August 25, 2021
Paul Fletcher, WildWings Coordinator
The 12th annual 2021 WildWings Nature & Arts Festival begins Saturday October 2nd
The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society (SMWS) is pleased to announce that the 12th anniversary WildWings Nature & Arts Festival launches Saturday October 2 with a full roster of 38 events running to the end of October.
WildWings is a month-long community-wide celebration hosted by the SMWS in partnership with Cowichan Tribes, the Cowichan Valley Naturalists, and our newest partner, the Cowichan Valley Arts Council. Established in 2009 by the SMWS, the purpose of the festival is to bring attention to the important natural ecosystems of the Cowichan Valley by celebrating the interconnectedness of nature, art, culture, and community.
The festival launches with S’amunu Make a Difference Day where groups of volunteers fan out into the S’amunu/Somenos Watershed streams in search of garbage and other human-left debris. This is followed the next day with Celebrate Somenos Family Day, a family activity day at the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom.
Back-to-back action begins Wednesday October 6th with the WildWings Festival Launch and WildWings Art Exhibition Opening Reception at Just Jakes Restaurant in downtown Duncan, followed by An Evening with Wade Davis Thursday October 7th at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre and then Friday evening, to wrap up the week, The Story of a Wolf and a Woman, a presentation about Takaya, the wolf who lived on the archipelago outside of Victoria. Both Wade and Cheryl will be available in the afternoon before each event for a book signing at Volume One books in downtown Duncan.
The rest of October features 35 more art, cultural and nature events. Returning favourites include the Pi’kwun on the beach at Cowichan Bay with Chef Qwustenuxun, a Medicinal Plant Walk in Bright Angel Park, Afloat in a Boat tour of Somenos Lake, and The It Ain’t Easy Being Green Gala, aka The Green Gala, at the Birds Eye Cove farm.
This year also features some new events including Fish Tales, a night of fish talks and whiskey tasting at the Stillhead Distillery, the Big Day Birding Weekend hosted by the naturalists, where birding enthusiasts can catch The Big Year movie (filmed in Cowichan Bay) at the Caprice Theatre and compete in a fun birding competition between the Somenos Marsh and Cowichan Bay Important Bird Areas.
Other events include exploring the Koksilah secret forest, learning about estate gifts for conservation hosted by the Pacific Salmon Foundation, a presentation about the geology of the Cowichan Valley and seeing bullfrogs in a different light. Hands-on events include a drum making workshop hosted by the Cowichan Valley Arts Council and a Wild Weaving workshop using invasive plant materials to make a basket. The WildWings art show is on display all month at Just Jakes Restaurant along with a student nature banner display that will line the hallways at the Cowichan Community Centre.
Many events are free, by donation, or with reduced prices for families. Tickets will go on sale September 8. All WildWings events are subject to any changing Covid restrictions. To learn more about any festival events, book tickets, or to check on Covid restrictions affecting event attendance, please visit www.wildwingsfestival.com/events.
Funds raised from WildWings are used to support future WildWings Festivals and the SMWS GreenStreams Community Stewardship Program. To learn more about GreenStreams and the work of the SMWS, please visit www.somenosmarsh.com.
The WildWings Nature & Arts Festival is supported by the Edmonton Community Foundation, Municipality of North Cowichan, Community Farm Store, and the Nature Trust of BC.
For more info firstname.lastname@example.org or 250 732-0462
The artwork featured above is by Jennifer Lawson, 2018 Artist of the Somenos
email@example.com; 250 732-0462; PO Box 711, Duncan, BC V9L 3Y1; downtown Duncan office 55 Station Street