The recently reconstituted Rivernotes Choir is getting right back into the swing with a performance Dec. 18, 2022, at the Youbou Indoor Market. (Photo courtesy of Judith Quinlan)

A&E column: Cowichan Camerata, Cowichan Secondary, Brentwood, Rivernotes all plan performances

The Star Wars Trivia and a film about Saltspring, too

The Cowichan Camerata String Orchestra is back with two concerts this holiday season.

Inviting music lovers to “warm up” this winter, the Camerata, which has been putting on performances since 2008, has shows planned for Dec. 10 and 11.

On the program is Benjamin Britten’s ‘Simple Symphony’, Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusick’, and the ‘Christmas Concerto’ by Archangelo Corelli, together with some other pieces and carols to celebrate the festive season. Special guest, harpist Lesley Hartford, will join the orchestra for the concert.

During the intermission, concert goers have the chance to hear musical director Chris Redsell and accordian player Elisabeth Jahren perform some duets.

Redsell recently arranged a tour for the orchestra to Mayne and Saturna islands for the first time. Redsell lives on Mayne, and he and Jahren frequently perform on both Mayne and Saturna islands and are well-known there.

“It was a thrill to play to play to such appreciative audiences,” said Barb Mohan, a violist with the Camerata. “Two full houses and a standing ovation. I’d love us to come back in the spring.”

But before they head back across the water, there’s a show Dec. 10 at St. Peter’s Quamichan (5800 Church Rd., Duncan) and Dec. 11 at Oceanside Community Church (381 North Davis Rd., Ladysmith). Both concerts begin at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 (under 18 free) and available from orchestra members, as well as at the door. For more information, email


Two Cowichan Valley schools have concerts coming up on Friday, Dec. 9.

Cowichan Secondary Concert Band takes the stage at Quamichan Middle School at 6 p.m.

Admission is by donation and gift baskets and baked goods will be available for purchase to raise funds towards a future band trip.

“All ages are welcome; it will feature some really great performances by young musicians!” said John Lofto, music teacher at Cowichan Secondary.

Brentwood College’s Concert for A Winter’s Eve will take place at the T. Gil Bunch Centre for the Performing Arts at Brentwood starting at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and proceeds will be donated to the local food bank.

Book online at or purchase at the door.


Last week we let you know that Lake Cowichan’s Rivernotes Choir is back.

A note this week says they are still looking for an accompanist, but are going to be diving in immediately and doing a small show anyway on Dec. 18 at the Youbou Indoor Market.

Background tracks will fill in for an accompanist for four tracks about peace on earth, with a fifth song will see guitarist Amanda Nixon back up the choir.

“After the Rivernotes performance there will be treats shared as the market welcomes Santa Claus,” said the choir’s Judith Quinlan.

The market opens at 10 a.m with the Rivernotes set to perform at 11:30 a.m.


Trivia is on the menu at Riot Brewing on Saturday, Dec. 17.

From 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. all you Star Wars fans are invited to dust off your knowledge for a special Star Wars Edition of Trivia with Coop and Math.

It’s pre-Disney era only, so get ready for some classic questions.

Call Riot to book your reservation; entry is $10 per team.


The National Film Board of Canada has dusted off a classic, too, and is now offering a free online stream of Mort Ransen’s film ‘Ah… the Money, the Money, the Money’ – The Battle for Saltspring.

The film was uploaded last Friday, Dec. 2.

“I watched it over the weekend — it’s lovely and feels as if it could have been shot yesterday — it fits right into the current debate about old growth forest logging,” said Katja De Bock, a publicist with the NFB.

Here’s the summary of the film: “First launched in 2001, the film follows a group of islanders who oppose a logging company that has purchased one of the largest expanses of undeveloped wilderness in the Southern Gulf Islands. The award-winning director Mort Ransen turns his camera on his own community to document a lively and provocative debate. On one side — the developers, who defend their right to do what they want on private land. On the other — Saltspring residents, who blockade roads, chain themselves to logging trucks and lobby government to protect their island.”

Stream it on the NFB platform at, or check it out on their YouTube channel:

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