This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

The Port of Orillia’s Pirate Party Labour Day Weekend has an event you won’t want to miss. Like the Cardboard Boat Race, people are going to get wet. The Rotary Club is organizing a Walk The Plank as a fundraiser for the rest of the Aqua Theatre renovations yet to come. They recruited politicians and I know one potential politician is entered. It’s election season, there will likely be more. You can enter as well. Registration/pledge forms are online.

Another event within the event is a treasure hunt. You can get maps at the Port office or at the Orillia Public Library. It happens all three days. Friday night a great band – a little rock, a lot of East Coast – The Connor Brothers, plays at the Port. They were last here for Mariposa’s series of concerts last fall.

Saturday there’s a vendor’s market. If you’ve been to the port recently, you may have noticed some older (decrepit?) boats (I’m sure someone will insist they are ships) docked. Anyway, the water is on the correct side of the hull. Allan Lafonataine said there will be about ten of them – and they are manned? staffed? occupied? by pirate re-enactors. They are going to mount, or launch, an attack at Stevie’s place on Brewery Bay at 11 a.m. and then find their way back to do the same on the Port. The Ronnie Douglas Blues Band plays at 8 p.m.

Sunday the same crew as Saturday are going to get in the boats that still float and attack the Champlain Sailing Club at 11 a.m. and then there will be a Battle At Sea (I hope they won’t be disappointed we only have a lake) at 2 p.m.  The Orangemen play at 8 p.m.

The Rotary Club is operating a beer tent. Last week I joked the pirate encampment would likely be right next to the beer tent. It turns out I was right. It seemed logical

Oh, the walking the plank thing, it happens Saturday at 2 p.m. and the on-site registration is at 1 at, you guessed it, the beer tent.

Aqua Theatre Concert

Something new on the entertainment scorecard is an event called Showcase 2022, which will happen at the Aqua Theatre August 27. It’s funny, I went looking for information about what the heck this is and found a bunch of graphics announcing a new date with no reference to the old date – except for one graphic indicating it was to be August 25 with a rain date for the 27th.  What do you know? A thunder storm just rolled through here and its 7 p.m. as I type.

The main show starts at 7 with a warm up act, Jamie Stephens, on stage at 6:30 p.m. It took a lot of time to find out any details about what this is. There is a website, Canadian Musicians Co-Operative, with some more detail, but I still have questions. Their press blurb just talks about a program for emerging artists to learn about the biz beyond the performance aspect. Of course, since they have a show, performance is included, but what kind of show?

It looks to me like there are about 15 performers, who applied to be in the program, with an audition, and learned to perfrom an ensemble type of concert. One of the performers is Sarah Gao who was selected as the  Orillia Business Women’s Association’s Young Woman of the Year in 2017. I found some video. I don’t know, but 3 or 5 second clips tell me, or anyone else, a little bit more than nothing. However I did find two clips of some length and it looks like they have an all hands on deck finale of Don’t Stop Believing. The other longer clip was of a girl singing Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, which, owing to – it’s Kate Bush, who is a very distinctive singer – I’d have considered doing something else.

In some ways it looks like Up With People, and in other ways it looks like a benefit type of concert with a core group and many special appearances, kind of like a Concert For George (minus Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Monty Python and Prince).

The program is based in Barrie where they ran this show last weekend and it’s difficult to tell, but there may be other similar programs elsewhere.

The Shorts

  • The Opera House has Norm Foster’s very funny play, Come Down From Up River  playing until September 2. It’s really a heart wrenching story about loss and dying, funny subjects in Foster’s hands. Get tickets online now.
  • The Rama Pow Wow happens Saturday and Sunday at the John Snache Memorial Community Multi-Purpose Grounds (parking a the MASK) Saturday and Sunday. Grand Entry is at noon and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 each day, or $15 for the weekend (free for kids, seniors and veterans).
  • Sunday at St. James’ Anglican Church Alex Teske accompanied by Kyung-A Lee (who is the new Cellar Singers accompanist) on piano will do a fundraising concert for Green Haven Shelter for Women and Youth. It’s at 7 p.m. and admission for this concert of music from the classical playbook is by donation at the door.
  • Saturday night an event called Night of Hope has been organized to provide some music and discussion about mental health. It’s also a fundraiser for the Sharing Place and admission for the 7 p.m. event at Kelsey’s is pay what you can. Dan and Mel Bazinet are the music part, Brian Adams, Vanessa Wilson and Ian McRae the discussion part. Ralston Harris, from town, now working as an actor and living on the West Coast, is the host.
  • The annual Roots North fundraising concert for the Orillia Youth Centre happening September 17 at Fern Resort added Reay to the lineup which included. Ron Hawkins (Lowest of the Low) and Billy Pettinger. As in the past Dapper Depot is a major sponsor of this event and 100% of the proceeds go to the youth center. Get tickets online.
  • Arts Orillia (formerly the Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture) has a lot going on this fall. They stepped in to stickhandle the Orillia Jazz Festival (get tickets for the main stage shows at the Opera House online) and they also have an event at the Leacock Museum happening September 22 at noon. It’s the premier of Heirloom by choreographers Zack Martel and Santiago River. It features new music played by a trio from the Royal Conservatory and mixes dance, circus and juggling into the performance. Tickets are pay what you can and you can order those online. I think most of you know I don’t get excited about dance, but I have enjoyed each of the dance programs the Orillia Centre has put on here.
  • Judy Archer donated Michael Jones’s Bosendorfer piano to St. Paul’s Centre and Lance Anderson, Blair Bailey, Doreen Uren Simmons, Louis Lefaive, Terry Therien, Marta Solek. Ray Dillard, Nicole Lefaive, and Cassandra Rutherford will make some music with it September 10 at 7:30 p.m. You can make donations online In lieu of a ticket.
Irish Mythen At The 2022 Mariposa Folk Festival
  • Mariposa Folk Festival’s An Autum Paradse concert happening October 1 at Bayview Memorial Park in Oro-Medonte and at the Opera House got better this week. Treasa Levasseur has been added to the lineup which included  Aleksi Campagne, Union Duke and Irish Mythen. This is kind of a come for the Aleksi, Treasa and Union Duke, stay for the Irish Mythen. Dala has been added to the Opera House gig with Julian Taylor. Tickets are available online, or at the Opera House box office.
  • A benefit concert for Lucas Magnelli is happening at ODAS Park Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Performing are Liz Anderson, Ronnie Douglas and Sam Johnson. The 12-year-old has a rare bone cancer. He and his immediate family are in Rhode Island, but they have many Canadian relatives, including Shelley Dunlop who is organizing the benefit. The medical bill is more than $50,000. Admission is by donation and there is a silent auction.
  • Orillia Concert Association season tickets go on sale September 1. They’re still only $90 for 5 concerts. The lineup is the Toronto Concert Orchestra (Oct. 30), Christopher Dawes (in November, doing a tribute to Kerry Stratton on the organ at St. Andrew’s), and the Landom Quartet, the Weston Silver Band and the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra in 2023. You can get tickets by emailing or online at the Opera House (I’ll have a link for that soon).
  • Max Metcalf’s band John’s Cottage has been on the road lately and they have a new album, Big & Tall, you can listen to, or buy, on Bandcamp. I’m listening to it right now. Oh boy, you’re going to like this.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing has Bob Taylor playing Saturday at 6:30 p.m.; Sam Johnson is in September 1at 6 p.m. …  Jamie Drake, along with Jakob Pearce and Alex Golovchenko host a new jam at the Grape and Olive Thursday nights starting at 6 p.m. … Quayle’s Brewery has David Gallagher playing Friday at 5:30 p.m.; Alex Barber is in Sunday at 3:30 p.m. … the Kensington has an open mic night hosted by Tim Kehoe on Tuesdays from 8 to 11 p.m. … the Hog N’ Penny has trivia night every Thursday… Saturday night’s Music at the Port has the Oldguard Band playing at 7 p.m. … The Farmers’ Market has Bella Francis playing Saturday… The Latest Issue headlines a 5 band End Of Summer Rock Party at the Queens Nightclub in Barrie Sunday night.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied) Main: Pirate Party 2021 Walking the Plank

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