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A&E column: Art of all kinds headlines May in Cowichan

Check out what’s coming up in arts and entertainment in Cowichan

Get ready art lovers, May has a myriad of opportunities for you to enjoy.

First up is the Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan. Opening night is May 4, which is when the award winners chosen by a panel of three jurors will be announced (two distinction, four awards of excellence and three juror’s awards).

It’s the area’s largest annual art show with 140 pieces on display in a variety of mediums from paint to sculpture and jewelry. All pieces are also for sale.

“The Fine Arts Show is all about art and community,” said CVAC President Janet Magdanz. “Artists have complete freedom to choose the piece they exhibit. Guests can explore works produced by artists at every point along the artistic journey. Guests also vote for the People’s Choice Award that’s announced at the end of the show.”

There are multiple events throughout the show, which runs until June 2.

As previously mentioned, opening night is May 4 at 7 p.m. Entry for this first look is $20.

On May 13 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. there’s a Mother’s Day Tea with fancy crockery, and sweets set amidst the artworks. Artists will also be there to talk about their pieces. Entry is by donation.

On May 26 there’s an Art Attack, where 10 artists will compete in timed sessions creating works for the audience to select finalists for a “paint off” to determine the winner. Tickets for this event are $10.

There will also be artists demos going on throughout the show. Aside from the above events, admission is free Monday to Friday, 11 a.m, to 4 p.m. and Saturday from noon until 4 p.m.


There’s a new show gracing the walls of the Lobby Gallery at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

From May 4 to June 28 a photography show from Maureen and Neil Fatin titled Photography & Beyond is open for viewing one hour before CPAC events. You can also arrange a private viewing by emailing


The Crofton Art Group dropped us a line last week about their upcoming Spring Show & Sale, taking place on May 12 and 13.

Head to the Crofton Senior Centre (basement of the old School House Museum on Joan Avenue, beside the ferry terminal) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to check out original art, jewelry, and pottery.


In other art news, the Cowichan Public Art Gallery recently opened its first gallery space downstairs in the Green Door building on Ingram Street in Duncan and now they’re looking for volunteers to serve on the programming committee.

The committee makes decisions about what artists will have shows and when. Successful applicants should have a background in the arts and working with others as a team. They will need to attend monthly meetings and give some volunteer hours. Experience in curating and hanging shows is also a bonus.

To apply, send your information to CPAG president Jock Hildebrand at


Riot Brewing in Chemainus has entertainment lined up for May.

On Friday, May 5 at 7 p.m. it’s Chris Noel: Blue Shouter.

“Local legend Chris Noel returns to Riot Brewing Co. to entertain and delight with his incredible voice and catalogue of blues classics,” said a press release for the event. “With inspiration spanning from 1940s jump blues bands to the memorable mid-century era of blues, Chris will surprise you with his powerful voice, musical talent, and ability to get you out of your seat and onto the dance floor.”

On Saturday, May 13 at 8 p.m. High Voltage takes the stage.

They are a Vancouver Island-based Bon Scott era AC/CD cover band, so it’s all rock and roll.

Then on Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m. the Wharf Rats are back.

“Come get your socks rocked as Jeff, Levi, and Keith from Lawson Kelly let their freak flags fly with acoustic jams from every genre,” said a press release for the concert.

Call Riot att 250-324-7468 for reservations to any of the shows.


The Fort in Duncan is also hosting musical talent in May.

On May 14 Vancouver’s LittleFox will be there as part of her B.C. tour with her new album debuting on May 19.

“Vocals that can leap from high and ethereal to a whiskey-soaked gut-punch, often in a single song, LittleFox explores genres from folk/pop to bluegrass to blues,” says a press release. “Guided by the textures of violin, pedal steel, accordion, ukulele, and banjo, and locked in by a rock-solid rhythm section, LittleFox’s thoughtful original songs are about love, longing, belonging, women, urban history, and finding your way in strange times.”

The show starts at 7 p.m. Find tickets at Eventbrite. They are $13.58 apiece.

Good Morning Iris, by Cheryl Painter, appears on the poster for the 2023 Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show which runs from May 4 to June 2 at the CPAC gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan. (Cheryl Painter work)

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

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