Kat Kadoski is back with her unique show, ‘Cougar Annie Tales’. History up close and personal. (Submitted)

Lexi Bainas column: Cougar Annie, curry and a beer: this week’s eclectic mix

Singer/songwriters, fun, and a unique play make for an exciting few weeks on the Valley’s A&E scene

The A&E gossip is just pouring in and I expect it will continue until the end of June when most of our local performers have wound up their seasons. The pubs are chiming in as well, which adds spice to the mix.

First up is a note about Toronto-based indie songstress, Emma Cook, who is coming to the Duncan Showroom on April 22 at 8 p.m. She’s touring her fourth album, Living Proof, which includes the emotional ‘I Will Stay’.

“Living Proof explores what it means to be human, and particularly how we deal with loss, both of the selves we thought we knew and of those we love,” she says in her message. “This album was born out of a very challenging time in my life, after a bad head injury left me in a dark place, not knowing if or when I would recover.”

Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $18 at the door or $15 in advance.

***

Happy April everyone! says Megan Calwell from Riot Brewing. Her list of pub events is out and it’s a gooder. Here’s a sampling:• Saturday, April 7 at 8 p.m. is the Celtic-inspired punk rock house band The Grinning Barretts, with opener David Bitoni

• Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., is Glenn and Jetta’s Talent Tuesday Showcase. Featuring Le Petit Musique, Jonathan Churcher, Glenn and Jetta and special guests.

• Wednesday, April 18, 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 is a Curry and Beer Fundraiser for Harvest House. Tickets are $20 for a plate of curry and a beer and can be purchased at the brewery, Island Savings and 49th Parallel in Chemainus. There will be a silent auction, raffles, a meat draw and more with all proceeds going to Harvest House.

• Thursday, April 19, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Beer and Cut with Victory Barbers. Minimum donation of $25 gets you a haircut and a beer. All proceeds go to Cowichan Women Against Violence. Call the brewery at 250-324-7468 to reserve your spot.

• Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. the Deaf Aids bring Beatlemania to the brewery!

• And watch out, Saturday, April 28 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Riot is hosting a beer garden at the Brass Knuckle Derby Dames roller derby Spring Flinger at Fuller Lake Arena.

***

I’ve heard a holler from the holler that Cougar Annie Tales is back at the Duncan Showroom on Sunday, April 8.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and showtime is 8 p.m. for this unique presentation.

Tickets are $18 in advance. Call 250-748-7246 or https://showroomproductions.ca/buy-tickets

Or you can pay $20 at the door. But plan to go.

Performer Katrina (Kat) Kadoski has a hit here, which has won a Best New Play award as well as Best of the Fringe.

The tale is intriguing to say the least.

In the early 1900s the legendary west coast settler Cougar Annie was anything but a typical woman. She trapped animals, homesteaded a rainforest bog, opened a remote post office, and outlived four husbands.

California-born Ada Annie Jordan settled in the Clayoquot coastal rainforest in 1915 with her first husband and three young children. A five-acre garden that she carved out of the wilderness provided food and income throughout her long life. The bounty on cougars supplemented her income and she earned her nickname of Cougar Annie by shooting more than 70 of the animals. Annie gave birth to eight more children in this remote location, and in fact rarely left the property until old age and blindness forced her removal to Port Alberni, where she died at the age of 97.

Kadoski, a singer/songwriter, lived in Clayoquot Sound for three years caretaking Cougar Annie’s garden and immersing herself in the folklore surrounding the legendary pioneer-settler.

Drawing upon many sources, including Annie’s family, Cougar Annie Tales uses dramatic narrative, images, letters, and original compositions to celebrate the unconventional life of one of B.C.’s most colourful characters.

***

Rien Vesseur, long a friend of this column, has passed along the news that Ron Ingram and Sweet Island Soul will perform a JJ Cale tribute in the Mercury Theatre, on Saturday, April 7.

“This is going to be very danceable music that promises a really good time,” he says.

Tickets are $20 at Ten Old Books and at the door.

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