This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

There will be music, from Mariposa, today.

There are many rejoicing and if you listen, you can just about hear them cheering. But that is not the big news from the offices of the Mariposa Folk Festival located in the Arts District of downtown Orillia. Oh no. The big news is…


They have beer.

Oh sure, you think, of course, there’s Alice’s Patio, the Pub, yeah they have beer every summer, at the festival. But this is different. They actually have their own branded beer.

It’s made by Sawdust City Brewing Company of Gravenhurst. Festival organizing chair and foundation president Pam Carter told me the idea came from a committee meeting. They already had Sawdust City on as sponsor of Alice’s Patio and when they were bouncing around ideas of things they could do to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the festival someone suggested they should have a beer named after the festival.

They asked the folks at Sawdust City and here we are, a new beer, a lager, available starting today called Mariposa Folk Festival Sun.

You don’t have to go to Tudhope Park to get some. Sawdust City has a store in Gravenhurst, or they deliver. You can order it online.

It’s too bad things didn’t work out to introduce it earlier in the week or we’d all be able to sit back with a sufficiently cold one tonight and listen to some music from Mariposa. You’ll have to substitute another brand, a Canadian maybe.

Not anything from Labatt’s. I stopped drink their beer a few years ago over their cavalier attitude regarding a marketing campaign which involved destruction of environmentally sensitive and protected areas around the world. I wrote a letter and got back a stock reply which didn’t even reference the reason I wrote to complain, so after a lifetime of the blue can being a first choice, they are now last after every last drop of beer is gone from the planet and the pond water too.

So, the music. Tonight they are presenting an online concert of music live from the Tranzac Club in Toronto with Julian Taylor and Kalyna Rakel. They are partnering with the National Arts Centre on this project and you can watch it here at 8:30 p.m.

This Mariposa Virtual Stage, as they are calling it, is a great idea. Here’s another. Why not schedule a bunch of performances on July 3, 4 and 5. They don’t have to be elaborate. Lot’s people around this area have shown it can be done from a phone and streamed. I’d do it on Facebook, or preferably Youtube, so it’s not just music and the musicians can be seen and interact with the audience. We could be sitting on the deck, cooler of Mariposa Folk Festival Sun beer on ice, and watch on the big screen in our back yards. Of course you’d have to drag your TV onto the deck, but sometimes you have to do it. Or maybe, Pure Country 106  or Max 89.1 could set aside those evenings and play music we would have heard, had the festival not been cancelled. Either way it would be special.

More Online Music

While I’m on the subject. There are number of local bands and musicians who have taken to the intertubes since the middle of March. I’ve been running a list each week and the latest to get added is Joe Huron. He does a half hour of jazz with his guitar (he’s the best in the county) every Sunday at noon here.

The others are:

Stage 2

Tomorrow Ontario moves to stage two of reopening. What does that mean for arts & culture here in Orillia?

It means you can go to the galleries again. I did a quick survey of Arts District galleries and it turns out a few of them have been open since stage one.

Hibernation Art’s Molly Farquharson has been hanging around her shop since then. She’s also been packing because the gallery is moving into the former Art & Home Studio space on Peter Street. She should be up and running early next week and she has a new show staring June 30 called Covid Creations.

Peter Street Fine Arts is also open. Brian Tosh told me he’s been in the shop from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. since stage one went into effect. Now he’s going to allow 2 people at a time in, maybe more once he gets a handle on how the physical distancing will work. Currently the guest artist wall has a collection of his own work up. He’s often in beyond those hours, so shoot him a note to make sure he’s there.

The Shadowbox has also been open but not every day. Lucy McGarvey said their business has been brisk with area artists replenishing their art supplies and others getting custom frames. They are only open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can always call them to book an appointment at 705-325-1663.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History hasn’t been open and likely won’t be until after June 24. Ninette Gyorody, who runs the place, told me they have been working out how to do that. It’s a big space and there is a requirement from the province for a number of things which affect how visitors can see the various exhibits, plus the board has to approve reopening.

Right now OMAH has online fundraiser, an auction of 6×6 inch art called QuarARTtine. Ninette told me most of the first lot of 20 pieces has sold and another lot of 20 is going to be released June 20.View and participate here.

Drive By Art

The National Arts Drive is happening June 20. Organized by Raw Artists, the concept is artists will be set up curbside at locations of their choosing, you register and a map will be provided the day of. The event happens from 4 to 7 p.m.

Go to the website linked above and register. It’s like signing up to an email list. You’ll get a confirmation email you are on the list. On the 20th you’ll be emailed a map showing the locations of participating artists.

On the same page is a button for artists to sign up. You get to include some biographical info, examples of your work and so on just like you would do for a group show.

It’s not just visual artists, There is a least one band I know of participating, there may be more. 

The Shorts

*  Creative Nomad Studios 2020 Unlimited art exhibit is up a ready for you to stroll by at their Mississaga Street location (across from the Orillia Public Library). If you see something you like, you can buy it online.

*  The Orillia Public Library has a number of things you can do online through their website. They have games and programs to participate in as individuals or in groups. You can download music, movies and audiobooks. You can also take online courses.

* I just noticed this is the 75th arts column under the SUNonline/Orillia banner. Woo-hoo.

(Images Supplied)

Rants & Raves

Support Independent Journalism