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A&E column: News about theatre, music, art and books this week

The latest in arts and entertainment in the Cowichan Valley

The Cowichan Musical Society has good news for live theatre fans.

They announced last week that their production of Beauty and the Beast is a go to hit the stage in January.

Tickets are on sale now at the Cowichan Ticket Centre.


Also back are Cowichan Folk Guild Coffee Houses.

The next one is on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Duncan United Church. It will feature Cara McCandless, who is described in a press release as a prolific singer/songwriter based in the Cowichan Valley.

“She has an arsenal of material that combines indie/folk, blues, rock and country tunes that describe her reflections on love and life,” says the release. “Cara started out with an ear for music. When she got her first guitar it was a life changing moment that became a passion and a journey of self discovery culminating in her writing over 160 songs. Cara creates truthful lyrics with masterful technique and precision craftsmanship. She has made a respected name for herself amongst her peers within a talented pool of musicians and she is building momentum. Cara has a unique voice. She will captivate you with her live performance, touching you with her songs about her experiences.”

Entry is $5 for folk guild members and $10 for non-members, at the door.

Masks and a vaccination passport are required to get in.


A local artist has her works on display in downtown Duncan.

Doreen Green, who specializes in graphite drawings, has a display of works that depict past Remembrance Day services in Duncan in the window of the Station Street Gallery at 1 139 Station St.

Head downtown to enjoy!


For more from Cowichan’s art world, check out the Cowichan Artisans’ Fall Tour, taking place Nov. 6 and 7.

There will be 11 artists taking part in the tour, with studios open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Provincial health guidelines will be followed.

The tour is self-led. Go to to get a map of the participating studios.


An art show on now until Nov. 12 at the Portals Gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan is all about wood.

Todd McAneeley is the featured artist, with his show titled “Wildlife”.

A press release for the show describes him as someone who “likes to use off-cuts — scrap wood that is destined for the burn pile — to create his art. A self-taught wood carver, he creates one-of-a-kind coffee tables and wall art that come from his deep love of nature and his decades of experience working with wood.”

His job for Live Edge Design makes perfect sense in this context.

“My medium is the same wood that too many people chop up and turn into ashes,” said McAneeley in the release. “I love the aroma, and the feel of the wood. I refuse to copy someone’s work. It has to be one of a kind. I get great satisfaction from that.”

He hasn’t always been able to pursue his passion. Earlier in his life he suffered from a seizure disorder that didn’t allow him to safely work with the necessary tools, but following a brain surgery, woodwork was opened up to him.

The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from noon until 4 p.m.


Also at Portals Gallery in Duncan, you can enjoy some jazz with your art on Nov. 3 and Nov. 10.

John Robertson and Geoff Johnson will be playing “music to view art by” in the gallery from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Donations are welcome.


The 2021 edition of the Garden House Foundations annual charity book sale was a big success last month.

The sale raised $14,315, which will go into the foundation’s permanent fund. The fund is used to provide annual grants to the Duncan SPCA, Cowichan Family Life Association and Cowichan Women Against Violence.

Hundreds of people attended the sale, held at George Bonner School in Mill Bay. The 500th visitor was Debbie Stenner, who received a round of applause and a free book.


Speaking of books, in our last edition we ran an excerpt from Joy Sheldon’s book Cowichan Kid: Hijinks at Stratfords Crossing near Duncan in the Fifties that told a Halloween story about the Scary Apple Witch.

For those who enjoyed that story, Sheldon has also published a number of books including Whoopee, I’m A GRG (Grandparent Raising Grandchildren), a humor anthology; Santa and Bumble, the Bumbling Elf -Hijinks at the North Pole at Christmas, a fantasy for young readers; and The Story of Roger Hardfoot - An 1891 Wilderness Adventure, a juvenile historical adventure.

You can find her books on Amazon, at Volume I in Duncan and Salamander Books in Ladysmith.


The Duncan United Church is hosting a book launch on Friday, Nov. 12 at noon.

Author Yves Engler, described in a press release as a Canadian author, activist and independent journalist who focuses on Canadian foreign policy, will launch his new book Stand On Guard for Whom? A People’s History of the Canadian Military at the church’s Heritage Hall at 246 Ingram St.

Masks will be required to attend.

The launch is sponsored by the Social Justice Team of the Duncan United Church.

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

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