Noah Marston won the Juror’s Award for the ‘In My Head’ youth art show on now at the CVAC gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre. (Photo courtesy of CVAC)

Noah Marston won the Juror’s Award for the ‘In My Head’ youth art show on now at the CVAC gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre. (Photo courtesy of CVAC)

A&E column: Youth art awards handed out in Duncan and new faces in key posts

The latest in Cowichan arts and entertainment

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council handed out awards to outstanding young artists at the opening event for the annual youth art show on March 2.

The show, titled In My Head, features the work of more than 75 Cowichan Valley students, according to a press release. The theme is mental health — dreams, imagination and more.

Works include sculpture, photography, painting and drawing.

Jurors Cam Russell and Rory MacDonald enjoyed the range of works presented.

“Local students impressed us with their creative abilities ranging from the classic techniques to digital art,” said Russell. “We are proud to celebrate these young artists and to acknowledge the support of teachers and parents as well.”

“Outstanding” awards went to Eva Elliott, 16, from Duncan Christian School; Maria Jose Febres Duque, 16, of St. John’s Academy; and Rory Polack, 13, of Chemainus Secondary School.

The Juror’s Award went to two students, 17-year-old Noah Marston and 17-year-old Aina Hori, both from Queen Margaret’s School.

Awards of Excellence went to Cayman Atkins, 17; Elsa Bollinger, 16; Catalina Liang, 19; Veda McShane, 17; and Elise Mulder, 17.

The show and sale runs at the CVAC gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre until April 1. Admission is free.


There are a couple of new faces taking up positions at the helm of the Cowichan Valley arts scene.

First up, Elizabeth Croft begins her new role as the managing director of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council on March 20.

She will take up the mantle of managing the group’s two art galleries and an array of programs and collaborative art initiatives, according to a press release.

“With her strong communications and management skills, Elizabeth will be a real asset to CVAC,” said President Janet Magdanz. “The CVAC board and members will all look forward to exploring new opportunities together.”

Croft has previously served as the membership manager for the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, director of grant management for the Cowichan Intercultural Sociey, and has been a self-employed video producer, publisher and communications consultant. She is also on the school board.

She replaces Susan Down, who is retiring.


In the second changing of the guard in Cowichan this week the Cowichan Valley Regional District announced their new Arts and Culture manager.

Replacing Kirsten Schrader in the role is Patrick LeBlanc, who was the acting manager and theatre facilitator. He has worked with the Arts and Culture division since 2018.

A press release says LeBlanc boasts more than 30 years of experience in the performing arts sector. He has plans to create new relationships with local artists and groups and collaborate with them on new programs.

“What I find most exciting is the abundance of opportunity to grow the arts here in the Cowichan region,” LeBlanc says. “We are at a point now, as a department, that we can begin widening our focus to develop and strengthen the greater arts programs in the area.”


Singer/songwriter Hawksley Workman is headed to the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton on Saturday, April 8.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

You must be 19-plus to attend; please bring two pieces of ID.

Tickets are $39.50 plus service charge in advance, and $45 at the door. Get them at


Riot Brewing has a bunch of entertainment on the schedule.

This Saturday, March 11 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. it’s Trivia with Coop & Math – The Office edition. So break out that sitcom knowledge.

On Wednesday, March 15 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Thirsty Barbershop is back, where folks can get a haircut courtesy of Vancouver Island Barber Co. and the beer of your choice for $25. Proceeds go to Hope And Health. Reserve your appointment at 250-324-7468.

Then on Friday, March 17, from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Grinning Barretts hit the stage for St. Patrick’s Day.

The group is described as “bagpipe strangling, vocal cord mangling Vancouver Island Celtic punk rock.”

Reserve at table at 250-324-7468.

And on Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m. The Wharf Rats Live are back for a free show.

“Come get your socks rocked as Jeff and Levi (from Lawson Kelly) perform an eclectic catalogue of jams from outlaw country, bluegrass, and Celtic music, with some surprise bangers thrown in for good measure,” says a press release. Reserve at 250-324-7468.

Arts and cultureArts and Entertainment

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