The Therapeutic Farm Program provided by the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association (VIPCA) has served the Cowichan Valley community since 1979. This program takes place on picturesque Providence Farm – a working organic farm and regional landmark gifted to VIPCA by the Sisters of Saint Ann. Often referred to as a de facto “rural community centre” the impact of this vital program extends beyond program participants and volunteers to benefit the region (and beyond) as a hub of community action and inclusivity.
We provide a variety of innovative programs for individuals with mental health or developmental challenges. Programs include horticultural therapy, art, woodworking, nutrition, gardening and landscaping, and textiles, just to name a few. We believe that caring for the land together is healing and therapeutic. We are a place for those who have difficulty in the mainstream to grow and be a part of a community.
Visitors are encouraged to visit the Farm. Our General Store is open Tuesday through Sundays and visitors can pick up a free map at the Store and enjoy a self-guided tour. For a $5 donation you can stay for lunch Monday through Friday at 12:30 (only one sitting) in our dining room.
Come and pet Molly our donkey, have a coffee, wander the gardens and trails. Here you can take a deep breath and step out of the stressful world for a while and you’ll find the air is healthy; the work, worthy; the place, happy.
Trusting in Providence, and building upon the faith-centered heritage of our founding members, we are committed to serving needs and to fostering talents of people in the Cowichan Valley, especially of those not easily accepted elsewhere, through our therapeutic community at Providence Farm. Our focus shall be upon the renewal of body and spirit, and upon people caring for the soil, and the soil nurturing the people.
“Providence Farm exudes a sense of community reminiscent of an era when neighbours unconditionally helped one another. Everyday at Providence is a barn raising, crop harvesting good time. The Providence Farm Community is the friendliest, busiest and most rewarding place in the Cowichan Valley.” Dwight Milford, Volunteer
Thank you to the Sisters of St. Ann for sponsoring our Textile Program. This incredible support has enabled us to work with our participants to create some beautiful items and provide a very therapeutic environment. Participants have been able to create products for their families, for sale in our store and for raffles. We now have more space in our program for workshops and community volunteers. We are also excited about our 5 new Alpacas and we'll be shearing them for yarn soon.
Please check out our upcoming textile workshops as well. Click here. And thank you again to the Sisters for their support.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
For 37 years the Farm has been helping those with significant mental health disabilities create meaningful lives. We have more than 100 individuals who come to the farm every week to learn, experience, enjoy and be a part of our therapeutic community. This only happens through the immense good will of the people of the Cowichan Valley.
We need your help whether that's through donations or volunteering, sharing our stories on social media, visiting the farm and shopping in our store and or becoming a member. We're also looking for business partners, suppliers, outlets and customers for our farm products. It all helps to create more opportunities to engage more people who need our services.
Please consider a membership today and help change more lives in the valley. Memberships mean more than just the dues, they demonstrate a commitment on behalf of the community to our services and our mission, they connect us and are a source of ideas and inspiration. We want to build our membership to include more people in our already highly inclusive community. Membership has its benefits too! Store discounts, events discounts and you can share in our success in changing lives.