Kim June Johnson is playing the Folk Guild Coffeehouse on Saturday, Nov. 10. (Submitted)

Lexi Bainas Column: An extraordinary mix of things around the Valley this week

We’ve got music, drama, and celebration, so let it all loose

Craft shows — Christmas or otherwise — are starting to proliferate now that November’s here.

Why not get out and take a look? Make a point of buying at least some locally-made items for your holiday gifts. I know from years of attending these shows that there is something for everyone out there, and priced right, too.

From fabulous paintings and museum-quality sculptures to hand-crafted jewelry, sweaters, baby clothes, Christmas ornaments, special foodstuffs of all kinds, knitted tuques, furniture, toys…you get the idea.

So, hit the trail and see what your neighbours have been up to all year.

***

A group of Judy Hogg’s Celtic Rhythm Dancers attended the invitation-only North American Sadie Simpson Highland Scholarships competition in Banff. Put on by the British Association of Teachers of Dancing, this 17th annual Highland Weekend is accommodated at the famous Banff Springs Hotel.

According to the BATD website, https://batd.co.uk/scholarships/?v=3e8d115eb4b3 “this prestigious event draws hundreds of students all vying for the title of BATD Scholarship Winner and Dancer of the Year.”

Congratulations dancers.

***

James Gordon is live in the Chapel at Providence Farm on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Barely North Entertainment is presenting this well-known songwriter in a special show starting at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7, and as this is an intimate venue, it’s a good idea to get there early.

Tickets are $20 each and will be available at Duncan Music, Providence Farm Store, and online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/james-gordon-live-in-the-chapel-tickets-51181363837

In his 40-year career as a solo singer/songwriter and with the trio, Tamarack, James Gordon has released 40 albums and toured around the world. He has penned over 1,500 songs like ‘Frobisher Bay’, ‘Mining for Gold’, and ‘Looking for Livingstone’, some of which have become hits with soloists and international choirs.

For Arthur Black fans, Gordon was heard for more than 10 years as songwriter in residence for the CBC Radio program Basic Black.

***

On Saturday evening, Nov. 10, why not take your friends to the monthly coffeehouse at the Duncan United Church?

Doors for the Cowichan Folk Guild (CFG) event open at 7 p.m., and there’s an open stage at 7:30 p.m. with featured artist, Kim June Johnson to follow.

Get your tickets at the door for $10 or $5 for CFG members. Kids 12 and under are free. See, I told you that it was an inexpensive night out. And it’s always a good one, too.

Singer/songwriter and poet Johnson hails from Hornby Island. Her live shows combine song, storytelling and poetry and are often performed in living rooms and small halls, where she is widely known.

Written with a maturity and wisdom that calls to mind the classic works of Carole King and kd Lang, her songs are universal and timeless yet unmistakably her own.

Johnson has been recognized by the USA Songwriting Competition and the International Songwriting Competition for several of her compositions, and has shared the stage with Chic Gamine, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, Daniel Lapp, Shari Ulrich, The Marc Atkinson Trio and Little Miss Higgins.

Her third album, Canvas & Clay (2014) was nominated for two Vancouver Island Music Awards, including Album of the Year and that year she won Vocalist of the Year.

***

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m., the Oasis Church at 3540 Auchinachie Rd. in Duncan is presenting the free show: Solitary Refinement.

This presentation offers “an immersive experience” about the persecution of Christians around the world and is for ages 13-and-up only.

Voice of the Martyrs Canada is bringing this new stage play to Duncan. The production was four years in the making. “The play is affirming and informing, but also challenging,” states VOMC’s CEO Doug McKenzie. “It poses a powerful question in the here and now. Would we be willing to suffer for Christ, as others are doing in so many countries today?”

***

Another unique evening is Ingnite: an Enrapture event at the Hub at Cowichan Station on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 7 p.m. till midnight.

According to the note I received, “Enrapture Events is a collective of musicians, dancers, and artists. We host monthly conscious dance events to inspire you to get your groove on and celebrate life through music and movement. We invite you to come and ignite your senses with an evening of music for the heart. With our beautifully decorated room and incredible line up of DJ’s and musicians this all-ages events is medicine for the whole family and community.”

No drugs or alcohol are allowed, so be warned.

First up are Ali & Chris, then DJ Rowan & Chris, then Khan, and finally, from 11:15 to midnight, it’s Chris Bertin. There will also be a dance performance by Rebecca McKay.

Tickets are $20 with $1 of every ticket going to Cowichan Women Against Violence, but no one is turned away for lack of funds; you can volunteer to set up, clean up or work the door in exchange. Anyone aged 16 and under is admitted free.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Please bring a refillable water bottle.

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