Helen Austin, Doug Cox in concert for hospice

1st Tuesday Fundraiser hosts Judy and Bruce Wing invites you to the Mex Pub on Tuesday, Dec. 5 to hear featured guests Helen Austin and Doug Cox. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation. Proceeds support the Comox Valley Hospice Society.

This will be the last event hosted by the Wings. New host Scott Lyle will be continuing the tradition in the new year. The Wings are confident they’ve found the perfect fit for carrying the event forward, and are pleased that the events will continue to bring together great music and causes.

“We are very appreciative of the Mex Pub and the sponsorship that Roy Tai has offered over the past nine years,” says Judy. “It has ensured consistency and that makes a huge difference. We’ve met a lot of great folks and shared some wonderful community experiences. It has been a very rewarding initiative, and it feels great to know it’s going to continue.”

The musical successes of this month’s guest Helen Austin continue to inspire songwriters and musicians, who have watched her evolve as a musician and artist. There’s little she hasn’t done since her initial classical training, and her career has included an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades. She left a 20-year career as a headlining musical comedian in the UK to come to Canada, and has since built a reputation as a prolific songwriter. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Juno, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and The John Lennon Songwriting Competition’s Song of the Year. She has recorded several award winning albums, formed a successful duo Big Little Lions, has 100-plus synch placements on ads, television and movies, and has helped to produce the music of young songwriters. In her spare time, her love of community has been expressed in various collaborative projects including the Strathcona Symphony Orchestra, Fiddle Jam, Time Well Wasted, Relay for Life, Vancouver Island Musicfest MC, Voices Three, and a David Bowie Tribute, to name a few.

Joining Helen for the evening is renowned dobro player Doug Cox, whose musical career intersects with some of the world’s finest musicians. Cox has spent a lifetime in the music industry as a musician and promoter, record producer, session player, TV and radio interviewer, and musical instructor. He is well known in the Comox Valley as an accomplished blues player and as the artistic director of Vancouver Island MusicFest. He has toured extensively and has an impressive discography to his credit, and to the delight of his local fans, continues to make music that is genuine and accessible.

“I’m pleased that Doug Cox is joining me for this concert, we’ve had a lot of fun working together through VIMF, and on a collection of David Bowie songs that we performed,” says Austin. “I’m quite excited about the launch of a new Big Little Lions album in the new year and upcoming tours. For the next couple of months, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and waiting for Mount Washington to give us the thumbs up.”

The CVHS has moved to a new co-location with the Canadian Cancer Society at 102-1509 Cliffe Ave. The CVHS continues to provide a range of services for those facing end-of-life concerns, including compassionate care for palliative clients and their families. Through staff and well-trained volunteers, CVHS delivers programs that include Advance Care Planning, a Lending Library, Bed Loan Program, A Community Hospice, Individual and Family Grief Counselling, Music Therapy, Respite, Self Care Clinics and a range of healing modalities. Representatives from CVHS will be attending the event with information available, and to issue tax receipts if required.

The evening includes an opening set by the Wings, joined by the Snow Monkeez, with Bruce Wing on guitar, violinist Blaine Dunaway and Steve Ruskin on keyboard. Donations of food for the Comox Valley Food Bank are also appreciated. For more information about the evening’s entertainment visit helenaustin.com or dougcox.org. For more information about Comox Valley Hospice Society, visit comoxhospice.com.

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