Gotta love a fellow who dresses like his favourite song: ‘Red Solo Cup’ by Toby Keith. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Gotta love a fellow who dresses like his favourite song: ‘Red Solo Cup’ by Toby Keith. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Snippets from Sunfest and other fun stuff from over the back fence

Do you think you'd keep your Canadian accent if you lived overseas?

Some snippets from an exciting weekend at Sunfest:

One of the unexpected delights of the smoky atmosphere we’ve been “enjoying” is the amazing sight of a copper coloured moon rising following the setting of a ruby red sun. Another was seeing otherwise dignified men happily parading around with neon glow sticks wrapped around their cowboy hats.

In the VIP area in front of the big stage at Laketown Ranch a recurring treat was the sudden appearance of the man decked out in illuminated Red Solo Cups, in tribute to Toby Keith’s famous song.

B.C. born singer Madeline Merlo really played up her Flamingo Motel theme with onstage palm trees and beach balls for the crowd, while some of her fans waved purple flamingos as she strutted by.

A special carpet was laid down onstage for Little Big Town, and a guy spent about 20 minutes vacuuming it, too. Posh!

And, Friday night, Brett Kissel, who often sings at the Edmonton Oilers’ games, got the crowd to join him in the singing of ‘O Canada’: a moving moment for everyone who was there.


For talent born closer to home, it’s been an exciting month.

Cowichan Lake Idol finalists enjoyed a special morning Sunday, Aug. 6. They got to hear their voices projected out over top level equipment at Laketown Ranch’s Flats stage, and they and their families were given tickets to that evening’s shows.

Duncan Has Talent has also wound up for the year, bringing to a close another showcase of emerging performers from the Cowichan Valley.

Both events should be back next year, so, young would-be stars, start planning your performances now. There’s a great experience waiting, as well as some fine prizes.


The Visions group of Valley artists is displaying their work on the mezzanine of the Maritime Centre in Cowichan Bay until Aug. 27. This gallery show and sale takes place daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with various artists manning the show.

Visitors will see pottery by Lyndsay Hunley, paintings by Roger Jackson, Catherine Taron, Donna Birtwistle and Carolyn McDonald, jewelry by Susan Whyte, Rosemary Danaher and Karen Bottcher, photography by Neil Fatin and painted clothing by Terry Harrison. Because there is a staircase up to the mezzanine, the show is not wheelchair accessible.


I wondered, when I was preparing to interview Valley-born but now London-resident Eve Daniell, if she would have an upper crust British accent by now.

“No,” she laughed. “The longer I’m gone, the more firmly I hang onto my Canadian-ness. I’ve got a weird pronunciation of the word ‘what’ where it comes out ‘wot’, which is more of a mistake but it’s kind of stuck. Otherwise, I’m very Canadian still.”

I’m just the opposite, I think. I just have to walk past folks whose English has a slightly different lilt to find that I’ve picked up a bit of it and added that to my own 57-varieties spoken language. I remember years ago in Scottsdale, Arizona meeting a woman from Texas who smiled up at me and said, “Ah jus’ luv to heah you talk!” I guess I’m just a collector of accents. You, too?

Cowichan Valley Citizen