Wachiay studio opening

Check out one of the Comox Valley's newest businesses, a social enterprise operated by the Wachiay Friendship Centre in expanded premises.

Check out one of the Valley’s newest businesses, a social enterprise operated by the Wachiay Friendship Centre in its expanded premises at 1625 McPhee.

A 5,000 square foot expansion of the centre includes a high-end screen printing operation in the back of the old Goat FM. What is interesting is this print studio is in the old Comox Valley Free Press building. Where one of the Island’s largest and oldest printers used to be, a new printing operation has been created.

Featuring textile, graphic and industrial screen presses, the studio will be offering exploratory classes aimed at elementary school children, youth and adult workshops, and advanced training opportunities for First Nations youth interested in art, printing and other aspects of graphic trades. It will also produce limited edition art prints for regional and international artists.

Managing director Andy MacDougall, a Royston resident known internationally for his work in screen printing, is excited about the opportunity the new studio brings to Valley and to the youth.

“Screen printing is an amazing technology,” said MacDougall, elected to the international Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technology. “Most people know it as the process used in the making of T-shirts, art prints and posters, but it is also one of the most advanced manufacturing processes in use today, in a sector called functional print. Products include cell phones, solar cells, RFID tags, membrane switches for most consumer electronics, beverage containers, most of the graphic surfaces and interfaces of cars, the inside cabin skins of jetliners, even the new diabetes testers. Estimates put the value of goods produced worldwide that use screen printing in their manufacture at $nine trillion annually. If we ever expect to get back in the manufacturing game in North America, trained screen printers along with others who can operate automated equipment are key. Besides, it’s fun to create — the school kids who come through and get to print their own shirt are getting a taste of making their own things — a novel concept in the day of the chain retail outlet.”

With an array of manual and semi-automatic equipment, including the first UV drying line on Vancouver Island, Wachiay Studio is looking forward to becoming one of the premier screen print centres in Canada and the U.S.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tom Lennox finds peace when he runs in the Cumberland Forest. He hasn’t missed a day in nearly a year. Photo supplied
Cumberland runner nears 366 consecutive days on the trails

Cumberland resident Tom Lennox has been running a minimum of five kilometres… Continue reading

Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Photo submitted
Courtenay brewery takes silver medal at Canadian Brewing Awards

“It’s huge - they are the biggest awards in Canada that you can get (in the brewing industry).”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board is concerned about having to fund more than just hospitals like the one in the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona board worried over funding more than hospitals

Island Health points to seniors care to reduce demand at acute care sites

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Courtenay area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

40 Knots Winery recently completed a major project on their vineyard terrace by installing 360-degree glass panels for year-round use.
Comox winery aims for year-round experience with glass-surrounded terrace

40 Knots Winery recently completed a major project on their vineyard terrace

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

First We Eat: Food Security North of 60 is featured at the Feb. 5-13 World Community Film Festival. Photo supplied
First We Eat celebrates resourcefulness of Yukoners

First We Eat: Food Security North of 60 celebrates the ingenuity, resourcefulness… Continue reading

Most Read