Business View Magazine September 2018

296 297 them than in a major center like Victoria.” Tower Fence, located in the south Cowichan area, services much of the island with its products, and SureSpan started out building bridges for the forestry sector in the CVRD and is now into specialty, high-end, concrete construction design in Victoria and beyond. Pacific Homes ships its super-efficient, laser-generated housing stock all over the world. On the agricultural front, Puricon andWeber Natu- rals have their processing facilities in the RD, as part of the nutraceutical and specialty foods industries. Artisan cheese companies are emerging. In fact, an agri-tech business, EIO Diagnostics,worked with one of the local cheese producers to develop an app that detects mastitis in area animals.Now, they’re travelling around the world profiling this technol- ogy. Food,wine, and craft brewing industries are all coming on strong.The Tourism Cowichan Society does a sensational job profiling agri-tourism in the region.Another notable business in the Valley– Brawn (one of the most recognized animation stu- dios in North America)–has a sub-studio in Duncan. Generally, Regional Districts are involved in hard services–solid waste management, utilities, recreation facilities–but with the popularity of the Cowichan Valley, Carruthers says that housing affordability has become an issue that many local governments are having to deal with.He explains, “It’s starting to have an impact on employers being able to find affordable housing for their employees. So,we’re starting to delve into some of those social issues.” CVRD provides the lion’s share of the recreation facilities and has a robust parks program,with 200 parks, altogether.A phenomenal trail system cross- es the region and hooks into the TransCanada Trail COWICHAN VALLEY REGIONAL DISTRICT, BRITISH COLUMBIA system, enhanced by the Kinsall Bridge and the Heritage Rail Bridge, for hiking,walking, and moun- tain biking. In addition, there are amazing scuba diving opportunities in the reefs.A local developer in the entertainment industry created a festival ground at Lake Cowichan with one of the largest permanent stages in Canada. Called Laketown Ranch, the grounds host a popular, annual country music festival, along with other exciting events.And speaking of excitement, a high-end luxury sports car track located in the RD, attracts owners from near and far to drive their high-speed cars in a controlled environment. Cowichan means ‘the warm land’ and that’s be- coming more pronounced with climate change. Carruthers says,“We’re kind of the northern Califor- nia climate of Canada now and a desirable place to be.We have an aging demographic and an outdated hospital and we’re nowworking with the Ministry of Health and the Vancouver Island Health Authority on the concept planning stage for a new, state-of- the-art hospital in our region–a ‘Campus of Care’ to look after people in our community,well into the future.”