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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Night Stuart McLean Came to Chilliwack

Non Magnum Sed Parvi
There is an art form in the telling a story well.  A skill to be learned from hearing proper narration.  Chilliwack was treated last evening to a master of both; Stuart McLean visited the Chilliwack Cultural Centre to a packed house of the young and old.  I had seen Stuart, oh a couple of years earlier, in Vancouver, it was his Christmas show.  My daughter had bought the tickets but at the last moment was unable to attend.  Did we want to go?  Were we interested?  As if she thought these die hard Vinyl Cafe fans could not say no.

That Christmas Show was such a nice event, McLean, folksy and wise with a gentle humour advancing thoughts on the foibles of people, how much we are alike, how fragile we are, how love is the way of strength - all poignant and beautifully delivered. Would his visit to Chilliwack be as good?

We had never attended a show at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre until this Wednesday.  This was to be first for us.  .

This picture is here only because...© Stephen Mullock
The Chilliwack Cultural Centre building is very simple in style, unadorned which suits the people of Chilliwack* just fine. Let Art have the stage here. It does have a very comfortable 596 person tiered theatre. 

My wife, Gail, had arranged for seats centre of the stage and we were soon bumping our way down the aisle to our assigned seats.  We noticed that it was an older crowd for the most part, long time CBC listeners, but here and there were a sprinkling of kids and teenagers.   

Suspended from the stage ceiling was the banner above. I wondered what "non magnum sed parvi" meant.  I thought, guessed that is, that maybe it meant "don't be full of yourself" but I googled it later and I'd like to believe it means "no small magic is unimportant".  It is probably explained at the Vinyl Cafe website but I am not going to look for it now that I have thought of my own explanation. 

The "1994" I later learned was the year the Vinyl Cafe first went on the road - its first show being in Picton, Ontario.

The lights went down and after a brief introduction we listened to the magic of Stuart's first story, casting a spell of images and wise cracks in that "Jimmy Stewart" style of voice.  There is no stutter like the one actor Jimmy Stewart sometimes had, but, there are voice inflection similarities; long on the pause after a character comment but rapid fire on the description.  My sister calls him Jimmy Stewart McLean.  Whatever you want to call him it is a way of speaking that is as endearing and interesting as his stories.

The musical guest of the evening was none other than Harry Manx a talented guitar, banjo, mohan veena and lap slide guitar player.  His bar room voice intoning better days with assistance of a crack backup band.  I have a couple of CDs from Harry Manx and Kevin Breit and recommend "In God We Trust" and "Jubilee".

The evening evaporated only too quickly what a treat to have a Cultural Centre like this in Chilliwack that exceptional talents like Stuart McLean and Harry Manx can perform in.  To check out other productions at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre click here.

Stuart McLean and Harry Manx are both worth seeing and have a number of concert dates in British Columbia I would suggest you see them soon.

Imagine living here...


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

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