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Arts and entertainment column: From the beauty of nature to the beauty of art

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment scene

The Cowichan Valley Naturalists are featuring two speakers at their evening presentation this month on March 16 at 7 p.m.

Both speakers will address the beauty of the natural Vancouver Island environment in different ways. First up is photographer Catherine Babault who will take the audience on a photo journey, followed by Jacquelyn Cantwell who deals with the messy reality of the human encroachment on nature by doing beach clean-ups.

“The natural beauty of Vancouver Island can be enjoyed and appreciated in many ways,” reads a press release for the event. “For some of us this could be hiking or biking on one of the many trails, sitting by the ocean or on a riverbank, or viewing nature in your own backyard. Others may enjoy capturing images through the lens of a camera, or participating in local initiatives to restore and maintain the natural environment.”

Catherine Babault, is an award-winning photographer from Courtenay, who specializes in Vancouver Island’s nature and wildlife

“Catherine will be sharing images of elusive wildlife, stunning landscapes and unique ecosystems from her recently published book Vancouver Island Wildlife, A Photo Journey,” the press release says.

“In a world saturated with images, I aim to distinguish my artwork by creating unique and compelling photographs,” Babault said. “I seek to show the beauty of our planet and raise awareness about our collective responsibility for its protection.”

Jacquelyn Cantwell is the Beach Cleanup coordinator for Surfrider Vancouver Island. She will speak about her passion for improving the nearshore area of southern Vancouver Island.

“Cantwell, who is from the Victoria area, became interested in environmental activism at a young age and has been an active member of Surfrider since 2017,” the press release says. “She works with a diverse group of volunteers to coordinate regular beach clean-ups and assist with community initiatives to reduce waste. The protection and enjoyment of Vancouver Island waves and beaches through beach cleanup, waste analysis and data collection action has been one of Surfrider Vancouver Island’s guiding principle’s since the chapter’s inception 15 years ago.”

You do not have to be a member of the CVNS to attend the presentations. Email for the zoom link.


The Cowichan Valley Arts Council has a busy schedule planned for March, with courses and exhibits available at their Portals Gallery in the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan.

A five-day course in stop motion animation runs from March 15 to 19. It is appropriate for all ages and will be taught by professional animator Tracy Lewis.

On March 9 the Maple Bay Painters took over the gallery where they will host their annual show until April 7. The show includes more than 100 artworks.

In the Annex gallery also at the Cowichan Community Centre a Val Konig Retrospective 1964-2017 runs from March 10 to 24. It is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday noon to 4 p.m.

Finally, on March 29, registration opens for Awake: Youth Art Show for those 13 and over. Register at

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

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