This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

There are only a couple of new events to add to the Orillia Radar Service ahead. Most of what is happening over the next few weeks I’ve already written about, so this column is a whole lot of shorts, a handy calendar of events, if you will. I’d say cut it out and use your fridge magnet, but those days are gone, aren’t they?

Except, we’ll spend a minute on the Orillia Sunshine City School Music Festival high school band competition happening the latter part of next week at Orillia Secondary School.

This event is open to the public and you should drop by if you can so the kids get to perform for someone other than the judges. The opening day, Wednesday, has bands from all three Orillia high schools competing, as well bands from Collingwood.

Dan Austin

Thursday, bands from Kitchener, Belle River, Bolton, Oshawa, and Tottenham will compete Friday, Dan Austin returns to Orillia (Twin Lakes grad) with his Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute symphonic and jazz bands, along with bands from Caledon, Port Elgin, Midland, Uxbridge, and Huntsville.

Each will play a half hour program and each day begins at 8 a.m. with final performances at 8 p.m. The festival is co-sponsored the Ontario Band Association and Musicfest


The Orillia Concert Association’s next event of their concert series is with the Weston Silver Band March 26 at 2:30 p.m. at the Opera House. You can get tickets online.

My Son the Hurrricane is at St. Paul’s Centre March 30. Get tickets online. Also at St. Paul’s is Hawksley Workman playing April 27. Tickets for that gig are also online.

ODAC and Arts Orillia are sponsoring a night of Reggae music at Couchiching Craft Brewing April 1 at 7 p.m. Appearing are Juno Award winning singer Liberty Silver, Merlene Webber, Errol Lee and Quammie Williams. There’s a $20 cover and you should make reservations.

The Roots North Music Festival is giving away 2 weekend passes, which includes an overnight at the Champlain Hotel, enter here. The Friday/Saturday events at St. Paul’s Centre are the hub of activity. The main stage menu sets (Friday – Tommy Youngsteen / The Ronnie Douglas Band; Saturday – Meredith Moon / Kellie Loder / Michael Kaeshammer) are going to be really good. You can get tickets online.

The Cellar Singers’s annual gala/cabaret fundraiser is April 15 At St. James’ Anglican Church. At this event the focus is on individual and small group performances that are more toward the fun side of serious singing. You can get tickets online.

Mariposa Folk Festival’s audition concert at St. Paul’s Centre April 28 is free to attend. You can get tickets and weekend passes for the July festival online.

Tangents’s headlining a gig at Creative Nomad Studios May 6 is sold out. Battlescarred, The Therapists, The Latest Issue are also playing.

The Orillia Concert Band’s next event is May 13 at St. Paul’s Centre and their guest performer is Jacquie Dancyger Arnold. She’ll be playing Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Bach’s Solfeggietto.  Also on the band’s program are Farandole, Moorside March, Nimrod, and Lady of Spain. You can get tickets online.

Anne Walker has organized a summer concert series taking place at her family’s Coulson Church. The Coulson Concerts are all at 2 p.m. on Sundays and she has an interesting mix of familiar musicians scheduled. The line up lookslike this: April 30 – Anne Walker, May 28 – Boreal (Tannis Slimmon, Katherine Wheatley and Angie Nussey), June 25 – John Prince and End of the Road, July 30 – Rick Fines, August 27 – Alison Lupton, and September 24 – Paul Mills (produced Stan Rogers’s albums) and Anne Walker.  You can get tickets online.

The Shorts

  • The City’s Art in Public Places committee has an opening. OMAH manages the committee. They are looking for someone with knowledge and expertise from a broad range of arts, culture, and creative disciplines. You must be an eligible elector of the City of Orillia or in the townships of Oro-Medonte, Severn, Ramara, and Chippewas of Rama First Nation and you will be required to become a member of OMAH. Apply by April 4, 2023.
  • The 2023 Orillia Scottish Festival committee is now accepting vendor applications. You can find them here.
  • Twin Lakes Secondary School’s annual theatrical production is happening soon. This year it’s called Thunder Years. It’s a revue of the previous 49 student productions, kind of a 50th anniversary event. It happens April 27/28 at the school and you can get tickets at the school office.
  • The Kiwanis Music Festival continues all week. St. Paul’s Centre has all piano competitions happening this week and all band instrument classes and strings the week of Apr. 3. You can find a complete program here.
  • The Lakehead University Student Union Is hosting a Drag Bingo with Crystal Quartz hosting March 31 at St. Paul’s Centre. Lakehead and Georgian College students get in free, everyone else pays $5, or they’ll take a food donation. There are prizes and there will be food available.
  • The Leacock Museum has two things happening. The submission period is now open for the K. Valerie Connor Memorial Poetry contest. You have until May 8 to send something in under three categories – adult, teens and children. The total prize pool is $2,000. You can find the nomination rules and registration online. And, the museum has a new exhibit, A Leacock Love Story. It’s about Stevie and Beatrix. You can see it Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until May.
  • Arts Orillia invites youth under the age of 25 to participate in their Theatre & Cross Creativity program April 23-27 at the Opera House. They are also inviting people over 65 to participate in this program about storytelling. It’s a workshop kind of thing with a performance in the Studio Theatre. The program is led by Iain Moggach, artistic director of Theatre by the Bay and Clara McBride, faculty at Toronto Metropolitan University’s acting program. Send them your details here.
Amanta Scott’s OMAH exhibit
  • OMAH’s Music & Mocktails is March 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. and a trio of Twin Lakes music students will be playing; OMAH’s main floor has portraits of famous and should be famous women by Amanta Scott called Eyeing Medusa (Paul Shilling also has some work up in that gallery); in the smaller just-off-the-lobby room is work by David Alan Hill and Christine Mack called Beyond the Fence; upstairs see Gary Blundell and Victoria Ward’s Burner Herzog; and in the other second floor room find out the fascinating story of Great Tait: The True Story of Orillia’s First Millionaire. The next History Speaker’s Night is with Judy Humphries, head of the Gravenhurst Fire College archives, who will speak about the history of the now closed college; it’s going to be on Zoom April 19 and you can register online soon… Hibernation Arts guest artist for March is Patti Campbell… Peter Street Fine Arts has art by Norman Robert Catchpole featured this month.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing has the Terry Savage Band with Bobby Dove play March 25; Will Davis and Chris Robinson are in March 26; the comedy show Beauty and the Beast (with Lisa Baker and Darren Frost) (tickets) happens March 29 and 31; Jakob Pearce and Dave Hewitt are in March 30; the Black Suit Devil plays March 31… Quayle’s  Brewery has Burke Erwin in March 26; Kat Chabot plays March 31; Chris Lemay is in April 1; Jess Bowman plays Apr. 2… the Opera House has Ian Thomas in April 28; get tickets online… Mariposa Art Theatre’s next Film Night is April 12 with Riceboy Sleeps and Apr. 26 with Emily; showtimes are 4 and 7 p.m. at the Galaxy; tickets are $15 only at the door… Steve Parkes and Pete Sanderson host a new jam at The Sunken Ship (Tammie’s Place) Sunday’s from 6 to 9 p.m. starting March 19… Sammy plays Picnic Sunday at 2 p.m.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied) Main: Weston Silver Band/ photo by Dragonfly Images

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