Sue Decker is headed to the Duncan Showroom in December with her full band. (Jack Adamson photo)

Sue Decker is headed to the Duncan Showroom in December with her full band. (Jack Adamson photo)

A&E column: Tons of music coming for the holiday season in Cowichan

What’s happening in Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment

The Cowichan Symphony Society is presenting a Christmas special with the Victoria Symphony at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre for the holiday season.

On Friday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. music lovers will be treated to Bach to Messiah.

Ivars Taurins from Tafelmusik will be the guest conductor and the concert will also feature soprano Hélène Brunet, alto Meg Bragle, tenor Aaron Sheehan and baritone Brett Polegato.

The programme will feature excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, and excerpts from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

Tickets are available from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre by calling 250-746-2722.

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Also coming up at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre is the Jon and Roy Holiday Special, which hits the stage on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Billed as a “festive tradition” the duo are back to host some of Canada’s most talented artists.

“One of the unique joys of the Holiday Special lies within its revue style roll out,” says a press release for the event.

This year’s lineup includes the multi-talented, folk-rock artist Kieran Campbell from Tofino, Salt Spring Island’s own Nicky Mackenzie, star of CTV’s The Launch, Vancouver’s indie-streaming giant Josh Hyslop and Calgary’s very own Chad VanGaalen, whose recent album is The World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener.

“Of course, it’s easy to fall for the effortless, amiable charm of Jon Middleton and Roy Vizer,” the release says. “Seasoned musicians and longtime friends, their brand of indie folk rock is a genre in itself; one that evokes winding stretches of road and the pull of the journey. With over 50 million streams worldwide, it’s clear many others have been captivated by Jon and Roy and the stories they tell.”

Sounds like a fun night. Tickets are $36 and are available at cowichanpac.ca, by calling 250-746-2722 or in person at the Ticket Centre at the Cowichan Community Centre on James Street in Duncan.

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Also coming up in Cowichan’s musical scene is the Sue Decker Band, who will take to the stage at the Duncan Showroom on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

“Victoria artist returns to the beloved Duncan Showroom fronting a full band,” reads the press release for the event, which is being dubbed “Community in the Face of COVID-19”.

That full band includes Decker on vocals, guitar, and lap steel guitar; Bruce Cobanli on bass; Denny Box on drums; and Gavin Hodgins on mandolin and guitar.

“The Sue Decker Band delivers a fresh blend of original roots and blues,” says the release. “The band infuses evocative and contemporary songwriting with the echoes of early blues, folk and jazz and the sheer joy of making music. Sue Decker’s soulful voice, earthy slide guitar playing, and ‘outlaw country’ songwriting sensibility make for a powerful combination. In 2019, Sue released her debut full length album Outskirts of Love to international acclaim.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For tickets and live streaming, go to showroomproductions.ca.

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And for something completely different, the Cowichan Valley Naturalists Society has a talk coming up on Dec. 6 at 9:30 a.m. titled “Not all plants are good: invasive species and the harm they cause”.

“Most people would guess that invasive species have an effect on the natural world, but did you know they are the second highest threat to biodiversity?” said Heidi Grant, who is giving the talk. “We are in a biodiversity crisis, making the management of invasive species all the more important. Invasive species have impacts on human safety, recreation, industries, economies and the beauty of the natural world. These many impacts are a strong reason to prevent and contain invasive species in our communities.”

To examine the impacts in greater depth and find out what citizens can do in the battle against invasive species the public is invited to attend the online talk by Grant, who is an environmental technician operations coordinator for the Coastal Invasive Species Committee.

“A particular emphasis will be placed on the effects to riparian zones and local industries. This talk is family friendly!” said Grant.

For the Zoom link, contact cvns@naturecowichan.net.

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