Rain or shine, the Cowichan Valley Concert Band will be kicking off Music in the Park at the Chemainus Waterwheel Park tonight (Tuesday, June 18) at 7 p.m.
This summer-long musical event, hosted by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society (CVCAS), will be taking place every Tuesday underneath the fir trees.
This year’s lineup will feature past performers, as well as a few new faces.
“A lot of the bands have performed for us before and were very popular,” says Mavis Sheikh, a director with the CVCAS. “We like to bring in new musicians, but we also have to bring back what the crowd enjoys.”
This year’s event features a wide range of bands.
Upbeat, fresh rhythms and melodies out of Zimbabwe and southern Africa will be provided by Bopoma Marimba. Cat’s Meow will be offering sultry Bossa Nova, along with classic swing and jazz; and Luv Train will be serving up rhythm and blues Motown.
Those are just a few of the acts involved in the 11-week event.
“The most popular group last year was the Naden Band [of Maritime Forces Pacific],” says Sheikh. “You can’t get a seat unless you’re an hour early.”
If you’ve heard the band before or want to experience its wide range of popular music, the group will be playing in Chemainus on July 16.
Admission to Music in the Park is free, but volunteers will be collecting donations, and there will be gourmet hot dogs and refreshments available for sale.
All proceeds from the concerts are given to the performers, so Sheikh would love everybody to bring their appetites to the park.
To see a full listing of performers for Music in the Park — as well as many other cultural events planned for the summer — click here.
Besides Music in the Park, the CVCAS has planned three music festivals at Waterwheel Park.
The Bluegrass Extravaganza will take place July 27-28, while Accordion Day will be held Aug. 10. The CVCAS has also planned the Chemainus Jazz Festival, which will take place Aug. 24 and will feature several big-name artists including sax-master Phil Dwyer and sisters Ingrid and Christine Jensen, who are originally from Nanaimo but are now more often playing their horns in Montreal and in New York City.