This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Last Thursday Kevin Gangloff discovered the basement at the Orillia Youth Centre was flooded. He made a post on Facebook letting the community know.

When I saw the post my first thought was, “the drums.” The Youth Center inherited 4 marching snare drums, two sets of quad tenor drums, and 4 bass drums from Stellula Music. They were originally to be used for a program in Penetanguishene which didn’t fly and were in new condition.

There was an effort made to start a drumline program here, but for a confluence of reasons it was decided to make a better effort later which would work with the school year. Those drum along with stands and carriers would cost about $15,000 to replace. Water and drums don’t go together, though marching drums do get caught in the rain and are built to withstand it, but being submerged was never a design feature.

There also were two drum sets and a few straggler drums which are usually stored in the basement when not in use. All together there were 27 drums plus hardware (pedals, stands, hi-hats).

Having the experience maintaining marching drums, I sent a note right away. Kevin and I talked Friday and some drums were stacked high enough they didn’t get wet and the rest were still being extricated. I said I’d be there to deal with them Saturday and I’d try and get some help because the new condition of the marching drums favoured salvaging them, and the drum sets might not be trash either. Essentially every other thing stored in the basement went into a dumpster (2 loads).

Mark Webster letting water drain form a drum

Me, Mark and Kristie Webster and Ethan Mask spent a few hours Saturday totally dismantling most of the drums, taking every bit of hardware off them until there was only a wood shell. It’s not enough to take the tension off the drumheads because water can seep into the lug casings and soak into the wood by way of screw holes. Every drum is made with plies of wood, just like the plywood at Home Hardware. The danger is the shell warping from the tension, or the plies separating. They also have to be dried correctly or they’ll warp and go out-of round.

I checked on them Wednesday and they are now dry as a bone and the shells I had in my hands looked round still. I fitted some drum heads and they seemed to match without gaps. The real test will be putting the hardware back on the drums, and putting tension on the drum heads, but I think the majority of them will still work well enough to irritate the neighbors for years to come.

First, all the hardware has to be cleaned and disinfected (and now the shells are dry,  those too). I originally thought maybe the road construction might be involved in the water leak, but it turns out a water heater was the culprit and had been leaking for at least 4 days. Basements in most downtown buildings are not like yours, all decked out as a rec room, workshop or laundry room and relatively spic and span. No, they are pretty dirty and adding water does not clean things up. Standing water can create mold, which is why everything else was tossed. The cleaning and reassembly will take a lot more time than tearing the drums apart.

A fair amount of the stuff in the basement was donated items, winter coats and boots, other clothing, Christmas and Halloween decorations and other seasonal stuff. Many people have offered to donate replacement things, but at this time, Kevin is still compiling the list of what was lost while trying to keep some semblance of the operation going under the COVID-19 rules of engagement.

Sandy Ward giving the new Valis Sound Studio some paint

He’d not like to have people bringing things to the youth center yet, until he publishes a list of what was lost and needs replacing. First, the basement has to be rehabilitated because that’s were a lot of replaced items will go until needed. The youth center is reopening in early August and the main floor space has to be made ready as well. On top of those things, the installation of the recording gear for the Valis Sound Studio which has been in the works for more than a year had just started. So, if you think you have something tangible you’d like to donate, hold on to it for the moment.

Oh, just before the flooding happened, Kevin announced the Orillia Youth Centre’s Roots North Music Festival Revisited concert is happening once again this September 26th. No acts have been announced and it will be at the Sunset Barrie Drive-in (Oro-Medonte Line 4 at Highway 11). Previous versions of this concert have been great, so you might want to get tickets now.

Held Over – One Week

The Tudhope Art Project the City of Orillia is creating at the entrance to Tudhope Park deadline for submissions was extended to this Friday. It’s really a butterfly garden being created, with room for some kind of art.

Tudhope Park butterfly garden site

Details and a drawing of the garden can be found here. The art should be durable, maintenance free and weather proof. A concept can be one piece or several pieces. If it’s interactive, that’s OK.

There is a $5,000 budget which includes material, installation and artist fee. There will be interviews about submissions next week. The installation will happen in the fall.

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.

The Shorts

*  Creative Nomad Studios has a new art project, Metamorphosis, happening Friday night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (next Friday too). Each night 8 artists will be on Mississaga Street in the pedestrian mall painting. Good thing there are some nearby restaurants (Common Stove, Eclectic Café, Cards and CoastersSweet Time Bake Shoppe isn’t close by, but part of the event) and you can eat while watching someone else perform (just like at home in front of the TV). The work will be part of an exhibition next month, but you can buy any of the pieces right away. Also see the Passions exhibit, featuring the work of Cathy Boyd in the windows of Creative Nomad – those you can buy online.

*  Round 4 of Mariposa Concerts is ready. The Folks at the folk festival have another video performance for you to enjoy. This time it’s with Julian Taylor and Kalynas Rakel. You can see it on their Facebook page, look for Live at the Tranzac. Their Youtube page, or their website is where you can also see any of the previous three videos (with Gordon Lightfoot and Dala, Blackie and the Roadie Kings, and Serena Ryder).

*  The Leacock Museum is open again. Admission is limited to small groups, 5 people max,  and you have to call ahead (705-329-1908) to book a tour of Stevie’s old house. The  hours are noon to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. That’s public hours, the staff has been reduced a lot and the grounds still have to be kept up, so people are pulling double duty. The Bistro is still closed. Swanmore Hall is available for business meetings of no more than 10 people, but is otherwise closed. Jenny Martynyshyn is going to be the only staff person come September, so 2021 programming is on hold. Check the website for updates and more details.

Leacock Museum

*  I understand the downtown pedestrian mall is expanding to Saturday evenings August 1. This Friday, you might also get to hear some music on the street.

*  The Orillia branch of Dress For Success has 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. The last jackpot was $1000. Check their Facebook page frequently for updates on the jackpot and weekly winners.  

*  Live music on the web –

*  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.

*  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 a group of RCMP officers drowning on Lake Simcoe. See the whole bunch here.

*  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.

(Photo by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)

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