Critic's picks: Van Voorst exhibit, comedy class, Emily Carr in France


What: Cornelia van Voorst – The Persistence of Love (In a Time of Disaster)
Where: Xchanges Gallery and Studios, 2333 Government St. Suite 6E
When: Saturdays and Sundays (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) through Jan. 24
Admission: Free

Why: The first exhibit of 2021 at Xchanges Gallery on Government Street — one of the oldest artist-run galleries in Canada — is now open to the public. Victoria artist Cornelia van Voorst has created a series of panels centred on roses from her neighbourhood, as a way of dealing with her complex post-traumatic stress disorder. The paintings, the last of which were completed in the early stages of the pandemic, convey messages of strength, courage, hope and kindness. Priority viewing is given to visitors who have made an appointment in advance, by calling 250-382-0442.

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What: Funny Words Comedy Writing Workshop
Where: Zoom
When: Jan. 17-Feb. 21
Tickets: $80 (for a six-week session) from

Why: Starting Sunday, experienced comic Emily Woods is offering a six-week crash course in comedy for budding writers. Participants can choose between two 90-minute sessions offered via Zoom each Sunday, with a final in-person showcase (depending on provincial health protocols) bringing the whole process full circle during the last week of February. If you ever wanted to test your mettle when it comes to making people laugh, this is your chance.


What: Emily Carr: Fresh Seeing – French Modernism and the West Coast
Where: Royal B.C. Museum, 675 Belleville St.
When: Daily through Jan. 24 (Wednesdays are closed)
Admission: $14.95-$22.95 (children under 5 are free) from

Why: The window to see one of the Royal B.C. Museum’s most esteemed exhibits is narrowing — there are only 10 days left to visit the Belleville Street landmark for Emily Carr: Fresh Seeing — French Modernism and the West Coast. The exhibit looks at the impact of the iconic Victoria artist’s time in France, where she studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. To give attendees personal space during their visit, the museum is operating with a timed-ticketing schedule, so check royalbcmuseum.bc for availability. Those not comfortable with social distancing can take a virtual tour ($5) hosted by co-curators Kiriko Watanabe and Dr. Kathryn Bridge.

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