The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is presenting a show on now at the Cowichan Community Centre featuring art by Ukrainian children. This piece is by Sofiya, nine years old. (Submitted)

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is presenting a show on now at the Cowichan Community Centre featuring art by Ukrainian children. This piece is by Sofiya, nine years old. (Submitted)

A&E column: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is back; Ukrainian children’s art on display in Duncan

The latest in Cowichan arts and entertainment

It’s back, by popular demand!

If you missed the first run of the Cowichan Musical Society’s blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, now is your chance to catch up on this stunning stage show at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in Duncan.

The cast and crew are back on the big stage for a second run from April 22 to 24.

The show’s first run in February was a triumphant return to the stage for the group after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the Broadway musical version of the Disney classic, filled with songs, stunning costumes, and an enduring tale of the power of love.

Jamieson Wickham is the Beast, and Alora Killam is Belle, with both performers giving outstanding renditions of the well-loved characters.

Don’t miss it!

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We’ve all seen the terrible images coming out of Ukraine, as Russia continues its war of aggression.

In answer, the Cowichan Valley Arts Council is giving voice to Ukraine’s children with a very special art show.

“The violent images from Ukraine on the TV news are deeply troubling,” says the press release for the show. “The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is presenting images of the conflict from another point of view in a display of Ukrainian children’s art this month.”

Beyond the News: Ukrainian Children’s Art, will feature more than 20 prints of drawings and colourful paintings from children ranging in age from five to 15 years old who attend the Children’s School of Folk Art in Lviv, Ukraine. The show will run from April 9 to 16 in the studio at CVAC in Duncan at the Cowichan Community Centre.

“The goal is to raise funds for Ukraine in the best way we know: through art,” said Susan Down, managing director at CVAC. “Art is an effective way to touch people’s hearts so we reached out to a Ukrainian artists group in Canada which connected us with the school in Ukraine.”

Donations will be collected at the show, with funds going to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. Already, after hearing about the show, an anonymous donor has agreed to double the first $300 donations.

The images are powerful, from fighter planes and exploding buildings to dreams of peace, and the young artists’ statements are equally evocative.

“For me war is a constant sound of sirens, fear of losing home, falling asleep and never waking up. But I believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in our victory,” wrote 11-year-old Solomiya.

Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m.

Donations can be made in person (credit card, cash or cheque) or by e-transfer to contact@cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca. Just put “Ukraine” in the subject line.

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Attention authors: the Islands Short Fiction Contest is taking submissions until April 30.

Put on by the Nanaimo Arts Council, the contest is for writers of all ages and experience levels.

Winners will share $2,200 in cash and prizes in three categories: junior (under 12), youth (13-18), and adult (19 and above).

There is no entry fee for children and youth.

Winning submissions, with the author’s permission, will be published on the Islands Short Fiction Contest website (isfc.ca), where you can also find contest rules and submission procedures. The awards ceremony will be held May 28.

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The Beast (Jamieson Wickham, centre) is taken aback by Belle’s (Alora Killam, right) refusal to have dinner with him as Cogsworth (James Meyer) and Madame de la Grande Bouche (Christine Fagan) look on nervously in the Cowichan Musical Society’s production of Beauty and the Beast. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The Beast (Jamieson Wickham, centre) is taken aback by Belle’s (Alora Killam, right) refusal to have dinner with him as Cogsworth (James Meyer) and Madame de la Grande Bouche (Christine Fagan) look on nervously in the Cowichan Musical Society’s production of Beauty and the Beast. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)