Laketown Ranch is now offering more high quality events than ever, bringing big crowds to the Valley. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Lexi Bainas column: There’s a lot to be thankful for in Cowichan’s entertainment world this year

With an ever increasing number of festivals, Laketown Ranch has a winning hand

At this time of giving thanks I would like to draw attention to a woman who works tirelessly behind the scenes for us.

Joy Ann Bannerman has toiled for many years, organizing and scheduling the Young Musicians of the Week, and then getting that information to us in a handy, easy-to-use format.

Through illness, vacation, rain, heavy rehearsal schedules, sleet, the music festival season, teaching, snow, and more, Joy Ann has persevered. She’s been a rock we could count on from week to week, month to month, and year to year.

So, Joy Ann, a heartfelt thank-you to you and your colleagues at the Cowichan Music Teachers Association for keeping us up to date with the Valley’s young musical talent.

•••

While I’m at it, I’d also like to thank all the folks, both paid and unpaid, who make an effort to get me timely information about upcoming shows.

This, too, is not always an easy job, and to keep doing it, year after year, calls for dedication, especially from busy volunteers.

You’re the heartbeat of our entertainment community, and I’m more grateful than I can say for your remembering me as you sprint from one task to another.

•••

According to Michelle Vogelgesang, the Chemainus Theatre is showcasing a Kids Art Show in the upper level, called “Art with Lotta”.

The artists range in ages from four to 18 and are all local children from the Cowichan Valley and have used several media to prepare the work in this show. The art will be on display in the upper lobby until Dec 30. Some of the art is even for sale.

There will also be an artist reception/meet and greet on Dec. 28 from 1-2 p.m. in the upper lobby and the public is invited.

Michelle says: “The theatre wants to continue to support all ages of artists.”

•••

If you’ve missed Christmas and still need to give a gift to someone, why not visit your local library?

They’ve been offering a special holiday card with a library card inside it, all for free.

Your giftee can then enjoy books, videos, access to computers, and lots more, saving money and enjoying meeting new people at the same time.

•••

It’s been a great year, entertainment-wise, as we would have said years ago.

The Cowichan Valley is such a hotbed of talent, both in arts and entertainment, that every time I look around, there’s a new venue, or a new group has been formed, or another bunch of artists and artisans are getting together to show their superb work.

But, from my own standpoint, the biggest entertainment story of the year is the ever-growing menu of tasty events being offered at Laketown Ranch in Lake Cowichan.

From a standing start, with Sunfest’s huge popularity to build on, the team at the Ranch is continually adding to its hand.

In 2018, we saw Laketown Rock move to Canada Day, and, following a significant reworking of The Flats Stage area, a trio of Laketown Shakedown festivals was added to the schedule.

Now, we find that the Sooke Bluegrass Festival has renamed itself the Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival and is preparing to take up residence in The Flats as well.

As for Sunfest itself, if 2018 is anything to go by, the usually quiet opening night on Thursday will be booming from now on following the huge success of the back-to-back appearances of Valley favourites, Aaron Pritchett and George Canyon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

37-year-old man missing from Cobble Hill area

He is described as a First Nations man, 5 foot 8 in height

Five new handyDART buses serving Cowichan

Buses to replace older vehicles being removed from the fleet

Starvation claims Great Blue Heron in Crofton

No other contributing factors found in death during a necropsy

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Most Read