The Ranters are headed to the stage at the Duncan Showroom on Jan. 29. (Submitted photo)

The Ranters are headed to the stage at the Duncan Showroom on Jan. 29. (Submitted photo)

A&E column: Some performances forging ahead in Cowichan, but a couple of cancellations

‘Beauty and the Beast’ still hitting the stage Jan. 14

COVID-19 has put a dent in one planned concert, but plenty of other performances are forging ahead in the coming weeks as we move into 2022 in the Cowichan Valley.

First up, this weekend on Saturday, Jan. 8, the Cowichan Folk Guild is holding their first coffeehouse of 2022. Featured performers are the Co-Conspirators, Quebec-based duo Will Richards and Katherine Simons. A press release for the event describes them as playing folk singer-songwriter music with elements of country, rock, blues, gospel, bluegreass, spiritual and general roots music, with a heavy emphasis on vocal harmonies.

“This duo had been compared to Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Richard and Linda Thompson, and Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris,” said the release.

The two have been performing together since 2014 — full-time since 2018. In 2019 they released their first full length recording Shadowing the Organ Tuner. They are currently working on their second recording to be named The Unreliable Narrators which was expected to be released Jan. 5, just in time for the coffeehouse.

The event is being held in the Duncan United Church Hall at 246 Ingram St. in Duncan. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

COVID protocols will be in place.

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Also on Cowichan’s musical horizon is a performance at the Duncan Showroom on Jan. 29 by The Ranters.

According to a press release, this group has taken their inspiration from the origin of their name. The Ranters were “a heretic group of 16th century non-conformists who denied the authority of the church and scriptures, instead calling on the individual to listen to the divine within. Regarded by the government as a threat to social order.”

The group is comprised of Rockland Moran, Gillian Wale, and Tony and Kristia Di Gregorio, who describe their style as a blend of roots, folk, and Americana. “The Ranters sing the dark into the light, harmonizing a healthy contempt for authority with humour and optimism,” said a release for the show.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are offered at $15-$20 on a sliding scale.

Check the group out here: http://eldivino.com/

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The Cowichan Musical Society’s big show, Beauty and the Beast, is almost ready to take the stage.

They are going ahead with all of their show dates at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre from Jan. 14 to 23 with this tale as old as time, however they are restricting the house to half capacity due to COVID rules, so don’t wait to get those tickets. The matinees are already sold out.

Tickets for adults are $49 and children eight years old and younger get in for $39.

People will be required to wear masks if they are five years of age or older and a photo ID (19 and older) and vaccine passport (12 and older) are required for entry.

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In sad news for classical music fans, the Cowichan Symphony Society has announced that they have cancelled their Jan. 16 concert with Victoria Baroque that was to have taken place at Brentwood College.

Due to caution over COVID, the concert, titles Worth Fighting For, will not take place.

Check back for more news about the upcoming Cowichan Symphony season in this space as other performances are still on the schedule.

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Also cancelled is the Chemainus Classical Concert that was scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 9.

The concert was to have featured the KeyWinds Trio in Instruments of Change, but concern over the Omicron variant of COVID-19 led organizers to call it off. Organizers say the concert will be rescheduled as soon as possible, “we do not want you to miss it — it promises to be outstanding!”

Up next on the Chemainus Classical Concerts calendar is The MacPherson Trio on Feb. 20.

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