The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society is looking forward to another great year of the arts in Chemainus. Along with its commitment to the visual arts, the Society is planning a full calendar of musical events.
An important date to anticipate is December 9, when the amazing Lizzy Hoyt will perform her Christmas Special at the Osborne Bay Pub’s showroom in the Crofton Hotel. Those who were fortunate enough to catch Hoyt’s last visit to Chemainus in April of 2016 will remember what a great show she provided.
She can dance, sing and fiddle (all at the same time), as well as play the guitar and the harp. She will bring her Lizzy Hoyt Trio with her to provide some exceptional Christmas entertainment. Hoyt is based in Winnipeg, so it is a real treat to be able to present her show here in the Chemainus Valley.
Tickets are just $20, including tax. They are available at the Rainforest Arts gallery on Willow Street in Chemainus or at the Crofton Hotel.
A special concert was held on Oct. 28 at the Crofton Hotel venue when Eugene Smith, an icon of Canadian music, entertained.
For those who would like to step onto the stage and try entertaining an audience, the third Saturday of each month is the day to keep in mind. CVCAS brings a seasoned, professional entertainer to each open-microphone evening to make sure a good audience is in place. There is also a professional sound system provided, along with proper stage lighting. In this way, each open-stage performer gets the true on-stage experience.
The next open-stage evening is on November 18 at the Osborne Bay Pub (Crofton) where the featured entertainment will be Bowker Creek, a talented group of musicians from Victoria. The group plays the instruments of a typical bluegrass band, although it stretches the traditional concept of bluegrass rather widely, with plenty of jazzy interpretations in its repertoire. Tickets are just $10 at the door to see this wonderful group, and that includes all the talented open-stage performers, as well.
The Society has recently taken over responsibility for Pat’s House of Jazz, the regular series of jazz concerts that take place every Sunday afternoon at the Crofton Hotel. Check the CVCAS website (HYPERLINK “http://www.cvcas.com/”www.cvcas.com) for an up-to-date listing of the performers booked for the series.
A couple of notable shows in the Sunday jazz series started Oct. 29, with fans of traditional Dixieland jazz pleased to see an appearance by Avram McCaghery’s Dixie Sweethearts. Then, on November 12, audiences will be able to enjoy a visit to Paris, with the music of Edith Piaf, performed by well-known songstress Edie Daponte. Accompanied by a four-piece band, Daponte will include a lot of Piaf’s much-loved music, along with some songs and stories that fit alongside Piaf’s oeuvre.
Next summer, CVCAS will continue with a full season of outdoor performances at Waterwheel Park. The popular Tuesday evening series known as Music in the Park will once again take place, with the usual admission by donation. Shows start at 7 p.m. every Tuesday evening in July and August.
There will be a change in the way the outdoor music festivals will be organized next summer. These musical extravaganzas will return to a one-day format, and will be designed to be presented at a lower cost.
CVCAS was successful in attracting a large number of visitors to our town over the past few summers, with top entertainment at our summer festivals. Unfortunately, this arrangement required a slightly higher ticket price.
“This did not seem to be what the folks here in Chemainus wanted, and next summer will see a return to a lower priced system, where the audience will once again contribute by donation,” noted Society member Bob Johns.
CVCAS will run the weekend musical extravaganzas on four Saturday afternoons in July and August. The events will include one day each for jazz, bluegrass and blues, as well as the long-running accordion festival.
The Society is looking forward to bringing all this entertainment to the people of the Chemainus Valley over the coming year. Hopefully, it will be a year to remember, for the organizers and the audiences alike.