Piano teacher Sandra Darjes is looking forward to opening the Cowichan Valley Piano Studio in Duncan. (Submitted photo)

Piano teacher Sandra Darjes is looking forward to opening the Cowichan Valley Piano Studio in Duncan. (Submitted photo)

Business notes column: Piano teacher offers unique lessons

Business notes

Piano teacher Sandra Darjes is looking forward to establishing her Cowichan Valley Piano Studio in Duncan, when a site has finally been chosen.

Darjes, who has been teaching piano for more than 20 years from her home, will continue to instruct piano students in “Simply Music Piano” methods, in which students begin playing piano immediately by being immersed in the actual experience of playing before they even learn to read the music.

She said she has also recently taken training in “Simply Music Getaway” methods to teach piano to students with learning differences and special needs, specifically those on the autism spectrum, or with developmental delays, neurological dysfunction, and ADHD.

“I worked with people with physical and mental challenges in Saskatoon and I’ve been impressed with how well they respond to music,” she said.

“I’ll be teaching these methods, as well as continuing to reach my regular classes, in the new studio when a site is chosen.”

To attend a free introductory session and hear more about Simply Music contact Darjes at 250-597-2237.

Moving day coming in September for Yoga Centre

Duncan’s Valley Yoga Centre is moving locations.

Co-owner Erin Anderson said the centre will move from 1020 Islay St., where it has operated for nine years, to Berkey’s Corner as of Sept. 1.

She said yoga instructor Kim MacLean will be brought in as a new co-owner to replace Sandy Dillabaugh.

Anderson said Dillabaugh will continue to offer yoga classes at the new site.

“The new location will allow us more opportunities to bring in guest speakers and offer more thorough programs,” Anderson said.

“There will also be some retail space where we can sell T-shirts, caps and other products for the first time. We’ll be having a grand opening, perhaps on Sept. 16, to celebrate our new location.”

For more information, call 250-709-4633.

Ampersand Distilling Company is People’s Choice

Ampersand Distilling Company in the Cowichan Valley has recently received the Audience Favourite Award in both the gin and vodka categories at BC Distilled 2017, an annual B.C. spirits competition.

It’s the second year in a row the distillery took home top honours in the gin and vodka categories for its Ampersand Gin and Per Se Vodka at the annual festival.

Last year at BC Distilled 2016, both the distillery’s gin and vodka were also voted audience favourites out of more than 100 products sampled at the festival.

Ampersand Distilling is a family-owned and operated business that makes crafts spirits from organic B.C. wheat.

The distillery’s flagship product, Ampersand Gin, received a silver medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and was voted 2015 Local Beverage of the Year by EAT Magazine readers.

Though trained as engineers, father and son duo Stephen and Jeremy Schacht have used their knowledge of science and traditional distilling techniques to create the hand-crafted distillery.

Aboriginal students ready to start with education bursaries

Aboriginal students Jeanette Page and Lillian Harry are this year’s recipients of Duncan’s London Drugs’ annual Aboriginal Partnership Bursaries, which are worth $500 each.

The bursaries are awarded to local Aboriginal students attending post-secondary university and trades schools.

Page will start Vancouver Island University’s early childhood education program in September, while Harry will be attending Trinity Western University in September to start her Bachelor of Education degree.

“London Drugs is a family company and believes strongly in education of tomorrow’s leaders,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs’ executive vice president. “We see this as an opportunity to support Aboriginal youth in their ability to grow their skills and take their place in building a stronger community, province and country.”