Welcome to Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day Rally & Festival website.

2020 schedule of events

  • March 2 – 7 Women you should have heard of – A collection VIRL South Cowichan Branch (Mill Bay) 310-2720 Mill Bay Rd, Mill Bay BC
  • Mar 6 9:00am 4pm Developing Community Activism – Cowichan Community Centre – Sponsored by the NDDLC
  • Mar 6 Noon One Billion Rising Duncan City Square – Free
  • March 6 Jenny Allen / Carla Olive $15 door $12 advance 8:30pm
  • March 7 11:00am – 12:30pm International Women’s Day Rally  Charles Hoey Park Cowichan Valley IWD Committee. This year’s rally presents many exciting women leaders as speakers and features an acknowledgement ceremony to honour the local elected women who serve the community.
    • 9:00am – 1:00pm The Red Dress Project  Charles Hoey Park Warmland Women
    • 1:00 – 4:00 Panel Discussion Indigenous Leadership: Empowerment through knowledge The general discussion will focus on the different views of what a leader is, how to cultivate leaders in an educational setting, how through our jobs/personal lives/student lives – we intentionally strive to impact others. There will be a panel discussion with local Indigenous women leaders working in and for communities. Vancouver Island University – Cowichan Campus 2011 University Way
    • 7:00pm Gals Who Write Songs – Payan / Cari Burdett / Kelly Girven / TBA Duncan Showroom – 133 Station Street – $20 door $15 advance
  • March 8 11:00am Nanaimo Women’s March 10am muster at Maffeo Sutton Park, march at 11am to Nanaimo Entertainment Centre, with performers, speakers, and info booths from 12:30 – 2:30
  • Mar 11 8:30 Cara McCandless Duncan Showroom, 131 Station Street
  • POSTPONED – Date to be announced March 13 6:15pm Beauty Providence Farm, Travelling World Film Festival, cowichanvalleyfilm.ca $0– includes a discussion period – 6:15pm
  • POSTPONED – Date to be announced March 15 2:30pm Conviction Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Rd Travelling World Film Festival,. Admission w/festival pass $0/$10/$15 
  • Mar 19 7:00pm Gals Who Write Songs – Cara McCandless / Mary Egan / Beverley McKeen / Amanda Nixon Duncan Showroom – 133 Station Street – $20 door $15 advance
  • POSTPONED – Opening night will be May 21 March 19-22/March 26-29 times below The Women of Lockerbie Play by Deborah Brevoort, Directed by Sylvia Swift, Produced by Shauna Lumgair Clinging. Mercury Players 331 Brae Road, Duncan Thursday to Saturday 7:30pm Sunday 2:30pm Ticket Prices: $22 General Admission $17 Seniors/Students Tickets at Ten Old Books, First Chiropractic Clinic in Duncan & Eventbrite.
  • Mar 21
  • Mar 22 7:30pm Sweet Alibi Providence Farm 1843 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan  Tickets $20 (kids 12 and under free)
  • Mar 23 7:00pm Film: Maiden 2687 James St, Duncan Reel Alternatives
  • March 27
  • March 31 Cowichan Valley Learn to Skate Cowichan Exhibition 7380 Trans-Canada Hwy, Duncan, Brass Knuckle Derby Dames $10

Volunteers welcome

Thank you for visiting. We’re in the third(!) exciting year of organizing events and welcome new members to help this grow.

Organizational skills, website, social media, fundraising, and generally being enthusiastic and positive about the road forward are essential. More on this later.

If you have something to offer not on this list, say what it is and how you think it fits. People with ideas are pure gold.



Five year plan/intention – Written in Feb 2017

March 8th, will be the focal point of a week long festival that will include a rally on the Saturday prior to March 8 (assuming the 8th falls on any other day of the week than Saturday) and a revived potluck that bonds the participants, held at the House of Friendship.

The rest of March would see a variety of institutions programming their regular events around the IWD theme of the year.

This will be led by the IWD committee, which will have a 10 member leadership team, and a minimum 100 women paid membership, of which there would be 30+ activists representing a diverse range of voices.

The specific tasks of the IWD Committee would be to organize a handful of anchor events such as the rally on a Saturday, and a speakers event on March 8, to prepare a brochure/booklet supporting the events related to IWD, and to coordinate advertising and promotion of the events as a whole, as a means of advancing the goals of the IWD theme.

The further role of the IWD Committee would be to provide encouragement to other local institutions to participate by shaping their March programming around the IWD theme, particularly, but not exclusively, in the week surrounding March 8.

We would reach out with the theme of the year, help brainstorm ideas, publish their participation in our well-distributed brochure, in our well-placed ads and media spots, and feature them in our PR.

The IWD Committee will include significant participation from local First Nations, and residents from a wide variety of other backgrounds and interests, bound together in the common purpose of advancing women’s rights and issues. Both leadership and activists will include both elders and youth, and the various events will draw 100s of women from across the region, including from Victoria and Nanaimo, but mostly from the Cowichan Valley.

Events will include everything from the rally advancing locally important women’s issues, to films, book readings, public speakers, sporting events, musical performers, demonstrations of traditional skills and lessons for the same, and non-traditional work job fairs/training sessions.

March 8 would feature a woman speaker of note…whose speech would be not about IWD, but about her important work in some area that matters deeply to our times and to our region.

Performances by significant women artists would be programmed at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, The Firehouse, the VIRL branches, the USW Heritage Hall, and the Duncan Showroom, as well as other regional spaces such as The Hub and the Farmer’s Institute, readings by women authors at bookstores and the library, films by and/or about powerful women and girls at the Caprice and the library.

The local media would be primed to anticipate the month’s events…it would be already in their annual calendar even before our press releases are sent out.

News and current events

Media release – Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day Festival Honours Local Elected Women

The Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day Committee is pleased to announce our fourth annual festival, centred around our Rally at Charles Hoey Park on March 7, 11am – 12:30pm. The festival begins March 2, with a book event at VIRL South Cowichan, and ends March 31, with a Roller Derby event at Cowichan Exhibition. Between these …