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Explore: Concerts galore, studio tour, forest walk and more

Choose from a mix of musical events this weekend, from an organ recital to the tones of a burbling brook, Celtic tunes, a musical adaption of a Dickens classic and jazz by a world-renowned Brazilian guitarist/singer-songwriter.
The Barra MacNeil Celtic Christmas concert takes place at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney on Saturday.

Choose from a mix of musical events this weekend, from an organ recital to the tones of a burbling brook, Celtic tunes, a musical adaption of a Dickens classic and jazz by a world-renowned Brazilian guitarist/singer-songwriter.


Join the Royal Canadian College of Organists Centre members, Viva Youth Voices and the St. Andrew’s Stained Glass Singers for Kaleidoscope of Colour on Saturday.

The recital features organ solos with music from past to present, including video and gaming melodies, youth choirs and vocal solos with organ accompaniment.

The performances vividly demonstrate the diversity and colours of the St. Andrew’s hybrid organ with a Rodgers console.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the Hart Scholarship Fund for organ players.

Admission is by donation ($10 suggested), with donations of $20 and over eligible for a tax receipt. The show runs 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 924 Douglas St. Wheelchair access is available through the doors at 643 Broughton St. Details at


Have you ever called back to a crow or tried to sing the tones of a burbling brook? At the Royal B.C. Museum’s Sonic Mimicry Workshop on Saturday, you can.

At the event, composers and sound artists Tina Pearson and Paul Walde will discuss how through careful cataloguing, research and transcription, they have worked with local musicians to mimic the sounds of flora and fauna.

“The workshop allows us to tune in to the unexpected interconnections between landscape, identity, and technology,” said Kim Gough, the museum’s Adult Learning Team Lead.

Participants will learn how to call out to crows using interactive sound play. Guests are welcome to bring their acoustic instruments.

Tickets are $20. The event runs 1 to 3 p.m. at the museum, 675 Belleville St. For information and tickets


Get into the spirit of the season early at the Barra MacNeil Celtic Christmas concert on Saturday.

The MacNeil siblings, regarded as one of the best live acts in the Celtic world, will perform one of the most anticipated Christmas shows of the season with lush harmonies and intricate instrumental stylings.

Hailing from Sydney Mines, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, the group will perform classic dance favourites and tunes deeply-rooted in Celtic music, culture and history. The repertoire includes original songs as well as standards.

Tickets are $45. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave. Sidney. Details at


Brazilian master acoustic guitarist/singer-songwriter Márcio Faraco returns to Victoria Saturday.

Hosted by the Victoria Jazz Society, Faraco will play with fellow Brazilians Gerson Saeki on bass, Julio Goncalves on percussion and French accordionist, Lionel Suarez.

Tickets are $29 in advance, $32 at the door. Show starts at 8 p.m. at Herman’s Jazz Club, 753 View St. Buy tickets at the Victoria Jazz Society office, 202-345 Quebec St., Lyle’s Place and the Royal and McPherson Box Office 250-386-6121 or online at


The Four Seasons Musical Theatre presents A Christmas Carol, The Musical, from Friday until Nov. 22.

The seasonal production of the classic Charles Dickens story is directed by Terry Rowsell, with Lara Oberg as music director and Shannon Delaney as choreographer.

Admission is $20, $12 for kids 12 and under, $60 for a family (two adults, two kids). It runs 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Isabelle Reader Theatre, 1026 Goldstream Ave., Langford. Tickets available at Westside InstaPrint, Jennings Florist, Ivy’s Book Shop, by phone 250-478-0329 and online. Details at


Observe artists in their natural habitat

Watch artists at work at the semi-annual Oak Bay Artists’ Studio Tour, presented by the Oak Bay Community Artists Society, Saturday and Sunday.

There is no dress code for the tour but participants — especially public figures — might want to be careful what they choose to wear.

“I remember the mayor of Oak Bay standing in my living room at one tour,” said Imke Pearson, one of the co-founders. “He had his shoes off — and he had a hole in his sock. We had great fun reminding him of that over the years.”

The former mayor is one of more than 300 people who usually take the self-guided tour to see what the artists are up to every year. Established as well as emerging artists on the tour include Robert Amos, Jennifer McIntyre, Bonny Myers, Flo-Elle Watson and Tanya Bolenz

Expect to see a variety of original works in oil pastels, watercolours or acrylic, paper collages, pottery, woodcut, ceramics, jewelry, calligraphy, photographs, beads and textiles. The juried tour is produced by Recreation Oak Bay

While the tour is an opportunity for the public to meet the artists behind the art, the artists are also eager to meet the people buying their work.

“It’s really neat to meet the person buying a piece,” Pearson said. “You don’t know who buys it when it sells at a gallery.”

This is the 16th year of the event, with 25 artists represented.

The self-guided tour is free. Studios are open noon to 4:30 p.m. both

days. A downloadable pamphlet is available online. For information, go to


All about the little drummer birds 

The drumming you hear in the forest is the unmistakable sound of a woodpecker looking for dinner in a nearby tree. Learn about the tricks of the woodpecker trade at Wonderful Woodpeckers, two guided walks at Francis/King Regional Park on Saturday.

“Among birds, woodpeckers have amazing adaptations for their lifestyle,” said Colleen Long, acting co-ordinator of environmental interpretation at CRD Regional Parks.

“For example, we call the Pileated [woodpeckers] the carpenters of the forest because they make new holes for nests every year.”

During the walk, a CRD Regional Parks naturalist will explain what makes woodpeckers good at what they do and help people identify different woodpeckers by sight, sound and habits.

The walk is free to join. There are two events. The first takes place 11 a.m.

to 12:30 p.m. and is suitable for adults, 18 and older. The second event, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., is more suitable for families with children. Meet at the Francis/King Regional Park nature centre off Munn Road.

Please wear sturdy footwear and dress for the weather, as programs take place rain or shine. Try to arrive 10 minutes before the start of the program. Please leave pets at home. For information, go to


Catch the Christmas spirit early

Get inspired by Christmas trees decorated in a sometimes wacky, often irreverent and always beautiful fashion at the 2015 Festival of Trees at The Bay Centre, which starts Wednesday and runs until Jan. 5.

Every year, sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals come together to create a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Everyone is invited to browse the holiday display and vote for their favourite trees. Last year, more than 20,000 votes were cast and participants raised more than $129,000.

Due to renovations at The Fairmont Empress, the festival has relocated to The Bay Centre this year.

The display is free to view. Participants are asked for a donation if they want to vote for a tree.

The trees can be viewed during regular hours at the shopping centre, 1150 Douglas St. For information, go to


Exhibition’s artist won Emily Carr scholarship

Emily Carr House will host Arnold Burrell: Servant to His Art, a major retrospective, Friday to Sunday.

The special art show will feature paintings by the late artist, who was a recipient of the Emily Carr Scholarship. His biographer is providing free admission to the house for the three-day show.

“Arnold Burrell will be the first Emily Carr scholarship artist to exhibit here and this very special show and sale extends Carr’s intended legacy of inspiration in the arts,” said Jan Ross, curator at Emily Carr House.

Admission is free. The event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the house, 207 Government St. For information, go to

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