Cabaret, Christmas and Place of Commemoration at the Cowichan Performing Arts Center in November – Cowichan Valley Citizen

November at the Cowichan Performing Arts Center kicks off with three intimate cabaret shows, where the audience sits on the stage with the performers.

The first is Qairo on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Qairo combines music and dance, presented by an ensemble of seven who blended their traditions from France, Spain, Canada and Turkey into a unique blend.

“Qairo is a fiery and dynamic ensemble that combines the emotionally charged voices and thrilling rhythms of flamenco dance with the infectious melodies and punchy tones of the Mediterranean diaspora,” describes a press release for the show.

“From Spain to Turkey to India (with stops along the way), Qairo is music to dance to, no matter where you’re from. These are Turkish micro-tones played on an Indian bansuri flute, original flamenco verses “sung” by a clarinet, Balkan rhythms punctuated by an Andalusian guitar and flamenco footwork hammered like improvised jazz. Qairo is guitar, oud, clarinet, bansuri, saxophone, cajon, electric bass, cante (flamenco song) and baile (flamenco dance) acting as if they belong together on stage – and succeeding.

Tickets are $40 and due to the cabaret format they are limited, so don’t wait if you want to see the show.


The following night, November 2, also at 7:30 p.m., John Reischman and The Jaybirds.

It’s billed as “an elegant take on bluegrass” that blends original songs and instrumentals with old-time Appalachian music.

The Jaybirds have been together for 20 years and have released seven albums and earned two Juno Award nominations.

Tickets are $40.


On November 3, Raine Hamilton takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Hamilton is a singer-songwriter whose music is for violin and voice as well as guitar and voice.

“Raine is both a singer of the prairies and a weaver of stories; every song has a story, delivered between the songs with humor and grace,” reads a press release from the show.

Joining Hamilton for the show are musicians on cello and double bass.

The trio calls the resulting music “chamber folk”.

Tickets are $40.


A new art exhibit debuts in the theater lobby titled Conscious Contact – Staying in Touch in November.

Barry Strasbourg-Thompson and Gail Holland will exhibit their work.

Admission to the Lobby Gallery is free. Private viewings can be arranged by calling Laura at 250-746-3428.


Opera fans will want to book tickets for November 12 when the Met Opera presents and recalls Medeapresented at CPAC on the big screen.

Medea tells the story of a “mythical witch who stops at nothing in her quest for revenge”. The star is soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. She is accompanied by tenor Matthew Polenzani, soprano Janai Brugger, bass Michele Pertusi and mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova.

The show starts at 9:55 a.m. Tickets are $35 or $32 for seniors. Students in grades 8-12 enter for $5.


That night, get ready for something completely different.

At 7:30 p.m. it is The Journeymen: Tribute to Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.

“Nothing is more central to rock mythology than the cult of the lead guitarist. No one has done more to create this cult than Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. “The Journeymen” is a tribute to two of the most important guitarists in history,” reads a press release for the show.

Clapton has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame three times and has won 18 Grammy Awards.

Santana has sold over 100 million albums and is the best-selling Latin artist of all time.

Tickets are $45.


The public is invited to Relive The Music: 50s & 60s Rock ‘n Roll on Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Billed as back by popular demand with even more fun, the show is a rock opera concert “with a Broadway feel” featuring a band, singers, dancers, tributes, video and trivia.

“Millennials buy tickets to this show for your parents and grandparents. They will have a blast with memories,” a press release read.

The repertoire includes hits from Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Patti Page, Dean Martin, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Led Zeppelin, Elvis, Patsy Cline, The Beatles and more.

Tickets are $59.


On November 20 at 7:30 p.m., it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit with a Cowichan Valley favorite: Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy present A Celtic Family Christmas.

MacMaster and Leahy are beloved Canadian cultural icons with their spirited fiddles. In this show, they bring their talented children with them as they present a heartwarming evening of Christmas classics and Cape Breton folk music.

Tickets are $49.50.


Then on November 27 at 2 p.m., it’s Crete.

“Often referred to as the ‘battle that made Canada’, Vimy Ridge claimed over 10,000 Canadian casualties. Through direct storytelling, theater and live music from Brenden McLeod and The Fugitives, Crete examines the misconceptions and varied perspectives surrounding the battle, while drawing parallels with other formative events in our country’s past,” reads a press release for the show.

It includes renditions of songs by soldiers from the First World War and delves into the question of how and why we mourn.

Tickets are $38, or $34 for seniors, with an additional $25 discount for veterans. Students in grades 8-12 enter for $5.


To close the month, the film Reel Alternatives Phantom of the Open.

It tells the story of a dreamer who advances to the qualifying round of the 1976 British Open Golf Championship despite being a complete novice.

The Reel Alternatives film series is a fundraiser for Cowichan Hospice.

Tickets are $17.

Get tickets for CPAC shows at or call 250-746-2722.

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