Pool and more open for Family Day splashing

It's free swims for everyone Monday as the Cowichan Aquatic Centre opens its doors for Family Day.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

With nippy weather it looks like Cowichan’s second Family Day will, for most people, be spent indoors.

With the second edition of B.C.’s newest statutory holiday arriving Monday, North Cowichan deputy parks and rec director Don Stewart predicts the pool will be a happening place.

After complaints when the pool was closed for last year’s Family Day, he’s pumped funding came together this year. Three parties — North Cowichan parks and recreation, CUPE Local 358, and the province of B.C. — combined to make sure families can take a dip for free.

“Last year we had no funding for the day,” he explained. “We’ve had a lot of happy folks who’ve heard about the free swim. It should be a very busy day.”

The Cowichan Aquatic Centre free swim takes place from noon to 4 p.m. and includes a locker token as well.

Cowichan’s other recreation centres also have events up their sleeves.

In Lake Cowichan, there will be free skating at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena from 3:30 to 4:50 p.m. Skate rentals and hot chocolate are up for grabs at no cost as well.

Youbou Lanes is also offering drop in blowing from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at $3.75 a game for adults, and $2.50 a game for children. Shoe rentals are $1.

At the Islands Savings Centre, a free skate takes place as well from noon to 1:20 p.m. It includes free hot chocolate and skate rentals.

A free stick and puck hockey-focused ice-time has also been booked from 1:30 to 2:50 p.m.

Folks must bring their own helmets, sticks and gloves, but skate rentals are free.

The multi-purpose gym will also be open from noon to 3 p.m. for those who’d like to try their hand at a number of activities, including table tennis, pickle ball, badminton and more.

Sports equipment is provided.

A free skate also takes place at Kerry Park Arena for folks living in the south-end.

Also with free skate rentals, the event takes place from 1 to 2:15 p.m.

The Shawnigan Lake Community Centre is hosting its ‘Passport to Shawnigan’ from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Activities centred around the village core include road hockey, art projects, food vendors and more.

Registration for the family passport challenge is available at Shawnigan Lake Museum, Village Chippery, or the Style Central Barbershop.

And the folks with the Duncan BIA committee as well as merchants of Downtown Duncan have been working tirelessly to throw together a shindig in the city core they’ve dubbed ‘For the Love of Community.’

The free event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes interactive activities, mini-workshops, Valentine’s Day themed crafts, family and children’s entertainers, prize giveaways, cultural booths, artisan market vendors, delicious treats, contests, community awareness programs, wandering performers, and more.

“In addition to what’s going on in city square, the lovely Kathryn Gagnon, curator of our Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives, is volunteering her time to open the museum’s doors during the same hours as our community event,” said promoter Jen Coyle in an email to the News Leader Pictorial.

“We are very fortunately teaming up with V.I’s Scouts/Cubs/Venturers, who are generously putting in their time and efforts to have a youth-run obstacle course, and a family activity challenge in our City Square.

“The Red Balloon toy shop will be working with us to put together some crafts and board game stations...”

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