This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

The City of Orillia is creating a butterfly garden at the entrance to Tudhope Park. There should be more butterfly gardens, and people should be making them in their own back yards, but that’s not why this subject is in the arts column this week.

Some form of permanent art will be part of the garden. What kind? Who knows at this point. Making good on the City’s commitment to commission public art is a good thing, even in this year of strange happenings on the municipal front and a budget that is surely in disarray.

Despite extra expense in some areas of the budget, there will be lower expense in others. Keeping up with some sense of normal business and not putting off projects council OK’d at budget provides a sense of direction instead of just turning from one fire to put out to another.

There is a submission period from now to July 17 at 4 p.m. for artists to come up with a concept. Details and a drawing of the garden can be found here.

The art should be durable, maintenance free and weather proof. Obviously it’s public and publicly funded, so I don’t think they’d consider my stick figure nudes. It can be one piece or several pieces. If it’s interactive, that’s OK.

There is a $5,000 budget and it includes material, installation and artist fee. There will be interviews about submissions the following week and a design will be chosen by July 24, if the plan doesn’t get changed for any reason. The installation will happen in the fall.

Tudhope Butterfly Garden Layout
Tudhope Butterfly Garden Layout

It might be helpful to know what plants will be used. Heartleaved Aster, Ornamental Onion, Common Yarrow, Common Milkweed, Purple Coneflower, See Holly, Sneezeweed, English Lavender, Shasta Daisy, Catmint, Black-Eyed Susan, Pincushion, Stone Crop, meadow Sage and Showy Stonecrop are the varieties.

Submissions can be from artists working together, it doesn’t have to be from an individual. The art in public places committee is putting together a jury to evaluate submissions.

Good luck.

So The Street Is Closed

Friday afternoon Mississaga and Peter streets will be closed to traffic. In the Arts District, the galleries are planning the first, of several, Summer Outdoor Artwalks. It will happen from 6 to 9 p.m. The streets are closed from 4 to 11 p.m.

Galleries participating are Hibernation Arts, the Shadowbox, Three Crows Speak Studio, Peter Street Fine Arts Gallery and Ian Chaplin will be there to play some tunes.

The art walks will happen again July 24, August 7 and 21.

Let’s see how the restaurants and merchants take advantage of the extra space.

Molly Farquharson, Charles Pachter and MJ Pollack at Hibernation Art

I was in to Hibernation last Saturday to check out Molly Farquharson’s first show in her new gallery at 17 Peter Street South (Art & Home used to be there). The show, Covid Creations, has MJ Pollack as the featured artist and the Orillia Fine Arts Association has a prominent spot.

There is more room, more wall, and more paintings in the new gallery. There’s also some sculpture and jewellery, and of course Molly’s fabric art. I saw a number of really great things I’d hang in my place.

And, Chris Robinson and Joe Huron were playing some jazz music on the main street to brighten the ears Saturday afternoon.

Are You Dressed?

The Orillia branch of Dress For Success launched a fundraiser this week. It’s a progressive, online, raffle called Toonie Tuesday. tickets are $2 and you can buy as many as you like. Half of what you spend goes into the pot, the other half to Dress For Success. You find the raffle here, and you can check the Facebook page frequently for updates on the jackpot and weekly winners.  

This is a great organization. They help women who are hunting for jobs by getting them some snappy clothes to wear at interviews.


It was a weird weekend. I went down to Tudhope Park on Saturday evening (could have issued more than the 4 tickets by-law officers wrote over 4 days last week during my brief park-my-butt-on-a-bench stay) and felt out of place without all the Mariposa people around.

I did crack that beer at 5 p.m. Friday.

I also watched the concert video Mariposa ran Sunday night on their Facebook page. You can watch it here.

The first part of the hour and 20 minute show features a round-robin set with Small Glories, Mimi O’Bonsawin, and OKAN alternating tunes as you would have at an afternoon workshop stage.  The latter, a trio with drums, percussion and violin/vocals was pretty cool (I heard keyboards, but didn’t see a player) with the Latin rhythms.

This Way North had their own multi-tune set. If you listen carefully, you can hear how to pronounce Yackandandah, Australia. Leisha Jungalwalla and Cat Leahy  are the whole band. Leisha plays guitars, Cat plays drums and sang lead on most of the tunes.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings are always good to listen too. They played a number of tunes, Tom Wilson only sang lead on one of them, with Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden splitting the rest of the set on lead. It’s always good to hear BARK perform.

There will be other Mariposa virtual concerts, but dates have not been released yet, so keep looking in here.

The Shorts

*  The folks in the Arts District made official what I’ve said many time already, Starry Night is not happening this year.  Mark you calendar for Aug. 21, 2021.

 *  If you missed seeing All About Who You Know when it was shown here at the Opera House late last year, you can watch it on Crave. Jake Horowitz, who wrote and directed it, has been working on a new movie, Cup of Cheer, a Christmas parody movie, which will be out, take a guess, by Christmas.

Streets Alive is working on a project we’ll be seeing soon. David Shaw is making a couple versions of butterflies, which will be painted and pop up around the downtown.

*  Live music on the web –

*  Nick Keays and The North River  (Kristina Skeries (fiddle), David Kaye (bass)) have been working on new music. They unveiled Above The Smoke, this week. You can see the video, and others here. There’s another song to listen to on their Youtube channel.

*  ODAC and the Orillia Museum of Art and History opened nominations for this year’s Orillia Regional Arts & Heritage Awards. The categories are Education in Arts, Culture and Heritage; Emerging Artist; Heritage: Restoration, Renovation and Publication; Event in Arts, Culture and Heritage; and Qennefer Browne Achievement Award. Nomination information and forms are online.

*  OMAH has the second lot of their online fundraiser QuarARTtine  going online. It’s an auction of 6×6 inch art. Most of the first lot of 20 pieces sold and you can view the art and participate here.

*  I have been negligent telling you the history arm of OMAH has been posting videos on Youtube of the Speaker’s Night’s that would have been. The most recent is about Glenn Gould, and the one before is about some RCMP officers drowning on Lake Simcoe. See the whole bunch here.

*  Nate Mills went stir crazy and created some new material you can see here.

*  Zachary Lucky has some new stuff on his Bandcamp page.

It Just Happens, By Cathy Body

*  Creative Nomad Studios has a new art exhibit, Passions, featuring the work of Cathy Boyd at their Mississaga Street location (across from the Orillia Public Library) which can be seen as you wander the pedestrian mall Friday, or any time – it’s in the windows. 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.

(Images Supplied; Hibernation and Jazz Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia))

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