Brenda’s Brats have cancelled their Christmas variety shows due to COVID-19, but they are hoping you will still donate to the CMS Food Bank. (Submitted)

Brenda’s Brats have cancelled their Christmas variety shows due to COVID-19, but they are hoping you will still donate to the CMS Food Bank. (Submitted)

Arts and Entertainment column: Cancellations, a new book, and new holiday windows in Duncan

A sampling of what’s happening in the A&E world

This week there was a lot of news about things that aren’t happening in Cowichan this holiday season.

First up, Brenda’s Brats dropped us a note saying they will not be putting on their usual Mill Bay and Cobble Hill Christmas Variety shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they’re really hoping people will still support the Mill Bay CMS Food Bank Society with a donation, made online.

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions the food bank is not receiving food donations at this time which has dramatically altered their program. Making an online donation is so easy and you will automatically receive an email tax receipt. All money donated goes directly to our local branch in Mill Bay. Enjoy your holidays knowing you have made Christmas a little easier for our friends and neighbours. Click on this link to make your Christmas contribution or if you prefer to drop off a cheque please call them directly at 250-743-5242. I would also encourage you to forward this email to friends and family, your help is very much appreciated at this special time of year.

“Brenda’s Brats is wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, and we will see you all next year!”


Also cancelled due to COVID-19 is the always jolly Run for the Claus.

This fundraiser for the Clements Centre normally has hundreds of runners dress in Santa suits and take to the streets of Duncan, but this year the gathering of jolly old elves will not be possible due to the pandemic.

However, the Clements Centre is hoping that folks will still get into the Christmas spirit by donning their Santa outfits and planning their own route, time and location and do individual runs. If you do, you’re asked to take a photo of your run and send it to the Clements Centre’s Facebook page.


The Christmas Express at the BC Forest Discovery Centre has also been halted at the station this year.

This popular seasonal activity that routinely draws thousands of visitors to the centre also had to be called off due to the pandemic.

Forest Discovery Centre General Manager Chris Gale thanked all levels of government for their financial support during the pandemic, as well as the staff, volunteers and visitors to the centre for their unflagging support.

“Truly missed by all our visitors were our special events throughout the season and of course the Halloween Train and the family traditions that accompany the riding of the Christmas Express, which, we are so sorry, we have had to cancel this year,” said Gale in a newsletter.

“It has been said that this pandemic has driven people apart but after witnessing the tremendous support we have received I truly think that it has brought us together and made us stronger.

“Thank you from all of us at the BCFDC.”


Not cancelled, but going virtual instead is the Cowichan Hospice and Cowichan District Hospital’s 30th annual tree lighting ceremony at CDH.

This ceremony honours those who have died, and usually draws a good crowd of people who want to take a few minutes to reflect and remember loved ones.

People are invited to attend the ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at

Participants will be invited to light a candle from their own location and may post names, photos and remembrances of those they are honouring in the comments section.


If you’re looking for something to curl up and read and have an interest in health, local doctor Wolf Schamberger has written Read My Hips! Suffering Needless Pelvic, Limb, or Back Pain? Time to Check Your Alignment.

Schamberger graduated from Cowichan Secondary School in 1963 and went on to medicine. He was also a long distance runner who experienced nagging heal pain, and 1976 co-founder of the Shawnigan Lake half-marathon.

This led to his specialization in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and problems caused by the pelvis or spine being out of alignment.

“I wrote this book to create a greater awareness of alignment-related problems,” Schamberger said. “It is written in layperson’s language and intended for the general public and healthcare workers, which includes nurses, physio and massage therapists, yoga instructors, and acupuncturists. There is a separate chapter on how it applies to athletes in general and those in 26 specific sports, including horseback riding; hence, it contains a lot of information of use to kinesiologists, athletic trainers, and coaches.”

Check out for more information about where you can get the book, including Volume One in Duncan and Amazon.


The holiday window displays are going in this Friday, Nov. 27, at Imagine That! on Craig Street in Duncan.

“Within them, we celebrate the work of our 70-some artists and add some much-needed cheer to the downtown landscape in these difficult times,” organizers said.

“For 27 years, Imagine That! Artisans’ Designs has promoted the value of locally-made hand-crafted artwork. For the holiday season and new year, we showcase work by some of our artists in our street-level display windows. You will appreciate the fine craftsmanship, the wide variety of genres, the simple beauty, and a lot of practicality in everything our shop has to offer.”

The displays will be up until Jan. 29, 2021.

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The holiday windows are going in at Imagine That! in Duncan on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Submitted)

The holiday windows are going in at Imagine That! in Duncan on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Submitted)

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