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Children and the arts



When children are encouraged in their creativity they are given a very special gift. I had a very tough but fair Grade 2 teacher who gave me that gift when she told me that I was an artist. And I have known that ever since, in spite of many early years of feeling like a failure in other areas of my life. When things got really bad for me in my late 20s, that knowledge – that I was an artist and I was creative – was the one good thing I held onto, and that eventually got me through the darkest time of my life.

Another teacher who I believe understands the value and importance of encouraging children in their creativity and is trying to do something about that is a lovely lady I met recently. Her name is Ali Morrison.

She is a very capable and accomplished musician. She teaches piano and is an examiner for the Royal Conservatory – among many other amazing accomplishments. She has worked in various creative industries such as music, dance, teaching, choreography and more in universities, schools, and organizations across Canada, the US, Ireland, New Zealand and Europe.

She has been instrumental in creating numerous events for children – because she has a deep passion for helping children understand that they have a voice and can make a difference in their world.

Through her non-profit, non-commercial volunteer organization called The Festival of Lights, she is busy working on putting on a “Young Artists Concert” here in Cochrane on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

She is looking for students aged six to 19, and some adults, who would like to perform at this concert. For more details check out the “Young Artists Concert with Ali Morrison” link at That link also includes Ali’s impressive bio.

While our focus in CIAS this first year has primarily been with adults, it is definitely on our list to explore how we can get children involved. Look for more on that in the coming months.

I was very encouraged by the great ideas shared at our recent Arts Community meeting on Oct. 29. I had asked folks to come with ideas for future events and for ways of building community – and I came away with some wonderful ideas to work with. I’ll be taking those to our next council meeting as we plan for our events and meetings in the new year.

Don’t forget to check out all the Christmas Market listings on our website at

And be sure to put the CIAS Christmas Party on your calendar too. It will be on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clubhouse Activity Centre at the Cochrane Ranche. Hope to see you all there!

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ARTS AROUND: Enjoy magic and comedy at the Capitol Theatre






Join the Rollin Art Centre in January for a family friendly fundraiser, featuring Canada’s Master Illusionists Murray Hatfield and Teresa.

They don’t just do magic, they are magic! Combining breathtaking magic, interactive comedy and some of the newest, most exciting and most up-to-date stage illusions, this will be an evening of exceptional entertainment that is completely unique and world-class.

The show takes place Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. All tickets are $30.00 and are available at the Rollin Art Centre or online ( What a GREAT Christmas gift!



“Preserving Memories, one jar at a time” is the title of the whimsical and heartwarming exhibit currently showing at the Rollin Art Centre.

Featured artist Joanne Thomson displays her collection of mason jars painted in watercolors. This exhibit is beautiful and takes you back to a time of simplicity. It runs until Nov. 23.



Transport yourself back in time. McLean Mill will be all decked for the holidays at this year’s McLean Mill Christmas Market from Nov. 30 – Dec. 2.

Every year, the Community Arts Council brings a variety of artisans and crafters to the mill to ring in the Christmas Season. This year, we are partnering with McLean Mill Historic Park to be bigger and better, with the mill light-up, trains, bon-fires, a s’mores bar, carollers and even breakfast with Santa.

The market will be open in the evenings to bring a bit of magic while you stroll the historic Mill site and shop for all those extra special holiday gifts. Trains will run each night and one Sunday morning.


For the first time, artist Gittan Klemetsrud is offering three felting workshops to teach the traditional and the contemporary techniques of felting.

1.) Scarf Workshop – Feb. 16 and 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., $330 + materials.

2.) Bowl/Lantern Workshop – Feb. 19 and 20, 5 – 9 p.m., $150 + materials.

3.) Handbag Workshop – Feb. 23 and 24, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., $270 + materials.

Register for all 3 workshops and receive a 30 percent discount. Call Rollin Arts Centre to register today. Space is limited to ONLY seven spots per workshop.


The Magic Cottage will be brimming with an amazing assortment of affordable, one-of-a-kind items for the 11th annual craft and gift sale. This unique shopping experience is sure to please, with artwork, original fashions, fine jewellery, home and garden décor, natural body care products, delicious gourmet treats, vintage collectables and much more.

Open Nov 16 (6-9 p.m.), Nov 17 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Nov 18 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), Nov 23 (6-9 p.m.), Nov 24 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Nov 25 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at 3945 Fourth Ave, between Morton and Maitland.



Come and enjoy the Barkley Sounds Community Choir’s concert, “WELCOME YULE” on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the ADSS Theatre. Tickets are on sale now at Rollin Art Centre, Echo Centre, from choir members and at the door. Tickets are $15 (under 12 free).


Timbre! Choir has been entertaining this community for 46 years!

Our Christmas concert this year is entitled “HEARTH & FIRE” and is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. There will be familiar and some not-so-familiar carols with music by Bob Chilcott and John Rutter. Get your tickets early for Sun., Dec. 9 at 2:30 p.m. at ADSS Theatre.

The choir is joined by Danielle Marcinek on piano and several members of Chor Leoni’s Men’s Chorus from Vancouver. There will also be entertainment in the lobby provided by the AV Community Band, directed by Cory Miller.

Tickets are on sale at Rollin Art Centre, Echo Centre, Finishing Touches, Salmonberry’s and from choir members. Tickets for Adults/Seniors are $20 and $5 for students and children under 18. Check out our new website at and complete the contact form if you any questions.


Advanced tickets available at Char’s Landing or the Rollin Art Centre

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m., James Gordon of “Frobisher Bay”

Friday, Nov. 23, 8 p.m., Friday Night Dance Party with David Gogo Band

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m., Maddie Storvold – “Open Book” Western Canada Tour

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412.

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Giving thanks for our arts opportunities




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  1. Giving thanks for our arts opportunities  Black Hills Pioneer
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Arts tip sheet: Eastside Culture Crawl




Are you a regular at the Eastside Culture Crawl? Here are a few new faces on the massive open-studio tour that you may want to check out Thursday to Sunday (November 15 to 18):

Jake Bull


Kool-Aid colours and a pop-art vibe bring to life portraits of everyone from Mexican wrestlers to merry-go-round horses and creepy clowns. It’s eye candy with an edge—no surprise, as Bull’s an alumnus of London’s advertising industry.

Mo Sherwood

1641 East Georgia Street

The art director of the cult Canadian animated series Yvon of the Yukon brings the same quirky sensibility to everything from funky wooden sharks to stylized portraits of Motown singers.

Laurie M. Landry

BC Artscape Sun Wah

We love the way Landry’s oil paintings reflect her experience of deafness, especially the portraits of gesturing hands—sometimes beautifully wrinkled or pudgy—captured as her subjects talk about themselves through American Sign Language.

Jason York

The Arc

With raw, brushy expression and bold hues—a favourite is pure, screaming orange—York’s abstracted works definitely speak with their own voice. But don’t be surprised if you see a bit of Jean-Michel Basquiat or a hint of Andy Warhol in his imagery.

Claudine Gévry

Parker Street Studios

The Montreal-bred artist’s sculptures and paintings fall clearly into the abstract category, but the forms feel so organic that you’ll swear they came from nature. Seek out her unique mobiles, with their ethereal, textured metal discs that bob and float.

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