We appreciate the special role that the Symphony Society plays in presenting world-class symphonic music to the Cowichan Valley. This is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and donors. We encourage you to patronize our sponsors, and if possible, to make a donation to the Society. Tax receipts are given for all donations, which are greatly appreciated.

We look forward to an exciting and joyous season of magnificent music performed by our talented musicians. Please join us for the concerts and consider a donation to the all-volunteer Cowichan Symphony Society.

The mission of The Cowichan Symphony Society is to advance musical enjoyment and education by providing opportunities through the presentation of concerts designed to advance, encourage and promote Canadian performers and composers, while concurrently providing assistance to student musicians and composers through local competitions and scholarships.

The geographic area served includes all of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) on Vancouver Island, which stretches from the Malahat (just north of Victoria) to the town of Ladysmith (just south of Nanaimo), with the town of Duncan being the location of most concerts.


The first regular concert of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra began in Duncan during the autumn of 1955. The idea was first broached in 1955 when Jack Barraclough, President of the Victoria Symphony Society, decided to approach several service clubs in the Duncan area to assess interest in sponsoring a symphony season.

The clubs he approached were not interested, however. Then fate intervened. Jack mentioned his idea to a close family friend, Peggy Boiston, who happened to be a member of the Duncan Business and Professional Women’s Club. With typical zeal and energy, Peggy took up the challenge, convinced her club to sponsor a season, and went to work to organize it.

So it was that by September, the high school gymnasium and the Victoria Symphony was booked, and the Women’s Club had begun a series of concerts that has continued to this day.

Peggy, a teacher at the high school, secured the co-operation of the school staff and students to prepare the gym for each concert.

For twelve years, the Duncan Business and Professional Women’s Club shouldered full responsibility for the concerts, but finally they became too burdensome, so in 1967, the duties were handed over to the newly-formed Cowichan Symphony Committee, which later became what we know today: the Cowichan Symphony Society.

Peggy Boiston