A print of E. J. Hughes’ painting, ‘An Arbutus Tree at Crofton Beach’ is one of the two prints now decorating kiosks at Crofton Beach Park, thanks to the Municipality of North Cowichan, the E. J. Hughes Foundation, and Excellent Frameworks. (North Cowichan photo)

Lexi Bainas Column: Messy Desk Concert, early bird tix for ‘Mamma Mia!’ and more

I’ve a really eclectic mix for readers this week

The Islands Folk Festival is moving indoors with a Messy Desk Concert on Saturday, Sept. 21.

OK, I’m game. What is it? Here’s how they tell it:

“We’re trying something new, and taking a nod from NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, with a special very limited seating performance right in the Folk Guild Office (third floor at Providence Farm) that we are naming The Messy Desk series.

“Kicking it off will be Kurt Loewen (from Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra) with a solo performance. We will be recording and filming the show, and having a great time! Loewen is a songwriter and multi instrumentalist currently residing in Calgary. He has spent much of his career in music writing, performing and traveling with The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra. His debut solo record, Heavy & Low, is a collection of songs about relationships; love, change, and moving on: a candid and frank offering speaking to the challenges and beauty in the connections we hold close.”

Check him out at https://kurtloewen.bandcamp.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/wildcrazymothers/

Admission is by donation ($15 suggested) and you can reserve your seat by emailing artisticdirector@cowichanfolkguild.ca and pay at the door.

Doors open at 7, with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.

***

The Municipality of North Cowichan is taking the words “art walk” to heart, it seems.

Last week they proudly displayed on their Facebook page that, “in collaboration with the Crofton community, the E.J. Hughes Foundation, and Excellent Frameworks, we have installed two E.J. Hughes prints as ‘wraps’ on the kiosks at Crofton Beach Park. One the large kiosk is ‘An Arbutus Tree at Crofton Beach’ and on the small kiosk is ‘Acrylic #26.”

When you’re out walking, check them out.

***

Brenda Isaak Takao and Claudia Lohman have sent this note wafting south from Ladysmith: “Several central island artists and the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery are excited to present Vivid, an art show not to be missed, running Sept. 21 to 29 at the gallery.

“This show represents the coming together of a new mix of artists,” said Takao, of Blue Seed Studio, and one of the artists. “We have a blend of glass artists, painters, mixed media and metal artists, as well as jewelers.”

The title of the show gives one a hint of the visual candy that will be on display at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery.

Current president of the Nanaimo Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Claudia Lohman’s paintings have a whimsical style featuring bold lineation and tincture with subtle shapes and symbolism that she calls ‘Imaginative Geometric Abstract’. Katherine Moore of Strange Bird Studio creates sketches from her photography of animals, plants and landscapes to develop her designs. She then transfers the image to glass to create curious and eclectic fused glass art, dishes and ornaments.

Ted Jolda’s glass art is internationally sought after, and he has been called the nation’s preeminent ornament maker. Diane Brinton has built a wide-ranging expertise with glass and precious metal clay (PMC). In her home studio she creates glass art pieces using mosaics, PMC, fused glass, flame sculpted glass and blown glass.

Majie Lavergne is an award winning French abstract painter, and Brenda Isaak Takao creates sensuous flowers and seed pods out of metal as well as striking mixed media paintings featuring the natural world.

The show runs from Sept. 21 to the 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and all are invited to come to the opening reception, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.

***

By now we all know that the “mystery” musical that the Cowichan Cowichan Musical Society couldn’t announce as its next winter blockbuster is going to be Mamma Mia!, but did you know there is an early bird ticket special going on right now?

Neither did I.

Ricki-Lee Allison passed along the message: “Early bird ticket special for Mamma Mia! is $28 for selected seats until the end of September. Tickets will then go up to $42 and cast members will have vouchers for $32. EyeGo tickets will be available for students.”

Go to cowichanpac.ca and order your seats now.

***

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to do your thing at the Duncan Showroom’s Open Mic Night? Well, now you can take a look. You never know, somebody like Tonya might show up and join the fun.

***

The Kinette Club of Lake Cowichan is hosting a Comedy Hypnotist Show featuring Roxy Madison.

Get the gang together for a fun night out on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Lake Cowichan’s Centennial Hall (by the Sports Arena at the west end of town if you’re not a regular visitor to the Lake).

Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8:15 p.m.

This is a 19+ event. Tickets are $25 each. This event is a fundraiser for the hard-working Kinettes, and is something a little different from your paint night or burger and beer outing.

According to Stacey Gough Berry’s Facebook post, she has tickets, so message her to see about getting some for your party.

***

For all my South Cowichan readers, Paul Belanger is back.

And he’s back with kids’ theatre. His new Shawnigan Kids’ Theatre Troupe is presenting Peter Pan under his direction Dec. 5-8 at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre.

Auditions were held last week but if you are interested and couldn’t make that call out, phone the centre at 250-743-1433 to see if there’s any way you can help out or fill an un-cast part.

“I’ve been touring as a children’s theatre director around the world and I’ve just come back and decided to stay in Shawnigan Lake.”

He’s produced Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Goof, Boof, Doof and the Beanstalk (in which Bill Levity was The Singing Tree).

“We’ve decided to start a children’s theatre company here in Shawnigan Lake. We’re going to be working with kids up at the community centre and we’ll produce Peter Pan, the original one we re-wrote about 10 years ago.”

There are many roles in this performer and audience favourite so look for lots of folks you know onstage this December.

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Director Paul Belanger talks about his upcoming kids show, Peter Pan, which hits the stage in Shawnigan Lake Dec. 5-8. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

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