This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

“’Tis but a scratch.”

Gordon Lightfoot could have had the part of the Black Knight in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail because he’s not letting a broken wrist slow him down. Sunday, Joe Warmington reported Gord broke his wrist and cancelled some shows – including the August 20 gig at Casino Rama.

I spoke with Gord this week and he is undaunted about returning to the stage.

“I haven’t said I won’t be able to play again,” he said. “I have been told I will by the doctors.”

Gord said he slipped and fell in his kitchen.

“I slipped, fell down, I turned to my right and my wrist went between the hip and the floor,” he said. If there is a ray of hope, it’s that he broke his right wrist not his left, which does most of the intricate work playing guitar.

“I’m glad you mentioned it. It’s better it wasn’t the left hand,” Gord said. “We wouldn’t be able to do anything. This way we are able to rehearse. We’ve got a recording studio down here in town called Canterbury Studio and we rehearse there. We’ve been rehearsing there for all of the songs we were prepared to do over the last year and a half and we’ve been getting in some excellent rehearsals. What we’re doing now is we are getting back into that again, this will be just the first one again. We were down (in the U.S.) and did three shows a few weeks ago.”

He’s obviously in a cast. I asked how many people have signed it.

“No I won’t be doing too much of that,” he said. “This one will be changed in another week and probably put a different cast on. Right now there’s a plate and two screws – and the cast. Kim and I, my wife, are dealing with it very well.” He’s able to play with the band despite the cast.

Gordon Lightfoot at the 2019 Mariposa Folk Festival

“I will sit in a chair and I will play the chords with my left hand and the other people will play the arrangements. The singing voice looks after itself. I’m just interested in playing the instrument.”

This is not the first time Gord has had a body part in a cast. The first time was in high school.

“I broke the tendon in my knee one time that put me in a cast for 6 or 8 weeks. That was in track and field.” Whenever we speak, Gord tells me he’s taking care of himself, going to the gym to stay in shape for the road and etc.

“I go walking every day, I have a routine,” he said. Gord is adamant he’ll be back on stage. “Absolutely. It’s much more important to accomplish the dates. We postponed, we moved a whole bunch of dates off into 2022, hoping to be able to aim for Massey in November,”

Matchedash Folk Festival

The Mariposa Folk Festival is presenting Matchedash Parish August 22 at the Opera House. This is Lance Anderson’s 12 member ensemble which closed out the MFF in 2018.

The number of tickets depends on how they are ordered. If there are many groups of 2 people, then distancing regs will mean more dead space. If your group is bigger, up to 10, then they can have a larger audience. Get tickets online.

The MFF is also going to stream the concert on their social media sites on the 27th for free. You can listen to their debut album, Saturday Night in its on Youtube.

The MFF also has another of their Incubator Series events happening. This is an opportunity for newbies to hear from the pros about their careers in music. Register here for the August 18, 7 p.m. workshop with MFF artistic director Liz Scott, agent Adam Kreeft and artists Alysha Brilla and Kyla Charter – it’s free.

Shakespeare at Leacock
Cast Of Twelfth Night Rehearsing At The Leacock Museum (Photo by Deb Halbot)

Mariposa Arts Theatre is doing a play. It’s an abridged version of Twelfth Night. The director, Randy White, has been here for at least the summer and when MAT put out the call for casting and a director he jumped right in. His theater career has been playing out in the United States, but having grown up here he’s familiar with the museum, the grounds and some of the history of Orillia. To that end he’s made some changes to the story to localize it and move the time period up to the 1930s.

The play is set in front of the house on the grounds and it runs from August 25 to September 5 with many different showtimes and matinees. You can get tickets online. There are only 50 tickets available for each performance – and you need to bring your own lawn chair.

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.

Downtown Friday Night

The Orillia Farmers’ Market is operating Friday from 4:30 p.m. to dusk in the court yard between the library and the Opera House. They’ll have 23 vendors on hand.

Creative Nomad Studio has an event Friday night to check out. It’s called Into The Light and starting at 6:30 p.m. 8 artists are going to be set up on the street and they are all going to paint something on the same theme. Inside at Creative Nomad, Cloud Gallery has a new show to see. Hibernation Arts featured artist is MJ Pollak and Gayle Schofield, Barbara Schmidt and the Zephyr artist have brought in new pieces. Peter Street Fine Arts’ featured artist of the month is Tammy Robinson.

OMAH is open. Stop by to see the new exhibit Welcome Home to Orillia,which tells the story of 11 people who immigrated to Orillia. Aslo 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. 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. They also 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. Looking ahead, OMAH’s Speaker’s Night September 15 is with Dr. Chris Decker who will be speaking about the life of Dr. Norman Bethune. It’s on Zoom, so you have to call, 705-326-2159 to register and get the link to the event.

While you are downtown, 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
Irish Mythen (Photo by
Lisa MacIntosh)

Just this one time, I will tolerate you clicking away from this fascinating read to go here and get tickets for the Roots North Revisited / Orillia Youth Centre fundraising concert – but come right back.

The reason is because there are only 4 tickets left to see Irish Mythen, Skye Wallace and Roger Harvey at the September 25 gig at ODAS Park. This is going to be a fantastic concert and while you are getting your tickets you can also order some food from Eclectic Café which will be brought out to the park for you.

Mostly Online Distracters– But Going More Live Each Week

The first big community event of the new era is the 171st Orillia Fall Fair September 11. Unlike other years it will be for one day only, but they are packing a lot into it like the Demo Derby (you can register the family sedan here) and truck and tractor pulls. Email to get tickets ($10 adults, $5 kids, free for those under 4).

Blue Moon Junction, on Highway 11 at Sparrow Lake Road Has the Jazz Standards (Randy Hoover, Ian Thurston, Bruce Rumble) playing Dixieland Jazz every Sunday in August starting at noon.

The pipe organ at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian is 100 years old this year. The anniversary is actually at the end of September. Marshall Martin, who gets to play the thing all the time, said it’s too soon to be able to say whether there will be an event to mark the occasion. With 5,000 pipes it’s 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.

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.

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) Main: Gordon Lightfoot at the 2014 Mariposa Folk Festival.

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