Two dozen different events are planned for the WildWings Nature & Arts Festival in October in Cowichan. (Submitted by WildWings Nature & Arts Festival)

Two dozen different events are planned for the WildWings Nature & Arts Festival in October in Cowichan. (Submitted by WildWings Nature & Arts Festival)

Cowichan WildWings Nature & Arts Festival plans full roster of events for October

24 different events scheduled

The 12th anniversary of the WildWings Nature & Arts Festival is ready to go this year with a full roster of 24 events, say organizers.

The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society announced this week that the festival will launch on Saturday, Oct. 2 and run through the end of that month.

“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,” said a press release about the event. “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, the release says. This is followed the next day with Celebrate Somenos Family Day at the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom. The WildWings Nature Arts Show is also open for viewing at Just Jakes starting on Oct. 3, but is limited to sit down guests only due to COVID restrictions.

Back-to-back action begins Thursday, Oct. 7, the release says, with ‘An Evening with Wade Davis’ providing the keynote speech on the Festival theme — ‘Sharing a Sense of Place’ 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, at the VIU Lecture Theatre. Both Davis and Cheryl will be available from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. before their events 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 assisted by the Community Farm Store’s Chef James Day, 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, the release says.

Also according to the release, this year’s festival also features some new events including the Big Day Birding Weekend hosted by the Cowichan Valley Naturalists, where birding enthusiasts can catch The Big Year movie (filmed in Cowichan Bay) at the Caprice Theatre and compete the next day in a fun birding competition between the Somenos Marsh and Cowichan Bay Important Bird Areas to win the IBA Big Rooster award for 2021.

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 American bullfrogs in a different light, the release details. Hands-on events include a drum making workshop and Plein Air painting workshop, both hosted by the Cowichan Valley Arts Council.

Many events are free, by donation, or with reduced prices for families, the release says. Tickets are on sale now and note that 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, visit www.somenosmarsh.com.

The WildWings Nature & Arts Festival major support comes from the Edmonton Community Foundation, Municipality of North Cowichan, Community Farm Store, and the Nature Trust of BC.

For more information email info@somenosmarsh.com or call 250-732-0462.

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