Longevity John Falkner is hosting a toilet paper fundraiser at the Duncan Showroom on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. (Citizen file)

Longevity John Falkner is hosting a toilet paper fundraiser at the Duncan Showroom on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. (Citizen file)

A&E column: Gathering of Toilet Paper, plus funds for festivals come to Cowichan

What’s happening in Cowichan arts and entertainment

The Duncan Showroom is holding a telethon style fundraiser with an eye-catching name on Sunday, Dec. 19.

The Gathering of Toilet Paper for 2022 Benefit will start at 3 p.m., with the final act taking the stage at 9:30 p.m. In total, 14 performers and groups will take the stage for half an hour each.

So what’s it all about?

“We are at that time of year once again when we want to remind as many as possible that the simple commodity that we are so accustomed to, toilet paper, is not always that readily available to certain low income peoples,” said a press release for the event. “Imagine having to decide if it’s monies spent on toilet paper over food in a household with children. Situations such as this create much stress, something not needed by someone down on their luck, especially going into the new year where most of us look forward to a new and prosperous upcoming time of it.

“People can tune in online and donate financially, just like the days of Monte Hall’s momentous fundraising benefits.”

You can also take in the event live, with entry being a package of toilet paper. Money received will be used to bulk buy toilet paper, which will be delivered to the food bank for distribution in the beginning of the new year.

The event lineup is: 3 p.m. Jim Scales, 3:30 p.m. Matt Kinnunen, 4 p.m. Lindsay Elizabeth, 4:30 p.m. John Stewart, 5 p.m. Brian Gaucci, 5:30 p.m. Simon Sayz, 6 p.m. Amanda Nixon, 6:30 p.m. James Meyer, 7 p.m. Naomi Payan, 7:30 p.m. Malakai, 8 p.m. Hardware Girls, 8:30 p.m. Dennis Atkins, 9 p.m. Leenie Beenie and 9:30 p.m. Nightingale.

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The Province of B.C. announced $30 million in grants for arts, culture, sports and community events this week.

“We’re thrilled that people can once again safely enjoy their local fairs, festivals and events with their families and friends,” said Melanie Mark, minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport in a press release. “We heard overwhelmingly from event organizers that grants, not loans, were key to keeping their doors open to the public and workers employed. Our government answered their call to action, as we know the major impact these community gatherings have on our mental health and local businesses around them.”

Of the 141 organizations on Vancouver Island to get funding, more than 15 are fairs, festivals and events in the Cowichan Valley, totalling more than $650,000. Grant amounts for each event are up to 20 per cent of the total event budget, to a maximum of $250,000.

“Whether it’s bigger music festivals or smaller community fairs, the Cowichan Valley is full of arts and culture,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “These events bring tourists to our region and help strengthen our economy. I am excited to experience all that the Cowichan Valley has to offer in-person once again.”

Cowichan Valley recipients include the Craft Beer and Food Festival in Chemainus, the Cobble Hill Fair, Cowichan Valley Wine Run, the Cowichan Exhibition, Cowichan Sports and Recreation Fair, Garden City Electronic Music Society Showcase, Islands Folk Festival, One Track Mind running event at the Cowichan Sportsplex, One World Festival, Duncan-Cowichan Festival Society Rain Festival, Vancouver Island Métis Rendezvous, Artisle Festival Baroque Music Concerts, Arts on the Avenue, It Takes a Village…Winter Celebration, Ladysmith Days, Ladysmith Festival of Lights, Ladysmith Show and Shine, Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival, Laketown Shakedown, and Sunfest Country Music Festival.

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