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Coming up in Cowichan: Craft fares galore; Ladysmith Light-up; Run for the Claus

What’s coming up in Cowichan
Santas by the dozen take part in the Run for the Claus at the Cowichan Sportsplex on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (Lyle Young photo)

On Saturday, Nov. 26 there are two craft fairs you can check out in the Cowichan Valley.

The Youbou Christmas Craft Fair is headed to the Youbou Community Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Shawnigan Lake Artisan Christmas Craft Fair will be at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Browse a multitude of vendors with handmade gifts and festive treats.

Also up on Nov. 26 is the Queen Margaret’s School Christmas Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

These are followed on Nov. 27 by the Holiday Indigenous Makers Market by the CLATCH at the Hub at Cowichan Station from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A slew of craft fairs are available for holiday shoppers on Dec. 3. Choose from the Drinkwater PAC Christmas Craft Fair at Drinkwater Elementary from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Enchanted Winter Faire at Sunrise Waldorf School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Mill Bay Baptist Christmas Craft Fair at Mill Bay Baptist Fellowship church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Chemainus Elementary Winter Market at Chemainus Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Thetis Island Christmas Market at Forbes Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition there’s a Christmas Market on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John’s Anglican Church in Duncan that promises “creations and crafts, delightful delectables and fresh floral centrepieces, along with a $6 soup and sandwich.” A percentage of the profits from the market go to the Cowichan Valley food bank.

On Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Hub at Cowichan Station is once again hosting an event with the Holiday Market at the Hub.


One of Vancouver Island’s favourite holiday events is returning after a two-year hiatus!

Having helped put Ladysmith on the map, the fact that the Festival of Lights has been a volunteer-driven event for more than 30 years is amazing and speaks highly of the community.

One of the highlights of the evening, the Kinsmen Parade, will be back on the street on Light Up Night – Thursday, Nov. 24, in downtown Ladysmith. The parade will be a little different this year, however, with organizers saying they’ll be limiting the number of parade entries to keep the event a more manageable length.

After the parade, the much-anticipated Ladysmith and District Credit Union fireworks will wrap up one of the Island’s most popular family events.

And of course, visitors to the central Vancouver Island community are invited to view the spectacle of decorations and twinkling lights throughout the holiday season in downtown Ladysmith.

Learn more, and plan your visit at, where you’ll also find links to a full range of community events planned through December.


Clement’s Centre’s Run for the Claus is back as well on Dec. 4 at the Cowichan Sportsplex.

Participants will walk, run, or shuffle 3.5 or 6 kilometres alongside their friends, family, and community members in support of people with developmental support needs in the Cowichan Valley.

Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for children and youth and includes a locally made, official Run for the Claus T-shirt.

By registering online, you can create an individual or team fundraising page, though fundraising is not required to take part. For those who do participate, each $25 raised will get them one entry into the Grand Prize draw – a family pass for four to the Butchart Gardens’ ‘The Magic of Christmas’ display, including a $100 gift card to their dining room.

The event will also feature fun activities along the running route, food trucks, special guests Kerry Park Islanders, and Santa Claus. The Grinch and some other festive characters are also expected.

The event has not been held in person since 2019 due to the pandemic.

“This event brings people from all over the community together in support of such a special cause and we are just so excited to be doing it in person again,” said event organizer, Alan Crisp. “The ongoing impacts of the pandemic on local charities is a real struggle and we’re confident that the community will show up in support of Clements Centre and the people the organization serves.”

You can register online or donate to the event at, by phone at 250-746-4135, or in person at the 5856 Clements St. office.

All proceeds from Run for the Claus support programs and services provided by Clements Centre for Families. Clements Centre is a registered charity that brings hope, belonging, and independence to children, youth, and adults with developmental needs in the Cowichan Valley.

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

I returned to B.C. and found myself at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.
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