What defines a Cowichan Changemaker?
Our Changemakers are the influencers, activators, connectors and innovators within the Cowichan Valley. Whether working in business or volunteering for community organizations, they are the builders and collaborators who embody new ways of doing things. Changemakers see the potential that others miss and they connect the dots between people and ideas. Join us in celebrating and learning about the people who are shaping the future of the Cowichan Region.
Growing the mountain biking community in Cowichan
When Grant Lestock-Kay purchased Cowichan Cycles from its previous owner in 2016, he had a plan: to grow the mountain biking community in Cowichan by bringing people together. With the recent move to the new location on James Street in Duncan, it was time to put the plan into action.
Cowichan is home to world-class mountain biking trails, most notably those on Mount Prevost, Maple Mountain and Mount Tzouhalem. To create a place for people to gather before and after a ride, Lestock-Kay has launched Wheelbase Café in the recently relocated Cowichan Cycles retail space. Now housing everything from coffee, pizza and beer to mountain biking gear and maintenance services, Cowichan Cycles and Wheelbase Café are creating more interconnections within the mountain bike community.
Cowichan Watershed Board
Working together for our watershed
Founded on an internationally-recognized co-governance model, the Cowichan Watershed Board provides leadership for sustainable water management and the ecological protection of the Quw’utsun (Cowichan) and Xwulqw’selu (Koksilah) watersheds.
The Cowichan Watershed Board is a partnership between Cowichan Tribes First Nation and the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD). The Board is a unique example of local empowerment, with members coming together to listen, learn, and work together for the good of the watershed. Working closely with its partners, the Cowichan Watershed Board has helped to attract millions of dollars in investment to the region.
In January 2022, a milestone was achieved. After almost two years of biweekly meetings between Cowichan Tribes and Provincial staff, an agreement was reached on moving forward with the provinces’ first Water Sustainability Plan for the Koksilah watershed.
Bakery | The Mindful Mouthful
With the Mindful Mouthful Everyone Wins: Food with a Purpose
The cookies, dessert bars and meat pies at The Mindful Mouthful have a delicious twist! They are hand-made locally by uniquely abled adults from the Clements Centre for Community Living. These talented individuals are on a mission to promote consciousness and celebrate their ability to work and earn a living.
Before becoming The Mindful Mouthful, the project was known as Lunch on Clements, a volunteer program where people learned new skills in a teaching kitchen. Participants sold baked goods that were not only delicious but in high demand. In 2014, the Executive Director of the Clements Centre had the idea that this could turn this into a viable business with paid employees.
In 2016, with the support of Enterprising Non-Profits, Restauranteur Andrew Moyer from Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen, and a three-year grant from the Vancouver Foundation, the dream became a reality. Now in its fourth year, the program continues with 19 paid employees.
Putting Cowichan on the Map Through World Class Music Events
Greg Adams is the founder and owner of the Laketown Ranch outdoor event facility. Through activities like the Sunfest Country Music Festival, Greg Adams has brought new recognition and prosperity to the Lake Cowichan region while contributing to regional economic development. The video describes how Laketown Ranch has evolved into a major destination that attracts over 10,000 people for Sunfest, which features some of the biggest names in country music.
The Cowichan Valley
Cowichan is a Happening Place to Live, Work and Invest In
“Cowichan: Hipper than You Think” celebrates a new generation of business owners and trendsetters attracted to the lifestyle, recreational and cultural amenities in the Cowichan region. This catchy music video features more than a dozen businesses across the region and offers a quick glimpse of Cowichan’s appeal as a destination for cycling, rowing, festivals and culinary experiences. Read the article here!