Explore the arts
The CVRD’s Arts and Culture Division operates the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. Which fosters collaboration, networking and partnerships between regional artists and arts organizations. The division also supports Cowichan Culture, the “go to” website for art in Cowichan. It includes an events calendar, an artist directory and a resource guide.
Cowichan information and resources
- Cowichan Valley Arts Council
- Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society
- Arts Council of Ladysmith & District
- Cowichan Lake Arts and Culture Society
- Cowichan South Arts Guild
- Cowichan Artisans
- Visions Art Tour Society
First Nations arts and culture
First Nations culture, art, history, traditions, food and ceremonies contribute to the rich tapestry of the region. From iconic Cowichan sweaters to the totems that grace Duncan’s streets to basketry, jewellery and carvings, the creativity, history and passion of local Indigenous artists is evident in many locations, including galleries, studios and museums in Cowichan. Traditional dance, drumming and storytelling are the focal point of First Nations gatherings throughout the region.
Cowichan’s many performance venues play host to live theatre, dance and music productions:
- Professional productions mounted at Chemainus Theatre win accolades from 70,000 patrons annually.
- The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre is one of the busiest professional presenting theatres in Western Canada.
- Ladysmith Little Theatre showcases a full season of amateur theatre productions.
- Since re-opening in 2010, the Osbourne Bay Pub, in Crofton, BC, has become the Cowichan’s ‘Musician’s music venue,’ featuring live music and live jazz.
- Amateur theater company, The Mercury Players, has been adding to the cultural scene in Cowichan region since 1999.
- The Duncan Showroom in downtown Duncan features outstanding musical performers from across Canada.
- The T. Gill Bunch Centre for Performing Arts at Brentwood College is a teaching centre that also hosts theatre, dance and musical performances.
Festivals and events
Each summer, Cobble Hill celebrates Music in the Park, and Ladysmith hosts Arts on the Avenue. For the more adventurous, Windfest at Nitinah Lake features Vancouver Island’s only kiteboarding and music festival. The Koksilah Music Festival brings an eclectic range of performers to South Cowichan in September. And during the holiday season, people travel from far and wide to see the Ladysmith Festival of Lights.
Want more info on festivals, events and entertainment venues?
- Visit the events calendar at Tourism Cowichan
- Check out the Cowichan Culture events guide
- Read through the Valley Voice to find out about local events
- Peruse the What’s On calendar for information about what’s happening in Cowichan
- Talk to the Visitor Centres in Duncan, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Lake Cowichan about local events