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The Polka Dot Trail:   Chemainus Valley Arts Studio Guide Polka Dot Trail Studio Tour and Artist Guide 2015

The Studio Tour will take place OCTOBER 2, 3, 4, 2015.  A full listing of participants will be added over the next couple of weeks.  Once again, there is a wide range of styles and media to excite you, the visitor. Many Artists also have studios open year round or are available by appointment, and/or will be part of other events around Chemainus.  Meet the various artists in their working studios and see their creative work (and buy some too!), watch demonstrations of their work, participate in some of the creative experience.

Cowichan Valley Art Studio Tour: 
No visit to the Cowichan Valley could be complete without visiting the studios of the Visions artists. Visions is Cowichan Valley’s premier art tour representing 33 painters, potters, jewelers, wood turners, weavers, photographers, glass fusers and more. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir, a special gift or just to leave the beaten path and go exploring, Visions is your ticket to discover the source of artistic excellence in Cowichan Valley.

 Studio hours, locator map, special summer tour schedule and additional contact information are always available on the Visions web site Brochures with maps will be available at outlets throughout the area in late April.

Skuba Diving:  Explore BC's newest artificial reef, the Xihwu Reef (pronounced key'quot), the World's only  Boeing 737 Aircraft dive site, located just off Kin Beach in Chemainus.  The  Aircraft is a Boeing 737-200 with a 93 foot wingspan and is 100 feet long.  The name Xihwu Reef  was given to the site out of respect for the red Sea Urchin which would have lived in abundance in the area in the past. Gus Modest, of Cowichan, carved the Sea Urchin which is installed on the nose of the sunken aircraft.

Hang Gliding:  Anyone can fly like a bird, side by side with an experienced instructor, landing softly on wheels in an open meadow.  Contact  Steve Parson, HPAC Certified Instructor, offering tandem flights from Mt. Prevost in Duncan and Mt. Bruce on Saltspring Island. 

Farmer's Market:  Every Saturday you will find a bustling farmer’s market in the Duncan Town Square, offering a wide selection of fresh produce in season, crafts, specialty foods and cheeses, and local entertainment, all from the Cowichan Valley. This is one of the largest farmer’s markets on Vancouver Island, and proudly represents the strong agricultural roots of the region.

Ladysmith Chemainus Driving Tour: This 79 kilometer driving tour takes you to two resilient towns which refused to give up when faced with adversity. Both towns are a display of unique cultures, history and environment for visitors to enjoy.  Whether you just drive or stop to enjoy, this tour is well worth your time!

First Nations Experience:  Quw’utsun Cultural and Conference Centre offers all guests an authentic First Nations Experience - Interpretive Tours, Traditional Art Work and Native Food. See and learn traditions still practiced today

Forestry Museum:  At the BC Forest Discovery Centre, a stroll around the site will quickly transform one into an exciting, educational experience. Since its official opening as a public museum in 1965, the collection of logging and steam related artifacts has grown, an array of buildings and exhibits have been constructed.   Let one of their historic trains take you on a tour around the 100-acre wooded site.  See one of the first prefabricated buildings, and ride over a trestle bridge. 

Kayaking: Sealegs Kayaking Adventure believes that a sea kayak tour is one of the most relaxing and best ways to experience Beautiful Vancouver Island British Columbia.  Enjoy  fresh air, fascinating shorelines, wildlife, adventure, exercise, seascapes, escape...all in the company of good people.

Whale Watching:  Ocean Adventures provides a safe and knowledgeable introduction to the scenic shores of southern Vancouver Island and the magnificent orca whales that inhabit them.  Witness Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Grey Whales, Minke Whales, Porpoises, Bald Eagles and Sea Lions. You can also explore British Columbia's world-renowned Gulf Islands, enjoy a marine adventure to an island winery and vineyard, or visit Vancouver Island's famous Butchart Gardens. .

Trout Hatchery:  The Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery  facility stocks approximately 150 lakes and streams on Vancouver Island and surrounding islands in Region 1 (Vancouver Island) annually.  These include urban lakes (which are stocked multiple times per year), remote access lakes, and coastal streams and rivers.  Visitors welcome.

Freshwater Eco-Centre:  The Freshwater Eco-Centre is an extensive interpretative facility with over 30 displays depicting wild fish conservation, fisheries habitat protection and fisheries management practices. The EcoCentre is located adjacent to the hatchery and receives approximately 20,000 visitors a year.  2006 - We are getting ready for the Learn to Fish programs and other fun activities for the spring and summer.

Bungy Jumping:   Wildplay Element Parks offers King Swing, Zip Line & Bungy Jump.  It  is the "first on the continent" bungy operation over the Nanaimo River and is ranked as one of the top 100 things to do in Canada by a 2006 National Post survey. Jump off a 150' high bridge head first,  with a big elastic band around your ankles! Single or Tandem, it's up to you.

Wine tours
Cherry Point Vineyards - The winery is open seven days a week for educational tastings April - December 10 am to 5 pm / January - March 10am to 4pm. The Bistro is open April through December. Come and enjoy the exquisite vineyard views, fresh local ingredients, innovative West Coast inspired cuisine, great Island wine and unmatched service.

Hiking and Walking in Cowichan:  The Cowichan Valley countryside offers a number of memorable hiking experiences, for all levels of hikers. In addition to the trails found here, including the Trans Canada Trail and the Cowichan River Corridor, the provincial parks offer many great options to get away from it all and let nature have its way.  From peaceful, easy walks to more strenuous, rugged climbs, the parks & beaches of Cowichan have something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Hiking and Walking Trails Holland Creek Trail system is suited for all ages and abilities and is accessible from many different parking lots and trailheads.  Each access point leads to a grade of trail each with its own difficulty level from the easy walk to the vertical climb.  Each parking lot offers the hiker a difference view and experience.  The trails are marked as either wheelchair accessible, mild walking, moderate hiking trail to difficult hiking conditions.

Provincial Park:  Chemainus River Provincial Park lies within the traditional territories of the Nanaimo First Nation, the Chemainus First Nation, the Cowichan Indian Band and the Cowichan Tribes. Traditional uses include fishing, berry picking and bark stripping. The remnants of an old railway grade in the park is also of historic importance.  Surrounded by a buffer of mature, second-growth forest, Chemainus River Park is home to Roosevelt elk, who use the river as a corridor, and black bears, cougars and wolves, who forage along the riverbanks. The river is home to coho salmon and steelhead. Found in the river above Copper Canyon, the steelhead are a spring “race” with a summer run. Since all steelhead are stopped at the canyon, the deep pools of the upper river are ideally suited to the production of steelhead. The river also has numerous sensitive ecosystems related to the floodplain and riparian vegetation.

Outdoor Adventures: AdventureBC - An online community for people who love the outdoors.  Our goal focuses on promoting adventure throughout the province and encouraging people to get outdoors and live a healthy active lifestyle.  Visit us and share your traveling adventures!


Experience the best of British Columbia.

 See something spectacular.
 Celebrate the arts.
  Get inspired!

 View the online virtual guide.  This 160 page full-colour virtual brochure will guide you to the premier arts, culture and heritage destinations in British Columbia. 




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