The windows at Imagine That! in Duncan feature the woodworking of Todd McAneeley. (Submitted)

The windows at Imagine That! in Duncan feature the woodworking of Todd McAneeley. (Submitted)

Arts and Entertainment column: Woodwork, poetry, and podcasts

Here’s what’s happening in the arts community in Cowichan

Woodworking is highlighted this month in the display windows at Imagine That! on Craig Street in Duncan.

Local woodworker Todd McAneeley’s unique items, ranging from art to furniture, fill both windows until Feb. 26.

“Todd is an artist whose wood sculptures and furniture capture nature and wildlife in a positive, beautiful way. He creates his pieces from wood offcuts, and they come to life with bears, otters, birds, whales, and more. His display this month will feature a number of nature-themed coffee tables and artworks.”

•••

Local author Adaline A. Russell is “exploring the elements of human experience” in her new book of poetry titled Elemental.

Russell really got serious about writing when her cousin, Jim gave her a book of modern poetry when she was 16 years old. She has written poetry ever since. In 1979 she was published in 31 Newfoundland Poety and has done writing workshops with the likes of Joy Kagawa, and taken writing courses at Vancouver Island University. At the age of 64 she got her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from VIU.

“Her poems express a diversity of experience and place, rich with metaphor and affect of the soul. It is a poetry of poignancy informed by the joys and sorrows and acute observations of life,” reads a description of Elemental.

It’s little wonder, since Russell has had a varied and interesting life. She was born 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, has lived in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ottawa, Toronto, Grande Prairie, and Calgary. She now calls Duncan home.

Elemental is published through Nine Lives Publishing based in Victoria.

You can find a copy at Volume One books in Duncan or by contacting Russell at 250-746-0386.

•••

Looking for a podcast to listen to? Check out the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre offerings.

On the website now are two podcasts, one with local MP Alistair MacGregor, and the other with Blue Moon Marquee’s Jazz Colette.

“We are delighted to have Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Member of Parliament, Alistair MacGregor, on the pod to share his insights into the ongoing struggle for arts workers during COVID-19, the importance of culture in his own life, and his early memories of visiting the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre,” reads a description of the podcast on the CPAC website. “Once again, Kirsten Schrader, the manager of the Arts and Culture Division of the CVRD and Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, leads the discussion with our MP and asks great questions about what it’s like to conduct parliamentary business over Zoom and the role of the federal government in supporting cultural institutions like ours.”

The second podcast is described as “an insightful chat”, with artist Jazz Colette of the gypsy blues duo Blue Moon Marquee, who recently filmed a pre-recorded concert for the Cold Snap Festival at CPAC. She talks about “the challenges of COVID-19, some hair-raising touring stories and how the band got their unique sound.”

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