This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Friday the Roots North Music Festival happens at 8 p.m. No, the snow has not finally driven me over the edge. The good folks at Roots read the tea leaves knowing the event would not and could not happen as it is meant to be for the second year in a row.

But, they did invite 6 local acts worthy of being under the lights in a concert hall to record some music. Mark Webster made it sound good and Tyler Knight made it look good and you can watch the hour long program on Rogers TV, or go to the festival’s website and you’ll find links to watch it on Facebook or Youtube.

“It was important to have really good visuals, some high quality, and I think we’re going to achieve that,” said Derick Lehmann, chair of the festival.

“We shot it a couple weeks ago when we were still in the red zone and still had the ability under the different mandates. It was weird having no audience, but it was great.”

There are 6 acts; Alex Andrews and Marta Solek, Craig Mainprize, Darrin Davis and Amy Jefferies, Sam Johnston, Sean Patrick, and Zachary Lucky.

“An important mandate for us is to support the downtown, so we want encourage people to grab some takeout and have a dinner and a show at home.”

There are still some people out there hanging on to tickets from last year, and a few who have them they thought they’d use this year. They’ll be good for next year.

“We encourage people to hang on to their tickets,” said Derick, adding there have been no requests for refunds so far this year.

That said, like all festivals they are struggling to some degree and Derick said there will be a donate button of the website for people to throw a life preserver if they are able to.

“The concert is free, there is no obligation,” he said.

Other Online Distracters

If you think things can get boring here in the big metropolis at a time like this, imagine what it’s doing to people living in smaller places like Washago. There’s only so much wood to chop before you start to get stir crazy.

For evidence, check out Steve Caston’s videos on his Facebook page. The artist, musician and humourist has been making videos for years and has some new stuff to see regularly. I don’t know why I didn’t think to include pointing you toward his productions sooner, but better late than never.

Max Metcalf  and his band John’s Cottage have some tunes and made some videos to enjoy.

Check out Zachary Lucky’s online concerts on his Youtube channel.

Battlescarred Est. MMXX Album Art

Don’t forget Battlescarred’s new EP (I wrote about them two weeks ago) is out on all streaming apps on April 27. In the mean time, listen to the first single.

The Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County has a fundraiser happening online April 23 at 7:30 p.m. It’s called Tunes N’ Treats and features performances by B. Knox, Whiskey River and Orillia’s Sam Johnston. It’s the kick off for the Walk for Alzheimers.  When you register, they’ll send you a link to watch the concert.

The Opera House gets a cut if you buy tickets for virtual concerts by Whitehorse May 8 – but you have to use the sale code ORILLIA when you buy.

Steven Henry takes requests Saturday nights at 8 p.m. here. It’s good way to spend two hours.

Joe Huron plays jazz guitar Sunday’s at noon on Facebook.  Catch him here.

The Mariposa Folk Festival has a question. Go to heir Twitter post and tell them who your favourite Mariposa performer over the years is. There’s no catch, no prize for right answers, but you do get to fire up some part of your brain.  For me, it’s hands down Gord. It never ceases to amaze me the transformation he goes through as he crosses the line from off stage to on stage and audiences love him without reserve. Close runners up are Walk Off the Earth, Barenaked Ladies, My Son the Hurricane, Don McLean and, oh, I could do this all day. They only want one answer.

Creative Nomad Studios has a bunch of online art workshops happening, some of them are free. Find out more here.

Pick Up That Pen

I suppose risking carpal tunnel syndrome might be the modern way to write poetry. Last week I wrote about the new songwriter’s group (email or for details) and this week it’s a poetry contest. It’s time to enter the K. Valerie Connor Memorial Poetry Contest run annually by the Leacock Museum.

The deadline to submit – an entry – get your mind out of the gutter – is June 30 by 11:50 p.m. There are prizes ranging from the $750 top in the adult category to $25 for third in the elementary school-age children category.

Think about it. That’s not bad money for stringing words together. You know how to do it. Put your lips together –OK, that’s too much – and sip from the glass of sherry. Again. Again. Now put your thoughts on paper.

Go here to find out more details and get entry forms.

(Images Supplied) Main: Ariana Gillis performing at the 2019 Roots North Music Festival at St. Paul’s Centre – Photo by Tyler Knight.

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