This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of nervous turkeys. Some of them remember last year about this time the flock was pretty large and almost overnight most of them disappeared. They’re turkeys, they don’t know why.

We, on the other hand, know it’s almost time for nature’s sedative meal celebration – Thanksgiving. I see some of you are looking at your calendars in shock thinking, ‘no, it can’t be, so soon?’

Did you ever stop to consider the reason turkey is the main dish for Thanksgiving? Could it be because someone figured out the narcoleptic quality of the meal and when realizing the whole family (including the cousins who don’t live far enough away) was coming for dinner and thought turkey was the perfect dish to have to ensure some peace?

All the other families on the street were asking how it was the Jones’s house was so quite over the holiday and when inquiries were made, the secret was out. Now we all do it with varying degrees of success.

Around here, we also take to the hills, of Oro-Medonte, for the annual Images Studio Tour. Yes, From October 7 to 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can tour the countryside, stopping at various studio/galleries along the way, see the art, buy some art (Christmas starts October 11), marvel at how the trees induce wonder (even though it means summer is over) with all the colours, except blue, of the turning leaves – which will presently be leaving.

You can see a map here, or if you don’t trust the recollecting capacity of the one at the wheel, download one from that page. Save the printer ink and pick one up at Mariposa Market, OMAH, Peter Street Art Gallery, Hibernation Arts, Shadow Box, the Leacock Museum, City Hall, or the Port of Orillia.

There are 30 artists participating this year at 22 venues. I see some new names attached to the tour this year. Many are returning, and if you haven’t been out to Jimi McKee’s on previous road trips, you might want to do so this year; you’ll get to see the story pole the City was afraid to have on dispaly.

As usual, bring your camera. You’ll see something along the way you want to take a picture of.

Culture Days

There are still plenty of things to do in the second week of Culture Days. Open rehearsals are still happening for the Orillia Concert Band (Oct. 3, 7 to 9 p.m.), the Sing It women’s choir (Oct. 10, 7 to 9 p.m.), or the Orillia Silver Band (Oct. 13, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.). All those groups are recruiting new members

October 3/4/10/11 Paul Baxter is welcoming the public to has studio at 246 Harvie Street to see art he’s made, or making.

October 1 kids between the ages of 8 and 12 can do some painting and contribute to a mural at Creative Nomad. They’d like you to register for this 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. event.  Also on the same day at Creative Nomad Songwriter Errol Lee will speak about the history of Jamaica and show photographs he took of Bob Marley and other Reggae musicians; you get to sample Jamaican food too. This happens at 12:30 and 1:30. Again, you need to register for this event.

The Ronnie Douglas Blues Band

The Ronnie Douglas Blues Band is going to play at St. James’ Anglican Church October 8 starting at 7:30 p.m. They’re going to cover tunes assembled as musical trip down Route 66. This one needs registering too.

Georgian College is showing off their Global Engagement Centre and while you are there you can paint a small canvas which become part of a mural and contribute to other activities. It happens October 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

October 15 Kelly Brownbill will be at St. James’ Anglican Church from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to speak about Indigenous Culture Awareness: A Path to Healthy, Equitable Relationships. The aim is to learning how to build relationships with our Native neighbours.

At 1 p.m. October 15 at Georgian College take part in an African Drumming circle. They’ve got room for 40 and will turn over the crowd every half hour so others can join in. Also on the 15th Juliana Hawke will be showing you how to make prints from materials found in nature. That happens at OMAH from 1 to 3 p.m.

Everything is free to attend, even the ones which you need to register for, but there are opportunities to make donations at each event.

The Shorts

  •  The Mariposa Folk Festival’s October 1 afternoon concert in Oro-Medonte is sold out, but there are still tickets left for the evening concert with Dala and Julian Taylor. Get tickets here.
  • Hey all you artsy people, Westmount Congregation United Church is holding a Craft Supplies Sale October 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. they have one area set up and they’ll give you a bag you can fill up for $20 (while supplies last). Some larger items are sold separately in another room.
Jamie Lamb
Jamie Lamb
  • Author Jamie Lamb wrote a book, Christmas in Mariposa, about growing up in Orillia. Published in 2020 his book launch at the Leacock Museum was one of the last things to happen here before the pandemic restrictions kicked in. Jamie’s dad, James, was the editor and publisher of The Packet, succeeding C. H. Hale. Over Jamie’s career in news with papers from coast to coast, he was also a regular on CBC’s Morningside and Newsworld . Our review of his book is here. He lives in B.C. (not the time, the place) and is returning for a reading at the Orillia Public library October 4 at 6:30 p.m. Register online for this event. The library also has a contest happening. Ontario Library week is October 16 to 22 and rather than celebrate an increase to provincial funding (which hasn’t changed since the 90s) they are creating a limited edition library card and the contest is to submit a design for the adult and children’s cards. More details are here.
  • The Orillia Community Children’s Choir is auditioning for its program. Parents of kids ages 8 to 13 need to make a recent video of them singing and email it to They rehearse from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Mondays at the Orillia Music Centre, which operates at St. Paul’s Centre. They have a great bit of advice to parents for the video, if you are having trouble recording or sending it, just ask your kids for help. See more details and the registration form online.
  • Meanwhile, in Coldwater, it almost time once again for the annual Witches Walk October 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s a ladies only (but why do they call it Witches…?) 19 and up event. You are encouraged to dress up. Some can wear what they wear everyday- but not yesterday, people will talk, and activities include shopping, snacking, drinking and dining, dancing, spooking, photo boothing, live music and more.
  • Skye Wallace’s new album, Terribly Good,  is out October 28 and the Orillia Youth Centre has her playing here at Creative Nomad on that date (Sam Johnston is opening). This is a fundraiser too and it’s for the Teens On Edge program which covers the cost of and teaches kids to become certified ski instructors, provided they commit to becoming instructors in the program themselves. Some of the kids from the youth center take part in the program.Get tickets online.
  • The youth center and The Big Event’s annual Trick or Trunk Halloween event October 29 at ODAS Park only needs 5 more cars owners to sign up in order to be able to hit their target of 1200 kids being able to scarf candy. Last week they needed 17 cars, so good job folks. Registration to bring your car or your kids is online.
  • The current exhibit at the Leacock Museum, Entertaining Entertainers, a retrospective of Mary Pickford (who was a friend and visitor of Leacock’s) closes October 20 with a party. A restored silent film, Fanchon the Cricket, which Pickford starred in, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Get tickets for this online. October 21, 28 and 29 take part in Ghost Walks on the museum grounds. Get tickets for the outdoor walks online.
  • Before you know it, it will be Orillia Jazz Festival time. Now is the time to get tickets to main stage, Opera House shows. The Thompson Egbo-Egbo Trio will perform at the Opera House. They’ll also have a sextet of dancers performing with them. The next night, Saturday, Brassworks is doing a concert called Copacabana; Saturday night Lance Anderson, Terry Clarke and Neil Swainson are going to do the music of Dave Brubeck. Of course, Lance will also have stories to tell about Brubeck. Get tickets for all those at the Opera House website.
Art By Miriam Slan
  • OMAH has a new weekly event, called Music and Mocktails. It’s every Thursday from 5 to 7p.m. – and it’s free to attend; you’ll get to browse the galleries, hear some live music and drink the drinks; The annual Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition opens October 1 at 1 p.m.; The Man Who Could Fly And The Girl Who Flies In Her Dreams, art by Sylvia Tesori, is also opening; Sylvia is the owner of Three Crows Speak gallery in the Arts District; The History Of Orillia In 50 Artefacts will remain up for a while; before you even go in you can see a new outdoor installation of mosaic art stickhandled by Meg Leslie and created by Mariposa Folk Festival goers last summer (I’ve never written anything so depressing, last summer)… Peter Street Fine Arts has art by Brian Dwayne Sarazin… Hibernation Art has Al Manseau’s art featured; October 1 is Molly Farquharson’s birthday and she’s inviting everyone to drop in between 6 and 9 p.m. for a party – bring some finger food and something to drink (wink, she’ll have coffee and tea on hand)… Cloud Gallery had a popular series of rapid fire exhibits last fall heading into Christmas – a new one every couple weeks; they are repeating the strategy this year and the first on opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m., September 30 with Miriam Slan Jennifer Woodburn’s show Pairing Palettes; next is Sarah Carlson’s Slow Burn show October 21.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing’s Rocktoberfest continues; October 1 Steven Henry is in. Paige Rutledge plays October 6, Ronnie Douglas October 7, October 8 Run With The Kittens play and Will Davis and Chris Robinson are in the afternoon on October 9; Denielle Bassels plays the Jazz Fest’s official after party October 14… Jamie Drake, along with Jakob Pearce and Alex Golovchenko host a jam at the Grape and Olive Thursday nights starting at 6 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.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied)

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