WildWings Nature & Arts Festival
Bridging Nature with arts and culture
Welcome to WildWings!
The WildWings Nature & Arts Festival is an annual series of community events that coincide with the late fall arrival in the Cowichan Valley of the iconic Trumpeter Swans, North America’s largest waterfowl. Established in 2009 by the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, the purpose of the Festival is to bring attention to the important ecosystems of the Cowichan Valley by using nature as a background to celebrate the interconnectedness of nature, art, culture, and community.
This year’s 2020 Festival was a scaled down COVID edition as we had to reduce the number and size of many events due to social distancing guidelines currently in place. Scaled back, but no less enthusiastic, WildWings 2020 showcased the nature, arts, and culture of the Cowichan Valley.
Art, nature and cultural events took place throughout October, with outdoor activities mostly happening in the earlier part of the month when the weather was friendly, and indoor events mostly filling the second half of the month.
Outdoor events included: ‘Celebrate Somenos’ Family Day at the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom; ‘Afloat in a Boat’, a bring-your-own-boat guided tour of Somenos Lake; and our newest event, ‘Cowichan Make a Difference Day’, where volunteers managed to remove over 500kg of garbage from in and around Bings and Menzies Creeks.
For indoor lovers, there were two concurrent art shows running in downtown Duncan, the WildWings Nature Artists exhibition that took place at Just Jakes Restaurant, and The Nature of Cowichan Photo Contest at The Ainslie restaurant. To make these events available to a broader audience, we created a virtual gallery to allow participants to engage in the exhibitions from the safety of their homes. The final indoor event was our annual one-day WildWeaving workshop with Jan MacKirdy in partnership with the Cowichan Green Community. This workshop was so popular we had to schedule a second one.
To learn more about each of these events, please visit the events page
The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society is pleased to announce that Jennifer Lawson reprised her 2018 role as the WildWings “Artist of the Somenos” for this year to fit with our scaled-down COVID version of events.