The Wooden Boat Festival is on this weekend at Maple Bay. (Citizen file)

Coming up in Cowichan: Wooden Boat Festival, Indigenous law lecture, Flower & Garden Show

Maple Bay Marina will host the 22nd Annual Wooden Boat Festival over the May holiday weekend.

Wooden Boat Festival this weekend in Maple Bay

Maple Bay Marina will host the 22nd Annual Wooden Boat Festival over the May holiday weekend.

Wooden boats have a longstanding history on the west coast and Vancouver Island. The people that dedicate their time and hard work to keep them in shape, or restore them, tie us to our maritime heritage.

The event pays homage to this tradition, and celebrates the owners who share a passion for wooden boats.

Popularized by enthusiasts who honour this industry, the event is not limited to glimpses of the past, but also features modern wooden vessels. Display vessels will include converted work boats, sailboats, rowboats, kayaks, classic Monks and Chris Crafts.

The public is encouraged to join the festivities and vote for their favourite boat; admission is free on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21. The winning boats will be published in the, Wednesday, May 24 edition, of the Cowichan Valley Citizen. Visitors will enjoy added attractions which include a pool with model boat display and demonstrations, live music, and local arts and crafts for sale. This is a perfect opportunity to meet local artists and witness their art taking shape and take time to browse the wide variety of products made available by other vendors.

“I really enjoy learning each boat’s history and meeting the owners; such fascinating stories,” says Carol Messier, the event coordinator. “I’m also excited to see the remote control modellers back and all the artists who will be in attendance at this year’s festival.”

Maple Bay Marina is one of the largest destination marine centers in British Columbia. Located at the most southern end of Maple Bay in the Cowichan Valley, Maple Bay Marina is 10 minutes east of Duncan. The marina features open and covered moorage, recreational boating services, float home vacation rentals, kayak rentals, yacht sales, and is home to Maple Bay Marina Boat Yard, The Shipyard Restaurant &Pub, Mariners Market and Espresso Bar and the annual Maple Bay Marina Wooden Boat Festival.

Indigenous law talk free at Vancouver Island University

A free public lecture at Vancouver Island University on May 25 invites people to take a new look at the law.

“Sources and Contemporary Uses of Indigenous Law” by Dr. John Borrows, Canada research chair in indigenous law will take place at the Cowichan campus starting at 7 p.m.

The evening is intended to complement a process happening within Cowichan Tribes to explore their indigenous water law, explained Jill Thompson of the Cowichan Watershed Board.

“This night aims to make the broader community aware of (and I think inspired by) other forms and perspectives on ‘law’ that pre-date what most of us think of as law today, that were the original ways that indigenous and colonial people co-existed peacefully, and which are likely to have more relevance in the future. He talks about law as a way to ‘live well in the world’, informed by the landscape around us. Its a very uplifting perspective. I hope people come,” Thompson said.

Cowichan Valley Regional District chairman Jon Lefebure will serve as emcee for the evening, with a welcome from Tim Kulchyksi, Cowichan Tribes natural resources biologist.

Flower and Garden Show celebrates 70 years

Mill Bay Garden Club is hosting the 70th Community Flower &Garden Show on Saturday, May 27 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Cobble Hill Community Hall located at 3550 Watson Ave., Cobble Hill.

While the ever expanding and active Mill Bay Garden Club has many events, features, guest speakers and programs throughout the year, the annual flower show has been the peak of skills learned and practiced.

The “Strawberry Tea”, prepared and served by the South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary, is a favourite. The most popular aspect, besides the competition itself, which features over 80 competition classes open to the public, is the gardening workshops offered.

This year, Margaret Walker is giving a workshop on Hardy Ferns at 9:30 a.m. and the Victoria Compost Education Centre is conducting a “Composting Basics” workshop beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Don’t miss the Silent Auction in the hall which showcases many garden-related as well as handmade items, bids accepted until 1 p.m. Also be sure to visit the Master Gardeners, who will answer any gardening questions, or problems you may have as well as the plant and garden vendors located on the grounds of Cobble Hill Hall.

If you wish to enter the competition, be sure to pick up a program with a list of competition classes and rules at Buckerfield’s, Thrifty Foods, Country Grocer, Valley Vines to Wines, and Dinter Nursery or download from our website, or email You may also call Janet Abbott at 250-743-9875 for more information.