In the Curled Ferns, an evening of poetry and music in honour of the Comox Valley Land Trust, is to be held at the Abbey in Cumberland on Saturday, May 9.
Nova Scotia writer and Griffin Prize winner Anne Simpson is the featured poet and will be joined by local poets Carol Neufeld and Cornelia Hoogland, as well as fiction writer Traci Skuce.
Local musician Patrick Desjardins will open the evening with music performed on the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute.
Kel Kelly, beloved local singer and songwriter, will share a selection of his original compositions.
Hosting the evening is Margo McLoughlin; storyteller, writer and former Valley resident.
“The Comox Valley Land Trust is one of many local organizations who are dedicated to preserving the beauty and rural character of the Comox Valley,” said McLoughlin.
“By working with landowners, whether private or public, the Land Trust establishes Conservation Covenants, which protect the ecological features on a property.
“Several years ago, my parents decided to give their 11-acre beachfront property in Merville to the regional district. The Land Trust has been part of that conversation since my parents first proposed the idea. The transfer will take place in 2016. The new park will be called the Brian and Sarah McLoughlin Gardens.
“Plans are underway to make use of the house on the property for a writer-in-residence, or artist-in-residence program. In order to make this gift known to the public, I thought it would be wonderful to invite local poets and musicians to gather for a benefit in honour of the Comox Valley Land Trust.”
The evening will include a draw for a number of door prizes, one of which is a garden tour and afternoon tea at the McLoughlin Gardens, which is located in the Williams Beach area of Merville. Sarah McLoughlin, who has been developing these seaside gardens since the 1970s, will lead the tour.
“This is a unique opportunity to see this truly beautiful property utilized as a park setting with a writer/artist-in-residence facility,” said Jack Minard, executive director with the Land Trust. “These gardens show just how beautiful a native species garden can be and we at the Land Trust are looking forward to it being open to the public at select times each year.”
Tickets are available at Laughing Oyster Books in Courtenay, Blue Heron Books in Comox, and the Village Muse in Cumberland for $15.