This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

The painted eggs dressing up the downtown will be around for a few weeks yet. There are 50 of them on the street and another 25 decorated by kids in some store windows. It’s a Streets Alive project from the mind of Leslie Fournier.

The interesting part of this project is the recycling side of it. Bruce Stanton still had some campaign signs kicking around. Leslie picked up a bunch, painted them with primer and Ron Schell (back in town) fabricated the eggs. This is the third public art project Leslie has re-used those old signs for.

When the eggs are removed at the end of April, they will be sold for $50 each to raise money for the next projects. The sale will happen at Jack and Maddy Kids Store.

Speedy’s Legacy

When Jim Kelly, Speedy to many, died a few months ago it was a bit of a shock. I used to see him frequently, always when a name band was playing in the area and then nothing for a few years. I don’t believe I met anyone else who went to so many concerts as he did. He always seemed to have tickets in his pocket for an upcoming concert everyone wanted to go to. If not, he had stories about the last concert he was at.

Pink Floyd Frame Grab

He took photos and shot Super 8 film at a lot of the concerts. Those were left to Robert Gronfors and together with Philip Lalonde they created a Youtube Channel called Speedy’s Films.

They have uploaded 17 videos. You can watch concerts by Max Webster, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick Van Halen, B B King, The Who, Z Z Top, Grand Funk Railroad and Genesis – all from the 70s, all shot by Speedy. Only some of them have audio dubbed in and synced with the visual.

Last week they uploaded Pink Floyd’s June 1975 concert at Ivor Wynne Stadium and judging by the reaction from people in the comments it’s a bit of a Holy Grail moment – seeing the video conversion; I guess the concert was too.

An Old Chestnut

Mariposa Arts Theatre is doing Blithe Spirit at the Opera House. The two week run starts April 13, with Sunday matinees.

Stacey Schat and Conal Derndall – Photo by Ada Malmstrom

The play is by Noel Coward. It’s one of his most heralded plays telling the humourous story of a poltergeist summoned by a sketchy clairvoyant. It turns out the deceased former wife doesn’t get along too well with the new wife.

The cast includes Stacey Schat, Conal Derndall, Candy Pryce and Caitlin Robson. Doug Ironside directed. You can get tickets online.

MAT has their monthly Film night at the Galaxy happening too. See Riceboy Sleeps April 12 and Emily April 26. Showtimes are 4 and 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 only at the door.

Also happening at the Opera House soon are concerts by Ian Thomas April 28, Against the Wind April 29 (see story), Laugh for Lake Simcoe a fundraiser for Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition with comedians  Martha Chaves, Jon Steinberg and Rob Bebeneck on May 26.

Roots North

The annual Roots North Music Festival is looming, like a kitten waiting to pounce on your leg as you walk past (I was about to change looming for something else to not sound negative, but then thought kittens would soften it, not that I like cats).

The main stage shows Friday night with Tommy Youngsteen, and The Ronnie Douglas Band and Saturday with Meredith Moon, Kellie Loder, and Michael Kaeshammer will need tickets. Those happen at St. Paul’s Centre and the basement level has an Art Market like previous years.

I ran this bit about who is playing at various venues before. Here it is again, but read it because there are some additions.

Thursday night Sammy is at the Lone Wolf Café; Scott Olgard is at Picnic; and Couchiching Craft Brewing has their Vinyl Night happening.

Friday Chris Lemay is at the Sunken Ship; Michael and Cassandra are at Eclectic Café,; Rebekah Hawker is at the Lone Wolf; Alex Barber is at Quayle’s Brewery; Bella is at Rustica, Cam Galloway is at Couchiching Brewing – and Terry Savage is at Picnic while Jakob Pearce with Dave Hewitt are at the Kenzington after the main stage show is over.

Saturday James Gray is at Picnic, Jake and Millie are at the Sunken Ship, Errol Lee is at Creative Nomad (10:30 a.m.), Bella is at Mark IV Brothers (11 a.m.), The Orillia Music Centre (at St. Paul’s Centre) has a music workshop (11 a.m.) and a hand drumming workshop (1 p.m.), David Crighton is at Hibernation Arts, Shawna Caspi is at Eclectic Café, VK is at Provenance Wine Bar, Shawn Patrick hosts a jam at the Hog ‘N Penny (those are all afternoon gigs); Genevieve Cyr (afternoon) and Steven Henry (evening) are at Quayle’s; Steph Dunn is at Lot 88. The Black Suit Devil plays at Picnic and Johnni X is at the Kenzington after the main stage show is done.

Sunday Will Davis and Chris Robinson are at Couchiching; The Griddle Pickers are at the Common Stove; Dead Zone is at Alleycats; Claire Coupland and Sarah Hiltz are at Picnic and Steve Parkes and Pete Sanderson host a jam at the Sunken Ship.

There is no need for tickets for any of the non-main stage gigs, but you should make reservations.

Also the festival is giving away 2 weekend passes, which includes an overnight at the Champlain Hotel, enter here.

The Shorts

  • The Mariposa Folk Festival audition concert at St. Paul’s Centre is free to attend. It happens April 30 at 1 p.m. and the bands auditioning are Bud Rice, Dawson Gamble, JD Crosstown, Julia Finnegan, Po Boy and Calamity Jane, Sam Kruger, The Dog House Orchestra, The Gardeners and The Handsome Devils. Ticket sales for the summer festival are running ahead of last year’s sold out festival. There’s also a Youtube playlist, a preview of 55 videos by artists appearing at the festival this year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  •  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.
  • 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.
  • 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, not that other one. You can see it Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until May.
  • All the exhibits at OMAH (except for David Alan Hill and Christine Mack’s Beyond the Fence) are coming down April 15, so if you’ve been meaning to; The International Women’s Day Art Show opens April 29; exhibits of Elizabeth Wyn Wood and Donald Stuart works also open the same day; 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 has been busy; two artists are new to the gallery, Jennifer Lawson and Melissa Van Dam; Barbara Schmidt has returned with new work and this month’s guest artist is Ukrainian photographer Alina Hromko; there’s a meet the artist event April 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. …  Peter Street Fine Arts has art by Georgina Hackett – McHugh featured this month; she creates pieces with wood and on t-shirts… Creative Nomad has two events at the same time happening; Floe and Story Creatures combines photography by Sean Rees, with performance art by Kate Hilliard; the photos will be up until May 7 (free) and The Storey Creatures part happens April 28 at 7 p.m., April 29 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and you can get tickets here.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing has Tamica Herod and Gerry Markman (Tamica is Liz Anderson’s cousin) playing Apr. 8; Will Davis and Chris Robinson are in Apr. 9; Hillbilly Martini is in April 14… Quayle’s  Brewery has Patrick Hunter in Apr. 8; Mitch Szitas plays Apr. 9; Steph Dunn plays Apr. 14… Steve Parkes and Pete Sanderson host a new jam at The Sunken Ship.

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

Rants & Raves

Support Independent Journalism