Cougar Annie trapped over 70 cougars, bore 13 children and survived four husbands all in the remote Clayoquot rainforest. Her story is legendary and speaks of the strong, independent and capable women who pioneered on the west coast of B.C. Cougar Annie died at age 97 after having spent her life in this wind-swept piece of Vancouver Island.
Years later Katrina Kadoski found a connection to Cougar Annie and spent three years care taking the homestead and garden put in place by Cougar Annie. The Boat Basin Foundation owns the property and tries to maintain the vast gardens planted by Cougar Annie. The property is currently on the market.
Kadoski connected with the land and, “learned to make friends with the rain’ and, as she says, “learned how to see beauty in everything.”
During her years at Annie’s she took to songwriting and wrote a large body of work, some of it inspired by this pioneer woman. Annie’s spirit was there when people came and recalled stories and all of these were fashioned into Kadoski’s “Cougar Annie Tales.” Drawing upon many sources, including Annie’s family, Cougar Annie Tales uses dramatic narrative, images, letters, and original compositions to celebrate the unconventional life of one of B.C.’s most colourful characters.
Cougar Annie Tales will be on stage at Edward Milne community theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
“There’s a kaleidoscope of history there,” she said, and “music is a great way to tell the story.”
Her one-woman show is like a musical love letter to Cougar Annie. It brings Annie alive to people, without ignoring the hardships.
“The show speaks of her loneliness at times and the quiet moments and spaces.
She doesn’t change costumes during the performance, only the persona.
Kadoski doesn’t see herself as any kind of reincarnation of Cougar Annie, but rather sees both of them as coming from such different generation expectations.
“She was forced into her life — I have free will. She was on the edge of her culture and I feel I live on the edge of my culture too,” said Kadoski.
Kadoski lives off-the-grid in East Sooke and teaches songwriting, voice, guitar and piano.
“I’m hoping the community finds the show a good fit,” said Kadoski.
The Sooke News MIrror will be giving away a pair of tickets to Cougar Annie Tales. If you can answer the question: How many husbands did Cougar Annie Have? Send or bring in your answer and we will draw a name from the entries. Entries must be in to the Sooke News Mirror office by Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Show 7:30 p.m.
Info: 250 885 7100
Tickets: $18 /door, $15 in Advance – Freedom Arts Music, Kemp Lake Store, Bill’s Food and Feed, 17 Mile Pub and The Sooke Region Museum.