Cowichan Calligraphers mark 25 years of loving letters

Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Marilyn Boechler. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Marilyn Boechler. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)
Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Betty Locke. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Betty Locke. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)
Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Marilyn Boechler. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Marilyn Boechler. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)
Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Judy Matheson. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Judy Matheson. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)
Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Marilyn Boechler. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)Calligraphy by Warmland Calligrapher Marilyn Boechler. The Warmland Calligraphers are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year. (submitted)

By Linda Yaychuk and Betty Locke

The Warmland Calligraphers group began modestly in 1995, with one teacher inspiring a group of students.

One of the founding members or the Warmland Calligraphers, Betty Locke, taught a calligraphy class at the Cowichan Community Centre 25 years ago.

At the end of the session, 12 women approached Betty in hopes that they could continue learning the fine art of calligraphy. The group decided to form a guild and Warmland Calligraphers of the Cowichan Valley was born.

Those 12 original members have grown to more than 80 calligraphers and five of the original members are still active.

The goal of the Guild is to nurture and support those who are learning this art. This is accomplished through workshops and classes. A number of these are held throughout the year and are given by local members, instructors from other Canadian guilds, or by instructors from other countries. Warmland Calligraphers have enjoyed workshops from wonderful teachers from Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, Slovenia, Tasmania and the U.S.

Members have had the pleasure of attending international conferences. In 2007, the guild proudly hosted “Island Magic”, the 27th International Calligraphy Conference. Twenty-one instructors from various countries were invited and they presented an array of classes. More than 300 calligraphers who attended brought their families with them to enjoy theIsland.

General meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds. There are usually 40 or more people in attendance — some of whom come from Victoria, Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Chemainus.

Meeting programmes educate us on various aspects of calligraphy and quite often a “hands-on” programme is enjoyed. Meetings also include “Gallerias” in which members voluntarily submit calligraphic pieces they have created on an assigned topic.

Space is also rented on the fourth Tuesday morning each month for “Playtime”. During these sessions more experienced members help newer calligraphers develop their calligraphic skills. This is more of a social gathering for the development of skills through practice. Part of this time is shared by a newly-formed group within the Guild called “Warmland Scriptors”. It is a group of more than 20 members who produce and present two pieces a month on given topics. Participants share their work through a private Facebook page and at Playtime.

The guild maintains contact with some other groups in Canada by publishing an annual journal, Reflections. This huge undertaking documents our year and is a retrospective of the artwork of the membership.

For more information visit warmlandcalligraphers.ca

Arts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

A sample of some of Lou-ann Neel’s jewelry.
Lou-ann Neel wins the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

Originally from Alert Bay, Neel’s family is steeped in renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists

Most Read