Festival Events

The WildWings Nature & Arts Festival 2019 events are now in the planning stages

please watch this page for monthly updates

Welcome to this year’s 10th anniversary WildWings event page. Here you will find everything you need to know about the 24 events that we have organized to satisfy your nature, art, and cultural cravings. Many events are free or by donation but we ask you to book with our Eventbrite link so we can manage numbers as some venues have limited space. Some events are expected to fill quickly such as Nancy Turners’ part 2 Cowichan Ethnobotany presentation and our first ever It Ain’t easy being Green Gala at Birds Eye Cove Farm featuring our keynote speaker and Order of Canada recipient, Patrick Morrow (Google him, you will be impressed). Every event has a WildWings Event Partner, please support their business or endeavours and be sure to thank them for supporting WildWings. Scroll down to view the different experiences:

Confirmed Events

Sunday October 6th, 10am - 2pm

CELEBRATE SOMENOS

Open Air Classroom Self-Guided Tours and Speaker Corners

Location: Somenos Open Air Classroom
Tickets: By donation
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Tribes, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Pacific Northwest Raptors

Join us at the Somenos Open Air Classroom (OAC), off the Trans Canada Highway just north of Beverly Street. The OAC will be open for tours and there will be nature specialists at each rest area providing information about birds, fish, photography, Raptors (with a few on hand), wild weaving with native plants, a kid’s table for nature activities, as well as a kid’s passport to complete with a great prize to be won.

Please note that parking will be very limited as we keep space open for accessible needs. You can easily park near York Road and walk the dike to the OAC and enjoy the S’amuna’/Somenos Conservation Area (SSCA) along the way. For more parking and a better walk, park down at the dog park at the Lakes and Beverly Street roundabout.

 

Wednesday October 9th, 10am

GREAT BLUE HERON ROOKERY CLEAN UP

Location: On day of event please meet at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre at 1845 Cowichan Bay Rd. at 10am
Tickets: Free event. Please sign up at info@cowichanestuary.ca or (250) 597-2288
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is leading a heron rookery clean up in the Wessex Ravine Park in Cowichan Bay, home to an important Great Blue Heron rookery. The cleanup will be followed by a short talk about Herons. Staff from the CVRD and the Nature Centre will greet you and provide an orientation for the event. Throughout the event we will work together to remove refuse and clean the ravine. We will provide gloves and garbage pickers. Please be sure to wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and long pants. Dress for the weather as this event will take place rain or shine. Parts of the work area are reasonably flat although stepping over roots and dips in ground will be required. There are some steep sections of the park as well but collecting garbage in these areas will be optional and based on time, conditions and ability of volunteers. Washroom facilities will be available across the busy Cowichan Bay Road at the Nature Centre. Please bring drinking water, snacks/lunch. We will provide some beverages and treats for the break.

Wednesday October 9th, 6pm – 10pm

WILDWINGS FESTIVAL LAUNCH & ART EXHIBITION

Opening Reception

Location: Just Jakes Restaurant, 45 Craig Street, Downtown Duncan
Tickets: Free event
WildWings Partner: Just Jakes Restaurant

Join us at Just Jakes Restaurant for the annual WWNAF launch party, an evening of original art with a first option to buy, tasting the annual WildWings ale, sampling the gourmet wild bites, and surrounded by great Jazz music with John Wade and friends. The launch party is the official kick off for 3-weeks of events, activities, hands-on experiences and outdoor learning adventures at Somenos Marsh and around the Cowichan Valley as well as the opening reception for the WildWings Art Exhibition; a collection of nature art for sale by south Vancouver Island artists.

 

Thursday October 10th, 8am - 1pm

TRADITIONAL PI'KWUN

with Jared Qwustenuxun Williams - How to Cook the Cowichan Way

Location: Kilpahlis Beach, Cowichan Bay. At the end of Botwood Lane – the road used to access the Ocean Front Suites at Cowichan Bay.
Tickets: $35, advanced registration required
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Tribes

Learn about cooking sockeye salmon from start to finish the traditional Salish way and then eat it afterwards while enjoying Mt Tzouhalem and Cowichan Bay right in front of you.  One of our more popular events featuring Chef Jared Qwustenuxun Williams demonstrating how it is done. Ticket price includes salad and potato salad. From preparing the fire to savouring the taste you will be involved in every aspect of the process. To reduce waste, we are requesting that you bring your own plate, cutlery and water bottle which we will kindly refill for you. We will supply everything else. Please dress for the weather and bring a cozy chair to sit on.

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/traditional-pikwun-how-to-cook-the-cowichan-way-tickets-72476993639

Saturday October 12th, 10am - 12pm

TRADITIONAL PATHS AND FUTURE WAYS

A Cultural Journey with Harold Joe

Location: Ye’yumnuts Historical Village site near Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area
Tickets: $10 per individual or family
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Tribes

This is the second year for this popular event with Cowichan Tribes member Harold Joe. Harold will walk you through the history of S’amuna’ village while sharing with you the often misunderstood ways of the Cowichan people and their dead. Harold is a well-known and respected documentary film producer, actor, archaeological advisor, and grave digger.

Parking is available at Trillium Way or Seine Road, both of which are accessed via Lakes Road, first or second left up Lakes after the roundabout. Then walk into the Ye’yumnuts site. Please be respectful by keeping to the trails. 

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/traditional-paths-future-ways-tickets-72477288521

Saturday October 12th, 7pm

GO BATTY WITH THE HOOTERS

Bats and Night Owls

Location: Somenos Garry Oaks
Tickets: $10 per individual or family
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Valley Naturalists

Have you heard an owl hoot while bats fly under the moonlight? Join conservation biologist Todd Carnahan under giant oaks in the Somenos Garry Oaks Protected Area at 7pm on Saturday, October 12 for this event. The site is also known as Ye’yumnuts, a sacred ancestral place to the Cowichan people. We’ll compare all the local owl species and learn some amazing facts about these nocturnal predators. Once you learn a few calls, you will test your skill in your hooter contest for illustrious prizes and glory. Next we will go looking for bats and their winged foods, discuss the finer points of attractive bat boxes, and hear their recorded calls adjusted for our ears. Bring the whole family together for a real hoot! But leave the dog at home for safety. 

Parking is available at Trillium Way or Seine Road, both of which are accessed via Lakes Road, first or second left up Lakes after the roundabout. Then walk into the Somenos Garry Oaks and Ye’yumnuts site. Please be respectful by keeping to the trails. 

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/go-batty-with-the-hooters-tickets-72477416905

Sunnday October 13th, 4:30pm

COASTAL WATERBIRD SURVEY

Location: Meet at Hecate Park Behind the Cowichan Estuary Centre
Tickets: Free event
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre

British Columbia’s coastlines are of international importance for waterbirds. In winter, vast numbers of loons, grebes, cormorants, herons, swans, geese, ducks, shorebirds, and gulls can be found feeding and roosting in bays, estuaries, and along the rocky intertidal beaches of the BC coast. With increasing pressure from development and human population expansion, long-term data on the abundance and distribution of waterbird species is required to monitor and track changes in waterbird populations and habitat use. The Bird Studies Canada BC Coastal Waterbird Surveys aims to address information gaps and by coordinating volunteer data collection from people who care about waterbirds in British Columbia. Dress for the weather and it takes about an hour to complete. For additional information Call John Scull at 250-715-5261. 

 

Monday October 14th, 6:30pm

PAINT NITE

Where Alcohol Meets Amazing Art

Location: Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn
Tickets: $45, max 40 participants
WildWings Partner: Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn

The perfect opportunity to unleash the inner artist within yourself and your friends all while having fun together. Everyone has an inner artist and this event will help you unleash it! Join our host, the Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn, for a very special fundraising evening. This is our 4th annual Paint Nite and all our previous Paint Nites have sold out (with great artistic results) so get your tickets early!

Book your spot here!

 

Tuesday October 15th, 5:30pm

GREEN DRINKS

Green Leaners Monthly Convention

Location: Craig Street Brew Pub, 3rd Floor
Tickets: Free event
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Green Drinks

Monthly gathering of green-learning folk with a scheduled speaker. Food and drinks abound. Come and mix with like-minded people or come to learn about all the environmental and conservation goings-on in the Valley. 

The speaker, Roxan Chicalo, is a Vancouver Island native who just started working at Madrone Environmental as a Junior Biologist. She has been fortunate to have worked on various ornithological research projects throughout the Americas – from studying Marsh wrens in the salt marshes of Florida to Andean Condors in Ecuador. Presently, she is working on completing her master’s thesis studying Canada Jays (aka Gray Jays, aka whiskey jacks) in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Wednesday October 16th, 7pm - 10pm

NATURE'S INFLUENCE ON TRADITIONAL SALISH ART

Location: CVAC, PORTALS Studio, Cowichan Community Centre
Tickets: $45, advanced registration required. 
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Tribes, Cowichan Valley Arts Council

Maynard Thii Hayqwtun Johnny Jr. will be sharing his Coast Salish roots with you as he talks about how nature has inspired and influenced his art. Maynard will lead you through some painting exercises that will help you understand the forms and lines of West Coast indigenous art. Maynard was also just recently awarded a 2019 BC Achievement Fulmer Award for First Nations Art.

 

Canvas and paints will be supplied for all participants

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/natures-influence-on-coast-salish-art-tickets-73236782187

Thursday October 17th, time TBA

GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE

Leaving a Legacy for the Cowichan Valley

Location: Sands Funeral Home, community room, 187 Trunk Rd, Duncan
Tickets: Free event – advanced registration required
WildWings Partner: Sands Funeral Home & Pacific Salmon Foundation

The protection and conservation of terrestrial, marine, and fresh water ecosystems in the Cowichan Valley should be a priority for us all. Attend a 1.5 hour estate planning program hosted by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and learn how a bequest in your will can ensure the sustainability of local fish, wildlife, and habitat for future generations. This presentation will be very useful for people considering bequests or for conservation groups seeking to expand and improve their estate planning objectives. 

Thursday October 17th, time 7-9pm

COWICHAN ETHNOBOTANY WITH NANCY TURNER

The History and Use of Medicinal Plants in Quw'utsun' Culture

Location: Vancouver Island University lecture theatre, 2011 University Way, Duncan
Tickets: $30 – advanced booking requried
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Tribes, Polster Environmental Services, Vancouver Island University

Come join us at this second in a lifetime event where Dr. Nancy J. Turner will give an important talk about the Cowichan Valley’s Ethnobotany. This event showcases important knowledge on plants in this region and their historical use by Quw’ustsun’ and surrounding tribes. This is Part 2 of last year’s presentation that sold out long before the event.

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/cowichan-ethnobotany-with-nancy-turner-quwutsun-elder-luschiim-the-history-and-use-of-medicinal-tickets-72478518199

Saturday October 19th, 10am - 12pm

MEDICINAL PLANT WALK WITH DELLA RICE

Seeking and Using Traditional Healing Plants

Location: Bright Angel Park
Tickets: $15 per person or family – advanced registration required
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Tribes

One of our most popular events, now its 5th year. Join indigenous plant expert, Della Rice for a walkabout and discovery of everyday plants, and some rare ones too, and learn how they are used now and before the arrival of modern medicine. 

Meet at the lower level of parking lot near the washrooms.

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/medicinal-plant-walk-with-della-rice-seeking-using-traditional-healing-plants-tickets-72478754907

Saturday October 19th, 7pm

DUST n' BONES - THE MOVIE

Legal Issues & Political Controversies Surrounding Cultural Artifacts

Location: Duncan Showroom, 133 Station St, Duncan
Tickets: $15 per person
WildWings Partner: LT Roofing, Cowichan Tribes

Dust n’ Bones examines legal issues and political controversies surrounding the preservation and re-dedication of First Nations artifacts, burial sites, and remains through the point of view of Cowichan Archaeological Consultant, Harold Joe. There will be an opportunity to discuss, with Harold Joe, the issues raised in the documentary after the movie ends. 

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/dust-n-bones-the-movie-tickets-72478833141

Sunday October 20th, 9:30am - 4:00pm

WILD WEAVING

Maria Curtis's Last Natural Materials Basket Weaving Workshop

Location: Cowichan Green Community Society, 360 Duncan St, Duncan
Tickets: $90 per person with maximum 8 participants
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Green Community

Maria is offering her last day long basket-making workshop before she retires. Using cat tail leaves for both spokes and weavers, we will begin making a double square base. Then using twining techniques, and your choice of natural materials, we will twine around the perimeter of the woven square to form a round shaped basket. Additions of iris leaves, and other naturals will make the basket unique. All materials and tools supplied are provided.

Meeting room is on the south side of the large colourful building called “the Station.” You may park in the lot between the building.

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/wild-weaving-maria-curtiss-last-natural-materials-basket-weaving-workshop-tickets-72478925417

Monday October 21st, 7pm

Alien Invasions:

What You Can Do About Them

Location: Cowichan Community Centre, 3rd floor Boardroom, 2653 James St, Duncan
Tickets: Free, pre-registration required
WildWings Partner: Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy 

A representative from the Conservation Science Section, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy will give a presentation on a number of emerging invasive species (including bullfrogs) and what people can do about preventing arrival and spread of these species. The presentation will also describe the provincial government programs that are involved in tackling invasive species in our area.

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/alien-invasion-what-you-can-do-about-them-tickets-72479172155

 

Tuesday October 22, 7pm - 9pm

Fish tales

Location: Stillhead Distillery, 5301 Chaster Rd #105, Duncan
Tickets: $20, advanced registration required
WildWings Partner: Stillhead Distillery

Everything you need to know about fish and whisky and aren’t afraid to ask. Join us for an evening of fish and whisky, the perfect combination to encourage Fish Tales on a grand scale. Our distiller host Brennan Colebank will offer small pours of his finest while our resident fish expert, Dr. Dave Preikshot, will guide you through the wiley ways of fish and their habits while, at the same time, talking about his ideas for Bringing Back the Salmon to the Somenos system.

Thursday October 24, 10am - 1pm

Native Biodiversity Hedgerow Planting

Or How to Battle Invasive Aquatic Plants

Location: Somenos Creek
Tickets: Free event
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Land Trust

 Let’s Celebrate International Climate Action Day together by helping the recovery of our local environment. We will be planting native species that are needed to shade out the Parrots Feather currently forming large mats and depleting the oxygen in Somenos Creek. A hands-on get-dirty event where volunteers learn about invasive species management and planting to improve shorelines and water quality. There will be a short presentation about the Parrots Feather issue by one of our ecologists, Dr. David Preikshot. 

We will meet at the Beverly Street Dog Park, Duncan.

Thursday October 24, evening

WILD FINS

Cowichan Watershed Board Speaker Series with Dr. Dave Preikshot

Location: Vancouver Island University Lecture Theatre
Tickets: By donation
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Watershed Board & Vancouver Island University

“Wild thing, you make my heart sing. You make everything…. groovy.”  While we can’t promise you the Troggs, we are happy to present Cowichan valley’s own eminently groovy, entertaining and knowledge-rich Dr. Dave Preikshot, on the topic of wild things with fins, (aka Wild Fins).  Dr. Dave is an aquatic scientist with years of experience in the mud of Somenos Marsh and has amassed a collection of test tube stories from throughout the watershed that reflect the historical changes that our watershed is presently undergoing. Listen to his tale of watershed changes and learn how it’s critters seek to survive and adapt. We don’t know yet what Dr. Dave plans to discuss – that’s what makes it so worth coming! See you there!

Saturday October 26th, 9am

A WALK TO THE KOKSILAH ANCIENT FOREST

A Secret and Very Special Place that Few Have Seen

Location: Meet at Cowichan Community Centre
Tickets: $10 per person or family
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Valley Naturalists

Join Warrick Whitehead on a hike to the Koksilah Ancient Trees to experience this incredible old growth forest with tall Douglas Firs that are up to 800 years old. This is the 4th year that we have held this very popular event. This is a dog-free, all day event. And be prepared for adverse weather conditions. To best enjoy the adventure-plan for an all day outing, bring a bagged lunch and lots of water, and dress for the weather with appropriate footwear. 

Meet at the Cowichan Community Centre main entrance, 9am to share cars where possible. 

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/a-walk-to-the-koksilah-ancient-forest-a-secret-and-very-special-place-that-few-have-seen-tickets-72479747877

 

Saturday October 26, doors open 6pm

IT AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN GALA

Celebrating Being Green and the Festival Success

Location: Birds Eye Cove Farm, 5881 Genoa Bay Rd, Duncan
Tickets: $125, with a $50 tax receipt 
WildWings Partner: Community Farm Store, LT Roofing, Birds Eye Cove Farm, Averill Creek Vineyards

Please join us to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society as well as the 10th anniversary of their baby, the WildWings Nature & Arts Festival. Join us at the Birds Eye Cove Farm for a Farms Gate catered dinner, music by John Wade and the WildWings Kings, fun, silent auction, and listen to our keynote speaker, Patrick Morrow- adventure photographer, author, and the first person in the world to climb the seven summits of the seven continents. Coincidentally, Pat was a speaker here over 30 years ago when the Cowichan Valley Naturalist’s hosted him just before they launched the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society. Dress is requested to be semi-formal and your first two beverages, a choice of Averill Creek wine, Craig Street’s WildWings beer or other beverage, is on us!

Gala Menu

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/it-aint-easy-being-green-gala-celebrating-being-green-and-the-festivals-success-tickets-72479804045

 

Monday, October 28th, time 7pm

BRING BACK THE BLUEBIRDS

The Remarkable Tale of Bringing Bluebirds Back to Cowichan

Location: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, 1845 Cowichan Bay Rd, Cowichan Bay
Tickets: By donation
WildWings Partner: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre

Come and hear the cheeps, trills and update about an amazing local effort to rebuild Western Bluebird populations in the Cowichan Valley -one of the region’s most beautiful feathered friends. Presented by well-known nature interpreter and Project Advisor, Genevieve Singleton. BC Conservation Foundation is the new lead of the Project with the Cowichan Valley Naturalists as an active partner. To find the nature centre visit http://www.cowichanestuary.ca/contact/

Tuesday October 29th, 2019 7pm – 9pm

NATURE OF COWICHAN

People's Choice Photo Awards and Reception

Location: Old Firehouse Wine & Cocktail Bar 40 Ingram St, Duncan City Square
Tickets: Free event
WildWings Partner: Old Firehouse Wine & Cocktail Bar, Excellent Framing

The first annual Nature of Cowichan photography competition People’s Choice Awards Night where amateur and pro photographers to show us their best nature work and vie for the People’s Choice Award. Hosted by the Old Firehouse Wine and Cocktail Bar this promises to be a very popular event. First-place People’s Choice will be awarded $200 in local gift certificates. Second-place will be awarded $100 in local gift certificates. There will be wonderful appetizers served and the John Wade and the WildWings trio providing some nice ambiance. Most entrants will be there to discuss and share their work. The celebration will also be the unofficial wrap of the WildWings Festival.

 
 
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