Bunny Doyle is the owner of Shaggy Rabbit Clothing, located on Station Street in Duncan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Celebration of businesses in downtown Duncan to be held Saturday

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

The Downtown Duncan BIA will host an event the whole family can enjoy this Saturday, Aug. 28.

The “Celebration in the Common” will be held in the Station Street Common from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Amanda Vance, executive director of the DDBIA, said the event is intended to celebrate the thriving businesses in downtown Duncan at the end of the busy summer season.

She said visitors and locals alike will enjoy refreshments, yard games, live music by Mbira Spirit and Jordan Matchatt and much more.

“We’ve been working with the City of Duncan and Island Health to ensure we follow the health protocols at the event,” Vance said.

“The event will be outdoors, but we’ll still be encouraging people to wear masks. [The mask mandate for all indoor public spaces was reinstated by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Aug.25].”


Downtown Duncan is home to a new shop, called Shabby Rabbit Clothing, which sells women’s clothing that consist of all natural and sustainable cloth and fabrics.

Owner Bunny Doyle said the clothing line at the Shabby Rabbit, located at #102-80 Station St. with the storefront facing Craig Street, is unique to her business and the women who gravitate towards wearing it are typically artistic, independent and free thinkers who love fashion.

“My customers tend to have a real passion for new clothes that are completely unique and not the same as in all the other stores,” she said.

“I thought my clothes would only attract young people, but I get customers of all ages, particularly those who are 50 and older.”

Doyle said the Duncan store is her third, with the other two located in Victoria and Vancouver, and she’s not finished expanding yet as Shabby Rabbit continues to grow in popularity.

“This is a growing business and I’m looking forward to opening new locations in the future,” she said.

“We have switched up our lines a few times and are constantly evolving. I love this location in Duncan and we’re beginning to hit our stride here as more people learn about us. I used to be a paralegal for 30 years and hated it, and I’m delighted to find success with Shabby Rabbit.”


After three years in business, The Ainslie restaurant on Kenneth Street is closing its doors for the final time on Aug. 28.

On the restaurant’s Facebook page, owner Ian Blom said he makes the announcement with a heavy heart.

He said that due to labour shortages the restaurant is experiencing, it’s not viable to keep the doors open any longer.

“This was a very hard decision and it’s very hard to say goodbye, but we are not able to stay open for regular service any longer,” Blom said.

“We would like to thank all our hard-working staff for standing by us the last three years through all the ups and downs, and we’re very grateful. Thanks again to all our fans and loyal followers out there who kept coming in and supporting us.”


The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is supporting the Cowichan Valley Art Council’s Watershed Show at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, which will run from Aug. 27 until Sept. 25.

The chamber’s website said the inspiration for the show and programs will be the seven aspirational targets set by the Cowichan Watershed Board; everything from estuary health to protected riverside habitats and clean drinking water.

Activities for families at the show will include outdoor painting and crafts.

“Our goal is to use an experiential, artistic approach to raising awareness in the Cowichan community about the value of managing our watersheds wisely,” said CVAC president Janet Magdanz.

“Art is a great way to help people experience nature.”


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