This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz


We should be thankful for the Images Studio Tour. It happens every year on Thanksgiving weekend, thus providing a great opportunity to get the family, visiting and permanent residents, out in public where nobody can start anything. Then when you get back you will have something to talk about other than the election.

I guarantee you’ll see something awesome at one of the 18 venues. Heck there are 30 artist’s work to see. If you can’t find something worth going on and on about, then you deserve to sit and listen to Uncle Joe tell everyone they should be voting Conservative.

There are 4 days to choose from starting Friday. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. They have a handy map online and you can plan which venues to go to, or send your loved ones to (for peace of mind while you wrestle with the turkey).

I learned after the first one to bring my camera, forgot it a bunch of times too, because this time of year you’ll find a scene worth stopping and getting a picture of. If you don’t want to venture far Jimi McKee, Charles Pachter, Marlene Bulas and Leacock Museum are all in town. Marchmont isn’t too far away and Dave Beckett’s and the Allen’s are great places to check out. Have fun, I mean it.

Jazz Festival

How can you be a sax player in a high school band and not get into jazz? I’d wager 100% of all sax players can whip off a jazz solo they heard on some album or played during high school. What else are they going to do? The sax isn’t exactly a standard instrument in any other genre of music (Bruce Springsteen and Supertramp excepted), only getting called upon when an arranger or producer thinks, hmmm, this tune needs some other sound in it. Pink Floyd did it, George Michael did it, Gerry Rafferty, the Stones, the Doors, and they all used jazz sax players.

So I’m going to guess there’s going to be one or two sax players in the Orillia Jazz Festival Rising Stars Solo Competition because they have alto, tenor and bari sax categories – trumpet, trombone and guitar are the others. Hey, no piano? Drummer politely holding a hand up over in the corner. They are playing from a script of either Bob James’s Angela (the Taxi theme song) or Duke’s I’m Beginning To See The Light. It’s jazz, the entrants can stray from the notes on the page if they want.

Conveniently the competition takes place during the Orillia Jazz Festival (October 17 – 20) at the Operas House at 1:10 p.m. on the 19th. If there are a high number of entrants, they’ll start at 10 a.m. You can find out for sure if there’s an early start right here next week.

Shirantha Beddage

Each student will play with Brassworks backing them up and the judges are John Johnson and Shirantha Beddage, both of whom are playing gigs during the festival.

There are prizes. If a trumpet player wins, they get a lifetime subscription to Keeping Time (written by a drummer), if a trombone player an alarm clock so he/she can show up for gigs on time, if a guitar player a soft chair for those lonely nights sitting in the back next to the drummer, and if it’s a sax player a nice t-shirt with You Are Not The Star Of This Gig laminated, staple gunned, and glued to the back. Oh, there’s money involved, first place gets a $400 scholarship, 2nd – $200, 3rd – $100. The cash is real, the other stuff could have been. The winner also gets to perform at the 7 p.m. concert with Brassworks and other guests at the Opera House. Get tickets for that here.

You can go witness the competition for free.

And as Don Porter correctly pointed out in the comments section of last week’s column over on Facebook there is a Jazz Fest gig at the Geneva October 18. I did not have that info at the time. All three high schools will be performing at the Geneva October 18 at 7 p.m. The Geneva and Topps In Pizza are sponsoring, admission is by donation and that money will in turn be donated to the Orillia Youth Centre.

And if you haven’t got your tickets for Lance Anderson’s newest tribute show, Maiden Voyage: A Tribute to Herbie Hancock at St. Paul’s Centre October 20 (2 p.m.) you shouldn’t wait. There’s a problem with the link to tickets on the festival’s website so get them at Alleycats Music downtown.

UPDATE: the link is fixed, go ahead get your tickets now.

Spooky Things

Downtown Orillia promises to be spookier this year than in the past.  People are going to be thinking –wasn’t the BiWay store there last week? Where did that building come from (Matchedash Lofts)? I was only here a month ago and it all looks different.

But that’s not what the DOMB means. Halloween is coming (someday giving away gut and tooth rotting candy will have given way to broccoli and apples without sugar coating) and there are a couple events they’d like you to attend.

October 23 it’s the Nightmare on Peter Street. The Orillia Museum of Art and History has a tour of the basement. The lights will be out and they say things are going to go bump. A group called The Experimental Support Association (TESA) is going to be doing an investigation. Yes the old jail cells are at OMAH, but I don’t think they’re going to be grilling a prisoner.

At the Opera House, same night, they’re going to do a tour of the building. There are a number of stories about the old joint, some of which I’ve heard from the people who experienced strange things first hand (no, Statler and Waldorf are not going be there to tell everyone about the time they saw a show they liked). Even stranger, the Old Dance Hall Players are going to be performing in the Studio Theatre. The set will be a graveyard and they’ll be doing improv comedy. There will be stores along the way (look for lanterns in the windows) with their own take on Halloween. Pick up a passport for a chance to win a prize.

It’s an organized tour affair and tickets are $25, which you can get online.

(Photo by Amber Avalona – Pixabay)

October 26 the DOMB has the Kids Costume Parade from noon to 3 p.m. It starts at Studabakers and ends at the Orillia Public Library. At the library you will be judged, for the (best) costume your kid is wearing. Bring a lunch pail, or other suitable carrying thingy because there will be plenty of opportunity to get stuff from participating merchants and you get a passport to help figure that out. Of course if you get it stamped correctly you could win a prize.

Meanwhile  at 370 Gill Street, there’s a event happening from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31. A group called Kckreations has Orillia’s Fright Night Haunted House, happening. It’s free, donations accepted. They also have an after party with a bonfire and other stuff. There’s a costume contest with cash prizes and you can get tickets to the party and more information here.

New Music

Reay has another single from their album being released Friday. You can listen to Halo and music from the rest of their album, Butterfly Tongue Revisited at their website. I noticed they have a few quotes from reviews and one is from Eric Alper. Alper is the guy who stickhandled Ringo Starr’s first appearance at Casino Rama several years ago. Somebody’s getting noticed.

And Tangents, a new band (Will Tennant, Mike Byam, Cody Zuzcia and Rob Barnes), has an EP out (self titled). You can hear one of the tunes, Anx/Unease, on Bandcamp. They have a gig happening  at the Geneva November 16 to unveil the music live. Also at that gig are 30 Going On 13, Four Nature Homes and A New High. Get tickets online

More Geneva Stuff

I might as well tell you now about other stuff the Geneva has happening soon. Use the same link as above for tickets. Comics Jarrett Campbell, Danny Martin, Arianna Pile and Mark Trinidad are bringing their We Own the North road show in Saturday night. You can get tickets at the door for $5 over the $15 online price.

The Polyester Slackers are performing at the 80s Halloween Party October 25. Dl Rudy is along to keep the music playing when the band has to rest their fingers and voices. Tickets are $10 and you can get them in advance at Gilbert Guitars.

The Old Dance Hall Players haven’t had a show in a while, but they are back at the Geneva with Why So Serious October 26. I haven’t figured out yet if their show titles have anything to do with the any of the improv bits they perform, which isn’t new, Second City never connected the dots either. Get tickets at the door or email in advance.

The Shorts

*  The theme for next year’s Streets Alive art project downtown is a camper van. All the details and application forms are at OMAH.  Why vans? It fits with next year’s 60th Mariposa Folk Festival. You have to have your application in by Nov. 15.

*  ODAC’s annual general meeting is Oct. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at St. James’ Anglican Church.  Visit their website before you go and catch up on the history of ODAC, maybe take out a membership, and plan to be there.

*  The Mariposa Folk Festival’s winter concert program starts Oct. 26 with an Echoes of Mariposa event. The Echoes are designed to give audiences a second crack at some of the previous summer festival’s performers. Rick Fines, The Doozies and James Gray will be playing at St. Paul’s Centre. Tickets are $35 in advance.

Orillia Silver Band Recording Session

*  The Orillia Silver Band has the Hillcrest Lodge Benefit Concert at the Opera House Oct. 27. I’ll tell you all about this fantastic 2:30 p.m. concert next week, just get tickets now online. And, last week they recorded their next album at the Opera House. It’s called Couchiching Classics and they’ll do a couple tunes at the concert.

*  The Orillia Museum of Art and History has Industrial Legacy: A History of Dorr-Oliver-Long up Oct. 12 with the reception Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. Also see Ingrid Mayrhofer’s After Krieghoff and Pest Control, works by John Ross and Amy Swartz. Also up is Tina Poplawski’s When The Green Dark Forest Was Too Silent To Be Real. The history speaker’s night starts October 16 with Orillia Secondary School: From Ortona to Juno – A Journey of Remembrance at 7:30 p.m. Peter Street Fine Arts has oils and acrylics by Roger Pockett this month.  At Hibernation Arts see Mary Jo Pollack’s Equinox; Wordsmith this month is with Paul Court on the 10th ($20); the Fall Group Show opens October 19;  the gallery concert is Oct. 24 with Buck and a Half (admission $20).

*  Coming up… at the Brownstone Run Rabbit Run is in Friday (great band); Old Man Luedecke is in Sunday at 7 p.m. … the Hog ‘N Penny has Charlotte Unplugged in Friday; Michael Martyn is in Saturday… Jakob Pearce plays every Thursday evening at Kensingtons… Irish Mythen is at St. Paul’s Centre Nov. 8; get tickets here…  the Opera House has Nicole Craig and guests performing Oct. 10; Second City’s Cure for the Common Comedy is Oct. 18; Anne Marie Scheffler’s MILF Life Crisis is Oct. 24; Zachary Lucky’s album release concert is Oct. 25…  Lance Anderson has just added a matinee of his Last Waltz show happening November 15 at Peter’s Players… MAT’s next film night at the Galaxy is Oct. 16 with The Farewell… the 6th Annual Ugly Sweater Bowling Party is December 13; tickets go fast.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; OpenClipart-Vectors – Pixabay; Supplied)

Rants & Raves

Support Independent Journalism