Patricia Vollman-Stock has published a book of poetry that is available for purchase at Volume One Books in Duncan. (Submitted)

Patricia Vollman-Stock has published a book of poetry that is available for purchase at Volume One Books in Duncan. (Submitted)

A&E column: From nature to poetry to puppets, there’s plenty afoot

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

The Cowichan Valley Naturalists are back with another great program next Monday morning with the intriguing title of “Rain Gardens For Salmon”.

Here’s how they describe the presentation: “Huh? What do gardens have to do with salmon? And what’s a rain garden anyway? Don’t all coastal gardens in the Pacific Northwest get lots of rain?

“Deborah Jones, Rain Gardens coordinator for the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, will address these questions and more,” the press release reads. “The Cougar Creek Streamkeepers is an informal group of volunteers dedicated to restoring and maintaining the health of Cougar Creek, a salmon stream that rises in Surrey, flows through North Delta and empties into the Fraser River. Learn exactly what rain gardens are, the many benefits they provide, and why they are important for healthy creeks and salmon, as well as for climate resilience.”

The presentation takes place on April 12 at 9:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. Email cvns@naturecowichan.net for the Zoom link.

Don’t worry, this presentation won’t be all theory and no practice. Jones has a BA in Urban Studies, a Masters of Library Science, and worked for Vancouver Public Library for more than 30 years. In 2004, she and her husband Ib Nielsen started getting their hands dirty on conservation and restoration projects with the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, after noticing illegal tree-cutting on the banks of the most productive salmon stream in their community of North Delta. They put their gardening skills to work on a restoration planting project along the damaged streambank. That project in turn led to a first rain garden project, then another, and another.

Jones now oversees the maintenance of 29 school and community rain gardens created since 2006 in collaboration with the City of Delta, Delta School District, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Nature Trust of BC and others.

•••

If you’re looking for something to read and you’re a poetry fan, Duncan’s own Patricia Vollmann-Stock has a new book for you.

Titled Raindrops, the book of poetry is described as a personal, about nature and connecting with the creator.

“These poems are for those rainy days when it feels like nothing is going your way,” says a media release for the book. “Connect with the author and embody the fact that you are not alone.”

Vollmann-Stock grew up in Maple Ridge in the 1970s and moved to Vancouver Island in 2006.

Raindrops is available at Volume One Bookstore in downtown Duncan.

•••

Awake: Youth Arts Showcase is ready for its opening celebration on April 10.

The show, which features works from youth 13 and over, runs at the Portals Gallery in Duncan from April 10 to 24. Works CVAC has included spoken word, music and performing arts as well as visual art online and in the gallery for the show. Sponsors the Daybreak Rotary Club and the family of Dale Nigel Goble, have donated prizes.

•••

Ever wanted to know how to make those huge puppets used in parades?

Cowichan Valley Arts Council is offering the chance to find out on April 19 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. during an online demonstration of how to build simple, large-format puppets. Cost for the session is $20. For more information, check out https://cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca/event/parade-puppets/

•••

And finally, a reminder that submissions are open for the Salt Spring National Art Prize until May 31.

Ten prizes worth a total of $41,000 are up for grabs, not to mention bragging rights. For more information on how to submit your work for the jury, check out saltspringartprize.ca

Arts and Entertainment

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The McCloskey-Hydro Rain Garden, located in a sunny Hydro corridor and receiving about 2.5 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from the roof of nearby McCloskey Elementary School. (Deborah Jones photo)

The McCloskey-Hydro Rain Garden, located in a sunny Hydro corridor and receiving about 2.5 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from the roof of nearby McCloskey Elementary School. (Deborah Jones photo)

A portion of North Delta Secondary School Rain Garden, which receives about 1.7 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from a school parking lot. (Deborah Jones photo)

A portion of North Delta Secondary School Rain Garden, which receives about 1.7 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from a school parking lot. (Deborah Jones photo)

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