This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Well 60 days ago, who would have thought we’d be back to the future. The sense there was light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be the Roadrunner pulling a fast one on us (playing the part of Wiley Coyote).

Here’s the sign this New Year’s Eve is not going to be – let’s get dressed, Honey, and find some place to party. (I was going to say like it’s 1999, but maybe next year partying like it’s 1999 will be the flavour of the night – you know, not having a care in the world; Y2K, Pshhhht, people are on it). I went to the grocery store specifically because I had this idea all day long I’d like to have some potato chips. I found the house brand of ripple chips at Jason’s No Frills is as a good as the $5 bags and pretty cheap. I have never seen almost bare shelves, not even when toilet paper was on the run, as I did in the chip section. No ripple chips, no regular chips, no sour cream and onion, just empty shelves.

Sure there were scads of dill pickle, and you know why, people who eat dill pickle chips are kind of suspect – and obviously a small crowd. But, everything else was cleaned out, even some of the more expensive brands were picked over. My take is, everyone is staying home or people are having small gatherings and for that you need chips. I should have looked at the dip section to see if that looked like Mississaga Street early on Sunday morning.

This is terrible for musicians. Many had gigs lined up for December 31 but those have been cancelled.  It’s also terrible for restaurant owners. Most of the best places in town are not chains, which means your neighbour’s are taking a hit, as are their employees. It didn’t help the Christmas party season was poor to begin with and parties got cancelled the closer Christmas got, but this is two years in a row they’ve gone through this.

So as we turn our minds (sorry, I know that hurts, but in this case the often misused phrase seems right) to the New Year, as we habitually do with thoughts things will be better, let’s all make a resolution together to go to one music event (concert, festival, night out where a band is playing) in 2022.

I know, I don’t have to make that resolution because that’s’ what I do, but I’m trying to fit in here.

The first option should be to combine supporting musicians with date night (that’s something I’m not well versed in, but let’s go with the flow) and choose to go to the watering holes that serve good food and good music as a first choice. Make it a monthly appointment, weekly is better, but that’s only for those who know the two drink minimum is not an enticement, but a standard not to be exceeded.

Get tickets to some part, or all of the Mariposa Folk Festival. They are on sale until the end of the day tomorrow. Even when tickets are not on sale it’s still a good deal because it’s the best weekend. There are so many musicians playing if you don’t like the one on stage now, wait 40 minutes and you’ll likely like the next act. Usually the festival has announced a headliner and some of the supporting acts by now, but they haven’t.  Who cares? They haven’t produced a dud lineup in 20 years. Do something today a few months from now you’ll  be patting yourself on the back so hard you’ll be seeing Murray Miller because of your exceptional foresight getting tickets on sale for an evening of music you know you’ll enjoy and you’d pay a lot more for.

Better Than Any Of Sirius’s Party Channels

And you can spend New Year’s Eve with Mariposa musicians. They made a one hour video compilation of performances from last October’s Satellite concerts. See and hear Lydia Persaud, Evangeline Gentle, Coco Love Alcorn, Angelique Francis, and Shakura S’Aida and Terra Lightfoot.  It’s free on the festival’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Speaking of free, Max FM and DJ Wilverine has a New Year’s Eve 4 hour program staring at 9 p.m.

I bumped into and old friend, Mark Boddy, and he mentioned he’s got a few videos on his Facebook page. Some of it are his tunes, some of it covers.

Speaking of Facebook video’s you recall Steven Henry was doing weekly Saturday night shows and all those videos are still available to watch. Steven covers everything you can imagine; hear hours of music on his Facebook page.

Back Where We Started

Head over to the Opera House’s website and check out all the shows they have coming in the months ahead. They have a pretty decent lineup including Martin Barre doing the 50th anniversary of Aqualung show and the Stampeders 50th Anniversary show. Those are far enough out tickets should be good.

First up is the faboulous Mudmen on January 15. As of this moment the band is still telling people they’re doing the show. If it holds, you’ll have a great time with this band.

The Orillia Concert Band, Orillia Silver Band, and the Cellar Singers all have spring concerts which need audiences. The Roots North Music Festival happens in April and they have Steve Poltz as one of the headliners.

Park Street Collegiate students and staff have a reunion happening in July you also might want to get tickets to.

The bottom line is you can make 2022 better for yourself and others by planning to spend some of your time and money right here in Orillia and that’s a resolution you can keep.

Leacock Said Something About Work

The Leacock Museum has a couple of jobs up for grabs. One is as a program and event supervisor. It’s part-time and the duties are:

They are looking for a student who is studying in an arts administration, event planning or museum oriented program. You have to apply online and you can find more details here. The other job is for a experience development officer. You can find out more about this job here. The deadline to get your resume in for either job is January 14

The Shorts

  • The City has wall space for art at the Orillia Recreation Centre for art and it’s time to change what’s been hanging around. They are asking artists to submit ideas for new art on the theme of The Mechanics of Life. You can find details about how to get your art included here.
  • Here’s a gig happening in Huntsville. Sean Cotton and The Acoustic Soul Ensemble are doing a show at Canvas Brewing Company. It’s called Acoustic Floyd. I’m telling you about this because Liz Anderson is in the band. When she told me about the gig, my first questions was, “I hope you are doing Great Gig in the Sky?”It would be a travesty if they didn’t with her in the band. It is part of the show. You can get tickets here.
  • Did you get a season ticket here for the Orillia Concert Association’s excellent series? It’s only $70 and I dare you to find a better deal to see three concerts of this type anywhere. The next and first in person concert of the series is February 20 with Sonic Escape (Maria Millar, violin and Shawn Wyckoff, flute) at St. Andrew’s, followed by the Hog Town Brass March 27 at the Opera House. The final concert is May 1 with the Toronto All Star Big Band.
  • You can still catch the Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards program on OMAH’s Youtube channel.
  • At the galleries… OMAH has the fantastic, annual Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition  and a stunning exhibit of portraits by D. Ahsén:nase Douglas you have to see… Dave Beckett has a show at Tiffin’s Creative Centre opening Saturday at 10. a.m. … Peter Street Fine Arts has their annual 6×6 show up to the end of January

(Images Supplied)

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