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

2021 schedule of events

  • March 8 –  12:00 – 12:30

International Women’s Day Virtual Ceremony

The Discourse Cowichan, in partnership with Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day, will host a virtual ceremony to mark International Women’s Day and honour essential workers. Audrey George, manager of the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility in Duncan, will be the keynote speaker.
Poets Délani Valin and Carla Stein read at the event. The event was broadcast to The Discourse’s Facebook page at noon.

Speaker bios:
Audrey George is a member of Cowichan Tribes and the manager of the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility in Duncan. Audrey was recently recognized for her leadership at the facility by Dr. Bonnie Henry and others. A staff member tested positive for COVID-19, but thanks to quick action there was zero spread. “I will speak about my team with M’akola and our colleagues with Island Health, the residents and their families that made it a success to make it this far through the pandemic,” Audrey says.
Délani Valin is a Cree-Métis writer living on Snuneymuxw territory. She edits Culturally Modified, and is on the editorial boards for Room and The Malahat Review. She studies for her Masters in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University. Her poem won The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize, which was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2018. Other writing has appeared in the anthologies Those Who Make Us, and Bawaajigan: Stories of Power, as well as the magazines Arc Poetry, subTerrain, Room, Adbusters, and Soliloquies Anthology, among others.
Carla Stein’s images and poetry have been published in Sustenance, Ascent Aspirations, An Anthology of Nanaimo Poetry, Friday’s Poems, Island Arts Magazine, Island Woman, Stonecoast Review, Sad Girl Review, and Please Hear What I’m Not Saying, an anthology benefiting mental health awareness in the United Kingdom. She has released two poetry chapbooks, Sideways Glances of an Everyday Sailor and Shrieking from the Shore. Carla is the current artistic director of Wordstorm Society of the Arts, and a co-founder of 15 Minutes of Infamy, a Nanaimo-based performance venue for wordcrafters. View her artwork at: www.roaeriestudio.com
Jacqueline Ronson and Shalu Mehta, reporters with The Discourse, will co-host the event

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 …