The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association has begun a fundraiser, called “Hay it Forward”, to help pay for hay and alfalfa for its horses. (Submitted photo)

The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association has begun a fundraiser, called “Hay it Forward”, to help pay for hay and alfalfa for its horses. (Submitted photo)

Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association starts fundraiser to help feed its horses

Business Notes

The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association has begun a fundraiser, called “Hay it Forward”.

Located on Tzouhalem Road, the CTRA provides therapeutic riding and equine-based wellness programs for persons with special needs.

The Hay it Forward fundraiser is intended help enable CTRA to purchase hay and alfalfa for its herd of therapy horses, currently numbering 13.

The annual cost of hay and alfalfa to fill the CRTA’s barn is approximately $20,000 per year, and executive director Carol-Anne Rolls said the association is embarking on an an ambitious goal to raise $15,000 to meet the need this year.

She said the CTRA is not yet back to full operation for rider participation as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so revenue is reduced, but the horses still need to be fed.

Rolls said people can ‘Hay it Forward’ and help pay for the food in three ways.

She said the “Full Meal Deal” involves sponsoring a horse for the year for $2,500, which includes basic care, feed and hay.

Rolls said the “Entree” calls for participants to pay for a bale of hay, at $12, or a bale of alfalfa at $25. She said the “Smorgasboard” involves donating $150 per month for hay and alfalfa.

“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom,” said CRTA spokeswoman Helen Thompson.

“CTRA facilitates access to horses as a therapeutic alternative. Every day these majestic yet humble animals create positive experiences for people living with challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally. This campaign is a practical way to help us care for the caregivers.”

To donate, go to


The Aria, a luxury townhome development on Somenos Road in Duncan that was constructed by Blueprint Custom Homes, won in the Multi-Family Townhouse category at Vancouver Island’s 14th annual Commercial Building Awards.

The only other winner from the Cowichan Valley at the awards this year, which was hosted by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board on May 7 through a Zoom presentation, was the Ladysmith Thrift Store, built by MKM Projects, which took the top spot in the Retail Renovation category.

A near record 45 buildings were named finalists at this year’s awards, which included commercial, industrial and revenue-producing projects, including renovations, from the Malahat to Port Hardy.


Cowichan restaurants, retailers and producers selling local products can get a free marketing boost in 2021 from the VIEA Island Good Program.

Economic Development Cowichan has once again partnered with the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance to offer Cowichan businesses a free one-year Island Good licence.

VIEA developed the Island Good brand program as a way for customers to easily identify local products on retailer shelves and restaurant menus.

“The need and desire to support local continues to grow,” said Barry O’Riordan, Manager of Economic Development Cowichan.

“Economic Development Cowichan is delighted to continue to support our local businesses in making use of the Island Good branding to bring attention to locally-made products. This year, we are looking to maximize the visibility of Cowichan producers by challenging as many local restaurants and retail stores to sign up as possible. If you include locally grown/made items on your menu or sell them in your store, then this program is made for you.”

This free licensing opportunity is available on a first-come-first-served basis until the funding is spent.

Once accepted, businesses may use the Island Good branding to identify the local items on their shelves, menus, and packaging, as well as take advantage of VIEA’s Island Good marketing campaigns.

Visit to confirm eligibility and apply for the program.


Kinetic Construction Ltd. took home the Prime Contractor in the $5 – $10 MILLION category for its construction of the Cowichan Hospice House at the Vancouver Island Construction Association’s 2nd Annual VICA Awards.

The approximately $10-million Cowichan Hospice House, located next to Duncan’s Cairnsmore Place, offers 24-hour compassionate, professional care, expert pain and symptom management and support for patients who can no longer be cared for at home, and their families.

It was officially opened on Dec. 22. 2020.

The annual VICA Awards recognize the work VICA members do to build and regenerate local communities, including the construction of universities, hospitals, historic sites, airports, and condominiums.

“While we could have postponed our awards for the second year in a row, we could not have done it in good conscious.” says Rory Kulmala, CEO of VICA.

“Having witnessed the resilience of the construction industry on Vancouver Island, the adoption of new health and safety regulations, and being one of the lone driving forces of the Island’s economy, we could not be more pleased to celebrate the great work our members are doing throughout our Vancouver Island communities.”


The Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce is bringing back Spotlight on Business.

Spotlight on Business will highlight a new business each week on the chamber’s Facebook page, its @cowichanlake Instagram, and on its e-newsletter.

The chamber will use the information you provide to create a graphic that it will share on its social media pages.

The Spotlight is open to Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce members only.

Download the application form from and email it to

As well, the 2020 Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce Business & Community Excellence Awards will once again be taking place in the fall. This is your chance to show your appreciation for the wonderful businesses and people who helped make 2020 a better year.

“Here in the Cowichan Lake area, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful businesses and people who deserve to be celebrated,” the chamber said on its website.

Go to to download the nomination form and email it to

If you prefer not to use the form, you can send the chamber your choice in a word document or the body of an email, just be sure to clearly label the business or person you’re nominating, what award you’re nominating them for, and why you’re nominating them.

The deadline for nominations is Aug. 20, 2021.

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