A&E column: Winners, music festivals and art: what more can you ask for?

Caidence Burns leads off the 2022 Cowichan Music Festival Highlights Concert on Sunday, March 6. She recently won accolades from the 2022 Provincial Festival as well. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Caidence Burns leads off the 2022 Cowichan Music Festival Highlights Concert on Sunday, March 6. She recently won accolades from the 2022 Provincial Festival as well. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Sam Mellemstrand won accolades at the 2022 Provincial Festival of Performing Arts. (Submitted by Irwin Killam)Sam Mellemstrand won accolades at the 2022 Provincial Festival of Performing Arts. (Submitted by Irwin Killam)
Garden’s Finest, by Jennifer Lawson. Lawson’s work is on display through July at Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan. (Jennifer Lawson painting)Garden’s Finest, by Jennifer Lawson. Lawson’s work is on display through July at Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan. (Jennifer Lawson painting)
A rag rug by Katie Daniel. Daniel’s work is on display through July at Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan. (Katie Daniel textiles)A rag rug by Katie Daniel. Daniel’s work is on display through July at Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan. (Katie Daniel textiles)

Two performers from the Cowichan Music Festival who went on to the provincial festival have brought back a number of honours.

The 2022 B.C. Provincial Festival of Performing Arts was held from June 5 to 9 as a virtual performance festival. The Cowichan Music Festival entered 11 Cowichan Valley students in Classical Voice, Vocal Variety, Dance, and Musical Theatre categories.

Caidence Burns took top spot in Junior Musical Theatre, and will represent the province at the Canada West Performing Arts Festival in July in Saskatoon.

Sam Mellamstrand won the Intermediate Vocal Variety category and was an honourable mention in the Intermediate Musical Theatre category. He was also offered the chance to perform in Saskatoon, but is unable to attend.

“The executive of the Cowichan Music Festival and all our Cowichan Valley teachers send our congratulations to all our participants for their wonderful performances and adjudications,” said a press release.

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Laketown Shakedown is ready to hit the big stage at Laketown Ranch this weekend from June 30 to July 2.

Featuring Wu-Tang Clan, Arkells, The Glorious Sons, Sugar Ray, Lights, Everlast and many more it promises lots of fun on the Canada Day long weekend.

Tickets are still available at https://www.laketownshakedown.com

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Speaking of music festivals, the Cowichan Folk Guild announced last week that Cowichan’s own Tzinquaw Dancers have been lined up to open this summer’s Islands Folk Festival in the Cowichan Valley.

The welcoming ceremony takes place just before 10 a.m, on Saturday, July 23 at Providence Farm, the festival’s venue.

“The Tzinquaw dancers are well known on Vancouver Island and beyond for their exuberant performances of their traditional stories and songs,” says a press release from the Guild. “The performance will start with a paddle welcome song and ceremony to usher attendees onto the festival site. According to elder Chris Alphonse the performances are ‘a cultural exchange of how we treat and how we greet each other.’

COVID has also been challenging for the dance group, the release says.

“We are really excited to be getting out in the community to perform our songs and stories together again.”

Dancers range in age from youngsters to elders but all have the same passion for sharing their culture through performance, the release says.

“Hopefully our performance will set the tone for a day of sharing and caring for each other,” said Alphonse.

The Islands Folk Festival will be one full day of live music for 2022.

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There are No Limits to an upcoming art show at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council gallery in the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan.

From July 11 to 23 enjoy works by adults with special needs from two local resource centres in a show appropriately called No Limits.

“We want to show that creativity has no limits,” said Sheila Coogan, adult program coordinator at Clements Centre, which provides a range of services for children and adults with developmental disabilities in a press release for the show.

Coogan has two programs: All Fired Up pottery building sessions and Open Heart Art painting and sketching workshops, and many of the pieces produced are exceptional.

Over at Cowichan Independent Living, a resource centre for special needs adults with cognitive and physical challenges, Jean Schofield said her daughter in her 30s thrives in the art classes.

“I am blown away by the level of artistry,” said Schofield, executive director of Cowichan Independent Living. “None of the students is afraid to try something new. There is a willingness to learn and participate that is amazing.”

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

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The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is hosting what they have dubbed a “local artists garage sale” from July 4 through 9.

“Local artists are clearing out their studios and the result is art bargains for one week only,” says a press release for the event, which takes place at the CVAC gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan.

There will be 18 artists participating, displaying works from paintings to sketches. A table of bargain frames is also available. Everything will be priced “well under $200”.

Check it out during gallery hours.

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The Cowichan Public Art Gallery is looking for people to join their board of directors.

“Diverse board members with a love of art and experience in law, finance, and more are required as the ambitious project gains momentum,” says a press release.

The organization plans to build a world-class art gallery in Duncan, and are in the critical fundraising and planning stages.

There are currently seven board members, and they are looking for three more. They are hoping a new member will be right for the position of board secretary and are hoping for someone with experience in a not-for-profit society.

To apply to be a board member, contact Jock Hildebrand, CPAG president, at 250-215-2823 or email president@cowichangallery.ca.

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As July begins Jennifer Lawson and Katie Daniel take over the windows at Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan.

The first display consists of watercolours by Lawson, who has been a plein air painter for more than 40 years. She paints in watercolour on pure rag paper.

“The ephemeral beauty of this medium is intensified by her refreshing impressionism and delightful imagery,” says a press release. “For her, the thrill of painting in watercolour is all about the beauty of translating feelings with brushstrokes of colour.”

The other window features “Home Comfort” by Daniel.

“When she was seven, two events influenced Katie’s creative development,” says a press release. “Santa brought her a tiny hand-crank sewing machine, and a kindly neighbour taught her to crochet.”

More than 60 years later, Daniel creates colourful and durable crocheted rag rugs made of cloth strips. She also makes baskets, placemats, trivets, aprons, even snuggly beds for pets.

Check it out until July 29.

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The Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA) has moved its summer program to Shawnigan Lake School in 2022.

Running from July 29 to Aug. 12, there will be more than 35 workshops across a wide array of art disciplines, says a press release.

“After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, we’re very excited to offer art students a rich and diverse program of instruction for 2022. We’re looking forward to bringing students and instructors together to experience some renowned MISSA Magic,” said Daniel Casey, MISSA board chair.

Among the 35 workshops there are two-day and five-day options. All courses combine instruction and practice across art disciplines including ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, surface design, bookmaking, writing and textiles.

Weekend courses are between $300 and $400 and week-long options are between $700 and $800.

To register and for specific prices and course descriptions, go to https://missa.ca/workshops/

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