Skip to content

Business notes: Sands Funeral Chapel donates $10,000 to Nourish Cowichan

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community
Sands Funeral Chapel has donated $10,000 to Nourish Cowichan to assist with the charity’s efforts to feed school children in the area. Pictured, from left, are funeral director Janice Winfrey, Sands’ managing director Troy Evans, Jason Hatton from Juice FM and Ginette Aubin, branch administrator at Sands. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Sands Funeral Chapel in Duncan and its parent company, Arbor Memorial, have donated $10,000 to Nourish Cowichan and the Starfish Program.

Nourish Cowichan, a charitable organization whose main purpose is to provide nutritious meals to school children in the Cowichan Valley, joined forces with the Starfish Program in 2017 so they could work together to attain the same goals.

Nourish Cowichan currently prepares more than 300 meals a week, and 300,000 meals annually, for students throughout the local community.

Ginette Aubin, branch administrator at Sands Funeral Chapel, said it’s an honour to be a part of Nourish Cowichan’s vision.

“Arbor Memorial values our communities and provides not only monetary donations but also contributes to countless of volunteer hours throughout Canada,” she said.

“Together, may we continue to nurture the importance of health and wellness in the lives of our thriving young generation.”

The $10,000 cheque was handed to Jason Hatton, from Juice FM, on behalf of Nourish Cowichan as the radio station held a two-day benefit for the charity in June.


Khaya Home Decor, located at 107 Kenneth St., has a new owner.

Debra Schulze, who is from Alberta, recently bought the store, which features unique gifts, home decor, furnishings and more, from long-time owner and operator Heather Scudder.

Schulze said she was visiting family in the area this summer and spotted the “for sale” sign at the store on her last day of vacation.

She said she had been into the sale of high-end furniture for some time and worked as an interior decorator for many years, so she jumped at the chance to be a store owner for the first time.

“It checked all the boxes that I needed it to,” Schulze said.

“It can be run by just one or two people, I can do renovations to the shop and it will allow me to get into interior design. The inventory was quite low when I took over and I’m in the process of filling the store’s shelves. My inventory will evolve as I go.”


Four companies from the Cowichan Valley are finalists in the 2021 Torch Awards, sponsored by the Better Business Bureau serving Vancouver Island.

They are Duncan’s 360 Super Techs in the Heating and Air Conditioning category, Shawnigan Lake’s The Super Plumber in the Plumbing category, and VI Gutter Gator Inc, from Chemainus, and Duncan’s High Definition Roofing Ltd. in the Roofing Contractor category.

Winners of this year’s Torch Awards will be announced at the gala dinner and awards celebration on Nov. 5 at the Union Club of B.C.

“After a challenging 18 months for businesses in our region, it is with much anticipation and excitement that I am announcing the 33 finalists and four Spark Award recipients for the 2021 Torch Awards,” said Rosalind Scott, president and CEO of BBB serving Vancouver Island.

“The Torch Awards recognizes and celebrates businesses that have gone above and beyond when it comes to trustworthy, honest, reliable business practices, customer service excellence and community engagement. We are so proud of every nominee and finalist for their commitment to being leaders in their industry when it comes to ethical business practices.”


It’s a new fiscal year at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, and with that comes a call for Expressions of Interest to serve on the chamber’s board of directors for the 2021/22 term.

Directors of the Chamber lead the strategic direction of the organization and play a vital role in supporting and advocating for the Cowichan business community.

“If you have energy and ideas, want to create a positive impact in your community and contribute to the success of the Chamber, have five to seven hours per month to contribute, want to broaden your professional experience and if you are a Chamber member in good standing, we would love to have a chat about the opportunity to serve on our board of directors,” a chamber statement said.

Interested people can connect with the Chamber’s executive director Sonja Nagel, at 250-748-1111, or email to learn more and what the role of a director entails.

The chamber can also send you an application package, complete with terms of reference, directors’ code of conduct, bylaws, and application.

The Chamber will be accepting applications until Oct. 15.

The Chamber’s AGM will be held on Nov. 23 where there will be an election for the board of directors.

Whether the AGM will be virtual or in-person has yet to be determined.


The province is providing almost $150,000 to The Mustard Seed Street Church in Victoria to deliver its Therapeutic Market Garden program at Hope Farm Healing Centre in Duncan.

This Community and Employer Partnerships project is intended for individuals with a BC Employment and Assistance Program Persons with Disabilities designation.

Thanks to the funding, as many as eight eligible British Columbians will receive work experience and skill-enhancement courses as they develop and build a therapeutic market garden.

Over 48 weeks, participants will learn about general farm practices, including crop planning, planting, propagation methods, composting, soils, growing and tending plants, harvesting, processing and preparing plants for market sales, building and maintaining a greenhouse, landscaping, groundskeeping and minor marketing practices.

“This new CEP project provides participants with skills and experience to find and keep jobs in the agricultural sector on Vancouver Island,” said Nicholas Simons, minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

“In addition, the therapeutic garden will provide a healing environment for those recovering from addiction to learn new skills as they focus on their recovery.”

Learning and training activities for this project start Oct. 4, 2021, and run until Sept. 2, 2022.

Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.


Jacobs (Jaap) Zwaan, a member of Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Station 34 in Cowichan, is a recipient of the CCGA’s Administrative Excellence Medal.

Zwaan was one of 40 CCGA members from across the province who were honoured with awards in a number of categories at the annual Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue Volunteer Awards ceremony that were held on Sept. 18.

The awards honour the outstanding service of the organization’s volunteers and stations as recognized by their peers, the organization’s board of governors and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

“Throughout the pandemic, as much of the world around us slowed down, RCMSAR volunteers were busy meeting increased calls for help as more British Columbians took to the water than in previous years,” a press release from the CCCGA said.

“Through it all, our volunteers remain resilient, finding creative and safe ways to conduct training exercises and SAR missions while taking all the safety precautions required.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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.
Read more