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Art Beat: Halloween Block Party, Samhain Parade and NaNoWriMo

What's coming up in the arts scene on the Sunshine Coast?
The Driftwood Players assemble for more classic Halloween hysteria.

Calling all hallows

The Driftwood Players will return with another fun and spooky production for the Halloween Block Party on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Gibsons.

“This year’s show is a family-friendly musical romp and homage featuring some of our favourite characters from past years,” explained director JoAnne Bennison. “Imagine Beetlejuice with a dash of Rocky Horror, a demonic game show host, the eternal dead Vanna, a cackling Joker in a Box and a haunting musical lament from a ghost killed in a tragic roller coaster accident. We’ve also resurrected one of our all time favourites with Thriller and a rousing Time Warp grand finale.”

Shows are free and run at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 in front of the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives in Gibsons.

Other block party highlights will include shíshálh Storytelling by Candace Campo, an immersive installation by Mieke Jay, and  Portals of the Mind by Deer Crossing the Art Farm. The museum itself will feature regular tours inspired by an original story, The Flume of Doom.

Full event listings are available at

Writers take the cake

The Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society will celebrate its second birthday with cake at Mission House, Davis Bay on Oct. 29, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The organization plans to launch its quarterly literary magazine, Not An Island, for the first time as a bound copy. The publication is also available online via Amazon.

A newly released 2024 calendar will also be launched, featuring local authors Marion Crook, Jan Degrass, Caitlin Hicks, Heather Conn, Elizabeth Rains, Atma Frans, George Connell, Claire Finlayson, Danda Humphreys, Annie Frazier-Henry, and many others — plus a stunning cover by Kasia Krolikowska.

In November, the society will host NaNoWriMo, a worldwide challenge to write a novel in one month. All are welcome to participate; meeting locations for group writing exercises are listed on the society’s website at

Interested novelists can sign up for NaNoWriMo by emailing [email protected].

Souls on the march

On Oct. 31, from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Celtic and Latin culture will collide in a fantastical parade and stage show of costumes, live music, shadow puppets, and fire dancing. This colourful finale of the Sechelt Arts Festival will honour the annual life and death cycle of the fall harvest on Oct. 31 in a unique new way.

Rendezvous on Halloween night at the Seaside Centre for “Catrina” face-painting from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Then at dusk (6 p.m.), the Samhain/Dia De Los Muertos inspired street parade of larger than life “Catrinas” and the public (anyone can join in, costumed or not) will proceed to Hackett Park, serenaded by Caravan Paradiso, for a folkloric play by Shadow Circus Puppet Theatre, music by the fantastic Susana Williams, “Thriller” community dancers, and the Cool Heat Fire Dancers.

A full listing of Sechelt Arts Festival events is available online at

Unpacking The Nutcracker

The Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons will present an enrichment lecture on Nov. 14 by a member of the Coast Reporter’s arts staff.

The entertaining talk will explore the riddles behind the melodies of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s final ballet, The Nutcracker. The presentation (suitable for all ages) will weave humour, characters, images and music into a high-spirited account of the life of death of Russia’s most famous composer — and the holiday masterpiece that took on a life of its own.

All proceeds will benefit technical upgrades for the Heritage Playhouse.

Tickets are available online via