This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Another Friday night is upon us. The downtown pedestrian mall has been pretty good. I see tables full at the restaurants and lots of people milling about. There are more artists out on the street in the Arts District than the first week at the other end of the month, and I see people I haven’t seen for a long while each week. I think that’s the best part, sure the idea is to go out and spend some money, but seeing people is uplifting.

Actually, after some thought, the best part is seeing people pulling their masks up over their noses when they stop to talk to each other.

Creative Nomad Studio has another outdoor workshop happening Friday. This time you can learn how to paint a heron like the one in the photo. You need to register and there is a cost.

Creative Nomad workshop subject

Inside at Creative Nomad Cloud Gallery has a new show called The Muskoka Summer Show featuring works by Craig Mainprize, Brigitte Granton, Julia Veenstra, Lisa Hickey, Lori Burke, Sarah Carlson, Shane Norrie and Victoria Pearce.

OMAH is open. Stop by to see Will McGarvey’s exhibit, Sticks and Stones. You can also check out the opening with Will and Jill Price online. OMAH also has some outside things you can do. They have an interesting tour called Gangs, Guns and Grog: True Stories of Orillia’s Wild West Days Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. Register online. A Friday night tour for families is open for registration, and they have a Saturday morning outdoor program for kids. They’ll be on the street Friday nights with activities.

Artists from Hibernation Arts have been out on the street with their works on Friday nights. The guest artist for July is Ruane-Lea Marshall. Peter Street Fine Arts also has a number of member artists’s work to see and the featured artist in July is Renee van der Putten.

Leacock Museum Opens

The Leacock Museum is open and you can book a tour, 705-329-1908, for your group of 5 or less for between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily except Mondays and Tuesdays.

The other thing they have going on is outdoor theater. Mariposa Arts Theatre is doing Bard In The Yard: Twelfth Night From August 25 to September 5. It’s adapted version of the play with Leacock and Orillia references added in. They’ll be using the front porch of Stevie’s house for the stage. They have a new director, Randy White, on this one. He’ s not really new, having worked in New York and Chicago. There are a bunch of showtimes, and you can get tickets online.

Which is Your Favourite Hippy Van?

From the better late than never file, Streets Alive has program books available for the 2021 Hippy Van public art exhibit. You can get then for $2 at Jack & Maddy A Kids Store. The booklet has images of all the vans in the exhibition and information about the artists – and most important the entry number. You need that number to vote for your favourite. In August votes will be counted and three of the 29 artists are going to win cash prizes ($10k, $5k and $2,500). You can drop off your ballot at Jack and Maddy or at OMAH.

Youth Centre Concert
Roger Harvey

The Roots North Revisited youth centre fundraising concert September 25 has another act on the dance card. Roger Harvey is from Pennsylvania and you can listen to some of his music here, and his newest release, You & I, here. There are still some tickets left. Originally they were only allowed to sell 100 tickets and they were cleared for another 75. Irish Mythen is the headliner. There is still one more act to be added to the gig. You can get tickets online, and you can also order food prepared by Ecelctic Café.

Mostly Online Distracters

Hey, hey, some live music to tell you about. The City’s patio program is designed to put musicians to work at any venue in town – not just downtown, and four groups have gigs Friday night because of the program. Paul Arsenault is playing at the Grape & Olive; Ian Chaplin is at Lot 88; Andrew Woodill is at Theos and Thunderstealers are at Boston Pizza.

The pipe organ at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian is 100 years old this year. The anniversary is actually at the end of September. I spoke with Marshall Martin who gets to play the thing all the time and he said it’s too soon to be able to say whether there will be an event to mark the occasion. With 5,000 pipes its one of the largest organs in Canada.. There’s a video the church has produced that shows all the workings and Marshall explains what all the parts do.

July 16 and 17, 2022 former students of Park Street Collegiate are getting together for a reunion at Barnfield Point Rec Centre. Music is by Even Steven and Pete Sanderson and Friends. Get tickets online.

The Opera House has cancelled the first play (Norm Foster’s Come Down From Up River ) and the second one, Driving Miss Daisy, planned for this summer – so both will be part of the 2022 season. The good news, Norm Foster will be on stage for his own Old Love, starting August 18. You can get your tickets online for the Opera House summer theater. If you have tickets already you can change them to the last play, or credit them to next year. To make the switch, call the box office at 705-326-8011 or email

The Mariposa Folk Festival is supporting Canadian Music T-Shirt Day, which happens to be tomorrow, Friday. It’s a fundraiser for the Unison Fund, and the idea is to wear a t-shirt of your favourite band and post a pic on their Facebook page and donate to the fund.

Ayden Miller and his band, New Friends, have a cool new pop new tune called Coming Back For You out. You watch the video now.

Some Rama musicians made a video called Rama Players Presents: Acoustic Music of the 70’s. The players are James Simcoe, Leanne McRae-Douglas, Ronnie Douglas, Rick Benson and Scotty Snache and it was recorded for First Nation’s Day. They play songs by CSN&Y, Gregg Allman, The Eagles, Peter Frampton, Supertramp, Robbie Robertson, Neil Young and the Beatles which were favourites in the Rama community back in the day. You can play it from the website, or download it in HD or SD here.

Sustainable Orillia’s second round of their year-long effort to inspire artists to make environmentally themed work had 8 artists submit work. MJ Pollock’s piece, Breakthrough, was chosen for this quarter’s contest and got a $75 prize.

Nate Robertson has some new music to listen to. A drummer, he also can play other instruments and his latest work is more of an exploration of sound. You can listen to the music from his Synchronized Stratification EP (and buy it) on his Bandcamp page. You’ll also find his previous recordings there too.

Aaron Mangoff has put out 5 EP’s and 3 singles in the last year and you can hear them here.

Check out Stuart Steinhart’s excellent new album, It’s About Time, on Bandcamp.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied) Arts District artists.

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