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Business notes: Hatton Insurance Agency named Broker of the Year for Western Canada

The latest from Cowichan’s business community
Hatton Insurance Agency has been named Broker of the Year for Western Canada. Pictured is owner Don Hatton in front of the company’s office in Duncan. (Chadd Cawson/Citizen)

Duncan’s Hatton Insurance Agency has been named Broker of the Year for Western Canada.

The prestigious award is accompanied by a $5,000 donation to a charity of the company’s choice, and Hatton Insurance has chosen the Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society.

The funds will assist in the purchase of a new machine to maintain the trails in North Cowichan’s Mount Tzouhalem forest reserve.

The new machine will not change the path of the trails, but will result in trails that are more durable and able to handle the exceptionally high traffic load.

The company’s owners, Don and Natalie Hatton, said they are committed to supporting the community they grew up in.

Don, who is also president of Hatton Insurance, said he’s excited to support the CTSS, one of the organizations in the Cowichan Valley whose volunteers are working to make the community a great place for families.

“I have spent over 40 years enjoying the mountain trails of the Cowichan Valley, and thanks to the dedication and hard work of the professionals of the CTSS, we have a world-class trail system that not only I can share with my kids and grandkids, it also draws outdoor enthusiasts from all over the globe, greatly contributing to the economic growth of our community, which is good for everyone,” he said.


The City of Duncan’s annual financial report for 2022 was awarded the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

It’s the 12th consecutive year that the city has received this recognition.

The award was established to encourage municipal governments throughout Canada to publish high-quality financial reports and to provide peer recognition and technical guidance for officials preparing these reports.

In order to receive the award, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized annual financial report, whose contents conform to program standards.

“This award is a result of our finance team’s ongoing commitment to financial reporting excellence by presenting a concise, transparent, and easily readable annual financial report,” said Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples.

“I am so pleased that the city’s financial reporting has been recognized once again, and congratulate all staff involved on this achievement.”


Vancouver Island University will host a Trades & Tech Showcase in Nanaimo on April 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

VIU is encouraging people not to miss out on this ultimate hands-on experience where they can learn about careers in everything from electrical to welding, hairdressing, and web and mobile development.

“There’s something for everyone,” VIU said.

“Whether you’re a budding enthusiast or looking to kick-start your career, this event is tailor-made for you.”

This event, which is sponsored by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, will be held at VIU’s Trades Discovery Centre on its Nanaimo campus.


The Municipality of North Cowichan is looking for input from the public as it crafts its Economic Development Action Plan.

North Cowichan is encouraging people to participate in its online survey, which must be completed by March 31, on economic development in the municipality, and is also asking people to consider presenting their ideas on the issue at an upcoming committee meeting.

“Your perspectives on opportunities, challenges, and action points are invaluable,” North Cowichan said.

“Our community’s heart beats for a thriving local economy that not only offers rewarding careers and nurtures a variety of businesses, but also supports our broader goals for sustainability, equity, and resilience, as outlined in our Official Community Plan. Your voice is crucial in this journey.”

The survey can be found at

The date and time of the committee meeting on the issue will be announced at a later date.


Members of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce and guests are invited to a free Chamber Mix & Mingle with artisans from the Cowichan Valley on April 4.

The event, called, “Celebrate Creativity: Mix & Mingle”, will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Gallery in the Cowichan Community Centre, located at 2687 James St.

This special night is all about showcasing the incredible talents of the Cowichan Artisans and celebrating a monumental milestone; the 40th anniversary of the legendary Fired Up! collective.

“From exquisite furniture and captivating ceramics to stunning paintings and intricate metalworks, prepare to be amazed by the artistic prowess of local creators; but it’s not just about the art, it’s about community,” the chamber said.

“This is your chance to chat with the artisans, learn their stories, and maybe even get inspired. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP soon. Join us for an evening where creativity shines, friendships bloom, and the heart of our community beats stronger than ever. We can’t wait to see you there.”

The event is free for chamber members and their guests.

Register online, call 250-748-1111 or email

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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