This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

All weekend the annual Images Studio Tour is happening. There are 22 venues with 30 artists participating. I got a note from Mike Bailey saying he’s closing his studio (he’s still making photos and doing his own printing, he’s just not keeping gallery space) and there will be some great deals, so go see him at the Leacock Museum.

Also showing art at the museum is Pamela Meacher, who has some really well done watercolours. She also has some books she authored and illustrated – two of them are award winning.

You can get a map here, or 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.  All venues are open through to Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pamela Meacher’s Images Studio Tour Display At The Leacock Museum

Got Culture?

Culture Days is in mid flight. Saturday night you can see the best blues band around, The Ronnie Douglas Blues Band, at St. James’ Anglican Church for free starting at 7:30 p.m. They’d like you to register to attend because there’s munchies – and a bar, and they want to make sure no one goes hungry, or thirsty. If you’re early, 6:30 p.m., they’re having a trivia contest with prizes.

The balance of Culture Days events are:

Paul Baxter’s studio tour (246 Harvie Street) October 10 and 11;

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.

It’s also time to nominate people for the OMAH/ODAC/City of Orillia 4th Annual Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards. I’ve been trying to fit this in for three weeks now and everybody else just keeps piling on events, so next week I’ll write more about this. In the mean time I hope somebody nominates the Orillia Silver Band for an award this time around – it’s long overdue. Find nomination forms online.

Mariposa Music

Last Saturday’s Mariposa Folk Festival’s An Autumn Paradise concerts were very good. The first part, 4 acts at Bayview Memorial Park in Oro-Medonte had perfect weather, no breeze (considering the park is on Lake Simceo), sunny and warm.

I got there in time to see part of Treasa Levasseur’s set and the concert area inside the fenced area was packed. Union Duke was doing their first concert since March 2020 and they didn’t sound rusty at all. In fact they kicked some butt. It was almost like being in the festival pub.

Irish Mythen

Irish Mythen is one of those performers who never mails in a show, at least of all the times I’ve seen her. It’s like there’s no stopping her from giving you everything she has when she sings, and the jokes and funny stories aren’t the same ones I’ve heard before. I knew every tune she sang. There was a moment, she when she was singing Little Bones (a song about the Irish Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home scandal in which it’s estimated 800 children died) there was one tree in the park that had turned a reddish colour, and during this song hundreds of leaves started to drift to the ground. The song is moving enough. I don’t know who else noticed, but it seemed appropriate the tree took that moment to start shedding.

In the evening, Dala opened the concert at the Opera House. While not the energetic bombast of Irish Mythen’s earlier set, I think it’s impossible to sit through a set of their music and not be impressed with their stage presence, their songs, and how Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine’s voices work together. They covered If You Could Read My Mind, totally re-worked it into an almost haunting lament. To add fuel to the mood, Claude Lebreque, or maybe it Was Max Kane (both working the boards at the back of the Gord’s Room) triggered a little more fog for the stage lights to play off. It was almost magical.

I was expecting Julian Taylor to bring some edge to the stage. His recorded music from his days in Staggered Crossing and The Julian Taylor Band is pretty heavy rock, instrumentally, but instead he chose to play into the acoustic folk genre most of the night. He worked with a couple acoustic guitars and sang almost the whole set in a stripped down manner. A good portion of the tunes were from his new album (he said he wasn’t supposed to be selling them yet, but people might find some copies in the Green Room). He had two electric guitars I was waiting for him to use, and he finally did use one of them for the last couple tunes. Yet the kind of guitar playing I remember from his festival main stage performance did not emerge. It’s a shame I bought my guitar playing son to this concert just to see Julian open it up. He never did take the second electric guitar off its stand.

That stuff aside, he has some very good new music. The tunes he played were mostly from the new album, Beyond The Reservoir, which is a more introspective set of tunes than he’s previously written, and from The Ridge. It’s all good stuff and I liked them, I just primed myself for something different.

And… and tickets for the 2023 festival just went on sale. Get them online. Not to be rushing anything, but if you want to give a young person in your life/orbit a reason to think of you, thank you, 6 months after the fact these make the perfect gift.

The Show Of Shows

The Orillia Museum of Art and History opened the annual Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition last Saturday, which is why I missed the first part of the Mariposa gig. The theme this year is TraditionTransformed. There are pieces from across the country that made the cut.

There were some prizes. The Juror’s  Prize was won by Tammy McClennon for her interestingly conceived Temporary Landscape. It has strips of coloured cloth tabs and the point is for visitors to take one to keep and another image is revealed underneath as more strips of cloth are removed.

The Paul Quarrington award for an emerging artist was won by Peter Fyfe. The award is for mixed media art and Peter’s piece certainly is. The ABM (Art Bank of Muskoka) Landscape Viewing Unit used to be a retail CD rack/dispenser, which he repurposed to display miniature renditions of Group of Seven paintings.

The show is up until January 14. OMAH also opened The Man Who Could Fly; The Girl Who Flies In Her Dreams a solo show of Sylvia Tesori’s art. It’s on the second floor and it too is up until January 14. The art is based on memories of her father.

The The History Of Orillia In 50 Artefacts exhibit is still up in the other room on the second floor and will be until January 7.

OMAH also 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 monthly History Speaker’s Night is October 19. This time it’s about The Dieppe Raid with the Orillia Public Library’s Jayne Poolton-Turvey (she’s the one responsible for all the great Remembrance Day exhibits/events at the library) speaking. Her father became a POW at Dieppe and spent three years in Stalag VIIIB.

The other galleries have stuff happening too. Hibernation Arts guest artist this month is Deby Melillo. Catherine Cadieux, Raune-lea Marshall and David Crighton have also got new work hanging around. Peter Street Fine Arts is  featuring works by artists of the Bayside Artists group. Cloud Gallery had Miriam Slan and Jennifer Woodburn’s show Pairing Palettes; up now. Next is Sarah Carlson’s Slow Burn show opening October 21.

The Shorts

  • Next weekend it’s Orillia Jazz Festival time. Now is the time to get tickets to main stage, Opera House shows. The Thompson Egbo-Egbo Trio will perform and 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. Couchiching Craft Brewing has Denielle Bassels playing the 14th starting at 9 p.m. and Will Davis and Chris Robinson do a warm up show to the evening at 5 p.m.
  • Coldwater’s annual Witches Walk happens October 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s a ladies only (guys, they have a legion, you’ll find something to do), 19 and up event. You are encouraged to dress up. Activities include shopping, snacking, drinking and dining, dancing, spooking, photo boothing, live music and more.
  • The Orillia Concert Band’s fall concert is October 22 at St. Paul’s Centre. It’s called Bach Meets Bacharach. I’m going to go out on a limb here, hand me that saw; I think they’re going to play some music by Johann and Burt. It’s at 7:30 p.m. and Autumn Debassige and the Orillia Big Band are guest performers. Admission is by donation and it’s also a fundraiser for Information Orillia.
Orillia Silver Band Rehearsal
  • The Orillia Silver Band’s fall concert happens October 23 at the Opera House.  On the menu is Shostakovich’s Folk Festival, Verdi’s The Overture to Nabuccoand Ralph Pearce’s Cry of the Warriors. The OSB’s Culture Days open rehearsal event is October 13 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre; drop by and see why this is one of the best performing groups in Ontario. Tickets.
  • 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.
  • An aside. For the rest of Friday you can download music from Bandcamp and the artists will get 100% of the sale because Bandcamp’s annual no fee Friday is today. So go get Stuart Steinhart’s brand new this week, Third Light, it’s going to be good (I haven’t listened yet, but all his previous albums have been great jazz). Plug in any Orillia Artist you want, if they have an album it’s on that website.
  • There’s a benefit concert for Ukrainian/Canadian refugees October 29 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre. John Jefferies is organizing it again (he did the one in the spring) but it seems the Little Putler is necessitating another go-round.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing’s Rocktoberfest continues with Ronnie Douglas October 7, October 8 Run With The Kittens play and Will Davis and Chris Robinson are in the afternoon on October 9; Lyric Dubee is in October 22… Jamie Drake, along with Jakob Pearce and Alex Golovchenko host a jam at the Grape and Olive Thursday nights starting at 6 p.m. … Quayle’s Brewery has the Happy Wanderers playing Saturday at 4:30 p.m.; Ron Whitman is in Sunday at noon; Cam Galloway plays Monday at 3:30 p.m.; October 13 Josh Piche is in and October 14 Burke Erwin plays… 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) Main: Mike Bailey chatting with a couple Images Studio Tour patrons at the Leacock Museum.

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