessarily notice that anything has changed. The words used to describe it are important. “Development” is different from “activity”, which is what we are really looking for. Attempts at development can go on for a very long time, years and years in fact, without any of the desired results. Recent and not-so-recent efforts at the regional level have come under scrutiny with some harsh criticism coming from consultants, regional directors and the public. With a budget nudging $1 million a year, the region’s economic development commission had little to show for itself despite a run of a decade of smoke without much fire. What about North Cowichan? This is a place that has depended over the years on farming, fishing, forestry, mining and the production of pulp and paper. More recently we have depended on tourism, large scale retail and retirement. The muni has in place a program of property tax relief for new businesses that meet certain sustainability criteria.

But is this the right thing to do? Because there is another side to this. Existing businesses wonder why they are being asked to subsidize newcomers, allowing them to escape tax for extended periods of time. It’s like being asked to subsidize potential competitors.

During the debate earlier this year at the CVRD board table, director Klaus Kuhn warned that there is in the community a body of opinion not only indifferent to economic development, but hostile to it as well. Economic development is seen as bringing about undesired change, it can be disruptive, and ultimately detrimental to many of the attributes that bring people (read here retirees) to the Cowichan and Chemainus River Valleys in the first place. But therein lies a possible response to several challenges. Some of these were addressed by the consultant who was reporting on work done for the region on these very matters. Why not, the consultant asked, promote these very lifestyle qualities as the heart of a different kind of appeal to new age entrepre-

neurs? These people do not necessarily need to locate in the big cities to reach their client base, which may very well be international in scope. Young professionals like these often have young families and might prefer to live in a semirural setting. Here there are reasonable home prices, good schools, access to quality health care and unparalleled recreational opportunities. We have clean air and water, a pace of life that can be as fast or slow as one wishes and ready access to international transportation links when needed. This approach is not exactly new but it is one that has not been pursued to any degree locally. We can celebrate our own good fortune, offering it to the world in exchange for the benefits of new investment, new employment opportunities, new sources of public revenue –without the traditional downsides associated with a traditional resource-based economy. This is not to say we should turn our backs on the heavy industry we have benefited from during the past century and more. But we live in a new age in a new economy. Isn’t it time to adopt a new view of economic development to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century? This might be a good start. Tom Masters is a writer and a resident of the Cowichan Valley.

JUNE 2015

Derelict Vessels Bill scuttled by Tory majority, disappoints Valley residents

My campaign to urge the senior level of government to take responsibility for derelict and abandoned vessels had a setback last week. My private member’s bill to amend the Canada Shipping Act and make the Coast Guard a receiver of wreck for any derelict vessel was voted down by the Conservative majority. While the ultimate responsibility for safe disposal of a vessel belongs to the owner, too often boats and other structures like docks are abandoned on our coast and no one can find the owner. I know most people would like to see a system similar to that of Washington State, which uses a decal system for boat licensing that helps defray the costs of dealing with abandoned vessels. Unfortunately, private member’s bills cannot involve new spending, so I had to look for another solution. But the government can take immediate steps to work with the provincial and regional governments, including First Nations, to implement a pay-as-you-go system to deal with derelict and abandoned vessels before they become a hazard. I’m going to continue to push the Minister of Transport to recognize that just such a system is a priority for people on the coast, and urge her to take concrete actions to deal with the burgeoning number of abandoned vessels on our coast. After all, citizens pay their taxes in order for government to provide services to and for residents. But after years of tax cuts for increasingly smaller and smaller groups of Canadians, I am seeing first-hand that cuts result in a reduction of services to residents.


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My constituency office receives calls regularly from people trying to access federal government services. I have kept track over the last few years of what departments people are calling about and the trend is disturbing. By far, the department that most of my constituents have trouble accessing is the poorlynamed Service Canada. Nearly 40 per cent of the casework files opened by my office involve Service Canada. Too often, people are approaching my office for help because they are unable to reach anyone at Service Canada when there is a problem with their case. Since this department includes Employment Insurance, Canada Student Loans, Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan – or almost our entire federal social security architecture – delays in receiving assistance create real hardship for the people involved. Unfortunately, the latest omnibus budget implementation act, C-59, will do nothing to stop this erosion of public services and puts in place more tax cuts that will put our social security architecture on an even more shaky footing. Jean Crowder is the Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Nanaimo-Cowichan

Pack a punch for Zero Waste

Those of you who know me, know I’m out every Saturday morning picking up the garbage along our streets and in our estuary. I’ll probably do this as long as I’m a resident on the planet and as long as people keep tossing their garbage where it doesn’t belong. My goal is Zero Waste. I’d like it to be your goal too. Start with plastic. Plastic bags never biodegrade, but they do break down into smaller more toxic petro polymers. According to a 2005 World Wildlife Fund study, hundreds of species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags. Humans and animals don’t escape these toxins either. Use cotton or canvas bags when you can, or paper. If we did this, we would decrease the use of plastic bags by six bags a week. That's 22,176 bags in an average lifetime. Take a Walk In 2014, Area D had 26 parks and a number of walking trails. Take some time, use up the sunshine, go play and walk our trails. Here are some: • The Cees and Meip Hof Memorial Park hiking between Cherry Point Rd. and Kingscote beach access. • Wilmot Community Pathway begins at Koksilah Rd. (at Wilmot Rd.) ending across from Falcon Crescent.

• Kennedy Lane Trail links Pavenham Road to Pritchard Road. • George Bartlett Trail links Ordano Road to Falcon Crescent. • Kingscote Heritage Trail runs east/west between McGill Road and Cowichan Bay Road • Lambourn Park trail links Royal Island Terrace to Polo Field Place then continues through to Tom Bannister Park and Hurtin Road. • Bomford Trail is a beach access trail beginning at the end of Sparwood Road. CVRD is updating the Adopt-A-Trail Program. Keep your eye on the website for details.

Water, Water Everywhere?

Nor any drop to drink. So the poem goes. Right now, however, we do have water for drinking and watering our gardens, crops and animals. But it’s quickly shaping up to be a dry summer and Stage 1 watering restrictions for CVRD water systems are already in effect. While restrictions don’t apply to homes on private wells or water sources, all of us should be good environmental stewards. Remember: aquifers are, for the most part, interconnected with river flows or neighbouring properties’ water resources.


South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Cobble Hill Volunteers bring Mealshare to the Valley

It helped Howard’s cause to get the program going in the Valley when he DUNCAN – These days, there are many invited Andrew Hall, one of the founders ways to share a meal – even when dining who happens to have a girlfriend in Genoa alone. Bay, to tour Warmland House. Thanks to a program run by three “He was sold right away,” said young Canadian entrepreneurs, diners can Howard. “He sat down in this (dining) select a menu item at several restaurants room and suddenly Toronto and Halifax across the country that benefits those in were a long way away and he said, ‘yes.’” need. Every meal bought means another The local program kicked into high is given to someone to help relieve hunger. gear almost a year ago at the end of June Since the launching of a non-profit and a launch party was held at the Old society in 2013, the program has catered Fork in Duncan. only to the larger centres. But a group of Robbie Fritz of Cowichan Station was like-minded South Cowichan residents among the first to volunteer her services. has put the region on the map with the “I have a social work background,” Cowichan Valley becoming the first she said. “I was quite aware of the needs smaller community outside the major in the community. This seemed like a urban cities to take part. fantastic program.” Blair Howard, who lives in Cobble Then it was up to Howard to put the Hill’s Arbutus Ridge complex, was instru- plan into action. mental in setting up the Valley program “I volunteered to round up a sales and other volunteers were quick to join force,” said Howard. “I got four him. volunteers and we hit the streets looking “I saw it on Twitter where Mealshare for restaurants.” had partnered with Our Place in Victoria,” The Old Fork in Duncan, Mill says Howard. Bay’s Rusticana Coffee, Original Joe’s “I said to our group that was interest- in Duncan and the Shipyard Pub in ed, ‘we have our place in our village, Maple Bay are the participating restautoo.’” rants. “We’re out banging the doors trying to get more,” said Howard. The Old Fork currently has about eight choices on the menu, according to Howard, that result in a donation to the program. The Rusticana has every menu item eligible. “We ask they have at least two (items) so there’s a choice,” said Howard. Mealshare not only supports a local charity in each location but also donates to a Save the Children international campaign. Howard is proud to see everything come together for the first event at Warmland House and promises it’s just the beginning. “It’s so simple,” said Hall, Mealshare cofounder with Jeremy Bryant while Derek Juno serves as vice-president of business development, in Nick Both, manager of the Old Fork restaurant, serves a promotional YouTube as a server for patrons of a Mealshare meal at the video. Duncan Warmland House. “It makes so much That would be the Warmland House sense. There’s eight million Canadians in Duncan where the first Mealshare dinner who dine out every day. was provided to residents on May 12. “There’s so much power there.” By Don Bodger For the Echo

Lisa Redmond fills a plate in the kitchen during a Mealshare event at the Duncan (Photos by Don Bodger) Warmland House in May.

JUNE 2015

Spilsbury leads a “dream team” at School District By Jackie Barker For The Echo

COWICHAN VALLEY – In less than six months, the Cowichan Valley School District’s new board of education has made some major changes in its governance structure as well as hired a new school superintendent. Following a three and one-half year hiatus, when an appointed trustee oversaw the school district’s affairs, November voters chose seven school trustees from very diverse backgrounds to re-convene a new school board with two fewer members than before. Calling the board a “dream team”, school board chairperson Candace Spilsbury says different perspectives enliven discussions and help trustees to see things through fresh eyes and to question established ways of doing things. “I am impressed by how quickly the new board has come together,” she says, noting the uniting factor is its collective determination to put students first. Vice-chair Barb de Groot agrees, adding that trustees frame every question through the lens of “how will this improve things for students?” Early on, the board decided to look at governance structures. “We had concerns about the number of committees,” says Spilsbury. “The amount of senior staff time devoted to administrating those committees did not allow our educational leaders to be out in the schools. It also resulted in a very labour-intensive decision-making process.” To address those concerns, as well as other regular business items, the new board wasted no time in gathering information from various sources. Public input was sought at meetings held in each of the four school zones. Trustees also attended the B.C. School Trustees’ Association

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Candace Spilsbury and the new trustees at the Cowichan Valley School District are making progress on several fronts.

AGM, where trustee Randy Doman says the opportunity was provided to gain insights about how other school boards run things. Trustees also attended workshops related to governance structure. The result is the district’s newly streamlined governance model consisting of three bodies: the school board, a new board education and business committee and an advisory committee. This structure has reduced the number of regular meetings trustees must attend by about half. At the education and business committee meetings, which involve all trustees and senior staff, topics are fully discussed and reports requested. Final decisions are then made at board meetings, which have become shorter. The advisory committee, started by

the previously appointed trustee, was retained due to positive feedback from its educational partners: three employee groups, parents, students and school-based administrators. Public meetings are now video-taped and available under Board News on the school district home page at The 2015-2016 budget was presented in early May after a long and consultative process. Normally upbeat, trustee Elizabeth Croft laments that the downside of being a trustee is continuing to lose budget funds. This frustration is shared by fellow board member and former Ladysmith mayor Rob Hutchins, who notes that municipal and regional governments have far greater autonomy to invest, or not, in services for the betterment of the local community.

Despite budget challenges, trustee Cathy Schmidt says she appreciated the detailed budget analysis provided by senior staff and is excited about being able to put some previously cut items back into the budget. Looking ahead, Spilsbury says the board will create a new strategic plan to replace the current one which ends this year. She is confident that Allen will provide the next level of innovation and leadership needed to build on the solid foundation the board has established. “We believe that our school district will stand out soon as a leader for the 21st century,” she predicts. Croft agrees. “We have some brilliant minds, fine resources and a whole lot of passion, so there are good things ahead!”


South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Former German parliamentarian now a Valley resident By Geoff Strong For The Echo

COWICHAN VALLEY – Many professionals come to retire on Vancouver Island, some of whom are renowned in their profession but remain relatively obscure in retirement to the average citizen of the Island. Such a person is Beate Weber-Schuerholz, a resident of the Cowichan Valley. Although retired, Weber-Schuerholz continues to be called on for her expertise in many corners of the world. For example, just this past year she was contracted to provide expertise on city planning in China, Germany, and most recently in Guatemala. Weber-Schuerholz has received many international awards for her work. In May, she was announced as the joint recipient of the 2015 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, together with Peter Hennicke, a German economist and president of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy for energy efficiency, and with Jeremy Leggett, British green-energy entrepreneur, author and activist, got solar energy. The Gothenburg Award is one of Europe’s most prestigious environmental awards, and will be given at a special presentation in Gothenburg, Sweden next November. Previous winners of this award include former Beate Weber-Schuerholz (right) and Queen Silvia from Sweden (left) each received the Order of Merit of Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, the State of Baden-Württemberg in 2007 as Beate’s proud mother looked on. former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, previous EU Commissioner Margot Wallström, and former Secretary- Nelson Mandela, and heads of government such as the Weber-Schuerholz continues to participate in many enviGeneral of the UN, Kofi Annan. former president of France, Francois Mitterand. ronmental activities such as the Cowichan Estuary In announcing this award, John Holmberg, Chairman As a permanent resident in the Cowichan Valley, Restoration and Conservation Association. for the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, stated that WeberSchuerholz was chosen because “over the course of two election periods (as Mayor of the City of Heidelberg, Germany from 1990-2006), she laid the foundation for the leading position within energy efficiency that Heidelberg holds today. “Not only did she emphasize the economic and environmental benefit of energy efficiency, but also demonstrated a strong leadership and an ability to organize and inspire companies, local officials and citizens,” Holmberg said. Other awards earned by Weber-Schuerholz include: 1996 (German) Woman of the Year (Mona Lisa / ZDF-TV); 2000 Freeman of the City of London UK; 2002 Knight of the Legion of Honour, France; 2007 Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 2007 German Environmental Award. Under Weber-Schuerholz’s mayoral leadership, Heidelberg twice received the award of ‘European Sustainable City’, and once the nomination of the ‘German Capital of Nature Protection’. Prior to that, Weber-Schuerholz was also elected a Member of the European Parliament in 1984 and 1989. Her posts there included Vice-Chair and Chair of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, and Deputy Member Committee on Energy and Research, among other positions. Weber-Schuerholz has rubbed shoulders with many of the most important people of this century, including the late

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

Union postpones CVRD strike action pending Labour Board ruling By Peter W. Rusland For the Echo

SOUTH COWICHAN – Workers handling the Cowichan region’s water, sewer, recreational and trash duties have curbed looming strike action until midJune while it’s decided which, if any, of their jobs are essential services, a union manager told The Echo. Chris Cinkant, of the United Steel Workers Local 1-1937, explained his 54 unionized part- and full-time staffers with the Cowichan Valley Regional District would basically park their May 29, 72hour strike notice, until a meeting — date pending — with the Labor Relations Board and CVRD brass. That huddle will determine which USW workers are performing essential services, and how their grievances can be discussed. Talks roadblocks concern seniority language, benefits for casual workers, wage hikes, and premiums for certification tickets, the USW says. Performing essential services could prevent some workers from walking off the job. “The CVRD wants the LRB to deem everything an essential service,” Cinkant said on June 1 concerning a possible LRB decision that could hamper his members’ job action. But John Van Horne, CVRD’s humanresources manager, disagreed. “That’s unrealistic to expect. We’ll let the process unfold in front of the LRB. “The LRB is looking at protecting public health and safety. The (three) parties will determine what those (essential services) levels are.” That ruling will be brought back to the

CVRD, and USW members. They include 16 employees at Cowichan Lake Recreation Centre, 35 solid-waste employees at Bings Creek, Meade Creek and Peerless Road transfer stations; and about a dozen water-and-sewer services staffers. “We’ll have to meet with the LRB and decide what’s essential, and to what degree — then we’d rejig the 72-hour notice,” Cinkant said. “This is a stalling tactic by the CVRD.” Van Horne was unsure if CVRD USW workers have ever been on strike before. “The LRB decision will show where the strike won’t occur,” he predicted. “We have a good relationship with the USW, and this (strike notice) is an anomaly.” The CVRD applied to the LRB to determine essential-service levels related to the dispute, CAO Brian Carruthers’ email says of the USW's former two-year contract that expired Jan. 1, 2014. “The parties have had five bargaining sessions, but remain apart on wage and benefit issues. “The CVRD has made a comprehensive offer of settlement to the USW on terms consistent with recent contract settlements with its Canadian Union of Public Employees, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees local unions, but this offer was rejected by the USW.” However, Cinkant’s email explains USW’s proposed, three-year, “muchreduced bargaining package” was basically nixed by the CVRD. That impasse sparked the union’s 97 per cent strike vote in early May. He noted almost half of his CVRD members are casual, but work full-time hours and aren’t getting full benefits.



JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo


Christopher Jones, 11, takes aim with a giant slingshot during the May 30 Children & Apple Pie event held by Evergreen Independent School at historic Cobble Hill Hall. Evergreen’s annual family festival of fun, games and music saw Sonja Bland win an apple pie with a diamond inside, while Dale Gladman claimed a $2,500 gift card from the Flight Centre. (Photo by Peter W. Rusland)

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo


Mulcair decries rejection of Crowder’s derelict boat bill By Peter W. Rusland For The Echo

MILL BAY – Oarsmen from Brentwood College swept past Mill Bay’s Verdier Point as national NDP Leader Tom Mulcair vowed to anchor national derelict-ship legislation, if his party forms government this fall. Mulcair was flanked by retiring Cowichan MP Jean Crowder, who doggedly pursued her private-member's bill — rejected by the Conservative government May 13 — demanding policing of dumped vessels plaguing all Canadian coastlines. Crowder, Mulcair, local NDP hopeful Alistair MacGregor, Cowichan Bay Director Lori Iannidinardo, Malahat First Nation Chief Michael Harry, and others present were bitterly disappointed about the popular bill’s nixing by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s majority Tories. “The Conservatives voted against a common-sense bill that could have solved the problem of derelict vessels on the Coast,” Mulcair said, fronted by several kids he said will be left paying “ecological debts” from Ottawa’s environmental inaction. Crowder explained the Tories “said the bill didn’t go far enough, yet they did nothing.” So all levels of government in Cowichan and elsewhere continue dealing with thousands of abandoned crafts that could pollute seas, lakes and rivers with oil, fuel and other toxins. Crowder and Iannidinardo cited the Beaver, now resting on the bottom of Cowichan Bay; oil-carrying Dominion, towed after years of squatting in the bay; and Ladysmith’s ‘dog patch’ waterway packed with some 45 derelicts. “It’s a no-brainer,” Iannidinardo said of Crowder’s now-sunken bill.

“Our oceans continue to be a dumping ground; let's get real. It isn’t about politics, but about doing the right thing.” “We have to start now,” Mulcair said of vessel enforcement that could see bum ships seized, scrapped or sold, and owners charged. He was dismayed by Ottawa’s fixation on the economy over ecology. “They should (focus) on both. Mr. Harper’s approach is to take whatever you can now, and leave the rest for tomorrow.” MacGregor, who did research for Crowder’s bill, signaled he wasn’t surprised by the Tories rejection of the bill, adding derelict-ship laws will likely be a campaign issue in the Oct. 19 federal election. Instead of drowning Crowder’s bill — seemingly to steal credit from the NDP — Harper’s party could have fine-tuned it and passed it, he explained. “We’ll try again and continue this fight. “We lost this round because we didn’t have the (majority) seats in Parliament.” Added Crowder: “This issue isn’t going to go away.”

Tom’s take on:

The troubled Canadian Senate: “Abolish it, pure and simple. There’s nothing to be done with it.”

Medical Marijuana and Personal Use: “Personal choice will be respected (under an NDP government). No one should face criminal charges for using or dispensing marijuana. By decriminalizing (cannabis) we’ll take care of that problem.”

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair talks with residents during his visit to Mill Bay’s Verdier Point. He spanked the Conservative party for defeating proposed derelict-ship legislation, and talked about other pre-election issues.

(Photo by Peter W. Rusland)


South Cowichan Echo

Satisfying conclusion to the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon results for Victoria's Wayne Clifton, as he receives his medal in the finishing area. (Photos by Don Bodger)

JUNE 2015

Karen Lannon of Penticton, wearing bib No. 221, heads across the road and toward the finish of the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon.

Superlatives abound at ninth Shawnigan triathalon By Don Bodger For the Echo

SHAWNIGAN LAKE – Sarah Malerby’s love of her community is evident from the time and commitment she devotes to the Subaru Shawnigan Lake Triathlon. As race director for the last five of the event’s nineyear existence, Malerby embraces the community celebration and tourism aspects of triathlon weekend as well as the promotion of healthy lifestyles for participants of all ages. The big race itself brings all those factors together with West Shawnigan Lake Park as the gathering place for the masses at the finale. “The whole triathlon is a real sport for life,” said Malerby. “You see people in their 70s and we’ve got these kids who are 11 doing it.” The oldest and youngest racers were, in fact, all from the Cowichan Valley. John Gerty of Cowichan Bay was the oldest entrant at 77 and finished 102nd out of 138 sprinters in one hour and 54 minutes. A trio of Shawnigan Lake and Cobble Hill boys, known as the R.A.T.s team, was the youngest in the field. Robert Power is just 11 while Alex Rockson and Tobin Bergman are both 12 and they competed together as a relay entry. All three have experience with the ECH Triathlon Club that Malerby runs at Ecole Cobble Hill

Elementary School. “It was fantastic to see,” said Malerby. “They had a great experience.” So did everyone else entered in either the sprint or standard events as individuals or on relay teams. And they came from all over the Island, Lower Mainland, other parts of B.C., throughout Alberta, Washington State and a few from beyond. It’s a great showcase for the beauty of our area and many of the participants are returnees, having enjoyed the experience so much previously to give it another shot. “That’s the real big reason for a small town like Shawnigan to support one of these events,” said Malerby. “It provides a great economic benefit to the businesses.” The Saturday lead-up to the event got everyone in the right frame of mind about the benefits of athletics. “It was more focused on the Elsie Miles field,” said Malerby. “It was more family-oriented.” There was a fun run of various distances for different age groups and a duathlon with a two-kilometre bike and run for the kids. “It was a good experience for them,” said Malerby. “They did really well.” Late May has often produced iffy conditions on race day, but not this year. “It was the best weather ever,” said Malerby. “We had the warmest water temperatures I’ve ever known.”

It was a balmy 21 degrees Celsius in the water at the start, only a degree away from requiring participants to shed their wetsuits. Usually, it’s more in the 16 to17 degree range. Good weather means happy racers and that was certainly the case at Shawnigan Lake. “We had tons of smiling faces,” said Malerby. In the sprint division, Brandon Kirk of Vancouver was the first finisher of the 750-metre swim, 22 km bike and five km run course in 1:14.57. Jill Ramstead had the top time among the females, a blistering 1:16.44. The standard distance race for the 1.5 km swim, 44 km bike and 10 km run course was won by Shawn Wilyman of Victoria in 2:05.42 and renowned Cowichan Valley triathlete Jason Sandquist came fifth in 2:13.35. Malindi Elmore, a relative unknown in the field, topped the females in 2:16.18. Team X was the winner of the sprint relay in 1:22.33 and Woods led the way in the standard relay in 2:22.01. There was a bit of a change in the structure of the triathlon, but it was smooth sailing. “Definitely this year has been a little different,” said Malerby. “We were taken over by IronMan. We’re part of a bigger IronMan family. It’s a bit of a team of staff that will travel around to races.” She heard plenty of positive feedback about the event. • Continued on Page 15

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

Diana Wilson of Vancouver, wearing bib No. 213, shows her enthusiasm for the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon while coming into the finish area.

Watch for something big next year: Malerby • Continued from Page 14 “People were commenting on how much they enjoyed the community and how friendly everyone is,” Malerby said. The development of the high school category has been especially satisfying for her and just as rewarding for those students taking part. Nearby Camp Pringle was a great home base for many of them. A huge volunteer group of about 265 people made sure all the racers’ needs were met. Malerby started working on the event last September and her commitee came on board full-bore by February. “For me, it’s been months and months of work,” she said.

But the benefits far outweight the heavy toils. “I think it’s the world’s greatest sport,” Malerby raved. “You don’t have to be the best runner, cyclist or swimmer. If you can put all three together, you can do quite well.” And it doesn’t much matter if you’re nine or 90, you can compete individually or as part of a relay. “I really love what it does for youth,” said Malerby. Next year the event turns 10 and Malerby is already thinking about making it extra special. “We’ll be planning something big,” she promised.”

There’s plenty of fanfare reserved for Kyla Hochfilzer of Vancouver, wearing bib No. 405, as she gives a few low fives to spectators in the final stages of the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon.


The R.A.T.s relay team of Robert Power, 11 (runner), Alex Rockson, 12 (swimmer) and Tobin Bergman, 12 (biker) were at the lowest end of the age spectrum among competitors in the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon. All the boys are from Shawnigan Lake/Cobble Hill and students at Ecole Cobble Hill Elementary, part of the ECH Triathlon Club run by coach Sarah (Submitted Photo) Malerby.

Volunteers at the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon double as fans to cheer on the racers heading to the finish. (Photos by Don Bodger)


South Cowichan Echo

Fans of wooden boats check out some of the entries in last year’s Festival.

Wooden Boat Festival in June COWICHAN BAY – With an abundance of activities planned, there will be plenty of fun to be had while celebrating B.C.’s maritime heritage during the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre’s 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival on June 27 and 28. Whether you choose to enjoy the live entertainment; a tasty pancake breakfast Saturday morning; face painting; a delicious Salmon BBQ on Saturday evening; steam bending, knot tying, and steam engine demonstrations; voting for your favourites among the boats displayed; filling up on samples during the much-loved Chowder Contest; watching the water races; perusing the silent auction; wine tasting; or taking part in any of the other great planned events, the 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our local maritime heritage while spending time with family and friends. This year the festival is proud to feature ‘Grail Dancer’, an extraordinary 61 ft. tradititional schooner based upon the hull lines of an 1866 schooner named Emma C. Berry. Taking almost 20 years to construct, she was built on Thetis Island out of local Douglas fir and yellow-cedar. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to step aboard and see the fine workmanship for themselves. Open to all wooden power, sailing, and pulling vessels up to 40 feet in length, wooden boat owners are encouraged to register their boats for the festival.

Complete festival details, including a schedule of events and boater registration forms, are available at You can make a splash participating in the 18th Annual Fast & Furious Boat Building Challenge. This friendly competition takes place on the second day of the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre’s 30th Annual Wooden Boat Festival, Sunday, June 28. Guaranteed to be highly entertaining, this team-building challenge is open to anyone in the community and is a memorable way to kick-off the summer with family, friends and co-workers. Teams of two to four people are given four hours to build a functional boat from scratch, using up to $100 in environmentally-friendly building materials of their choosing, while judges walk around evaluating categories such as most original design and best costumes. Two members from each team will participate in the friendly three-part water portion of the competition: a paddling leg and sailing leg followed by a ‘get back to shore however you can’ leg. Sink or swim, you will undoubtedly benefit as a team and have much fun in the process. Proceeds from the event go towards the maintenance of the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre’s buildings and exhibits, programs, and activities. Register your team today by calling 250.746.4955 or emailing [email protected] More information can be found at

JUNE 2015

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

Head of School Jerry Salvador introduces the Dwight School Canada’s Grad class of 2015 while Principal Andrea Spinner applauds, and Mr. B looks on. (Submitted Photo)

Dwight School honours Class of 2015 SHAWNIGAN LAKE – Beautiful weather welcomed families and guests to Dwight School Canada’s sixth graduation ceremonies on May 22. The father of graduating student Logan Seymour offered respects of the Cowichan people followed by 12 different welcomes by graduates in as many languages. With 27 graduating students this year, comprised of 17 B.C. grads and 12 IB Diploma grads, two students accomplished both graduation programs. Valedictorians for the morning’s ceremonies, Alicia Garza from Mexico and Yuri Nishihara from Japan, recognized four students of the original ten students of the founding Grade 7 class of 2009, having become their friends and their guides to Canadian culture. Kristy McLeod, senior English teacher, provided a metaphor for the graduating class, once reminded by grad Chloe of this annual rite. McLeod chose a picture of two colourful large roots with a vibrant small tree growing in the centre to demonstrate the fragility, strength, and cooperation that students reflected, of being day or dorm students, studying different grad programs, coming from various cultures. McLeod and Jacob Baumgartner (Mr. B), tissues in hand, shared each of the grads gratitude and future plans as they moved across the stage to be hugged by Principal Spinner and receive their diploma from Head of School Jerry Salvador. Adrien Haddock returned to hug Mr. B as Adrien’s words moved him to tears, which were not the only ones moved by the morning festivities. Parents and grandparents were so appreciative of the changes that Dwight School helped foster in their child. Mr. Salvador noted that he heard, repeatedly, whether their child was a student at Dwight for six months or six years, “you have transformed my child.” Evening ceremonies were held at the Bear Mountain Inn including dinner, awards and speeches, including two from the evening’s valedictorians, Madeline Corwin (Canada) and Johannes Bodendorfer (Austria). Many memories were made.



South Cowichan Echo

Adora Townsend is off like a shot for Kelsey in the girls relay.

(Photos by Don Bodger)

JUNE 2015

Extra oomph is required by Mackenna Posey to achieve greater distance in the shot put.

Surprise performances at Kelsey meet Don Bodger For the Echo

MILL BAY – Frances Kelsey track and field coaches Corene Gillis and Kurt Kelly found some diamonds in the rough while enlisting athletes for the school’s track and field team. “Lots of Grade 8s and 9s this year, very keen – a lot of them are in my P.E. class and I recruited them,” said Gillis following successful Mid-Island and Island meets. Most of the kids who signed up surprised themselves with some outstanding performances at the meets. “They all think track and field means running,” said Gillis. “They were allowed to choose whatever sport or event they wanted to go into.” The main aspect of track and field that sold the students is “you can shine in a certain area and not have to be good at every single aspect of track and field,” said Gillis.

Fifth place ribbon is displayed by Kelsey's Quienten Currie from the Island championships that landed him a spot in the provincial high school track and field meet. (Submitted Photo)

Quienten Currie is the lone Kelsey athlete who qualified for the provincials with a fifth place in the senior boys high jump at the Island championships in Victoria. But, as a Grade 11 student, Currie was going to provincials mainly for the experience. There were more than 70 Kelsey students in Grades 8 through 12 in the Mid-Island meet at the Cowichan Sportsplex in Duncan and 30 qualified for Grade 9 to 12 Island competition. Grade 9s are unable to compete at provincials this year unless they entered as juniors. Otherwise, many Kelsey Grade 9 boys and girls would have been heading to Langley. It’s all made the entire Kelsey group in the younger grades more eager to build on this year’s experiences. “Now they all want to start training sooner,” Gillis chuckled. Among the other top boys results at the Island meet was a first for Daniel

Devries in Bantam boys shot put (11.80 metres) and a third in the discus (33.91). Jace Hilton was second in the Bantam boys 100 metres (12.44 seconds) and Isaac Tonkin-Palmer claimed second for the Bantam boys 1,500 (4:56.44), with an eighth in the 200 (26.73). Tyler Leech found his form for third in the Bantam boys javelin (35.69m) and fourth in the discus (31.5m) while Damian Jones came fourth in the Bantam boys 100 metres (12.46 seconds) and Tyson Duffe earned a fifth in the Bantam boys triple jump (9.45m). In the relays, Team A of Jones, Salim Seif, Victor Unicume and Hilton came third in the 4x100 (50.34) and Team B of Ryan Coleman, Duffe, Tonkin-Palmer and Logan Kits was right behind in fourth (50.85). The 4x400 Bantam boys team came third (4:04.53). With the girls, Mackenzie Johnston won the Bantam girls high jump (1.40m);

MacKenzie Johnston launches off the board in the high jump at the MidIsland track and field meet in Duncan.

Mackenna Posey captured third place in the Bantam girls shot put (9.35m); Robyn Zinkan earned third in the Bantam girls 400 (1:07.19) and third in the 800 (2:36.60); Brooklyn Paisley managed a fifth in the Bantam girls discus (20.79m); and Maddi Thomson wound up sixth in the Bantam girls 400 (1:07.72). Kelsey’s 4x100 Bantam girls A relay team of Thomson, Julianna Cross, Kaitlyn Mathews and Paisley finished third (56.57) and the 4x400 team of Thomson, Charlotte Gaw, Posey and Ricki-Anne Keen placed fourth (5:00.08).

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo


Jason Sandquist from Duncan, B.C. dismounts his bike after two laps of Shawnigan Lake in the Standard Triathlon event. Previous to this 44 km ride, Sandquist swam 1.5 km and is about to run another 10 km through the Trans Canada Trail. Sandquist finished with a time of 2:13:35, taking fifth position (Photo by Phil McLachlan) overall.

Celebrate ‘The Good Old Daze’ in Mill Bay MILLBAY– The Mill Bay/Malahat Historical Society is inviting you to take a glimpse of the past you have never seen before. ‘The Good Old Daze’, will provide that opportunity in July when more than 80, creatively crafted, life size ‘People from the Past’ will offer an intriguing look at the era that shaped today’s lifestyle. You could meet up with Al Capone, rumoured to have smuggled rum into the area during Prohibition in the 1920s. Discover where chocolate bars, peanut butter, blue jeans and many other things we take for granted, actually originated. Why not bring the whole family and

take part in the scavenger hunt and win some prizes. You can vote for your favourite figures and enjoy the entertainment and awards. Simply follow the map provided by participating Mill Bay businesses to see all the amazing figures. The event runs from Monday, July 6 to Friday, July 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Mill Bay Centre and surrounding area. For more information contact the Mill Bay/Malahat Historical Society at or phone 250-743-0144.



South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Arie’s canoes a tribute to his craftsmanship

COWICHAN BAY – It’s May 2015 and a huge turnout of Dutch citizens welcomes our Canadian veterans as liberators. They have done so many times since VE-Day and they do so again today, 70 years later. We watch on CBC as a Canadian veteran, age 90, holds hands with a Dutch boy, age 10, who’s waving a little Canadian flag. Arie vanDyk was six years old in 1940 and lived near Rotterdam with his family. German bombers hit Rotterdam without warning on May 14, 1940 with 900 civilians killed and 25,000 made homeless, a country that Germany had declared to be neutral. Arie remembers the fire and cinders

from the North raining down like snow where they lived in South Rotterdam. The Netherlands surrendered May 15, 1940, crushed by the Nazi blitzkrieg, then occupied. The Netherlands suffered terribly for the remainder of the war, particularly the winter of 19441945 when the Germans cut off food shipments causing malnutrition and the starvation of thousands of people. Arie doesn’t talk much about the war. But he recounts how the bombing was so frightening, running to the shelters at school, and the painful memories of war continue 70 years later. His father sunk their little sailboat to keep the Germans from taking it and he was in the Resistance.

Jean and Arie vanDyk have done major renovations to their new home.

Arie vanDyk volunteers his time and skill at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre. This beautiful canoe is on display at the Centre.

The Dutch people have not forgotten and Canadians who fought and their families have not forgotten either. The war created a wide circle of suffering for families, children, grandchildren and friends who do not forget. My wife and I visited the Netherlands; visited the Canadian war cemetery where my uncle was buried, and the region where her father fought. Europe following the Second World War was wrecked, the recovery was very hard and many emigrated and were welcomed to Canada. After the war, Arie entered vocational school at the age of 14, a surprise to his parents, but he took the initiative and began courses in carpentry, a trade his grandfather knew well. In 1953, Arie and his family of five were helped to come to Canada by the Canadian government and first settled in Montreal. They had $125 to begin a new life. Arie couldn’t speak French or English, as he had not been taught languages in vocational school. He was 18 years old. After working many years in Montreal he learned architectural drafting and estimating. He later worked in Vermont, building schools and even-

tually building boats, returning to the trade of his grandfather. Arie donated his first cedar strip canoe to St. John’s Anglican Church in Cobble Hill where he also volunteers his design and cabinet making skills. And members of the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre are grateful for his patient help with design, building and advice. Last year Arie and Jean decided to move to a new home needing extensive renovations, not just paint but also moving walls, building stairs, a newly designed porch, updating two bathrooms and the workshop, as well as major garden restoration and they did it themselves. If Arie now has physical limitations, he finds ways around them to keep designing and building. Arie built the canoe in the photograph for himself for his 80th birthday. It’s cedar strip with Honduras mahogany seats and inlays. The inlay on the hull sides is made from three kinds of cedar, old growth, new growth and yellow cedar, glued one piece at a time into the hull. It’s currently on display at the Maritime Centre along with two of his wooden kayaks, and is a real tribute to his enduring craftsmanship.

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

New money for Valley arts groups By Peter W. Rusland For The Echo

COWICHAN VALLEY – South Cowichan’s vibrant arts-and-culture sector is poised for a big financial booster shot when the regional board meets June 10 to debate a proposed new taxpayerfunded service function. That valley-wide arts function — carrying a planned $130,000 for local arts groups and events — earned wide support on May 27 at the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s regional services committee. The $130,000 budget would see homeowners pay 86 cents per $100,000 of assessed value for the arts function. Tax requisitions in some other CVRD budgets would be also reduced to help fund the new arts service. If approved by the board next week, Cowichanians would use an alternative approval process to possibly arrest the long-awaited arts-and-culture drive. Ads in the press, and social media, would explain the function’s details and costs. Funding and backing Cowichan’s hot arts sector, with $50,000 for its various arts councils, would be money well spent, Director Sharon Jackson explained of the Warm Land that’s home to one of Canada’s highest per capita arts concentrations. “It’s a no-brainer for me,” she said of the purse offering about $31,000 in annual grants to Cowichan cultural initiatives. Jackson quoted Winston Churchill, who basically asked if Second World War efforts in Britain were not to defend society’s values such as the arts “what are we fighting for?” Glenora area Director Alison Nicholson’s motion to defer the arts function decision to allow more debate was defeated by directors wishing to act. “Work like this needs to be supported,” said Cowichan Lake South Director Ian Morrison. He cautioned the committee to bank money proposed for new arts councils in South Cowichan ($12,000) and Lake Cowichan ($5,500) until they are formally developed. Arts councils in Ladysmith and Chemainus, and the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, would respectively receive annual funding of $8,500, $5,000, and $19,000 to foster community arts action. Existing arts councils would help fledgling ones get started, noted CVRD recreation-and-culture boss John Elzinga. Morrison and some other directors beloved the permanent function should go to a referendum, instead of creating it using the AAP (date pending). “I want taxpayers to have an option to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, said Youbou Director Klaus Kuhn. His concerns were echoed by committee chairwoman Mary Marcotte

(North Oyster). “It would take a lot of returned (AAP) petitions to defeat this.” But directors Lori Iannidinardo (Cowichan Bay), CVRD Chairman Jon Lefebure, Tom Walker (North Cowichan), Kerry Davis (Mill Bay), and Rob Douglas (North Cowichan) and others signaled the arts scene is strong yet struggling — a situation that’s had enough study and talk. “The arts is one of the main pillars of sustainability, and it brings people to live here,” Davis said, touting arts tourism. • Continued on Page 27



South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Valley tomatoes are ready already!

Tomatoes ! Many people do not realize we can get tomatoes here in the valley already. A great place to get those tomatoes is Gamboa Greenhouses. Gamboa is a family run greenhouse located on Fisher Road. Yes, Fisher Road. From the highway drive through the industrial area towards Cobble Hill you will find the farm on your left. These morsels are not of the heirloom variety, we still have to wait another month or two for those, but they are fantastic, sweet juicy and full of nutrients and taste amazing. I recommend checking Gamboa’s Facebook page for their hours of operation

as well as their great up-dates about when their cucumbers and peppers are available too. One thing in particular I like about Gamboa is their use of insects and plants as an integrated pest management; this means no sprays or chemicals. I recommend buying the tomatoes and eating them right away, but if you need to keep them for a few days, leave the tomatoes out on the counter as tomatoes are sensitive to cold conditions, and it will affect their flavour.

So store them at room temperature and out of direct exposure to sunlight so not to further ripen. They will keep for up to a week, depending upon how ripe they are when purchased. If the tomatoes begin to become overripe, but you are not yet ready to eat them, place them in the refrigerator where they will keep for one or two more days. Removing them from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using will help them to regain their maximum flavour and juiciness. Whole tomatoes, chopped tomatoes

and tomato sauce freeze well for future use. A favourite of mine is to make ketchup loved by adults and children alike. Homemade or handcrafted ketchups can be a surprisingly good source of tomato nutrients too. Today, tomatoes are enjoyed worldwide in the amount of about 130 million tons per year. So do your part to add to this tonnage and stop by Gamboa or visit them at the Saturday farmers market in Duncan. Chef Bradford Boisvert trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has been the chef and owner of Amuse since 2006. He is the owner of Cure Artisan Meat and Cheese.

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo

Block Watch benefits - how it all began

Mike and I moved from Colwood to Mill Bay about 23 years ago. We loved the area we moved to immediately – great neighbours, fantastic weather, a real improvement on where we lived in Victoria. Unfortunately, a few months after we moved in – our greenhouse was broken into and some items destroyed. That made us very annoyed, of course. I demanded to know from the sergeant at the RCMP office what he intended to do about this. His response was, “I will take care of the perpetrators – but, you will have to join the South Cowichan Community Policing Society and start Block Watch areas in the community.” So, here it is many, many years later, I am now president of SCCPS and have helped organize about 40 Block Watch areas. What a fantastic experience it has been! Block Watch is an amazing program that benefits everyone. It was not always the case, but currently, many insurance companies give substantial discounts on house insurance if a resident is part of a Block Watch area. The coordinator for South Cowichan Community Policing will help residents organize a Block Watch in his/her area. Just contact the office 250-929-7222 and make an appointment with Gail. What does Block Watch Provide? • Training for Captains and Co-Captains • General home security tips • Tips to prevent theft from or of motor vehicles, RV’s, etc. • Personal Safety tips • Block Watch window stickers • Block Watch street signs • Newsletters to keep you informed of current crime trends, home security, Block Watch events, and much, much more! • How to properly recognize and report crime and suspicious activity to the police • In most incidents, a general reduction in crime • Continued Police partnership • A greater sense of safety among residents Responsibilities of the Block Watch Participant? • Watch out for their neighbor and their neighbor’s property • Notify police of any suspicious activity or crime in progress • Report if they have been a victim of

crime • Notify their Block Captain if they have been a victim of a break and enter or other criminal/suspicious activity • Update security and hardware in their homes.

• Mark all valuables with their driver’s license • After participants have marked & catalogued their property they will be given Block Watch Decals by the Captain. • Attend yearly Block Watch meetings in their neighborhood. What do Block Watch Members Look For – Suspicious Activity? • Someone screaming or shouting for help • Sounds of breaking glass or shattering wood • Unusual noises •Beam from flashlight or light in neighbor’s home • Persons going door to door •Someone looking into windows of parked cars • Persons waiting in front of a home or loitering around the neighborhood • A stranger in the back yard •Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or a business after it has closed • Property being carried by persons on foot • Property being loaded into a vehicle or being removed from a vehicle • An opened or forced door or window •Strange vehicles parked at your neighbor’s house • Slow moving vehicles cruising the block • Someone being forced into a vehicle • A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child • Abandoned cars Remember, if you see a situation that doesn’t feel right, it’s suspicious. Write down the description of any suspicious persons. Get the model, colour and license numbers of strange vehicles. Call the police immediately. Don’t assume someone else has called. If criminal activity has occurred let your Block Watch Captain and neighbors know but CALL THE POLICE FIRST!


Former Shawnigan teacher facing sex charges Six charges from various forms of alleged sexual crimes will be faced by a former Shawnigan Lake School teacher June 23 in Duncan court, Crown counsel explains. “I can confirm that a total of six charges have been sworn against Andrew Michael Olson in relation to events alleged to have occurred at or near Shawnigan Lake at various dates during the time period from December 2014 through March 2015,” Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie told The Echo. Four charges laid under Criminal Code section 153, fall under the general title of sexual exploitation. “There is also a charge under section 172.1, which is referred to as luring a child,” he notes in an email. “There is also one charge of assault causing bodily harm.” A court ban on publishing names and details about complainants and witnesses has been ordered by a justice of the peace. The charges relate to one complainant, “but I am not able to release, or confirm any personal information relating to the complainant,” said MacKenzie. Under the provisions of section 153, the section is applicable to offences relating to a young person, which is defined in the section as “a person who is 16 years of age or more, but under the age of 18 years.”

Shawnigan Lake RCMP declined to comment about the case. RCMP spokesman Cpl. Darren Lagan told The Echo he was not in a position to provide interviews on the case, as it’s in the hands of Crown counsel. “I can confirm the Shawnigan Lake RCMP commenced an investigation in late March of 2015, once we became aware of allegations against Mr. Andrew Olson,” Lagan said. “Given the nature of the allegations, and the fact he is currently before the courts facing multiple criminal charges, we will not provide any further details of our investigation.” Shawnigan Lake School headmaster David Robertson’s May 25 statement reflected that of the RCMP, noting a staffer has been terminated. “We take our duty of care and responsibilities for young people very seriously at our school. Our priority is their welfare and well-being,” he says. “We became aware of a situation which required one of our faculty members to be placed on leave. That individual is now no longer employed by the school. “This is obviously an upsetting situation for our school community. In the interest of the privacy of all concerned, we will not be making any further comment at this time,” Robertson says.


South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Bamberton cement company tea party 1940s (Photo Submitted)

Bamberton tours offered

BAMBERTON – If you’re a history buff looking to learn more about Bamberton, you’ll want to take a tour of that fascinating community. The Bamberton Historical Society is offering guided tours of the old village by residents who actually grew up in Bamberton. As well, there is an excellent museum on site where guests can see old artifacts, learn about how the old cement plant ran and watch a DVD of its history. “The Bamberton experience is one the whole family can enjoy,” says Lisa Jeffery of the Historical Society. “Join us on a journey to the early 1900s cement plant and the village of Bamberton and enrich your knowledge of local history.” Located just off the Malahat Drive at the Bamberton site, the Museum is open four Sundays only, July 19 and 26 and August 9 and 16. Museum tours and a movie run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is by donation. Bus tours happen at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. To make a booking or to obtain more information contact [email protected]

Above: Texada Drilling Left: Safety boot award winners

(Photos Submitted)

JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo


Blue Grouse Winery opens after extensive renovation

COWICHAN VALLEY – For a man with a multi-million dollar investment in a business he is new too, Paul Brunner is refreshingly low-key. “Hi, I’m Paul, I own this place,” is how Brunner greets visitors to Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard. The beautifully renovated winery was officially opened to the public on May 23 and Blue Grouse is nothing short of spectacular. The three-year project has created a facility that features a European-style tasting room overlooking a seven-acre vineyard. The vineyard was begun in 1977 by John Harper, a pioneering Island viticulturist who planted an experimental vineyard. A decade later, Dr. Hans Klitz and his wife Evangeline purchased the property and discovered the vines. The Klitz family restored the neglected vineyard and began making their own wine in the early 1990s. The Brunner family purchased Blue Grouse Estate in 2012 and began the renovation project. Experienced winemaker, Burnaby-born Bailey Williamson is Blue Grouse’s winemaker and oversees the production of several wines including four whites and two reds. Blue Grouse grows the following varietals in their estate vineyard: Ortega, Bacchus, Pinot Gris, Siegerrebe, Pinot Noir and Black Muscat Blue Grouse Estate Winery is located south of Duncan on 2182 Lakeside Road. Visit for more Winemaker Bailey Williamson (left) congratulates Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard owner Paul Brunner on the opening of the winery in May. (Photo by Warren Goulding) information.

It’s wedding season ... time to make plans

Almost 40 per cent of Millennial and Gen X Canadians who have been in a wedding party say they felt pressured to spend more than they could afford, finds a TD survey. The amounts can be significant: half of those surveyed say on average they spent – or plan to spend – between $200 and $500 to be in a wedding party and a quarter say they actually spend $600 or more for those destination weddings. Start saving money as soon as the engagement is announced so you don’t have to scramble to find the money when asked to take part in the festivities. If you’re in a bridal party, here are five ways to save money: 1. Set a realistic budget. Include all possible costs, such as attire, grooming, gifts, the bachelor/bachelorette party and travel. For out-of-town weddings, booking travel and a hotel room early can keep

costs down, especially if the bride and groom have volume discounts at the hotel. 2. Establish a savings plan. Set up a regularly scheduled deposit to a savings account to cover the expenses. 3. Choose a gift early. Gifts on a bridal registry can range in price, but the less expensive ones are often selected early. For more expensive items, consider teaming up with another bridal party member to split costs. 4. Redeem credit card reward points. You may be able to use your reward points to cover the cost of a gift and your wedding attire, as well as any hotel and travel costs. 5. Shop around. You don’t have to buy the first outfit, shoes or accessories

you find. Research online and in-store before making a purchase, as many bridal stores carry the same designers at different price points. For those of us in second marriages; “All you need is love” is probably not what Beatle Paul McCartney hummed after his $50-million divorce from Heather Mills in 2008. In hindsight, he also needed a prenuptial agreement. According to the latest Statistics Canada research, 43 per cent of marriages are expected to end in divorce before the 50th wedding anniversary. Remarriage is more common among immigrants than Canadian-born citizens, and in Quebec, remarriage has become a minority

phenomenon because of a preference for cohabitation. A divorce can lower personal wealth, so creating a strategy to preserve individual wealth for those embarking on a second marriage is even more important, as their first marriage has likely eroded their net worth. This is a touchy subject to be sure. You intend a life-long partnership of trust and understanding. Finances are very important, as is consulting your planner. I am certainly not intending to be a fly in the love ointment, however I have watched and been part of the asset depreciation program created through divorce. Dave Shortill has been providing independent financial advice since 1987. He is marrying his best friend and life-partner, Heather, on June 6 in Cowichan Bay.


South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Yes, there’s a little horsing around going on as the CTRA gets ready for its big fundraiser. (Left) In the Winner’s Circle are Josepha, rider Dani Vipond, aka ‘Dani Winsalot’, groom Clara Kodweiss aka Clara Currycomb, owners of the horse Irene Lintner and Doug Sanford aka Deacon and Babs Moneybags. (Right) Spectators at the race are Ken Holack aka Ken Bushellsofmoney and Janet Barclay aka Janet Upington. (Photos by Don Bodger)

Therapeutic Riding Association aims to keep program accessible By Don Bodger For the Echo

DUNCAN – The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association may be based in Duncan, but its program knows no bounds. There are about 30 South Cowichan residents currently participating in the program, according to operations manager/volunteer coordinator Colleen Hunt. The scope is very wide-ranging with so many other riders seemingly coming from every other direction to the site at Providence Farm. “Of course, we have donors and supporters that are pretty much all over the Island,” said Hunt. “We have some that come up from Victoria, too.” Overall, the program boasts 112 riders, 13 horses and a whopping 135 volunteers. “The kids love it,” said Hunt. “They don’t realize they’re learning all these things. They’re just coming in having fun.” Some of the parents, like those in South Cowichan, must make a huge commitment to take their kids from school to CTRA headquarters and back to school afterwards. “To be part of the program, parents are willing to do almost anything,” raved Hunt. June is the second month of CRTA’s annual ride-a-thon fundraiser. “The whole spring season is considered ride-a-thon season,” reasoned Hunt. Money raised from the event helps provide therapeutic riding and equinebased services for persons with disabili-

ties, according to a CTRA press release. The ride-a-thon brings together all aspects of the CTRA community – from participants, parents and volunteers to supporters. Life-changing experiences are made possible through CTRA services. This year’s ride-a-thon has a racetrack theme with fundraising teams organized around each of the 13 therapy horses. The race is on to determine which horse team brings in the most pledges – and to the victors go the spoils: a pizza party. An interactive sign keeps everyone up to date on the progress of the race, down to an anticipated photo finish.

There will be participation and incentive prizes for those collecting pledges plus a special trophy for the individual raising the most money. The goal is to exceed last year’s proceeds of $14,000 and raise $15,000 for the program. “These fundraising events are crucial to CTRA’s ability to bridge the gap between our non-prohibitive user fees and the ongoing cost of program operations,” said Jennifer Barnes van Elk, CTRA’s communications officer. “The revenue generated by the 2015 ride-a-thon will play a vital role in keeping our user fees frozen at the current non-prohibitive rate, keeping our

program accessible for those who need it most.” Sponsorship packages are being offered at the $200 and $500 levels. “Event sponsorship with CTRA is a wonderful way to enhance brand or business visibility while giving back to a popular and widely-respected community cause,” added Barnes van Elk. Contributions in support of the program participants, horse teams or the ride-a-thon itself can be made through the CTRA office, program website at or via participants. Executive director Anne Muir can be contacted for more about the ride-a-thon at 250-746-1028.

JUNE 2015


South Cowichan Echo

Valley loaded with bargains

This last year we were reminded that life can sometimes swiftly and dramatically change and knock you off your secure little existence. Our particular change resulted in our household income dropping quite significantly. Time to tighten the belt a little more than in the past. It also means paying a little more attention to where the money goes. We both recently switched to no charge checking accounts at our bank. It will save us $312 per year and all we had to do was call them and ask for it. How did we miss that? Not every change can be so easy and save so much though. Sometimes you just have to cut down on spending, but that doesn’t mean you should have to cut down on living life. Here are some tips for having fun on the cheap this coming summer. Our biggest free gift here is Mother Nature. Hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, exploring and tubing down the Cowichan River are just some examples of free or cheap activities. There are beaches, forests and mountains, all right here at our doorsteps. Remember, people actually come HERE for vacations all the time. My house is also full of Nature’s gifts, beach glass, driftwood, photo-

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graphs, fallen leaves and random pretty rocks. You will often find these items in the things I create as well. Free craft supplies!

Instead of going out and spending, invite friends and family over for a potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish. You can also have everyone bring a game, frisbee, croquet, water balloons, badminton, super soakers, etc. Someone can bring a slip and slide and everyone who has one can bring a tricycle for adult trike races, which is maybe the most hilarious thing ever. Check the local paper (you’re here already…), social media and with friends to see what’s happening in your community. Some of our wonderful Farmers Markets have free entertainment as well as all the local offerings of food and craft. There are races, and games being held for local athletes that would love more spectators. We have festivals, art shows and free outdoor activities all in

and around the South Cowichan. It looks like our own Kerry Park Arena will be showing their ‘Movies In the Park’ by donation again this July. If you want to treat yourself with a night out, you can still spend very little. We recently went to a local pub where a great band was playing for no cover charge and it was 2-for-1 appy night. It’s hard to cook at home for that cheap! Spend time with friends and don’t forget to talk about swapping things while you’re at it. Recipes and ideas to save can be shared. Clothes, books, music and skills can be traded. If they grow zucchini and you bake, that sounds like a good partnership. I just loaned a new favourite book to a girlfriend that was read by her daughter and two other friends. That’s a pretty good return on my investment of one dollar. It also sounds like the makings of another free activity, book club. Though the wine bill may get pricey… Brenna (The Frugal Rooster) Gerow has called South Cowichan home for more than 35 years. She shares her life with husband Jeff in the house they have made into a cozy home utilizing a very small budget. She shares her tips, projects and stories with her neighbors and friends.

Arts, culture manager to play key role in organizing Valley events

• Continued from Page 21 “It’s overdue,” stated Walker. “We’ve been skirting around this (formal function) issue for some time.” “The arts make us who we are,” said Jackson. “In terms of economic development, it’s well worth it.” Douglas said, “For the amount of money, this isn't a very hard decision.” Lefebure supported that idea. “This is a relatively small investment to return great benefits to our community. “It’s time to do it, and we have a logical plan to proceed on,” Lefebure said. The plan would also see $26,000 of the annual salary of CVRD arts-andculture manager Kristen Schrader transferred to the new function so she could spend one day weekly organizing arts activities and groups. She would be helped by a support worker, budgeted for $12,700.



SOUTH COWICHAN Senior requires a 1/12 to 2 bedroom home. Long term rental from 5 to 10 years. Private, rural with trees and garden space. Washer/dryer. Rent $550 to $750. Possibilities and inquiries. 250-733-2129. Please leave a message.


Meditation and Island Retreat:, 250-710-7594 Nichiren Peace Center.


KAYAKS FOR SALE. 1 older model, 17 ft. built by Seaward. $500. Newer Seaward 17 ft. Very little use. $1,700. Phone 250-246-1448.


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DID YOU KNOW That the South Cowichan Echo reaches more than 8,000 homes and businesses in the South Cowichan Valley?


COBBLESTONE PUB NIGHT - Sunday, June 7th 5:00 pm at CobbleStone Pub Burger (beef burger with your choice of a side) and Beer Night, $20.00 per ticket, Silent Auction and 50/50 Draw. Contact Kim Gamble at [email protected] or 250661-4254 for tickets. This is our last big fundraiser. Don't miss out. It will be a blast! FISHING DERBY The Royal Canadian Legion Malahat Branch’s 30th Annual Walter Hall Memorial Fishing Derby goes on Saturday, June 20. Tickets on sale at the bar. Phone 250-743-4621. Lots of prizes. Tickets $25 for adults. $7.50 for under 12.


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South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015

Brentwood College girls rugby team celebrates its provincial championship victory after the banner presentation at the Capilano Rugby Club in North Vancouver.

Brentwood girls meet lofty expectations in winning title By Don Bodger For the Echo

MILL BAY – Marius Felix has been around sports long enough to know you can never take anything for granted. Felix and the coaching staff of this year's Brentwood College girls rugby team knew this was a special group, with the capability of winning it all in the AA high school division. The coaches and players stuck to the game plan, didn’t get too far ahead of themselves and reached the ultimate goal by winning the provincial AA title at North Vancouver’s Capilano Rugby Club. “They had a great weekend,” said Felix. “They had a phenomenal season.” Brentwood went into the tournament as the No. 1 seed but didn’t let that detract from its focus or get too overconfident. The job still had to be done on the field and there were some serious challengers. “Six of the eight teams were high quality teams,” said Felix. What the Brentwood team gave away in size, it made up for with blinding speed and a relentless defence. Those were the keys to success for the girls heading into the tournament. “Right from September, we concentrated on being technically accurate at the breakdown,” pointed out Felix. “The whole team bought into two concepts we wanted to exploit.” A solid core group of returnees led by Ciel Arbour-Boehme, McKenna Haz, Shannyn O’Callaghan, Avi Sharabi, Brooklyn Navarette, Hannah Colbourne and more was reinforced by the addition of Duncan’s Denise Roy and Rachel Macey to give Brentwood

a formidable unit. Because of its top ranking, “on paper, it gives you a fairly straightforward first round game,” noted Felix. Brentwood dispatched Heritage Park rather handily in the first game and then faced arch-rival Shawnigan Lake School in the semifinals. The teams had met three times previously during the season, with Brentwood winning all three but two of those victories came while Shawnigan was without some of its key players. Shawnigan provided Brentwood with a tough test by maintaining possession for long periods of time. “I think we defended for 11 minutes,” said Felix of one stage of the game. “They had the ball that long.” But Brentwood had the ability to score quickly when it got its hands on the ball and that’s exactly what happened in the 33-10 victory. “That was a heckuva game,” said Felix. “We did a lot of defending. “They got the ball moving and they got moving and you can’t tackle what you can’t catch.” Brentwood faced three-time defending provincial champion Abbotsford Collegiate in the championship game and ran away with a 27-10 victory. It was tight during the early stages, Felix indicated. “We absorbed a lot of pressure the first 20 minutes.” Eventually, Arbour-Boehme ignited things with a great feed to speedster Roy for the first try. Roy added two more tries later, with singles by Arbour-Boehme and O’Callaghan. Haz kicked a conversion. “All of the tries in the final were great

team tries,” Felix raved. “I’ve got to give Abbotsford immense credit. They’re the best team we’ve played this year. “They had a very well-drilled pack of

forwards. They were quite a bit bigger than we are.” But Brentwod utilized its best assets to full advantage.

JUNE 2015


South Cowichan Echo – Entertainment

The Brits are invading Chemainus Theatre CHEMAINUS – It began more than half a century ago but the invasion of British pop groups is still a part of our musical lives. The Chemainus Theatre Festival is inviting fans of the Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Hollies, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Dave Clark Five to bop back to the 1960s. Twist and Shout: The British Invasion opens on June 12 and runs all summer at the theatre. Director Alex Mustakas says putting the production together was a labour of love for someone who has been a fan of the British Invasion sound all his life. “Many years ago I said to a close friend that I would love to pay tribute to that era with a show called Twist and Shout,” says Mustakas. That was some 30 years ago and Mustakas says he’s not sure what took so long but it’s here. “The inspiration for the show came to me when I attended a taping of the David Letterman show a number of years ago,” recalls Mustakas. “It happens to be housed in the old Ed Sullivan Theatre on Broadway in New York City. I started thinking about the first time The Beatles appeared on that show, in that theatre – on Feb. 9, 1964.” On that Sunday night, The Beatles played to a television audience of 73 million – the largest audience ever assembled in the history of American TV up to that time.

Mustakas says a lot of research followed and a show like this calls for a collaboration of sorts. “I approached my good friend and one of Canada’s leading music directors, Bob Foster. When I told him my idea on how to approach the subject matter he immediately agreed to participate. “He would write all the vocal and band arrangements.”

Twist and Shout opens on June 12

Soon after, Gino Berti joined the team as choreographer. “I also wanted to include some historic visual elements to the show so I contacted my colleagues Peter Conrad and Steve Kelly who excel in documentary

production. One further piece of the puzzle was to involve Michael Bignell, a life-long friend who could contribute his historical expertise of the period,” adds Mustakas. The true British Invasion took place between 1964 and 1967 in America and this fresh sound would dominate the American music scene like nothing before or since. “In a musical review format of this period we pay tribute to all those great acts that forever changed the landscape of modern music.” Mustakas says this was a very important period of time in modern culture. Little did we know the arrival of The Beatles in New York would change the world forever. “Over that four year period – and very much continuing today – the British Invasion influenced the music charts, the movies, and the fashion stores. “When The Beatles led the Invasion in 1964 they provided us a fresh, exciting sound like we’ve never heard before, creating a tremendous influence not only on the world of music but also on the whole of society,” suggests Mustakas Twist and Shout runs from June 12 until August 29.

Bellydancers, jammers, and country crooners

“I saw my first bellydancer, Jordana, at a Vancouver restaurant around 1988. I loved her performance so much I knew I wanted to do that,” writes Georgia Foster. “When I moved to Shawnigan Lake in 1999 I found Lynene Allen and her studio, Danse Oriental. Lynene is a great teacher and has become a wonderful friend. I love bellydancing because of the sisterly comraderie. We have a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and we all share the love of bellydance.” Lynene and her troupe (including the aforementioned Ms. Foster) will be displaying their art at a benefit show tabbed ‘Shimmy and Silk’ staged at the Cow Bay West Coast Grill (1765 Cowichan Bay Road) Wednesday, June 10 with all proceeds going towards Somenos House to help them continue their worthy work in our community. The event will feature a belly dance fashion show and a silent auction. Email [email protected] for additional information. Speaking of benefits, there will be a MS Society Fundraiser at the Cow Bay Marine Pub (1695 Cowichan Bay Rd.) from 5 p.m- 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 14. The pub also features Vancouver Island musicians every Friday night starting at 7 p.m. June 5 local singer/songwriters Kelly Roxanne Girvan and Reid Williams pool their talents. June 12 it’s the Brothers Inn. On June 19 it’s Brentwood College/Minstrels keyboard maestro Phil

Newns (he also sings) and on June 26 its Shawn Wilm and JoAnne Heans of Cookie Monsters fame. Shawn and Jo will also be playing at the Malahat Legion (1625 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road) for Ladies Night, billed as ‘A Night for the Gals’ Friday, June 5, starting at 7 p.m. I’ve also been hearing good things from musicians like Shelley Smiley and Brent Hutchinson about the twice monthly Jam Nights at the Malahat branch (7:30 p.m. to midnight). The next Jam session at the Malahat Legion is June 12. Incidentally, Marie McNeill (she’s sports and entertainment chair) would like to make it clear that you don’t have to be a member to attend these events. “We are a member based club,” Marie writes, “but welcome guests anytime.” Shady Grove Artistic Director Peter Sussman once again shows his impeccable musical taste by booking Quinn and Qristina Bachand into his intimate living room space on Mill Bay Rd. Sunday, June 14. The brother and sister duo blend old-time music, Irish traditional folk and gypsy jazz (Django Reinhardt fans take note) to create their own unique sound. Still in his late teens, multi-instrumentalist Quinn Bachand has already compiled an impressive resume of accomplishments and is currently

studying on a scholarship at Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music. Older sister Qristina Bachand is an acclaimed violinist, vocalist and instructor. Both have won numerous awards. Although Dr. Sussman’s house concerts are much more informal than your average industry showcase (the host even vends home-baked goodies during intermssion), the Bachands will probably play a few tracks from their debut recording Little Hinges (now available on Amazon). Catch this red hot duo in an informal setting while you can. It is only a matter of time before they are performing in a massive concert hall or on television. (They are already on YouTube, starring in their own videos and playing with Ashley MacIsaac). Showtime is 7:30 p.m. For directions and suggested donation log onto Church Mice Productions CEO Pat Selman is bringing pianist, vocalist and educator Jennifer Scott and bassist Rene Worst with saxophonist Monik Nordine for a concert June 13 at Sylvan United Church. $15 at the door. Born in Vancouver, Ms. Scott has performed at jazz festivals all over North America and

has released three self-produced CDs. Mr. Worst (Ms. Scott’s husband) has played with Chet Baker, David Bowie, Renee Rosnes, Joe Pass and Paul Horn (to name just a few) and was one of the founding fathers of Skywalk. Ms. Nordine is a gifted Nanaimo-based reed player and educator who has fronted her own trio as well as appearing with the Pat Coleman Quintet and various other Island aggregations and has studied privately in London, England and New York City. Dave Kral at the Cobblestone Inn tells me the popular Cobble Hill watering hole has a full lineup for the next month. June 5 is Country Night with one of the Island’s top country combos, Montgomery County. Featuring charismatic lead singer Wayne Montgomery, the band specializes in high energy modern country interspersed with Wayne’s originals. (I’ve seen these guys and they’re the real deal.) June 12 it’s the Circus (rock and top 40 cover tunes), June 14 is Comedy Night ($7.50/person) and June 19 is the Island’s Michael Wood Band (their latest CD Rubble Town was produced by Shawn Verrault of Wide Mouth Mason fame and they have opened for Chilliwack, Prism and Faber Drive so that should tell you something. And there’s no cover charge!) Poker on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. And, of course, I don’t wanna forget the Cobblestone Golf Tourney June 13 ($90 includes 18 holes, cart, dinner and prizes).


JUNE 2015

South Cowichan Echo – Entertainment


Ellison as Ursula, danced to Wedding Attendants in Act 1 "Fantasy at Sea" during Steps Ahead Dance presentation of [email protected] XII at Brentwood College School’s T. Gil Bunch Centre For Performing Arts on Saturday, May 23. (Photo by Andrew Leong)

Catch The Real Thing in Duncan By Peter W. Rusland For The Echo

DUNCAN – The Real Thing, Shawnigan Players’ superb exploration of infidelity, love, lust and fallout, resurfaces June 4 to 6 at the Duncan Showroom. Longevity John Falkner’s stage offered director Laura Faulkner’s seven-member cast ample sound (Andrew Wilson),lightingandatmosphericqualitiesMay29forTom Stoppard’s insightful script giving love triangles a real workout. Action pivots on snobbish playwright Henry (Alex Gallacher), shrewish wife Charlotte and hippie daughter Debbie (Lindsay Anderson, Hannah Gallacher), their shallow friends Max and Annie (Erin Bulter, Elissa Barron), actor Billy (Matt Williams), and Scottish thug Brodie (Connor Lachmanec), a talentless writer and activist fresh

out of jail. This stripped-down listener’s work, stage-managed by Julie Watson, was backed by a bale of cool ‘60s hits; the rockin’ soundtrack for silly sexual high jinks and predictable consequences. Those familiar tunes of break-up and make-up contrast to textured classical music that — like long-term commitment and truth — remain our timeless touchstone. If only we can find love that lasts without temptation and lying tossing pain, regret and shame into the emotional mix. Well acted, and packed with social symbolism, this drama-cloaked comedy is a must-see for romantics and cheaters alike. Call 250-748-7246. Dramatic-comedy rating: 9 affairs out of 10.

Max (Erin Butler, left) confronts cad Henry (Alex Gallacher) about his affair with Annie (Elissa Barron, left at rear) while Henry's wife, Charlotte (Lindsay Anderson) listens during Shawnigan Players' hip dramedy The Real Thing. (Photo by Peter W. Rusland)

JUNE 2015

Live Theatre

June 20 – August 29 – Twist and Shout: The British Invasion. Chemainus Festival Theatre Chemainus. 1-800-565-7738.

June 4 – 6 – The Real Thing by Shawnigan Players. Duncan Showroom. Call 250-748-7246.

Just for Fun

of the Year, Winner of the 2014 Music Nova Scotia Award for Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year, and Nominee for the 2015 East Coast Music Award for Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Yea. Bombolesse is a Samba Reggae band from Quebec.that sings in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Creole, mixing funk and rock & roll

comparisons to icons like Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen. Only 2000 passes will be sold. Check out the festival website for more information about camping, tickets, Tickets available online at

Community Events

Sunday, June 7 – Come out and

COBBLESTONE PUB NIGHT - Sunday, June 7th 5:00 pm at CobbleStone Pub Burger (beef burger with your choice of a side) and Beer Night, $20.00 per ticket, Silent Auction and 50/50 Draw. Contact Kim Gamble at [email protected] or 250-6614254 for tickets. This is our last big fundraiser. Don't miss out. It will be a blast!

McPherson: Responding to Abrupt Climate Change. Island Savings Centre Duncan. 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 17 – Public Open House for the Stonebridge North Neighbourhood Plan. Mill Bay Community League Hall. 1035 Shawnigan Mill Bay Road, Mill Bay. 6 – 8 p.m.

It Happens Every Week

Love horses? Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association needs dedicated volunteers in lots of different areas. Help our special needs riders to reach their potential in the ring. There is experience necessary, training provided. [email protected] call 250-746-1028 or


Cowichan Consort Orchestra. 7 p.m. Sylvan United Church, 985 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road, Mill Bay. Please call 250-743-4659 for more information.

FISHING DERBY The Royal Canadian Legion Malahat Branch’s 30th Annual Walter Hall Memorial Fishing Derby goes on Saturday, June 20. Tickets on sale at the bar. Phone 250743-4621. Lots of prizes. Tickets $25 for adults. $7.50 for under 12.

On sale now: The Cowichan Folk Guild announced weekend passes for the 2015 Islands Folk Festival July 24 to 26. This family friendly festival features many musicians from near and far, who perform a variety of music on several stages throughout the beautiful grounds of Providence Farm. The line up includes COIG, a Celtic supergroup from Cape Breton, Winner of the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Album


South Cowichan Echo


with rhythms of Brazil. Matuto is a New York based band that merges forro folkloric music of Brazil with the sounds of American bluegrass. Roy Forbes is regarded as one of the most eloquent songwriters of his generation; Fred Eaglesmith is a Canadian alternative country singer songwriter, who inspires

Celebrate the Opening of the History Wall on Cobble Hill Common. 2 p.m. Saturday, June 13 – Mill Bay Garden Club’s 58th Annual Community Flower & Garden Show. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Cobble Hill Hall, 3550 Watson Ave. Cobble Hill.

Sunday, June 14 – Dr. Guy

Hand in Hand Thrift Shop, a community venture, open every Friday from 10.00 am to 2.00pm at St. John's Anglican Church, 3295 Cobble Hill Road, Cobble Hill. Gently used clothing and bric a brac. Phone 250-743-3095 for information and to donate. Folder’s Work Party. Industrious group that folds leaflets every week. Enjoy refreshments and a good gab. 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. St. John’s Anglican Church, 3295 Cobble Hill Road, Cobble Hill. 250-743-3095.


South Cowichan Echo

JUNE 2015