Maureen Washington sings with the Duncan and Victoria Freedom Gospel choirs on Feb. 16. (Submitted)

LEXI BAINAS COLUMN: VIDEO: This week we feature the joy of creativity in many forms

From singing to filming, from artwork to artisanship: it’s Cowichan to a T

Katie Daniel, vice president at the Imagine That! art co-op on Craig Street has slipped me a note about their displays for February.

“Our feature artist in our display windows is Todd McAneeley: Mirrors and More. Todd is a wood artist that refuses to see beautiful wood turn into ashes. His wood sculptures capture nature in a positive and beautiful way. They are his way of showing his passion for wildlife and nature in general.

“He creates one of a kind sculptures and mirrors from wood offcuts. Instead of the wood offcuts being burnt and polluting the planet, they come to life as polar bears, otters, and humpback whales. Along with the wood sculptures, Todd creates live edge mirrors that are formed by nature. The live edge is natural, the little cracks, bark pockets, bug holes are also the real thing. His mirrors are as organic as they can get,” Daniel says.

***

The Duncan and Victoria Freedom Gospel choirs join once again in performing Songs of Joy, along with renowned guest vocalist Maureen Washington, on Saturday, Feb. 16 starting at 2 p.m.

Directed by Ann Antonides with piano accompaniment by Tanya Gillespie, the performances will feature songs composed specially for the combined choir, which includes nearly 90 talented voices.

Cara McCandless will also provide accompaniment on bass guitar and Sheri Clayton on the drums.

Antonides says, “Joy isn’t like happiness which is based upon happenings or whether things are going well or not. No, Joy remains even amidst the suffering.

“The choirs and Maureen will bring to life the stories of triumph in amongst anguish by singing a wide range of spirituals, Gospel, African and Jazz including the well-known song ‘Joyful, Joyful’ from the movie Sister Act. Maureen also will be singing several solo pieces in her rich, captivating tones.”

The audience is in for a real treat with a show set to accommodate the numbers expected to attend. The Christian Reformed Church on Trunk Road is particularly accessible, too, so bring the entire family.

Tickets are $20 each. Children under 12 are admitted free. Get your tickets from choir members, from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at 531 Herbert St. in Duncan, or at Ten Old Books in Duncan, or at the door.

For more information visit www.freedomgospelchoir.ca

***

Dance fans, take note: Adagé Studio’s Winter Highlights recital is coming up soon.

This always-fun February event offers the students a great chance to warm up for festival season and you, the crowd at large, a good reason to get out of the house and see how some of the Valley’s young performers are coming along.

The show is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15 starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $24 for adults, $18 for students, and $15 for children. Get them at https://www.cowichanpac.ca/event/winter-highlights?fbclid=IwAR3xOHJ1XyrKoufJG_mIPWIsl8fqevqVw5GKq0IcF3pqtj_Y5gX4JbWY4c0

***

Doreen Green has slipped me a note to say that members of the Chemainus Art Group have a great show of their paintings now on display at The Fish Bowl Cafe on Cairnsmore Street in Duncan.

“The show will continue until the end of April with a changeover of paintings at the end of February,” she says. So, if you check it out now, you can see both displays.

***

Studentworks, an exhibition by the Youth Outreach students of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, opens in the Arbutus Gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre on Monday, Feb. 11 starting at 5 p.m. The show itself runs from Feb. 9 to Feb. 22, open Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.

Why not pop down there and take a look at some of the fabulous art work?

***

With so much going on in the Valley, we don’t usually have room for much A&E from Nanaimo but The Islands Short Fiction Contest is a bit different.

Now in its 14th year, the contest is open to writers of all ages on Vancouver Island. More than $2,200 in cash and prizes will be awarded over three categories: Adult (writers 19 and over), Youth (writers 13 to 18), and Junior (writers 12 and under).

Thanks to a boost in funding, the top prize, given to the first-place winner of the Adult category, is now $700. Increased amounts will go to the adult second-and third-place finalists as well.

“We’re delighted to support the Islands Short Fiction Contest,” says Kathy Page, chair of the VIU Department of Creative Writing and Journalism. “The contest is a great motivator and a wonderful opportunity for writers — it’s just a fantastic way to both stimulate and celebrate local talent.”

The entry deadline is March 29 (noon). Entry forms are available at https://isfc.ca and https://nanaimoartscouncil.ca. A $20 fee is charged per adult entry. There is no fee for the youth and junior categories.

Winners will be announced at a presentation in Nanaimo in April.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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