This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

I’m going to go out on a limb and guarantee this Saturday night is going to be a Starry Night. Of course for the last 15 years this weekend has been the art extravaganza in the Arts District, so in or out, the art stars of Orillia and area will be there with their works, but Jimmy Webb’s proverbial cake won’t be getting wet.

You can get a map of participating venues here. Can you believe there are 35 of them? Not maps, but venues. Samantha Windover and Briar Summers will be there to play some of their music.

The fun starts at 7 p.m. There are several restaurants participating and you should probably call them to make reservations, not all of them, just your favourite place, just as soon as you get to the bottom of this page.

This event draws a huge crowd and if you’ve never been you aren’t going to lose anything by enjoying the atmosphere and schmoozing with everyone. It’s always a good evening, even when you can’t see the stars up in the sky, which, as I said, you’ll be able o do this year. I promise.

Walk Off The Plank

Or get nudged, if you prefer. The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce has the second round of a new event, the Port of Orillia Pirate Party happening August 31 and September 1 at the waterfront. I think someone has a thing about people getting wet in the basin next to the Port of Orillia building because the main attraction is walking the plank at 2 p.m. next Saturday.

2019 Pirate Party (Photo Submitted)

There will be plenty of music by Unbranded (Sat. 11 a.m.) Dav and Crash Monkey Mob (Sat. 6 p.m.), Charlotte and the Dirty Cowboys (Sun. 3 p.m.)  and the Mudmen (Sun. 7 p.m.)  Getting the Mudmen to come here when it’s not January (they’ve been playing the Opera House every January for quite a few years to what they say is their biggest tour audiences). While all of the bands are going to be good, if you have yet to experience a Mudmen show this is the time to do it.

It’s kind of like the Winter Carnival Polar Bear Dip, minus the ice, cold wind and cold water because you have to voluntarily step off the plank – and it’s a fundraiser for the Rotary Aqua Theatre restoration project. You can get pledge forms here.

There‘s a treasure hunt, with prizes, happening, You have two days to collect all your stamps on a map. There will also be fencing, wheelchair basketball and other demonstrations both days. And, like Christmas in June, boaters are probably going to be speaking in tongues, except this time it won’t be slurred words, but pirate vernacular, and their boats will be decorated.

To warm things up for the weekend the Rotary Club has a showing of the movie Goonies Aug. 30 at whenever it gets dark. Parents, if your kids have not seen this movie yet, you are depriving them of one of the great joys in life.

This Saturday the chamber’s concert series has High Court County playing at the Port Of Orillia from 5 to 9 p.m.  

Youth Centre Concert

The Youth Centre and Roots North are partnering on a concert at Fern Resort September 28.  Headlining is Danny Michel. Last April Danny sang at Jane Goodall’s 85th birthday party. If you’ve seen him you know the $35 ticket price is worth it. But wait, there’s more. Billy Pettinger and Meredith Moon are performing too. This is going to be a good concert.

You can get tickets online, or at Dapper Depot, or Alleycats Music. All of the proceeds go to the Youth Centre.

Is It Too soon To Mention The C Word?
Too Soon? (by Erin McKenna/Unsplash)

St. James’ Anglican Church, Creative Nomad Studios and the Downtown Management Board are teaming up for the Orillia Christmas Market in late November.  Forgive me for bringing up Christmas at this muggy time of year, but there is a point.

It’s a juried affair, which means you have to apply to be part of it and submit you work for evaluation. They want creative stuff, so obviously paintings, wood carvings, fabric art, food, photography and etc. You need to apply by September 13.

The folks at St. James’ have had Christmas markets in the past, but this is going to be more elaborate. So far they have the Orillia Silver Band, the Little Big Band on board for entertainment and there will be others added.

Arty Stuff

Of course, I lead with Arty Stuff, but there are two things to note.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History has the last day of their own version of the Antiques Road Show happening with Julie Riches of Riches Appraisals and Consult happening Saturday. She’s a member of the International Society of Appraisers and 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.  You must register in advance.

Hibernation Arts has a busy September planned. On September 7 there’s a show opening of Mary Jo Pollack’s work at 1 p.m. September 14 a group show, Equinox, opens at 1 p.m. Sept. 19 Dave Armishaw and Josh Poitras kick off the fall version of the Wordsmith reading series with some poetry at 7 p.m. ($10 admission). And new is a house concert series starting September 26 at 7 p.m. with Sean Patrick and Darrin Davis ($20)

The Shorts

*  Saturday and Sunday is the Chippewas of Rama annual Pow Wow. They are now calling it the loudest and proudest pow wow in Ontario. Top prize for singers is $10,000. Grand Entry Saturday is at noon and 6:30 p.m. Sunday it’s at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per day, or $15 for the weekend at the gate at the John Snake Memorial Community Gardens. Seniors 60 and over, veterans, the disabled and kids 12 and under get in free.

* Third Age Network and Lakehead University are partnering for an event August 28 with Dr. Timothy Sayle who will review the history of NATO and the challenges it has today with Keeping the Peace? NATO and Our Global (Dis)Order. It’s at St. Paul’s Centre at 7 p.m. and tickets are $35. Register here.

*  The Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture has a First Nations Literary Festival happening September 19 to 21 in Midland. They are also having an art exhibit at (and with) OMAH September 28 with John Ross and Amy Swartz. 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.

Same Time Next Year

*  The Opera House has Same Time Next Year up and running. Viviana Zarrillo and Nigel Hamer are great in it. If you want to see this one before closing on August 30, good luck and 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 Don James and Jack Nicolle in Friday; their patio just opened too… the Brownstone has Rebekah Hawker’s Careful Women EP release party with Sarah Machan and Jamie Grant doing sets too… Lake Country Grill has Even Steven in Saturday… Liz Anderson is playing Tailwinds at the Lake St. John airport this Saturday and next… Jakob Pearce is at Fionn MacCool’s Saturday night… the last Sunday evening band concert at the Aqua Theatre is with the Markham Concert Band at 6:30 p.m.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)

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