The crowds have returned for a jam-packed live entertainment package put on by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society. Both the people and the musicians are loving it after the long restricted COVID layoff.
“We saw so many happy faces,” said CVCAS president Bev Knight. “It’s nice to see big smiling faces without masks.”
It’s also been nice for the CVCAS to support the musicians through resilient grant funds the organization received.
The CVCAS went ahead and constructed a summer schedule of music in WaterWheel Park Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m., with one Sunday at 2 p.m., without actually knowing what the restrictions would be by July for the number of people who could attend each performance.
“We were expecting the 50 anyway,” Knight said. “We were being optimistic they were going to lessen the rules.”
The CVCAS is also celebrating 20 years and it’s been fantastic to bring music back into the mainstream following the last 16 months of limited audiences and a complete shutdown for a period of time.
The Copper Canyon Band got things rolling on Canada Day with its great selection of country music followed by Malahat Drive’s best of bluegrass for the first Saturday performance July 3.
Tropic Mayhem got the beach and surf music flowing for a big crowd July 6, leading into a Saturday, July 10 appearance by Hank Angel & his Island Devils rockin’ the afternoon away.
Many local and nearby fan favourites have been booked for the summer.
The remainder of the Saturday schedule is as follows:
July 17 Bluegrass Fever (traditional bluegrass)
July 24 Wayne Montgomery (today’s county)
July 31 Oh Ogopogo, Tower of Dudes (cowpunk)
Aug. 7 Soul Shakers (rhythm and blues)
Aug. 14 Brandon Isaak (original blues)
Aug. 21 Black Moon Valley (country rock ‘n’ roll)
Aug. 28 Hank Lionheart & The Kingpins (blues)
The remainder of the schedule for Tuesdays includes:
July 13 Mbira Spirit (country with a world beat)
July 20 Mark Crissinger (best of the blues)
July 27 Tom Morrissey (Newfoundland evening)
Aug. 3 Beatlemania Unplugged (formerly the Deaf Aids led by John Booth, who grew up in Chemainus)
Aug. 10 Greg Bush Quintet (great jazz ensemble)
Aug. 17 Lazy Mike (South Island Rhythm Kings)
Aug. 24 Capital City Syncopators (Dixieland)
Aug. 31 Caleb Hart (Island soul and reggae)
The lone Sunday event features Key Winds Trio, playing beautiful classical music, on Aug. 15 at 2 p.m.
All performances are free, with donations gladly accepted to help with expenses.