WildWings Nature & Arts Festival
reconnecting with nature
Welcome to WildWings!
The WildWings Nature & Arts Festival is an annual series of events, established in 2009 by the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society 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 partner hosting WildWings events.
Each year an artist is chosen as “Artist of the Somenos” (AotS). This honour is bestowed annually on a local artist, and their commissioned artwork, always featuring a trumpeter swan or two, is used to promote the festival for the year. The artwork is commissioned by Just Jakes Restaurant to add to their growing 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 story-like 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 Sunday, October 6 with the Celebrate Somenos Open House at the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom followed by the Wednesday, October 9th festival launch party and opening reception for the WildWings art exhibition at Just Jakes Restaurant in Downtown Duncan. Twenty-two other events pack the next three weeks until the end of the month when the festival closes with the Nature of Cowichan Photographic Competition awards night, Tuesday, October 29.
This year’s diverse and interesting experiences include cultural, nature, art, and celebration learnings and activities. They include the return of some of our more popular events like Paint Night, Jared’s Pi’Kwun Salmon BBQ on the beach and looking for and identifying, indigenous plant medicines. There are new events as well; Fish tales -partnering with a local distillery and our newest event, the It Ain’t Easy Being Green Gala at Birds Eye Cove Farm on October 26. To view events, buy tickets or reserve a space at free events, click here.