The inimitable Bob Norris, seen here in a scene from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Duncan in 2016, turned 90 last week. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

Lexi Bainas column: From Bobfest to the RCMP Musical Ride

“Thou are invited”

My inbox and Facebook messages are spilling over again this week.

First up, I couldn’t make the event myself but last weekend, friends held ‘Bobfest, Bob Norris Turns Ninety’.

What? One of our favourite all time actors is now 90? Golly gee.


Next is a reminder, from Candace Spilsbury, that the RCMP Musical Ride is coming to the Cowichan Exhibition on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m.

Yes, I know that’s a long way off but it’s also a great way to end the summer and take any horse-mad children for a great day out before they go back to school the following week.

And, remember, as the message tells us, it’s one show only. Limited tickets are available in advance through the Island Ticket Centre 2687 James St., 250-748-7529.

You read that? Limited tickets? So get on your horse and get down to the ticket centre.


While we’re talking August, Kimberley Phillips has fired a note attached to an arrow saying, “Thou are invited” to the Cowichan Valley Shakespeare Festival 2018 at the Gem ‘o’ the Isle. More to come on this soon, but to whet your appetite, I’ll share that this summer’s plays are The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Tempest.


Catch the J.J. Cale tribute at the Duncan Showroom on Saturday, June 30.

Yes, I know the 39 Days will have begun by then but there’s no reason you can’t wander down Station Street to the Garage for a 9 p.m. show.

It’s one worth seeing.

“The song ‘After Midnight’ jump-started J.J. Cale’s fame in 1970. Eric Clapton’s big hit song ‘Cocaine’ helped further cement his songwriting abilities. These were some of the 287 songs he published over the course of his lifetime that ended in 2013,” promotion says.

J.J. Cale was best known among musicians. One of his great admirers was the legendary Neil Young.

Cale is known for a laid back style of music and playing referred to as the “Tulsa Sound” which he largely created with a few other Oklahoma musicians like Leon Russell and Jim Keltner.

His music is a mix of blues, rockabilly, country and jazz rolled into a laid back style that is very enjoyable listening.

Ron Ingram will be singing the songs, and playing guitar, with John Robertson on bass, James McRae on drums, Peter Gooch on keyboards, Harry Williams on slide and sax fiddle, Ray Luxemburg, lead guitar, and Charlie Wade on congas.

As you can see, it’s some kind of show. Tickets are $15 at the door. Go gettem!


Finally, this week, anyone who knows me knows that I love calligraphy. I was trained in Italic handwriting by my school friend Linda Brown in Grade 7 and ever since then I have loved fancy handwriting of all kinds.

The 24th annual Graceful Envelope Contest, sponsored by the American National Association of Letter Carriers and Washington Calligraphers Guild, offered the artists the theme of “whatever the weather” to “summon a brainstorm to capture what’s outside the window — or outside the box — to design a winning envelope and address it artistically.

While many of the top entries came from all over the United States, as would be expected, there were also winners and honourable mentions from Kowloon, Hong Kong; Turin, Italy; Nurioopta, SA, Australia; Calgary, and Duncan.

Stop, you had me at Duncan!

One of our talented Valley Calligraphers, Betty Locke, earned an honourable mention in what is plainly a hard-fought competition.

Congratulations, Betty, on a well-deserved award, from someone who has admired your work for years.


RCMP Musical Ride is a real crowd pleaser but tickets are limited. Better think about them now. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

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