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Art Beat: Living Forest Institute holding outdoor musical concerts

Also, In the Serpent's Wake, Seraphina, author Rachel Hartman is visiting Gibsons and District Public Library on June 11.
A. Art Beat_June 3
Songbird concert series Singers Sarah Noni, Aristazabal Hawkes and Anna Lumiere will serenade audiences under a forest canopy as part of the Songbird Forest Concert Series.

The Living Forest Institute, an environmental advocacy organization motivated by concern about the clearcutting of Sunshine Coast forests, is sponsoring a series of outdoor musical concerts to highlight a vulnerable grove on the hillside above Roberts Creek. 

The Songbird Forest Concert Series features three musical acts, all performed en plein air. Admission to the performances is by donation for registered audience members who trek to the designated performance spaces. 

“We wanted to find a way to provide a fun activity that provides education,” said Sarah Lowis, president of the Living Forest Institute. “We want to bring together those who care about the environment, but maybe haven’t had the chance to actually get involved or learn more about it. So this is a fun way to bring the family out and have a nice afternoon on a Sunday in the woods and just appreciate what we have right in our backyard.” 

The Songbirds Trio — composed of a capalla warblers Sarah Noni, Aristazabal Hawkes and Anna Lumiere — will perform at the so-called Soaring Eagle Stage on June 12 at 1 p.m. The trio will sing a musical lineup inspired by redemption, community, connection and concern for the environment — all arranged for three-part harmony. 

Two additional performances by other artists are planned for June 19 and July 3. 

The concert series is the latest in a series of public education initiatives by the Institute to quell clearcut logging in forests known for their ecological abundance and community enjoyment. In 2019, the group launched a classroom series to promote the protection of the Clack Creek forest, and has run similar outreach events since. 

Concertgoers can register at to receive detailed hiking instructions. Before each concert begins, guides will meet hikers at the trailhead for a 40-minute moderate clamber to the all-natural amphitheater. 

So good it’s criminal 

Author Elizabeth Elwood, whose nomination by the Crime Writers of Canada for Best Short Story was recently covered by Coast Reporter, has been selected as the Crime Writers’ winner for her tale “Number 10 Marlborough Place.” 

“I’m so thrilled and honoured,” Elwood said. “I’m still pinching myself to believe it!” 

According to the contest judges, “This story resonated long after we read it. The first sentence immediately puts us in the right time and place and the vivid, but not overstated, details reinforce the setting.” 

The full list of Crime Writers of Canada award winners is available online at 

Indigenous wisdom expressed through artwork 

In honour of National Indigenous History Month, the Gibsons Public Art Gallery is hosting an exploration of Coast Salish teachings around acceptance and togetherness as codified in artwork. 

shíshálh artist Shain Jackson will curate an exhibition of his work plus works created in collaboration with friends Xwalacktun (Rick Harry), Ximiq (Dionne Paul) and Splashing Eagle (Aaron Nelson-Moody), Ray Natraoro, Chief Janice George, and more. 

The exhibition remains on display through July 3. The artists will be onsite at the gallery to meet the public and discuss their work on June 4 at 2 p.m. 

Get lost In the Serpent’s Wake 

On June 11, the Gibsons and District Public Library will host an author reading by Rachel Hartman, whose works for young adults have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. 

Set in the phenomenal world of her award-winning book Seraphina, Hartman’s latest fantasy novel In the Serpent’s Wake engages with gender fluidity, colonialism, and Indigenous autonomy. 

Tess is a girl on a mission to save a friend. Spira is a dragon seeking a new identity. Marga is an explorer staking her claim on a man’s world.  

Jacomo is a priest searching for his soul. But only those awakened with eyes open to the wondrous, the terrible, and the just will truly find the last Serpent at the bottom of the world. 

The reading will include musical “illustrations” from the novels. In person and live on Zoom. Details and registration information is available from the library’s website at