A Cowichan Christmas, The Gift of Music, would make a great gift and supports hospice locally. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cowichan entertainers lend their talents to CD for hospice

Compilation of Christmas songs would make an ideal last-minute gift

If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for the person who has everything, the Cowichan Hospice has an idea for you.

For the music lover on your list, the organization has a CD called A Cowichan Christmas, The Gift of Music, available at its office at 3122 Gibbins Rd. in Duncan for $15 apiece. Quantities are limited.

Tracks include: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town by Eugene Smith; Never Too Old for Christmas by James Pender; A Mother’s Carol by Deb Maike; Greensleeves by Thomas Kinzel; When I Think of Christmas Mornin’ by JJ Charlebois; Christmas Come Soon by Emerson Avenue; Bless This House by Eileen McGann; I Still Get Up Early Christmas Morning by Bob Campbell; Silver Bells by Monte Nordstrom; In The Bleak Midwinter by Dawn Marie Dowling; Boxing Day Eve by Janet Whitney-Brown; I Pray On Christmas by Scott McGill; Jingle Bells by Ed Peekeekoot; Winter Wonderland by Al Eskelson and Christmas In Killarney by the incomparable Will Millar.

It’s a great mix of instrumentals, traditional carols and original songs in a variety of styles.

“It’s something a bit different, too, and fun to hear all those wonderful local entertainers,” said Cowichan Hospice executive director Gretchen Hartley.

The music and artwork for the CD was generously donated by Cowichan musicians and artists to benefit hospice.

Gifted artist Eva Trinczek and producer Zak Cohen made the project possible, with vision and support from president Roger Kimmerly. It was actually done quite a few years ago, but all the copies weren’t distributed and hospice decided to resurrect them.

“We pulled them out of the back closet,” quipped Hartley.

“It’s a beautiful CD,” she added.

They’ve been given out at hospice events, including the recent memorial tree-lighting at the Cowichan District Hospital, but can also be purchased for those who didn’t receive a copy.

Meanwhile, Island Health issued a Request for Proposals seeking proponents to develop a schematic design for a proposed hospice that would provide care and support to people nearing the end of their lives in the Cowichan region.

A schematic design is the next step in the journey of exploring the possibility of a new hospice facility in the community by 2020, to meet the growing needs of the region into the future. The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary has already donated $100,000 to the project and committed another $200,000 over the next two years.

In consultation with partners at the Cowichan Hospice Task Force, led by Cowichan Hospice, it was determined the best location would be a new build connected to Cairnsmore Place care facility in Duncan.

“A new hospice house will provide the quality care that our community needs and deserves for loved ones at the end of life,” noted Hartley. “We are pleased that the hospice will be welcoming to family members however defined, as part of the team of care.”

A schematic design allows Island Health and Cowichan Hospice to determine the capital and operating costs associated with this project and will be a critical step in establishing the potential project’s scope. Once defined, and the capital costs outlined, the project will then be submitted to the Cowichan Hospice Board, Island Health Board and subsequently government for approval.

Cowichan Hospice has committed to fund the schematic design costs. If approved, Cowichan Hospice would lead community fundraising for 100 per cent of the construction costs and Island Health would fund ongoing operating costs for five new hospice beds.

Island Health is committed to enhancing hospice services in the Cowichan region as part of a long term strategy to double the number of hospice spaces across Vancouver Island from 32 to 64 beds by 2020.

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