This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Once again the Orillia Public Library is mounting a large Remembrance Day exhibit in their main floor program rooms. The display actually starts at the doors by Market Square; they’re decorated to resemble a World War One entrance to a trench.

Orillia public Library Remembrance Day exhibit

This year, Jayne Poolton-Turvey, who organizes these exhibits each year, picked the anniversary of the end of the Korean War in 1953 as the focus of the exhibit; there are still areas devoted to both world wars. She is also highlighting Canada’s peace keeping missions, of which there are many, many more than most of likely think there were.

A highlight is a booth flanked with almost at-scale photos of where the Battle of Kapyong took place in  Korea and artifacts. The Princess Pats took the hill and it was a turning point in the war; the U.S. government awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their role in the battle. When you step up to it you’ll feel like you are in the middle of a scene.

Rob McCron and the legion’s contribution to the exhibit.

Another thing to look for is the artist’s rendering of the new Fairmile monument that should be installed in Veteran’s Park next June. The legion has been working on this project for two years and finally cleared all the hurdles at City Hall to get the job done. The legion’s Rob McCron was quite excited to show me the drawing. He also brought a replica of the Fairmile that blew up at Hunter Boats at the foot of Mississaga Street.

Rob also told me that there will be a Remembrance Day parade, the first since 2020. I’ve also seen legion members out selling poppies. The money collected goes to helping vets get medical equipment (canes, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.). And, since November 1 has passed, it is now OK to wear poppies (I saw a few in October, which is not proper etiquette). And if you didn’t know, they come off right after Remembrance ceremonies conclude.

A number of groups are participating in the library’s exhibit including the Museum Of The Royal Regiment of Canada, the Simcoe and Grey Foresters and the Georgina  Military Museum. You can see it from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (best day), and the same times next Monday through Thursday.

Lightfoot Days

Here’s a recap and update of this weekend’s Lightfoot Days Festival.

When the bidding reopens Saturday at about 12:30 p.m. for an autographed by Gordon Lightfoot Epiphone Hummingbird guitar donated by 112 Records & Gilbert Guitars, it will start at $575.00. Read the bidding instructions, because you can bid online, or by phone, as well as in person. The auction is part of the annual Kiwanis Club of Orillia Auction.

Here’s a list of the festival activity; for more info about performance times and late additions see the Facebook page.

Friday night Classic Lightfoot Live (Steve Eyers on bass, Erick Kidd on guitar, Liz Anderson on keyboards, John Stinson singing and on guitar, and drummer Bruce Campbell ) performance at St. Paul’s Centre  has 29  tickets remaining at the time of publishing (which will only be available at the door).

Even Steven (Steve Eyers and Steve McEown) play at Lake Country Grill Saturday evening. Unless noted, the following are all evening performances on November 4.

Sean Patrick will be playing at the Lone Wolf Café. Dray Tony will be playing at Manticore Books from 4 to 6 p.m. Alleycats Music is having an Open Mic from 1 to 4 p.m. and Jakob Pearce will be part of that, Chris Scott is at Brewery Bay (afternoon and evening), Don James will be at Mariposa Market from noon to 3 p.m. Michael Brown is at Apple Annie’s from noon to 3 p.m. Benj Rowland is at the Hog N’ Penny. Geoff Booth and Craig Graham are at the Sunken Ship. Michael Martyn, Steve Porter, Scott Thompson – same crew from last summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival – will be at Picnic November 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Mayor Don McIsaac will proclaim Gordon Lightfoot Day at 11 a.m. November 4 at the Opera House. Steve Porter will be there to sing some songs. St. Paul’s Centre has some audio and video recordings they will play for the public. These have never been played publicly before. Hear and see stuff from 2005 (11:30 a.m.), 2011 (2:30 p.m.) and 2013 (4:30 p.m.).  St. Paul’s Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. is built around Gord; Karen Hilfman Millson will be delivering the reflection based on her funeral service for Gord last May. Afterward, at 12:30 p.m.. there’s cake at Mariposa Market.

If you need a souvenir, Jack and Maddy’s has calendars for sale ($25) featuring photos of the Streets Alive Painter Passing Through guitar project. The Orillia Museum of Art and History will have a display of their Lightfoot holdings.

The Play’s The Thing

Mariposa Arts Theatre is celebrating their 50th season this time around. They have put together a revue of those 50 years which will be playing at the Opera House from November 9 to 12.

Friday was load in day at the Opera House for Mariposa Arts Theatre’s 59th anniversary event and Brian Halbot got the gig.

They have a lot to choose from because they’ve done so many popular plays, big and small. They always did a great job, but since they opened their rehearsal hall/workshop on Brammer Drive in 2006 the quality of their productions has gone up to the point I think it’s hard to tell the difference between what they do and what any of the professional theatres in Toronto do.

If you’ve never been, their workshop is pretty big and has all the equipment needed to make and build sets. Those sets have been getting more elaborate as each year passes. Take for example last year’s Rocky Horror Show. It’s not just the fact they had several levels, a spiralling staircase – and an elevator; it’s the detail in architectural design that made the audience gasp when the lights finally illuminated it.

They have an extensive wardrobe and hair collection (wigs, moustaches, beards, etc.) and a growing collection of props and set pieces.

Some of the cast rehearsing for Mariposa Arts Theatre’s 50th anniversary revue (Photo by Deb Halbot).

I think the thing that gives them an edge is they can set up their rehearsal space exactly as it needs to be for either stage at the Opera House – complete with the set as it will be, and all the props. Heck if they need to they can have rehearsals for two plays going on at the same time, the floor space is big enough to accommodate a play that might be happening in Gord’s Room, and/or in the Studio Theatre.

That space has served as a performance venue too. Yes, there’s room for about 40 or so seats and they have run small cast plays there after the end of their main season and before every gets busy with other things in summer.

Usually I make a call to find out what a play is about (if I don’t know it), who is in it and anything special about MAT’s particular production. This time however, I want to be as surprised as you when it happens (I also don’t’ want to be bummed out they aren’t doing any parts of a play I particularly liked, which is bound to happen).

Michael Clipperton is directing, Blair Bailey is the music director and if my memory is any good, I believe Blair once told me he was involved with the first MAT production) and Sheri Nicholls is the choreographer (and she’s often been) and Phyllis Johnson is producing.  It’s a short run, so get your tickets now.

MAT is also having an anniversary party at their Brammer Drive rehearsal hall November. 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. and everyone is welcome.

MAT also has their Film Night back in operation. The November movies are Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (November 8) and Blue Jean (November 29).  Ticket sales are only at the Galaxy door starting an hour before the 4 and 7 p.m. showtimes.

The Shorts

  •  Cloud Gallery continues their fall series of exhibits with a two-week run featuring art by Julie Veenstra opening Nov. 4 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.; Patricia Clemmens has her work up Nov. 25 and Dec. 9 it’s a group show with many of the artists represented by the gallery in attendance; look for a story about the success of the gallery and these artists here.
  • See the rest of the Shorts in Part Two

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied) Main: The entrance of the Orillia Public Library made up to look like a World War One trench entrance.

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