A&E column: Live music and artwork on, Halloween Train cancelled

Stone Poets are headed to the Duncan Showroom on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Photo courtesy stonepoets.ca)Stone Poets are headed to the Duncan Showroom on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Photo courtesy stonepoets.ca)
The work of Laurel Hibbert will be featured in the window of Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan through October, 2021. (Laurel Hibbert painting)The work of Laurel Hibbert will be featured in the window of Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan through October, 2021. (Laurel Hibbert painting)
The work of Sue Coleman will be featured in the window of Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan through October, 2021. (Sue Coleman painting)The work of Sue Coleman will be featured in the window of Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan through October, 2021. (Sue Coleman painting)
The Tzinquaw Dancers perform at the Cowichan Lake Arts Council’s Arts & Nature Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (Cim McDonald photo)The Tzinquaw Dancers perform at the Cowichan Lake Arts Council’s Arts & Nature Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (Cim McDonald photo)

Ready for some live music?

Stone Poets are headed to the Duncan Showroom on Saturday, Oct. 9 for a show starting at 7:30 p.m.

Who are Stone Poets? Let’s take a look at the press release for the event: “Bringing together an extraordinary blend of poetic lyricism and emotionally powerful instrumentation, Vancouver, B.C.’s Stone Poets create exceptionally moving music that genuinely matters. Challenging hearts and minds across the globe to open-up and see the beauty in both the light and dark, together this remarkable three-piece band dives deep into meaningful material that reveals their bold authenticity.”

The group is made up of three musicians, Cherelle Jardine on vocals, guitar and mandolin; Marc Gladstone on vocals and keyboards; and Scott Jackson on vocals, guitar and percussion.

The band says they’ve been hit hard by the pandemic, as have many artists that depend on live performances, and are thrilled to have two Vancouver Island shows coming up.

“I think people are really needing to get out and listen to live music — of course in a safe way,” said Jardine in an email to the Citizen.

The show will have COVID-19 protocols in place. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Get them at https://www.showroomproductions.ca/buy-tickets

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The display windows of Imagine That! gallery in Duncan will feature paintings for the month of October.

Two well-known Cowichan Valley artists will have their works featured through Oct. 29.

First up is Laurel Hibbert with works she calls Lifting Spirits.

“I spent my childhood as the last of five children, in almost complete freedom and joy,” she said in a press release. “I believe these carefree days allowed me to develop an imagination that has carried me through life. My heart is tied forever to little houses, strong women and their daily tasks and the sheer vitality of children. I hope that my work can lift the spirits of those who see them.”

The second window will feature paintings and prints by Sue Coleman.

“Sue Coleman has earned international recognition for her distinctive watercolour paintings,” said a press release. “Sue maintains a studio in Cowichan Bay, painting a variety of subjects from misty west-coast scenes, wildlife, landscapes and more. Sue actively works to promote environmental awareness and wildlife conservation.”

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The Cowichan Lake Arts Council is already planning for next year’s Arts & Nature Celebration, after a successful outing on Sept. 4, 2021.

Publicist for the event Tracy Hamilton said that while the weather wasn’t ideal for the festival, which was a free family event sponsored by the Cowichan Valley Regional District over the Labour Day long weekend, it “didn’t cloud the spirits of organizers, volunteers, performers and those that attended.

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We have a bit of bad news to share this week as well.

Due to “an abundance of caution” the BC Forest Discovery Centre has announced that it is cancelling its Halloween Train for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release, the centre explained that in 2019 more than 12,000 people attended the event, and because of expected large crowds like that, it is in the best interests of public safety not to hold the train.

In lieu of the train, the centre is extending its regular season until Oct. 31, with scaled back decorations but normal hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Anyone who purchased advance tickets for the Halloween Train will get a refund by mail prior to Halloween.

“Thank you to the entire community for the outpouring of support throughout the entire year,” said manager Chris Gale.

Don’t despair, however.

“We are confident that the Christmas Express will go ahead as planned,” Gale said. “Please keep your eyes on our brand new website (www.bcforestdiscoverycentre.com) for dates, times, and ticket purchasing information.”

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