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A&E column: Poetry contest winners, art show

A taste of what's happening in A&E in the Cowichan Valley

The winners of the annual Micheal Coleman Poetry and Spoken Word Competition have been chosen.

Clay Wolfe won first place and $5,000, Jaydyn Ferrario won second place and $2,500, and Alex Winterhalt won third place and $1,000. They were presented with their prizes at their schools in June.

“Our board is in awe of the amazing talent of all the contestants from the Cowichan Valley, and these three young poets who placed were so very passionate and authentic in their poetry,” said Cowichan Foundation president Daniel Varga, who presented the prizes.

This competition is inspired by the late Michael Coleman, founder of the Cowichan Foundation, husband, father, lawyer, mayor, early adopter of reconciliation, community leader, and avid poet, said a press release. He believed in the power of storytelling and published multiple books of poetry in his lifetime.

"By uplifting the voices of our youth in this competition, we aim to honour his legacy of beautiful poetry and unequivocal service to the Cowichan Valley while supporting the leaders of tomorrow," the release said.

Students submitted an original poem or spoken word piece along with a video of them performing the work. They were judged on both the work and the video.

"We encourage students to make us think!" said the Foundation. "They earn points for strong and clear messaging, as well as passion and insight. We encourage youth to get creative, using poetic qualities and originality. Contestants are challenged to put effort into their video presentation and have some fun with it."

Sponsors of the contest include Duncan Dairy Queen, Daniel Varga of RBC Wealth Management, Just Jake’s Restaurant, Red Arrow Brewing, Pemberton Holmes Real Estate, Cal Kaiser & Associates, Thermoproof Windows & Doors, Heart of Education Consulting, Mitchell’s Soup Company, Purica, Stonebridge Law, LaCroix Law and Coleman Law.

The Cowichan Foundation also supports several scholarships and bursaries at Vancouver Island University and has been an active supporter of Cowichan Wheels and the Kinsol Trestle Project.

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The Maple Bay Painters are getting ready to show off their work on Saturday, July 13 in a private garden.

More than 70 works by 22 artists will be on display at the home of Rae and Ted Rhodes (2229 Tarn Place, Duncan) from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for Art in the Garden.

"Maple Bay Painters share their love of painting and drawing by meeting each Tuesday at the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds," said a press release for the event.

From September to June members also participate in workshops to improve techniques and develop their style, the release said. In July and August plein-air (outdoor) painting sessions take place at various locations throughout the Cowichan Valley.

Those who wish to attend are asked to follow the flower signs to the event. Works will also be for sale.

Membership information will be available at the event, or contact or find them on Facebook.


New window displays at Imagine That! gallery in downtown Duncan are showcasing artists Cheryl Painter and Andre St. Cyr until July 26.

Painter's display is titled "Welcome To My World".

"Born and raised in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, a career as an artist always seemed to be in the cards for Cheryl," said a press release for the show. "Her schooling included time at the University of Victoria and the Victoria College of Art. She then attended Capilano College, receiving a diploma in Graphic design. After a successful career in that field, Cheryl focused on raising a family. During that endeavour, she would resume what would ultimately be her calling — painting. Amidst the Cowichan Valley’s pristine beauty, she is constantly inspired by her surroundings."

St. Cyr presents "Creative Woodwork".

"A school teacher for 33 years, throughout his career he created beautiful wooden products and honed his woodworking skills," the release said. "Now retired, he is able to spend more time in his shop. Andre prefers to work with unique pieces of wood with colour variation, figure, and bird’s eye."

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

I returned to B.C. and found myself at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.
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