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Business notes: San Group helping Ditidaht First Nation with road

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community
The Port Alberni-based San Group is donating funds and services to the Ditidaht First Nation to help construct a new road. Pictured (left) is Kamal Sanghera, co-owner of the San Group, and Brian Tate, chief in council with the Ditidaht First Nation. (Submitted photo)

The Port Alberni-based San Group is donating funds and services to the Ditidaht First Nation to help construct a new road from the Malachan Village to the Lake Cowichan junction that bypasses the flood prone area along the Nitnat River.

For decades, the Ditidaht First Nation has endured chronic flooding of a portion of the Carmanah Mainline that runs parallel to the Nitnat River.

This is the main access into and out of the Ditidaht Village; locally referred to as Malachan Reserve.

Such a basic necessity of having reliable access to the village is a major safety issue, as the road is often inaccessible during peak rainfall events and high runoff conditions.

Weather conditions such as this not only restrict community members from entering and exiting the area, but also inhibits all other consumer and emergency services travelling to and from the village.

“Imagine not being able to have access to your home or having emergency services restricted,” said Suki Sanghera, a co-owner of San Group, one of the largest privately owned forestry companies in B.C. with four mills..

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work together with the Ditidaht First Nation to help make this a reality and look forward to many future endeavors with the Ditidaht.”

Kamal Sanghera, another co-owner of San Group, said safe, reliable access to all communities is something we all deserve.

“It should not be considered a luxury,” he said.

The Ditidaht have tendered out packages for the road construction work and plan to commence operations this summer.

Company spokesman Kevin Somerville said the amount of funding the San Group is committing to the project is undisclosed at this time, but will cover a significant portion of the project.

He said the company is also supporting the project with in-kind services and professional advice.

“The hope is to get going on construction in early August and be completed by late fall,” Somerville said.


Mill Bay’s Kinsol Timber Systems is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and is declaring that the milestone is cause for celebration.

“It seems like it was just yesterday and then again, it doesn’t,” the company said on its Facebook page.

“We are very proud that we have survived, thrived and succeeded for five years, especially given what the last two years have been like, and the future is looking even brighter. We are looking forward to having the whole team together to celebrate soon.”

Kinsol Timber Systems specializes in working collaboratively with architects, engineers and general contractors to deliver carefully detailed, constructible, and ambitious structures.


A new dog service has opened in the Cowichan Valley called Walk N Roll Adventures & Obedience.

Kelsey, the owner, said the purpose of the business, which is licensed and registered, is to provide safe and fun adventure hikes for dog owners who require services to allow their pet to get exercise, confidence to be around other dogs and new environments, learn socialization at a higher level and enjoy nature.

She said Walk N Roll Adventures & Obedience, which also offers dog-sitting services, focuses on providing professional, quality service and compassionate care to dogs and their families.

“I have a strong passion for what I do and am thrilled to announce the start of my very own business in the Cowichan Valley,” said Kelsey, who has a long background in pet-care services.

“This is a new chapter in my career and I am so excited to be on this journey full of opportunities, adventures and new beginnings.”

Walk N Roll Adventures & Obedience operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and the hours vary on the weekends.

Call 250-709-4311 or email


Although the beginning of the tubing season on the Cowichan River was slow this year due to unseasonably cool and rainy weather, the recent heat wave is expected to bring people out to tube in droves.

Aaron Frisby, owner of the Tube Shack, said not only was the weather no cooperating at the beginning of the season, the Cowichan River had significantly higher waters than usual which completely covered the departure beach where tuber pull out.

Frisby said he wants to keep his young staff members working, and noted many businesses in Lake Cowichan were struggling with the lack of river tourism during the cooler days that now seem to be gone for the season.

“The bottom line is that the Tube Shack is ready to provide time rentals to any crowds that come as the weather warms up,” he said.


White Spot, the iconic B.C. restaurant chain, will be celebrating its long-standing tradition of supporting local by introducing a new ‘Celebrate BC’ menu across locations province-wide, including the one in the Cowichan Valley, from July 25 to Sept. 4.

On White Spot’s roster is the new B.C. Brie & Bacon BBQ Chicken Burger, made with fresh B.C. chicken breast and topped with brie from Golden Ears Cheesecrafters; while the Steelhead Florentine spotlights Ocean Wise steelhead caught in Lois Lake, B.C.

The new B.C. Summer Salad features a cornucopia of locally grown produce, and back by popular demand, the famous fresh B.C. Blueberry Pie is made with blueberries sourced entirely through Silver Valley Farms in Maple Ridge, and grown throughout the Fraser Valley.

And it’s not only the food; at White Spot, guests will find a bevy of locally-produced beverages, including a selection of exclusively featured 100 per cent B.C. wines, as well as local craft beers and ice cream for their famous milkshakes.

“The variety, quality, and freshness of B.C. ingredients are at their peak this time of year,” said White Spot’s executive chef James Kennedy.

“It made it such a joy for the culinary team and I to create the food for this new menu.”

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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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