Place Category: Creative Communities
Cowichan encompasses a number of small communities, each with its own distinct character, including:Ladysmith, Chemainus, Crofton, Duncan, Cowichan Lake, Maple Bay, Cowichan Bay, Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake, and Cobble Hill.
Given that Cowichan’s history goes back more than 5,000 years, it’s safe to say there is much history and culture in this neck of the woods. The legacy of the Cowichan or Quw’utsun’ First Nations makes up a significant amount of the cultural tapestry here, as evidenced in local totem poles, carvings, and in the designs of the world famous Cowichan sweaters. More recently, settlers were active in mining, logging and, of course, agriculture – and you’ll find a number of museums that reflect this rich industrial past, as well as the stunning ecology of the area.
A place as eclectic and beautiful as Cowichan can’t help but attract an equally diverse mélange of artisans. The region is home to many highly talented painters, potters, sculptors, weavers, jewellers, glass blowers, knitters and carvers whose works can be seen in home studios and galleries all along the Cowichan Valley corridor. Most notably, internationally acclaimed landscape painter E.J. Hughes lived in many parts of the region for over 50 years, and many of his celebrated works showcase Cowichan vignettes and vistas. For paintings on a very big scale, be sure to spend some time in the town of Chemainus, where you’ll be treated to its famous assortment of large-scale murals.
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