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A&E column: Concerto Competition, ‘Shrek’ rehearsals, Riot entertainment

It’s back! I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately, as things come out of hibernation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nathan Jacklin is the new conductor of the Cowichan Consort Orchestra. The Consort is holding their Concerto Competition once again this year. (Photo submitted by Cowichan Consort Orchestra)

It’s back! I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately, as things come out of hibernation after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this case, it’s the Cowichan Consort’s Concerto Competition, which took a break for two years.

The contest is open to any young musician 26 years old and younger who is living and studying on Vancouver Island on any instrument, including voice.

Applications must be in by Oct. 27, with the competition happening on Nov. 5.

The winner will perform with the Cowichan Consort Orchestra at the March 11, 2023 concert Featuring Our Youth, and will also get a bursary to help with their studies. Many winners have gone on to successful music careers, a press release notes.

Applications and more information, along with a list of previous winners can be found at the Consort’s website

The Consort’s new resident conductor Nathan Jacklin will show his chops at the group’s first concert of the season on Oct. 22.


This just in, rehearsals for blockbuster musical Shrek have started!

The Cowichan Musical Society, fresh off of a successful run of Beauty and the Beast, have now gone green for their next show, which will hit the stage in February, 2023.

“We have a full roster of cast members for the show, however, we could definitely still use some strong male voices,” the Society said prior to the first rehearsal. To check out if the opportunity is still open, or to volunteer to help with building sets and sewing costumes or other backstage work, contact Irwin Killam at or call 250-710-0010.


Riot Brewing in Chemainus has a bunch of entertainment coming up.

On Sept. 23 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. it’s live music with Bullwinkle. Everyone is invited to come and dance to what is described at “yacht rock”.

“Our favourite duo masterfully deliver classic after classic, giving you that peaceful easy feeling,” says a press release.

Then on Sept. 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. it’s live music again, this time with Woodstick.

“Amazing duo Woodstick are back to rock the lounge and your mind! These talented musicians will blow you away with their technical prowess and fun interpretations of folk and rock classics. A night of good tunes and good times,” says the release.

And finally, kick off October on Oct. 1 with Lawson Kelly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“High energy local boys, Lawson Kelly will bring their signature mashup of alt-country, rock, and folk back to Riot Brewery! With soulful originals and thumping covers, they’ll have your toes tapping and your mind reeling, and vice versa,” says the release.


Abdul Ali, co-founder of Funny Side Up Productions from Vancouver is hosting a standup comedy night at CVI Lounge in Duncan on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.

Ali “gives his audience a dive into his upbringing being Middle Eastern and Filipino Canadian. His unique storytelling and charisma have made him a fun time wherever he goes,” says a press release for the show.

The headliner is James Boyle, originally hailing from Whitehorse, Yukon. He’s performed at the Yukon Comedy Festival and been featured on the Just For Laughs Originals North album, and now performs throughout Victoria.

The show also features Jeremiah Ukponrefe, a Vancouver based author and comedian.

“As a comedian, his style is a mixture of clever observations with a subversive darkness — all performed under a veil of innocence,” says the press release. He’s performed at numerous fringe festivals and is co-founder of Funny Side Up Productions.

Go to eventbrite to get them (

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

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