Trumpeter Swans - Barry Hetschko
Fall has returned and soon the Trumpeter Swans will follow, arriving back in the Cowichan Valley to feed and rest all winter. These once endangered North American waterfowl have been in Alaska breeding all summer. We mark this special migratory event with WildWings Festival, a celebration of nature, community and culture. The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society (SMWS) has partnered with several groups and individuals to make this year’s festival possible.
Festivities will include a Launch Party at the Brew Pub on October 1st with live music, trivia and the specially crafted WildWings I.P.A. On October 3rd the community is invited to the Somenos Marsh Boardwalk and Open Air Classroom for Celebrate Somenos Family Fun Day. There will be kid’s activities and presentations on birds (including a visit from the Pacific Raptors), salmon, amphibians, photography and more! Kids can collect a Swamp Stamp-card and if they take part in at least three presentations they can be entered to win a pair of Bushnell binoculars and a bird book. This event also includes a Somenos Garry oak ecosystem tour as well as birding in Cowichan Bay.
This year’s WildWings Art Exhibition, put on in partnership with the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, will be held at Just Jake’s Restaurant and will feature local artists renditions of nature and wildlife. The opening night cocktail mixer (October 15th, 8-10pm) will act as the after-party for the Duncan Business Improvement Area Society’s Under the Red Umbrella art walk making for a fantastic night of culture and conservation in the heart of Duncan. Lastly, longtime weaver Maria Curtis will host a basket-weaving workshop on the 18th where participants can learn to weave using local materials including invasive species harvested from the marsh.
Organizers are already looking forward to 2016’s festival when they will host the Trumpeter Swan Society’s North American Annual General Meeting, an exciting opportunity for the Cowichan Valley.
For more information about this annual festival please contact the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Bailey, at email@example.com or 250-884-0749 or visit the festival website: www.wildwingsfestival.com