Sands Funeral Home staff members Adrienne Lait, Ginette Aubin and Troy Evans are proudly wearing pink in support of Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 26. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Sands Funeral Home staff members Adrienne Lait, Ginette Aubin and Troy Evans are proudly wearing pink in support of Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 26. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Business notes: Duncan’s Sands Funeral Chapel in the pink for Pink Shirt Day

Staff at Sands Funeral Chapel are wearing pink to demonstrate how important the anti-bullying day is

With Pink Shirt Day taking place on Feb. 26, one Duncan business is making its support for the annual event obvious.

Staff at Sands Funeral Chapel are wearing pink to demonstrate how important the anti-bullying day is for the company. Managing director Troy Evans says Pink Shirt Day meshes well with Sands’ core values.

“Sands Funeral Home always has been involved in the community and adding awareness to special causes,” Evans explains.

“We believe everyone is equal whether it’s with regard to race, religion or colour. Equality for all.”

Sands’ core values include: compassion, integrity, trust, teamwork and excellence.

With more than 50 years in the Cowichan Valley, Sands is proud to be a good neighbour, Evans points out.

“We believe life is a story and we tell it well,” he says, adding the commitment to Pink Shirt Day and what it stands for “comes from the bottom of my heart.”

This year, Pink Shirt Day, or Anti-Bullying Day, is on Wednesday, Feb. 26. It is a day when people come together by wearing pink shirts to school or work to show they are against bullying.

The focus for 2020 is “lift each other up.”

Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 in Nova Scotia when Grade 12 students David Shepherd, Travis Price and a few friends saw that a Grade 9 student was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.

They knew they had to do something to show that this kind of behaviour was not OK. They decided to go out and buy a bunch of pink shirts and hand them out to other students to wear.

By the end of that week, most of the students in the school were wearing pink shirts to show support for the Grade 9 student who was bullied.

Bullying occurs when someone deliberately tries to hurt someone else they think is weaker than they are. In many cases, bullying is repeated over and over and can cause a lot of pain that lasts a long time. It can even lead to things like depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Bullying not only occurs in schools and on the playground, it can also be prevalent in the workplace.

For that reason, many Cowichan Valley businesses participate in Pink Shirt Day and the colour pink will be everywhere on Feb. 26.

Bullying happens in many ways, but some common forms of bullying are verbal which can show up in the form of teasing or name-calling, physical, such as hitting, kicking, pushing, breaking someone’s toys or favourite things, or social by leaving someone out or spreading rumours.

Cyberbullying is using social media or other technology like texting to threaten, embarrass or even damage a person’s reputation.

• • •

This week is Chamber Week in British Columbia and the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is joining 135 Chambers across the province to support the success of local business and boost economic development opportunities in our respective communities.

“Our Chamber plays a critical role in supporting the vitality of businesses in Cowichan,” suggests Chamber Executive Director Sonja Nagel.

“Whether that means serving as a platform to promote local businesses, being a loyal advocate when it comes to issues that impact our members, or stepping in at the right moment with tailored resources, our Chamber has been supporting business in Cowichan for 113 years.

“We are the voice of business in Cowichan.”

Nagel says while Chambers may have a reputation for being rather mysterious business clubs with hidden agendas, that image is evolving.

“Chambers have been perceived as being a bit close-doored, but the opposite is really the case,” Nagel says.

“While the Chamber’s mandate is to support and advocate for its 580-plus members, we also support the wider community by hosting over 50 networking and professional development events annually, most of which are open to the general public to attend.

“You have a friend in us. We are Cowichan’s biggest cheerleader,” Nagel says, noting the Chamber plays a key role in promoting the Valley’s businesses, services and recreational activities through the operation of the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre.

If you would like to be part of Cowichan’s largest, member-driven, business networking and advocacy organization, contact the Chamber to discuss how to engage with the business community or how to be represented in the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre. The number is 250-748-1111 or email

• • •

When nominations closed for the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Black Tie Awards, even the organizers were amazed.

A flourish of submissions in the final two days brought the total number of nominations to a staggering 217, far surpassing the Chamber’s previous record of 155 nominations in the 2018 award year.

This year’s Black Tie Awards feature nine award categories for Volunteer of the Year, Non-Profit Organization, Art In Business, Green Business, Young Entrepreneur and Customer Service, as well as three Business Achievement categories. Businesses, organizations and individuals across the entire Cowichan region, including both Chamber members and non-members, were eligible.

Check out this issue of the Citizen for the complete list of nominees.

The Black Tie Awards were founded in 1996 on the Customer Service Award and, as in previous years, this category remains the most popular representing 29 per cent of the total nominations for 2020.

“Customer Service has always been the backbone of the Black Tie Awards,” says Chamber President, Julie Scurr.

The Black Tie Awards celebration will be held at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on the evening of Friday, April 17. Tickets for the event will go on sale at the CPAC box office in March.

Cowichan Valley Citizen