This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Congrats to the Roots North Music Festival folks who turned this year’s festival into an online concert by Alex Andrews and Marta Solek, Craig Mainprize, Darrin Davis and Amy Jefferies, Sam Johnston, Sean Patrick, and Zachary Lucky.

The concert is an hour long. Tyler Knight did the moving picture part and it looks really good compared to some concert videos I see online. It sounds good to thanks too Mark Webster’s sound engineering.

I think I was most surprised by Sam Johnson’s performance. I did not expect her to be as polished. Sean Patrick, with the fastest growing hair in the county, continues to grow as a performer. Craig Mainprize is a two-sport artist; he keeps coming up with excellent new paintings, and in this concert some very good new tunes. Darrin and Amy’s music was maybe the most developed of all the original material; whichever one wrote the stuff broke up the melodies in rhythmically interesting ways. Marta (cello) and Alex (violin) did not fit the folk music style one would expect, one also wouldn’t expect they wrote the chamber music they performed either. Zachary Lucky closed out the show. He’s the most experienced performer of the lot and it shows.

You can watch the concert now, and checkout other Roots North videos on their channel. If you head over to the website, you might notice a donate button. The festival, like all the others, is scraping by without the revenue and grants, so a buck or two can help them get to next year’s festival April 21 – 23.

Mother’s Day Ahead

You’ve been warned. The Orillia & District Arts Council has been working on a Mother’s Day project which will premiere on their Youtube channel Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m.

Part of it are messages to their mothers from people like Mayor Steve Clarke, Laura Thompson (who runs the City’s real estate department) famous movie photographer Peter Stranks, and chamber of commerce GM, Alan Lafontaine and many others. There will be some music by Mart Solek, visual artistic input from Gaia Orion, and the Orillia Storytellers group will tell some stories.

Pause That Video

You know how Youtube will just keep playing videos end to end if you don’t shoot your computer? Well, the other morning I was doing my usual roundup of late night talk show opening monologues and then it started playing some older John Oliver videos. It was background noise by then, so I was mostly listening as I hustled about my morning. Just kidding, there’s not a lot of hustling lately.

Don Tapscott on Last Week Tonight

I happened to look at just the right moment and saw someone on screen I recognized. Oliver was doing a segment on cryptocurrencies and there on the screen was Don Tapscott saying hacking the blockchain would like turning a Chicken McNugget back into a chicken.

The segment was from March 2018 and while I watch regularly, somehow I don’t recall ever seeing this one before.

Did You Even Try?

The Leacock Museum has opened nominations for the K. Valerie Connor Memorial Poetry Contest. Two weeks ago I wrote about how easy it is to write (evidence before your eyes), so I’m wondering if any of you tried to start writing a submission. You have until 11:50 p.m. June 30 to email your entry.

That’s plenty of time to write, and re-write a poem or two. Re-writing is important because you will make it better every time. You might even think of different poetic ideas to craft while you are at it and the more horses you have in the race, the better the chance of placing.

Speaking of placing, each category has three cash awards ranging from the $750 top prize in the adult category to $25 for third in the elementary school-age children category.

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

Online Distracters

OMAH”S next History Speaker’s Night (online version) happens May 12 at 7 p.m. Zoom in to hear Bruce McRea talk about Sculptors of the Great War. He’ll speak about day trip places to see them and the artists like Elizabeth Wyn Wood and Emanuel Hahn. Call 705-326-2159 to get on the link notification list for this free event.

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.

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.

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.

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

(Images Supplied) Main: Sam Johnson from the Roots North Music Festival Video.

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