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Cowichan’s first Family Day approaches with a notable lack of celebration

Local tot Cason VanJaarsveld, 2, has fun at Whales Tales Wednesday, where the consensus from moms present was B.C.’s new Family Day will be just another day in mommy-hood. - Ashley Degraaf
Local tot Cason VanJaarsveld, 2, has fun at Whales Tales Wednesday, where the consensus from moms present was B.C.’s new Family Day will be just another day in mommy-hood.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf

It looks like most Cowichanian's first Family Day will be just another day off.

The News Leader Pictorial been hard-pressed to find many local events celebrating B.C.'s first family stat holiday Feb. 11.

Parks and recreation and arts and culture staff at the Cowichan Valley Regional District didn't know of any.

Either did Charlotte Brown of School District 79 literacy program Learning Links.

A line was cast to local mommy group Mother's Morning Out but there wasn't a bite.

And the consensus from moms at the story and playtime group Whales Tales Wednesday was it's likely to be just another day in mommy-hood.

"I will have to work," said momma Krystle Pritchett, who works evening shifts at a local restaurant. "Unfortunately in the restaurant business, you don't have holidays off."

She will be home during the day, however, with her little girl Peyton, but hasn't set any plans in stone.

For Leah Jones, she's just pumped not to have to rush her eldest daughter out the door to school.

But there's nothing jotted down on her calendar Monday either.

"I'm not sure what we're going to do," she said. "My husband has his own business so he will probably just be working from home."

Weather permitting, some of the gals agreed a day out to say the Kinsol Trestle wouldn't be so bad.

"My six-year-old daughter just learned how to go down the slide at the pool and so that's probably where we'll be," said Whales' coordinator Amy Kuta of checking out the Cowichan Aquatic Centre.

Family Day was announced as a statutory holiday by the B.C. government last year as an attempt to celebrate families and fill the extended stats gap between New Year's Day and Easter.

In a callout to folks on Facebook of any fun plans set for Monday, one user said "Did I just read right, Family Day is a stat this year?"

Some moms at Whales Tales admitted it had kind of slipped their minds, too.

Not everyone is sleeping however. A few events have been scheduled, including free family skates at the Kerry Park and Cowichan Lake arenas.

But Cowichan's biggest contender for the most ambitious Family Day celebration seems to be Dwight International School.

In partnership with the Shawnigan Lake Business Association, school staff have created a cool event they're calling “Passport to Shawnigan."

From now until Monday, Shawnigan folks can pick up passports at the Village Chippery, Shawnigan Lake Museum or the Style Centre Barbershop.

They're then set off on a scavenger hunt-style mission to snap photos of their families at different set destinations around the community.

Proof of photos can be displayed Monday at Dwight School starting at 11 a.m. where the celebration, including the painting of a family/community mural will take place, explained organizer Christine Bater.

Families pay $1 per member towards a hot dog lunch, snow cone and the activities taking place Monday.

The winner of the passport contest will receive dough to be spent at participating Shawnigan businesses.

"It's going to be a lot of fun seeing all the families out together and coming together on Monday," said Bater.

For more information on Dwight's event, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/427706673965827/

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