Gotta love Oktoberfest. Good times, great beer and cider, and great German food are waiting for you at the Rotary’s second annual celebration Sept. 21. (submitted)

Never Ending Summer and lots more this week

Plenty of lively shows are starting to emerge as fall approaches

Rien Vesseur, genial town crier for The Mercury Players, has announced the cast for the group’s next play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

So, who are the chosen six actors for this Chekhov-based fun-fest?

We’ve got Jim Cleough as Vanya, Sylvia Swift as Sonia, Elizabeth Brimacombe as Masha, James Meyer as Spike, Celeste Borjeau as Nina, and Leslie Sanchez as Cassandra.

V&S&M&S is a funny play by Christopher Durang that sets an unusual brother and sister, Vanya and Sonia, in a tizzy when their movie star sister, Masha, who supports them, shows up with her young boyfriend, a preening dimwit named Spike. Mix in a cleaning woman who’s always prophesying doom and whose name is, naturally, Cassandra, and a pretty young aspiring actress named Nina and you’ve got a whole lotta opportunities for fun.

As soon as I know more, I’ll let you know.

***

The Cowichan South Arts Guild is presenting what they are calling a Never Ending Summer Affair on Sunday, Sept. 15.

They’re cheeky note is right up my alley.

“So you think summer fun is over? Not quite!”

I agree. Our summer is usually so late arriving, I keep wearing my short sleeves until the snow gets to my armpits.

So, get ready to enjoy a festival of music talent and a display of visual arts on the grounds of Elsie Miles Pavilion Park in Shawnigan Lake on Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(If you haven’t been there before, this beautiful new park is adjacent to the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre and behind Shawnigan Lake Museum).

In addition to professional musicians and more than a dozen artists/artisans and crafters with items for show and sale, there will be food vendors on site and expect to see several musical numbers performed by students from Frances Kelsey Secondary School. The event is family-friendly, free and will take place rain or shine. For your comfort bring a blanket and/or chair(s) so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the festival.

Look for hand-crafted wooden flutes, hand-bound books, original watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings as well as art cards, prints, quilted and beaded fabric art, original knitwear and clothing. Don’t forget your wallet.

Musical acts include Cheko and the Lion Rockers, De La Terra, The Klez, Kristen and Tina, and Uke’s Misbehavin’ with M.C. Bill Levity.

Enjoy the Mexican Mafia food truck on site or nip along to nearby Sarpino’s Pizza, Shawnigan Jenn’s Takeout, Shawnigan Coffee House, Compass Mexican Bistro, Subway, Hosuko Japanese Restaurant, and Montra Thai Eatery — all within easy walking distance.

Lots of hands have made this happen, so get out and enjoy it all.

***

Valley woodcarver Todd McAneeley’s work will be gracing the walls of the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre lobby from now to Oct. 31.

Texture, colour, and design combine to make this work memorable. Be sure to check it out when you go to the theatre for a show.

***

They couldn’t make it to The 40th Day of July but Salsahall Collective are playing the Duncan Showroom on Saturday, Sept. 21, starting at 8 p.m., according to the Showroom’s Longevity John Falkner.

Under the direction of Harvey Paris, the Collective is a musical group that combines Dancehall and Salsa creating a new sound known as Salsahall. The group is made up of musicians from Jamaica, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala and France, who met in Vancouver. The early beginnings of this project started with a Cuban piano montuno played over top of a modern, dancehall rhythm. From there the Collective began bringing all of their traditional as well as contemporary sounds together, old and new, while still experimenting and expanding.

Tickets are $20 advance or $25 at the door. Bring your dancing shoes.

***

If you’d thought of taking in the Burton Cummings show at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, you’re out of luck. His Up Close and Alone tour is coming to the Valley, and, as soon as fans heard, they hared off after those seats. The show is now sold out.

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