This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

UPDATED: to include Lee Contemporary event.

When I was a kid heading out for school in say, May, I’d be at the opened door, halfway out, and my dad would say, “where are you going?”

“School.” Obviously at 8:45 a.m. he knew where I was going, but that isn’t the purpose of the question.

My dad would glance at the calendar, “Dressed like that? It’s not summer yet, get a coat.”

So to the fine folks at the Orillia, Oro-Medonte and Coldwater fall fairs, I’m not in fall mode yet and there are 15 days of summer left (by the book, I think it may last longer than usual).

The Orillia Fall Fair is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Aside from listening to the roosters, seeing the cows and riding the midway, there’s other entertainment. Friday afternoon Alvin Eastcott plays in building 1. Saturday Six Strings and Cooling is in building 6 at 11:30 a.m. the Paraguinns are in building 1 at 1 p.m. and Two Hearts Content are in building 6 at 3 p.m. There are Scottish dancers performing in building 6 starting at 4 p.m.

Magician Frank Clarkson does several shows in building 1 Saturday and Sunday (both days starting at noon). There are tractor and truck pulls Friday at 6 and Saturday at 5 p.m. Mini pedal tractor pulls are Saturday at 3 and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Of course the big event is the Demolition Derby. It starts Saturday at 2 p.m. Full fair information is available here.

The Oro Worlds Fair is Sept. 13/14 and the Coldwater Fall Fair is Sept. 27-29.

More Out of Season Stuff

I know it’s early, way too early, to be writing about Christmas, but there’s an event taking shape artists need to be aware of. Helen Perry and Jim Dykes are co-chairing the organization of the Orillia Christmas Market in late November the week after the annual Santa Claus Parade.

They are planning for 20 or so vendors and are accepting applications until Sept. 13. It will be juried, so the emphasis is on quality

“It is not a church bazaar luncheon,” said Helen of what they are aiming for. She spoke of Toronto’s Distillery District Christmas Market as a model of what they want to create here. They have a few things in place now, like music; Little Big Band, The Orillia Silver Band and various pianists will be performing.

“We’re looking for carolers,” said Helen. Who have mitts. They want to involve the downtown and would like to have lots of carolers to go up and down the streets in shifts.

Helen and Jim have high hope for it being a success and becoming a fixture of the Christmas season. They’re even calling it the first annual.

“This is year one,” said Helen. “Year two we may need another venue as well because I think it’s got,” potential.  

First Nations Festival

The Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture has their next event, and next version of Gathering, happening Sept. 19/20/21 in Midland.  Gathering is a First Nations literary festival.

The opening on the 19th at 5:30 p.m. at the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre has John Rice, Lee Maracle and Daniel Heath Justice scheduled, along with the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre’s youth drum group. This evening event does not require a ticket.

Friday evening Tomson Highway will present Songs in the Key of Cree. Joining him are singer Patricia Cano and saxophonist Marcus Ali. It takes place at the Midland Cultural Centre at 8 p.m. and is a separate ticket from the event pass.

Sherry Lawson (Submitted)

Saturday morning Andrew Mixemong Park leads a Sunrise Ceremony at the library at 5:30 a.m. The author’s reading part of the day starts at 9:30 a.m. with Sherry Lawson, Arthur Stevens, and Tsista Kennedy at the Midland library; Alicia Elliott, Daniel Heath Justice, Darrel J. McLeod and Jesse Thistle will be at the Midland Cultural Centre and Cherie Dimaline closes out the festival at 4:30 p.m. at the Huronia Museum.

The Orillia Centre also has their 2nd annual Emerging Artists show at the Orillia Museum of Art and History Sept. 28

At The Opera House

The Opera House has a number of things happening soon. Murray McLaughlin is in Sept. 18 for a night of stories and song. This is similar to when Rik Emmett did a sit down interview with Cameron Smillie a couple years ago; Cameron is the interviewer again. Tickets are $50, but if you also get a ticket to see the same thing with Pavlo Oct. 9 you’ll get $5 off the price of each ticket.

Here’s one for the ages. The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour will be in town Sept. 27. This thing usually happens in January and by the time it gets to a point it makes sense to write about January things every year it’s sold out. Here’s your chance to see this time.

The Shorts

*  OMAH’s annual croquet tournament is Sept. 7 at Couchiching Beach Park. Its $50 per person to enter and there’s food prizes. It takes place from 1 to 4 p.m.

Hibernation Arts has a busy September. Saturday 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 5th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Mancave Tour happens Sept. 21. If you’ve never been, a bunch of people, guys, get on a bus, or busses, and roll around the area visiting various homes where someone has had too much time on their hands and built themselves a den with all the toys. What more than a mini fridge, a table big enough for a glass/can and a remote, a reasonably well-sized TV and maybe a pool table could anyone want. You’d be surprised. Email to get tickets ($175, or 4 for $600).

Dave Beckett (Submitted)

*  The Images Studio Tour is a little more than a month away, but Dave Beckett is getting a jump on things with a show at his Marchmont studio Sept. 27/28/29. I’ve often said looking at his pastel paintings with water in them makes me thirsty; that’s how well he does water, with pastel, it looks real. He’s got a door prize, a print of his By Still Waters (me, I’d probably hang by the tap based on what I just wrote) and the first 50 visitors will get a print of his Georgian Bay painting.

*  The Youth Centre and Roots North are partnering on a concert at Fern Resort September 28.  Headlining is Danny Michel. Billy Pettinger and Meredith Moon are performing too. You can get tickets online, or at Dapper Depot, or Alleycats Music. All of the proceeds go to the Youth Centre.

*  The Ringos Comedy Troupe will be at the Geneva Sept. 19 with their show 80s Kids Will Understand. The group is based in Midland and Kristen Keller is one of the 5 members. They do sketch comedy and promise to ruin your childhood memories of the 80s, or somebody’s. Get tickets here.

*  Coming up… the Hog ‘N Penny has Paul Brooks in Friday… Lindy Vopnfjörd returns to the Brownstone Friday night; Thursday Sept 12 An art exhibit, Body Love, by Theresa Vanderburgt opens and Skye Wallace is in to do the music… Charlotte and the Dirty Cowboys are at the legion Friday night… Jakob Pearce plays every Thursday evening at Kensingtons…  The Orillia Shrine Club has Little Caesar and the Consuls playing at ODAS Park Sept 21; get tickets ($45) at P.D. Murphy Jewellers and Impression House… Peter Street Fine Arts has new work by Robyn Rennie this month… Lee Contemporary Art has Dan Nuttall returning for a second exhibit, Ruralia, with the opening reception Saturday at 1 p.m.

CORRECTION: Tomson Highway’s concert venue is the Midland Cultural Centre.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; Main Jill Wellington – Pixabay)

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