WildWings Nature & Arts Festival
RECONNECTING WITH NATURE
Welcome To WildWings
The WildWings Nature & Arts Festival is an annual series of events, established by the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society in 2009 to coincide with the seasonal return of the iconic Trumpeter Swans, North America’s largest waterfowl, to the Cowichan Valley. The Festival is supported by many organizations, businesses, and partners. This year we are very pleased to welcome Cowichan Tribes as our newest partner.
Each year an artist is chosen as “Artist of the Somenos” (AotS). This honour is bestowed on a local artist annually by comissioning an artwork used to promote our annual WildWings Nature & Arts Festival for the year. The artwork is comissioned by Just Jakes Restaurant’s WildWings Loft art collection.
The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society is pleased to announce that Laurel Hibbert has been chosen as the “Artist of the Somenos” for 2019. Laurel is a Cowichan Valley artist and a member of the Cowichan Artisans. In Laurel’s words: “People have told me that they get a sense of joy looking at my work and that is what I feel when I work. I like to have a storylike quality in my images, as if something was just about to happen. I often cannot resist the compulsion to include a sense of whimsy.”
This year’s 10th anniversary festival kicks off on Wednesday, October 9th at Just Jakes Restaurant in downtown Duncan with a launch party as well as the opening reception for the WildWings art exhibition and sale taking place. The festival continues to the end of the month when it wraps up with the Green Gala and the Green Award presentations.
This year’s events are diverse and interesting. Event experiences include Cultural, Nature, Art, and Celebration learnings and activities. They include the return of some of our popular events like Paint Night, the Pi’kwun Salmon BBQ with Jared, and looking for indigenous pant medicines. There are new events as well; Fish tales partnering with a local distillery and the BIG DAY for Birders. Some events are still in the planning stage, others have not been confirmed, but look good, while others are full speed ahead. To view events by theme, click here.
The S’amuna’/Somenos Conservation Area
Somenos Marsh is a wonderful wild area on Southern Vancouver Island
fringing both the Duncan and North Cowichan urban areas. In 1988 the
BC Ministry of Environment identified Somenos as “one of the best
places to view wildlife close to an urban centre.” In 2000 Somenos
Marsh achieved a special designation when Bird Life International
recognized it as a ‘globally significant’ Important Bird and Biodiversity
Area (IBA). In 2018 the British Columbia Government formally
designated all crown lands within the Conservation Area as a Wildlife
Management Area (WMA), one of the highest levels of habitat
protection that can be given to an area.