Local talent set to entertain all summer long

The Kaatza Art Group has got your Saturday entertainment covered for the duration of the summer

The Kaatza Art Group has got your Saturday entertainment covered for the duration of the summer. Every Saturday, from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. the organizations Summer Nights programs will feature performances of music, magic, dancing, and everything in between to keep crowds delighted from the bandshell in Central Park.

The evenings are free to attend, however organizers will be passing around a hat for donations. These funds will be split equally between the various non-profit groups sponsoring the event each evening.

Non-profit groups that are involved include the Lake Cowichan Food Bank, Kaatza Lakeside Players, Cowichan Family Arts Council, Cowichan Lake Chamber of Commerce, CIVC Radio, Honeymoon Bay Retreat, and the Cowichan Lake District Seniors Association.

Each Saturday will feature a headlining act, but the stage will also be open from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. for any aspiring musicians or other performers who would like to share their talent.

This open stage part of the program will not be organized before hand, so show up on the evening you would like to play/sing/perform and get your name on the list.

Summer Nights begins on July 7, and carries through until September 1. The last evening will be a best of, with at least half an hour of encore presentations.

Parker Schmidt is a young aspiring musician living in Duncan. He will be performing at the Summer Nights on July 21, and though he classifies himself as a solo artist, he is hoping to have a drummer and a bass player accompany him.

Schmidt is just 13 years old, but already has quite a bit of experience under his belt. In 2011 he appeared on YTV’s Next Star program, a show that seeks out Canadian talent for artists 15 years and younger.

Schmidt was one of six chosen out of 4,000 contestants who participated in a summer long filming and recording session in Toronto.

Schmidt says he plays mostly pop music and has written many of his own songs. “I’ve written too many to count. I wrote at least 50 when I was six, seven, and eight.”

However, when he started playing guitar when he was 10, Schmidt says this is when he began really creating music that he could be proud of. Out of these, he says “I really only have 12 (songs) that are really good or that could be on an album.”

Schmidt is hoping to release his first album this summer and will be going into a private studio in Victoria within the next few weeks to record.

Schmidt is only one of the many local area artists who will be sharing their talent during the eight week stint of Summer Nights.

On July 7, CICV Radio will be hosting Judy Hogg’s Celtic Rhythm Dancers, the River Notes Chorus, and Jan Matthews One Gal Band. July 14, the Honeymoon Bay Retreat will be hosting a belly dance troupe along with Mary Egan and her students. July 21, CICV will once again be the host, featuring talent by Schmidt, Judy Hogg’s Celtic Rhythm Dancers, and Darryl Alsbrook. On July 28, the Cowichan Lake District Seniors’ Association will host Darren Polkinghorn’s magic show, and the Gary Gladman Band, Hair of the Dog.

The Lake Cowichan Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food each Saturday at the event.

For more information, contact Elvin Hedden at 250-749-6379.