• A luncheon was held at Providence House on Sunday, Oct. 25, to thank the Sisters of St Ann for their ongoing support of the work being done at Providence Farm.
It was also a special thanks to the Sisters for their support of a proposed rental housing project to be developed on 35 acres of land subdivided from the farm. In 2009 a separate housing society, Providence Village Housing Society, was created to meet government requirements for non-profit housing.
After several years of planning and discussion, Providence Village Housing Society is in the process of completing an application for comprehensive zoning on the property with plans to hold a public meeting later in November at Providence House. The date will be announced when confirmed.
Plans and concept drawings will be available, along with architect Franc D’Ambrosio from Victoria, as well as other consultants.
The Sisters of St. Ann came to the Cowichan Valley in 1864, starting an orphanage and girls school. They transitioned to a boys boarding school which closed down in 1964. In 1979, the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association began to lease the 400 acre property to provide a range of services for the disabled and disadvantaged.
In 2009, the Sisters of St. Ann gifted approximately 380 acres to VIPCA. On Oct. 25, 2015, they gifted a 15 acre property on Donnay Drive to assist Providence Village Housing Society to do its work.
• Parkside Academy Childcare Society will receive $39,661.70 in Child Care Major Capital Funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development to expand the number of child care spaces at Somenos school.
Construction at the site began in July and the new programs will be added by January 2016.
One of the new enhancements is to increase accessibility to the high-quality early learning child care. Currently, there are 12 spaces for infants and toddlers aged 0-3 at Somenos. The new funding will add an additional 10 spaces to bring the total number to 22 spaces for babies and toddlers.
Parkside will begin opening on Saturdays for working families. Call 250-746-1711.