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A&E column: Olympian offers memoir; Lawson art show

What’s coming up in arts and entertainment in Cowichan
The Kindness Tree Art Studio recently held a fundraiser for a school in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Donna Draper)

Cowichan Bay resident Lyle Gatley has just completed his memoir detailing his experience of going from novice rower to an Olympian with training on Shawnigan Lake from 1967-68.

The Rudderless Pair: An Olympic Journey is the finished product.

It’s an astonishing story. According to the book jacket, Gatley got into the sport of rowing because his friend dared him to survive two months of training, betting the 6 foot 5 inch novice could become an Olympic contender if he tried. Apparently not one to back down, Gatley joined the University of British Columbia’s rowing program.

His rise was meteoric alongside his pairs partner Jack Ulinder, who had even less experience than he did. The two eared a spot at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games.

“Emphasizing the value of hard work, hope and resolve in the face of unlikely odds, his story is sure to inspire athletes with Olympic aspirations — and anyone else who harbours dreams that feel beyond their reach.”

The book is published by FriesenPress.


The lobby at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre theatre is hosting a new art exhibit by well-known Cowichan Valley painter Jennifer Lawson.

From Dec. 1 to 30 don’t miss ‘Spring Awakening in Winter: A retrospective of 35 years painting the Cowichan Valley’.

“This large collection of my work is a retrospective of my 35 years here painting the Cowichan Valley. A plein air painter, I have often been seen painting on location — and have been lucky enough to meet many wonderful people on the job! This show will feature pieces from several series: houses and gardens, florals, farm animals and interesting buildings. My painitngs radiate warmth and sunshine: this show is like a breath of spring in winter,” said Lawson.

The gallery is free to view and open one hour prior to show times at the theatre. Arrange a private viewing by emailing


In keeping with their holiday tradition, Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan will feature seasonal displays in the windows from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31.

“For 29 years, Imagine That! has been part of Vancouver Island’s holiday traditions, promoting the value of locally-made hand-crafted gifts,” said Katie Daniel of the gallery. “During the holiday season, we showcase work by a selection of artists in our street-level display windows. You will appreciate the fine craftsmanship, the wide variety of genres, the simple beauty.”


Comedy is coming back to Cowichan on Dec. 10 with the Big Beast Stand-up Comedy show at the Riverside Inn in Lake Cowichan.

“In the continuing effort to rebuild the post COVID comedy infrastructure John Beuhler’s Big Beast Comedy Tour is back on Vancouver Island with a hell of a show,” say promoters. “Damonde Tschritter is our headliner and a jewel in the Canadian comedy crown. He’s the consummate raconteur and the only Canadian to win the Seattle International Comedy Competition.

“He is backed up by Chris Gaskin. A tempest in a teapot, Chris proves that hilarious things come in small packages. After seeing him you’ll burn your passport and join the Gaskination.”

Go to for tickets


A note from Donna Draper at the Kindness Tree Art Studio says they recently held a very successful fundraiser.

On Saturday, Nov. 19 they raised $1,000 to go towards a school bus for Victory school in Suswa, Kenya.

The display windows at Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan will feature local artists with holiday fare for December. (Photo courtesy of Imagine That!)

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

I returned to B.C. and found myself at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.
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