Slow Life in Cow Bay

03 Aug 2009

North America’s first Cittaslow (slow town) has been named on Vancouver Island, Canada. The small town of Cowichan Bay was accepted on July 25, joining an international network of towns across Italy, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

Cittaslow towns aim to improve the quality of life for residents, and celebrate and support local specialties and cultural diversity, while resisting the fast options of an increasingly homogenized world. In becoming a Cittaslow, the town signs an agreement to work towards goals that will improve the quality of life.

The Bay met six criteria in order to become a Cittaslow – environmental policy, infrastructure, quality of urban fabric, encouragement of local produce and products, hospitality and community, and “Cittaslow” awareness. ‘Lots of fundamentals of Cittaslow are already engrained in what Cow Bay does,’ explained Bruce Stewart, president of the Cowichan Bay Improvement Association. ‘People just like coming here because it’s not big box stores or homogenized like other towns, but not many people know Cowichan Bay’s here.’

‘The bay’s a funky little village and here it’s slow food as opposed to fast food’, said Lori Iannidinardo, the president of the Cittaslow Cowichan Society. She also explained that a large part of Cowichan Bay area is agricultural land and being a Cittaslow means preserving the rural lifestyle: ‘You want to celebrate that and hopefully developers will be thoughtful of what kind of community we are.’

The official ceremony and ribbon cutting will take place on September 18, with Cittaslow representatives traveling from Italy to commemorate the designation.

Source: BC Local News

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