This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Stardust And Other Things

When you stop to think about it, 1969 was a pivotal year in many ways. The Montreal Expos played their first game. PBS (and Sesame Street) was established. Walmart incorporated (not sure that’s a highlight).

True Grit (the first one), Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider and the great Where Eagles Dare came out in theaters. Brett Favre and Jennifer Aniston were born. Golda Meir, an American, became prime minister of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded. The United States instituted the draft lottery and protests were rampant across the U.S. and occasionally in Canada (which also lead to mass immigration to Canada) and Richard Nixon took office – literally as it would turn out a few years later.

Heh, Monty Python hit the air. No it didn’t. Yes it did.

Orillia became a city in 1969. No it didn’t. Yes it did.

The Beatles made their last public performance on the rooftop of the Apple Corp. building.

Charles Manson forcefully entered the public recognition space.

Humans walked on the Moon.

I see the glazed eyes from some of you younger folk. Stay with me.

Let’s get back to NASA. Because of the Apollo program we have baby formula, vacuum packed food, thermal blankets, digital cameras, Nike running shoes (well all of them that followed after Converse really), and the Dustbuster. See, some history is relevant.

We have the internet because the first message sent between two computers (separated by miles) happened in 1969. The first battery powered smoke detector was created that year as well. The Boeing 747 took its first flight and the Concorde was test flown. The first quartz watch, the Firebird Trans AM, ATMs, microprocessors and the UNIX language were developed (your Apple products run on UNIX). And you thought your parents didn’t know much. You’re Welcome.

The Isle of Wight Music Festival and Altamont were the landmarks of many music festivals happening in 1969. You might say the whole notion of music festivals emerged in 1969 (yes, you are right, Monterey was the first in ’67) .

Woodstock, Photo By Derek Redmond

Of course, one cannot speak of music festivals without mentioning Woodstock. That was ’69 too. August 15 to 18 actually, which makes this weekend the 50th anniversary.

It’s hard to comprehend 50 years have passed since Woodstock happened. Sorry if you weren’t thinking about it and I just reminded you of how old you are. One of the bands that played at Woodstock was the Grateful Dead. This is important to note.

The point of all this is to shed some light on our wonderful record store, Alleycats. You know this store as the one place to get vinyl, CDs and tapes of some of the greatest music ever made – t shirts, posters and other stuff as well. Sometimes walking into the store feels like stepping back in time. Would it surprise you they are celebrating the Woodstock 50th?

Our own Grate Northern is going to be playing Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the store. If you haven’t seen them, do so. They do a really good job of stretching a 3 minute song out to oh, about however long they can jam on it in true Grateful Dead fashion. It’s a great experience to relive your own Deadhead days, or find out what it was all about.

Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. Sam Johnston and Friends are playing at Alleycats and Geoff Booth and Friends are doing Hippies at the Hog, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hog N’ Penny on Saturday.

Spot The ‘69

The above dovetails nicely into the other event happening Saturday – the annual Classic Car Show downtown. This is the 21st time. I remember the first one and wondered if the claim there would be about 250 cars show up would hold. It did. Four years in they went over 400. That figure has held ever since, except the time it was cold and rainy.

One would hope someone is going to bring a ’69 Firebird Trans Am, in light of the electrons I used up above.

Cars and music go together like left and right sides of a zipper. There will be music by the Sidewinders at the Brownstone from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hobo Jam is playing in the parking lot across from Brewery Bay. There are DJs at various points, and one more band to be named whenever Steve Parkes gets around to it.

The Geneva has Hells Bells coming back once again. The band played the car show evening street concert many times. They’re playing indoors on Friday night before the big day. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the door.

You can also wander down to the Port of Orillia for the 6th annual Chris Craft Rendezvous. These are not people named Chris Craft, but boats manufactured by Chris Craft.

If you haven’t been downtown for a while, do not try to get there by way of Front Street if you are coming from the south. Personally, I try to get up to West Street as soon as possible (traffic sometimes backs up and Queen Street can only hold so many cars) and then down Colborne, or to which ever parking lot suits you.

Arty Stuff

The Orillia Museum of Art and History has their own version of the Antiques Road Show happening during the month of August. Julie Riches of Riches Appraisals and Consult, a member of the International Society of Appraisers specializes in silver, art glass, porcelain, ceramics, bronzes, sculptures, furniture, coins, military items, and fine art.

She’ll have a look at your stuff from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the 17th, and 24th. Military historian/collector Carl Black, and Marcel Rousseau will be part of the day on the 17th. You must register in advance.

Art by Patti Agapi

Patti Agapi has a show at Lee Contemporary up and Peter Street Fine Art has the work of the BaySide Artists  featured.

Hibernation Arts September show is Equinox and there’s room for artists to submit their stuff if it’s smaller than 24 inches – photography and 3D art too. Email for details. 

Not The Opera

The Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture cancelled the August 17 Women in Opera event. If you had tickets email for a refund.

They still have a number of good things happening soon. Their First Nations Literary Festival is happening once again September 19 to 21, but in Midland this time. They are also having an art exhibit at (and with) OMAH September 28 with Don Ross’s little boy (he’s not so little anymore) John and Amy Swartz (absolutely no relation – she can paint).

November 1 they have a concert at St. Paul’s Centre with Jane Bunnett and Maqueque followed by another November 2 with Kune. For tickets And more info visit their website.

The Shorts

*  Lyric Dubee, who was nominated for an ODAC Award last year, did get one just recently. He won Entertainer of the Year at the 2019 International Singer-Songwriters Association.

Same Time Next Year

*  The Opera House has Same Time Next Year up and running. You know the story, but probably forgot most of it anyway. Viviana Zarrillo and Nigel Hamer are great in it. The last play sold out its entire run, so if you want to see this one before closing on August 30, get your tickets now. Also at the Opera House Duck Soup Productions is doing Annie every Tuesday evening and there’s a Beach Boys tribute band in Aug. 28.

*  Craig Cardiff is returning for his annual boat cruise on the Island Princess featuring his music. It’s September 1 and the boat loads at 5:30 p.m., and leaves 6. Tickets are $35. If you wait, it will be $45 at the dock. Kids under 12 are free with an adult.

*  Coming up… the Hog ‘N Penny has Stevolution in Friday; Social Furniture is in Saturday night… the Brownstone has The Lucky Ones playing Thursday; Myrie is in Friday; Lucas Chaisson plays Monday August 19… Lake Country Grill has Even Steven in August 24… Jakob Pearce is at Boston Pizza Thursday evening… the Sunday evening band concert at the Aqua Theatre is with the Simcoe County Band at 6:30 p.m. … the next concert at the Couchiching Beach Park bandstand is August 21 with Rouge River Wind  at 6:30 p.m. … the next Movies in the Park at the Aqua Theatre is Amadeus  on August 21 when the sun goes down… the chamber’s summer concert series at the Port of Orillia continues Aug. 24 with High Court County from 5 to 9 p.m. … Starry Night happens August 24 in the Arts District and beyond… The Chippewas of Rama Pow Wow is August 24 and 25.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)

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