Business notes: Islands Agricultural Show 2023 to be held in Cowichan Feb. 3-4

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

There will be something for everyone at the Islands Agricultural Show 2023, which will be held at Cowichan Exhibition Park on Feb. 3-4. (Citizen file photo)

Vancouver Island’s largest agricultural event of the year will be coming to the Cowichan Valley on Feb. 3-4.

The Islands Agricultural Show 2023, which will showcase the latest and most innovative equipment and technology currently available for the agricultural industry, will be held at Cowichan Exhibition Park that Friday and Saturday.

The annual event, which has an admission fee of $5 per person, provides a venue for farmers, rural landowners, farm organizations, equipment dealers, service providers and the general public to learn, connect and engage.

The theme of the agricultural show this year is “Growing Stability in Uncertain Times”.

Show manager Shari Paterson said that if past shows are any indication, it’s expected that at least 1,800 people are expected to attend over the two days.

“There will be something for everyone at this year’s Islands Agricultural Show,” she said.

“Each year, we try to address what’s happening at this point in the region’s agricultural industry. We are unique here in this area with having such a variety of agriculture, and we are facing uncertain times. We’re looking forward to seeing people come out for the show.”

The Islands Agriculture Show began in 2011 at the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds as a joint initiative of the agricultural and economic development organizations from across Vancouver Island to promote agriculture and professional development for farmers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The trade show at the event will feature more than 70 exhibitors this year, including those showcasing the latest in farm equipment, as well as professional services and programs for farmers of every size and sector.

The exhibitors include Farm Credit Canada, Island Tractor & Supply Ltd., Ropana Growers Solutions Ltd and Top Shelf Feeds.

Educational workshops all relating to current events in the agriculture industry, which are sponsored in part by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, will also be held at the agricultural show.

These workshops offer the farming community opportunities to learn from the experts.

The 14 workshops this year include “Smart Farms – How Technology is Changing Agriculture”; “Protect Your Crops”; and “Farm Business Development in Uncertain Times”.

The key speaker at the workshop sessions this year is Tristan Banwell, who manages Spray Creek Ranch, a diversified regenerative organic farm in the Northern St’at’imc Territory near Lillooet, and his topic will be “Regenerative Agriculture for Uncertain Times.”

Bamwell will speak on Feb. 4, starting at 1 p.m., in the MNP Conference Room.

The fee for all-day conference sessions, which includes general trade show admission, is $20 a day if you pre-register, or $25 a day if paid at the door.

For more information on the workshops and to pre-register, go to

On Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, people are encouraged to bring the kids to learn about farming at the 4-H Activity Centre and Dinter planting centre, and are also invited to peruse the new and vintage farm machinery and see horse and weaving demonstrations.

Paterson said approximately 450 students, ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 5, from local schools are expected to attend the event at the 4-H Activity Centre on Friday.

For more information on the Islands Agricultural Show 2023, visit


The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is reminding people that time is running out to submit nominations for the nine award categories in this year’s Black Tie Awards.

Nominations are open until midnight on Jan. 31.

Deserving businesses, individuals, and organizations across the Cowichan Valley will be honoured at the Black Tie Awards, now in its 23rd year, that will be held in May.

The ceremony will include awards for Volunteer of the Year, Young Entrepreneur, Art In Business and Green Business, Non-Profit Organization as well as three Business Achievement awards that are sub-categorized by number of employees.

The Black Tie Awards will be held at the Chemainus Theatre, and tickets will go on sale in March.

Visit to submit a nomination.


In other chamber news, the business organization is hosting a retro-bowling evening at the Duncan Lanes Bowling Centre on Jan. 30 for members and guests.

There will be teams of four people each and bowlers can register a whole team, or let the chamber join you to another if you’re less than four.

Participants are being encouraged to feel free to embrace their favourite retro era with the proper attire and attitude.

The cost is $25 per person and includes bowling and shoe fees, plus pizza and refreshments.

A cash bar will also be available.

The event is now sold out.

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