Summer Nights open air concerts returning to Lake Cowichan

Summer is officially here, which means Summer Nights, Lake Cowichan’s free open air concert series, is back, too.

Summer is officially here, which means Summer Nights, Lake Cowichan’s free open air concert series, is back, too.

The event, held at Central Park every second week from July 9 until the beginning of September, is in its fifth year and all donations collected this year will go towards Radio Cowichan, the driving force behind the event.

Station director Mike Bishop said in the past these donations were shared with other community groups, however, the station’s current financial situation necessitates increased fundraising efforts.

He said Summer Nights is important for the community because it’s a family-friendly event in an accessible location.

“It’s alcohol free for people to go and enjoy. The audience doesn’t have to pay anything to go. They have access to vending trucks. We’re going to try to build it up with some tables for artisans,” he said, adding that Gerard’s Specialty Foods will be on site selling strudels and Hummingbird Hill Hobby Farm will be there to sell its signature ice cream and other treats.

However, in addition to such treats, Bishop said what’s especially beneficial about having an event like Summer Nights is the opportunities it affords local musicians, especially young people.

“Starting at 6:30 to 7 [each night] we have an open stage for local entertainers who want to try out a new song or see what it sounds like to play in front of audience, well the gear is there they just come plug the guitar in or electronic pianos, anything like that. They hook into the sound system and give it a whirl,” said Bishop. “It’s a natural opportunity to have their talent displayed in public for free and it’s an encouragement to help them start out and carry on.”

He said participants are welcome to play any type of music they like so long as there are no swear words in the lyrics.

Singer/songwriter Mary Egan has taken on the role of music co-ordinator this year, which is something she did for several years as part of the Great Lake Walk.

Something new Egan is going to try this year: short intermission performances.

“We’re doing an open mic but I’m also getting some younger talent from around the Valley, just dancers and things for when the bands take a break, they’re going to get up and showcase what they do,” she said.

Egan, who teaches singing in Duncan, said some of her students would be getting involved.

“I have quite a few that are coming out to do the half-time thing. I have a little girl group called The Sprinkles. And then Isabelle Atchison, who played Annie, she’s coming out to play some of her stuff,” she said.

Other artists performing this summer include Jon Ryan, Beverley McKeen, The Rivernotes, Tim McGonigle’s band One Hit Away and Victor Wells.

“Victor Wells, he does a lot of Chicago blues. He’s originally from Chicago but plays with various bands in Victoria,” said Egan.

Egan herself will perform with her band at the end of the summer.

In the meantime, Egan asks that people interested in performing during the open mic sessions sign up just beforehand.

“It would be a lot easier than just rushing the stage,” she said. “Anyone who wants to be part of a half-time entertainment, they can contact me directly.”

Egan can be reached at marystylez@gmail.com.

Just Posted

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

The city-owned lot at 361 St. Julien St., which has been home to a temporary homeless site for more than a year, will be sold and plans are to build a three-storey mixed-use development there, Peter de Verteuil, Duncan CAO explained at a recent council meeting. (File photo)
New development planned for homeless site in Duncan

Lot on St. Julien Street would see three-storey building

Historian and longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson photographs the historical wreckage of a plane on Mount Benson. Paterson recently won an award from the British Columbia Historical Foundation. (Submitted)
Cowichan’s Tom W. Paterson wins award for historical writing

British Columbia Historical Federation hands Recognition Award to local writer

This electric school bus is the newest addition to the Cowichan Valley School District’s fleet. (Submitted)
Editorial: New electric school bus good place to start

Changing public transit like buses to electric really is important.

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read