Roger Sparkes’ daughter, Camille, receives a special award on his behalf from the BC Touring Council’s Peter Feldman and Tom Walker. (Submitted)

Lexi Bainas column: Roger Sparkes honoured, CVAC art show now new and improved

A well-deserved posthumous award goes to Cowichan Theatre’s biggest booster

The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre is proudly sharing the news that the late Roger Sparkes has been recognized for his untiring efforts during the BC Touring Council 2019 awards at the Hilton in Metrotown in Burnaby on April 6.

“The Touring Award of Excellence recognizes an outstanding body of work, long-standing service, and contribution. The recipient of this award exemplified excellence in the performing arts touring sector. The Touring Award of Excellence was presented to Roger Sparkes posthumously.

“Roger was former manager of the Cowichan Theatre (now the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre) and was active on many boards including the BC Touring Council, CAPACOA, and the Duncan Fringe Festival Society. He diligently worked to promote the arts as a patron and a presenter.

“This award was presented by colleagues Peter Feldman and Tom Walker. Roger’s daughter, Camille, was on hand to accept the award,” the notice says.

Great to see such a special person getting the kudos he deserves.


According to the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, “Big changes to Vancouver Island’s biggest non-juried art show will make it more accessible than ever in 2019.”

The CVAC has decided to waive gallery admission on its 49th annual Spring Fine Arts Show, to be held April 30-May 11. The popular show will also be extended this year to include a special People’s Choice Show from May 14-18, featuring favourite work chosen by visitors.

The show features the work of more than 150 artists from such disciplines as painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, and multimedia.

“A longer exhibit time and free admission will allow more visitors and residents of the Cowichan Valley to view work by both emerging artists and those with national and international reputations,” said Janet Magdanz, show co-ordinator.

If you to join the in-crowd, April 29 is your opportunity to be the first to see the show at the Opening Night Reception when CVAC is hosting a festive evening with food and music. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Portals or online at

Some of the special events happening at this year’s show include art demonstrations, and even school visits. Back again is a very popular art scavenger hunt for children and families that was introduced last year.

The Arts Council will also be hosting Art Battle on May 11 in which 12 artists will be challenged to create a painting in 20 minutes. It should be an evening of fun. A lottery will be held with the prize being $400 to be used toward the purchase of any piece of art from the show

CVAC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1971 to support arts and culture in the Cowichan Valley. It operates two art galleries in the Island Savings Centre: PORTALS and the new Arbutus Gallery and also organizes workshops, special events and a youth outreach program.

Here are the various hours for the proceedings, at the Cowichan Suite in the Cowichan Community Centre:

Art Show April 30 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.); May 1 to May 11 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.). Admission is free.

Art Battle May 11 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets available at Portals and online at

People’s Choice Show May 13 to May 17 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and May 18 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Admission is free to this one, too.

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