Sonja Nagel, executive director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, holds a proclamation from the City Duncan declaring the week of Feb. 15-20 as Chamber of Commerce Week. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Sonja Nagel, executive director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, holds a proclamation from the City Duncan declaring the week of Feb. 15-20 as Chamber of Commerce Week. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: City of Duncan proclaims Feb. 15-20 as Chamber of Commerce Week

A look at what’s going on in the Cowichan Valley business community

The City of Duncan has issued a proclamation declaring the week of Feb. 15-20 as Chamber of Commerce Week.

The proclamation recognizes the unwavering commitment of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce in supporting the local business community.

As part of the BC Chamber network, the Duncan Cowichan Chamber is joined in celebration by 120 chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the province.

“Our Chamber is more relevant than ever,” said Julie Scurr, president of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber.

“We have been Cowichan’s feet on the ground and voice at the government tables, advocating for better resources and more inclusive funding programs. We’re dedicated to ensuring that our local businesses will not only survive the immediate crisis at hand, but will come out the other side of this pandemic with the best chance at ongoing, long-term success.”

Sonja Nagel, the chamber’s executive director, added that Chamber Week is, in part, an opportunity for the chamber to blow its own horn about the work it does behind the scenes, which often goes unnoticed.

“We are so focused on the work at hand, that we forget to communicate these wins and successes to the broader community, or celebrate them within our small, but dedicated team,” she said.

Traditionally, the chamber hosts a series of events and professional development during Chamber Week, but with Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer for B.C., extending the ban on public gatherings, this year’s Chamber Week content will be offered virtually.

On Feb. 16, the chamber will be joined by Morningstar Pinto and Jon Cruz from the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation for an information session on the province’s Business Recovery Grant Program.

The program provides fully funded grants of up to $30,000 to B.C. businesses, along with up to $15,000 additional funding to eligible tourism-based B.C. businesses.

The grants are available until March 31, or until funding has been allocated.

On Feb. 17, the chamber is partnering with Isabelle Mercier-Turcotte from LeapZone Strategies for an interactive and timely Mindset Over Matter workshop.

The workshop is aimed at helping business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders reframe the stress, anxiety and uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to pivot.

Mindset Over Matter is about learning what it takes to “play to win” rather than “play not to lose”.

Both of these free virtual sessions will be hosted on the Zoom platform.

Advance registration is required and login details will be provided to participants after registration has been completed.

For more information, visit or phone 250-748-1111.


Duncan’s Fresh Kenny’s Fish and Chips plans to reopen in its new location some time next week.

The popular restaurant, which opened on Kenneth Street in May, 2019, will be reopening at nearby 111 Jubilee St. as Fresh Kenny’s Casual Eats.

Owner Curtis Flynn said preparations for the new location are in the final stages, and the final step before reopening is to get the green light from health inspectors and the City of Duncan.

Curtis chose 111 Jubilee St. as the new location for his restaurant mainly because it offers a larger dining area than he had at the Kenneth Street site, as well as a great corner location with excellent exposure, and it was also more financially viable.

Curtis said the menu will still have Fresh Kenny’s popular fish and chips as well as pizzas, burgers, tacos and other delights.

The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and will continue to have online ordering and takeout options.

“We’re just chomping at the bit to open up,” he said.

“The staff are excited with the new location, and I’m sure the customers will be too.”


The Cowichan Sportsplex board of directors is seeking a new executive director following Drew Cooper’s announcement of his retirement, effective at the end of May.

Cooper has served as executive director for the Cowichan Sportsplex, the Valley’s premier outdoor sports venue featuring world class facilities, for almost three years.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to have worked at the Sportsplex,” Cooper said.

“In many respects, it has been the perfect end to a 25-plus year career working in community sport here on the Island.”

Cooper credits the staff, the board, and the daily interaction with like-minded locals who frequent the Cowichan Sportsplex for such an enjoyable experience.

Don McClintock, chairman of the board, said the board very much enjoyed and appreciated Cooper’s leadership of the Sportsplex.

“Not only has Drew enjoyed a great working relationship with the staff of the Sportsplex, but also with the board of directors of the Chesterfield Sports Society,” he said.

“We wish Drew much happiness in his retirement.”


The Cowichan Valley branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association is inviting local families, individuals and businesses to participate in its “Love Bubble Porch-Traits” campaign.

The goal is to capture images of the community’s diverse “bubble” groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to create a fun and positive experience, while demonstrating our community’s resilience and raising funds for local mental health programming,” the branch said in a statement.

The suggested donation is $50 per session, and participants will receive an edited digital file and a five by seven inch print from Apple Press.

“These COVID-friendly, front-porch photo sessions will be booked for Valentines Day on Feb. 14, and Family Day on Feb. 15,” the branch said.

“We will supply props such as hearts, bubbles, balloons etc. A digital slide show of final ‘Porch-Traits’ will be created and shared through CMHA networks. Participation in the slide show is optional.”

The branch said all COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed during the photo sessions, and the volunteers will wear masks, practice social distancing, and all props will be sanitized between sessions.

Check out for more details and to book a session.

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