The Cittaslow, or slow city movement was born 20 years ago in Italy and this year marks ten since Cowichan Bay joined the international community. Currently there are 252 Cittaslow communities worldwide, (4 in Canada) and our very own Cowichan Bay holds the distinction of being the first Canadian city designated!
Cittaslow communities are unique in many ways but they all share certain common values. Protecting the environment, preserving local history and traditions, supporting arts and craftsmanship, and especially the production and consumption of local food and wine are all fundamental Cittaslow values. These communities desire uniqueness, and quality over quantity in their public spaces, restaurants and shops.

Even if you are not officially a Cow-Bay resident, I’d guess that the spirit of Cittaslow exists in many Voice readers. Our micro-communities and ‘towns’ here in the Cowichan Valley are full of people with slow city values. Many of us choose to live here because we desire access to nature, and we care about protecting it. Many of us are craftsman, gardeners and do-it-yourselfers. We grow food and we make stuff and we play outside. We slow down at local markets and farm stands and wineries because we care about eating local and we want to support our neighbors. We are proud of the history and traditions and incredible unique identity of where we live.

Does this sound like you? Do you brake for egg stands, get a weekly CSA box or even grow your own food? Do you swear by your favorite local winery or bakery? Do you pro-actively support local small businesses and artisans? Do you think that living in a community of like-minded people who share these common values could improve your quality of life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have the Cittaslow spirit inside of you!
Dorothea Siegler is a local member who is proud to embody slow city values in her daily life. She made a wonderful video to showcase her Cittaslow lifestyle and we invite you all to watch it. You can find it online on our Facebook page at:

Cittaslow is really about community and we would love to stay connected with the people who make up ours. Follow our Facebook and Instagram accounts, both @cittaslowcowichan to stay updated on our news and events. Want to share with us? Try using #cittaslowcowichan to share and show off your Cittaslow lifestyles and values. Share what you ate, drank, grew, built or made locally. Show off your environmentalism. Brag about your favorite sustainable business, winery or farm. Show off something you slowed down to enjoy about Cowichan today.

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