This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment, Part 2

By John Swartz

The midway opens Friday at 3 p.m. That’s all you need to know. OK, there’s a bit more to Canada Day at Couchiching Beach Park.

The Fireworks are at 9:45 p.m. July 1. How’s that for jumping from the start to the end?

It’s basically midway everyday until Monday, and then you get breakfast, pancakes, at 8 a.m.

The kid’s Wheelie Great Parade is at 10 a.m. in the Terry Fox Circle. It says children must be accompanied by adults. Who is minding the adults?

The Children’s Village is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year the beer garden is near the Aqua Theatre. Why didn’t someone think of this years ago?

The line up for the Aqua Theater is Signature 11 at 11 a.m.; Dan Bazinet at 2:30 p.m.; The Amazing Frank Clarkson Magic Show at 4 p.m.; Boomer Babies at 5:30; Jakob Pearce at 8 until the Kaboom. There’s supposed to be a Kaboom.

The gap is when the parade happens (noon), the opening ceremonies and the cake cutting.

They still need some volunteers to make it all happen. The volunteer day starts at 6:30 a.m. and goes until around 11 p.m.

You can give as little as 2 or 4 hours (or more) and they need help with button selling, setup, teardown, banner walking in the parade. glow stick selling, Children’s Village helpers, just being a gopher and more. Sign up online (scroll down).

Mariposa Line Up

Last week the Friday night main stage performances were outlined. Today it’s Saturday night’s line up.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with what I’m sure will be a rousing, even stunning, performance by Irish Mythen. She’s played here in Orillia  a number of times and I don’t think that’s enough.

Playing the first between main sets, The tweeners as the festival folks like to call them, is The Vaudevillian. This is really a duo, Jitterbug James (guitar and singing) and Norah Spades (washboard and ging gongs). They played many times at the Brownstone, and If this memory is any good, their first time in Orillia was for a Mariposa Folk Festival years before the pandemic.

The next main act is Jesse Cook. If you haven’t heard his music, why not? He’s been all over the place for 29 years. Of course instrumental work sometimes just passes through instead of sticking in the RAM. Jesse has a Juno Award and 11 nominations, He’s done five PBS specials and made 10 platinum and gold albums. And if you’ve ever watched Olympic gymnastics or skating, his music tends to pop up a lot.

The next tweener is May Davis. She was the first on stage at the audition concert in April and I thought she may get overlooked after all 10 acts did their thing, but for someone as comfortable on a stage and as talented, she obviously wasn’t overlooked.

Amigo the Devil is the next playbill performer. He’s also known as Danny Kiranos, a Floridian from Texas who had an officially proclaimed Amigo The Devil Day in Austin Texas in 2019, then Joe Rogan moved there and ruined it all. His musical education was influenced by Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.

The next tweener is also an audition passing performer. Loryn Taggart was the last of the 10 auditioning and she stole the show. She also played the role of David Bowie in an international tribute tour of Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy.

The next main act is Noah Cyrus. Hmmmm, Cyrus. Where have I heard that name before? Yep, she’s Billy Ray’s youngest and Miley’s sister. She also has kept up the family tradition with one Grammy nomination, so far.

Jeremie Albino is paired with Cat Clyde for the next tweener. I’m not 100% sure, but this may the first time, at least during the Orillia run, a performer has been on the main stage two nights in a row, as Cat will have accomplished.

Band of Horses is the last act of the night on the main stage. Originally from Seattle, where one or two other bands started, their first single, The Funeral, was used in many television series, films, video games, and advertisements. They are also Grammy nominated.

Ticket sales are on track to sellout park capacity for the third year in a row. So if you’ve been sitting on the fence, you can get them online right now.

Next time we’ll look at the Sunday lineup.

Summer Theater

The Opera House’s summer programming starts July 3 with Norm Foster’s The Long Weekend. This comedy has Kristen Da Silva, Matthew Olver, Stephen Sparks and Viviana Zarrillo in it, with Jesse Collins directing.

July 24 Fiona Sauder and Matt Pilipiak are directing Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe’s  Every Brilliant Thing.  Just this week, Sauder and Matt Pilipiak won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Direction for their show, Storybook Search.

Following the pattern of the last two seasons, the summer closes out with another Norm Foster play, Those Movies, which starts August 14.

You can get tickets online, and they have discounts.

Also this summer Duck Soup Productions is doing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Opera House starting July 9 and every Tuesday at 7 p.m. until August 20. Get those tickets here.


Norman Robert Catchpole has a new piece of art fans of Gordon Lightfoot might be interested in seeing. He created a series of 24 smaller paintings depicting his interpretation of Gord’s songs, and a few not-song-related (portrait of Gord, the Mariposa Sun, Massey Hall sign, etc.) and then assembled them into a 44 x 44 inch, framed painting.

Picking Up The Pieces

It’s a unique way of presenting the art, but not unlike the Golden Leaves monument in Tudhope Park where 20 of Gord’s songs on individual leaves make up the tree. Ruth Ann Shackleton-Catchpole came up with the idea and Norman executed it.

He calls it Picking Up The Pieces, which is a line from Carefree Highway. And you can see it online. You can click on o component to learn what inspired the way Catchpole painted the scene.

Paul Shilling and Amanta Scott

A lot has happened at OMAH lately. Last week they added a new piece of art to the permanent collection. It’s a portrait of Paul Shilling done by Amanta Scott called Raven: Impression of Paul Shilling.

Scott had a solo exhibition at OMAH in 2023. She has known Paul for 35 years and that friendship inspired her to become an activist on social issues, particularly Native issues. It’s currently hanging until September.

OMAH also has the return of their Gangs, Guns and Grog walking tour. The highlights are, there was one watering hole for every 150 people (for comparison that would be 213 bars today) and guns were legal to carry – loaded and concealed (I included that for all those who think crime here is too high these days, or any different than any other town).

It’s every Wednesday evening leaving from OMAH and ending at Couchiching Craft Brewing (one drink included). Get tickets online.

OMAH and The City of Orillia also had a reception Wednesday to unveil an exhibit of smaller artworks at the Orillia Recreation Centre. There are 6 pieces making up the Roots and  Resilience: Expressions of Identity and Culture, exhibit which is in a display case opposite the art wall, Stack Gallery, and three of the artists were on hand.  Also at the rec center the gallery wall has three interesting pieces hanging. One of them is another great piece by Enrique Bravo.

Also at the rec center, if you haven’t noticed, on your way in, or out, in the corner opposite the doors is a sculpture by Jimi McKee called The Steering Drive for the Mariposa Belle. It’s made from old molding parts from Dorr-Oliver (a foundary which used to operate across West Street from the rec center Jimi salvaged and made several sculptures from.

Hilary Brown Bierman, Charles Pachter and NInette Gyorody

This is one is an older item, but it got missed. Hilary Brown Bierman, a Canadian journalist, owned #42 of 100 limited edition of the book, Origins of The Journals of Susanna Moodie, by Margaret Atwood and Charles Pachter. She donated it to OMAH and it’s on display.

It’s not just any print edition of the book, This one was hand made by Charles and Margaret, as in each p[age was printed, then bound and they made the calfskin cover. It took from February to October of 1980 to make the 100 books, which had 13,000 impressions. Each day the OMAH dedicated page turner turns it to the next page, which means it will be on display until December.

OMAH has submissions open until August 16 for the 23rd annual Carmichael landscape show in the fall; find the details and application online. The 27th annual International Women’s Day Art Show is in the main gallery; you can also see an exhibit of work from an art program for kids called Regent Park Public School Grade 6/7 Garden Design Program; OMAH also has Backra Bluid an exhibit of works by photographer Stacey Tyrell;

In the other galleries, St. Paul’s Centre has the Call to Action 83 Art Project in the Ogimaa Miskwaaki Gallery.

Hibernation Arts has new art by Margaret Paradis featured in June and work by new artists at the gallery by Susan Fields and Brooke Lawrence. The ODAC artists wall has new work as well. Hibernation is also has a new show, Oh Canada, which is open to all artists working in any medium, any genre, up to 20″ is size. There is a small fee and you drop work off by June 28 at 4 p.m.

 Peter Street Fine Arts has a collection of work by Marcia Godbout featured in June.

ODAC artists have a new show up in the Green Room at the Opera House called Spring Awakening.

Cloud Gallery still has their My Happy Place show up. Sarah Carlson is in July 6 for the next Meet the Artist Event.

The Shorts

  • To my surprise, the Sunday evening concert in the park with the Orillia Concert Band happened. It sure looked like rain to me, so I figured it was cancelled. It did rain so the show was cut short. The next concert is July 7 at 6:30 p.m. with the Baytowne Big Band.
  • The chamber of commerce’s summer music series at the Port of Orillia has the Offcuts playing June 29. They’re still looking to fill a few holes in the schedule so apply online to get to perform your music.
  • The Orillia Youth Centre has Farmfest happening July 1 with the Lonesome Ace Stringband, Zachary Lucky, and Bella Frances playing. It’s in Sebright and tickets are available online.  They also have a bunch of concerts happening, in September with artists like Matchedash Parish, Skye Wallace, Roger Harvey, Zachary Lucky, The Ronnie Douglas Blues Band and many more. See the complete list and get tickets online.
  • If you are near a radio July 1 tune in to CBC Radio One from noon to 2 p.m. to hear the Gordon Lightfoot Tribute concert that happened at Massey Hall in May.  The musicians participating included the Lightfoot Band, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Blue Rodeo, Allison Russell, Aysanabee, Burton Cummings, Caroline Wiles & Bob Doidge, Meredith Moon, Sylvia Tyson, The Good Brothers, Tom Cochrane, William Prince and many others. You can also see the concert on CBC Gem (sign up), or catch it on CBC Music from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Anne Walker (who will be performing at the MFF in July) has Wendell Ferguson playing July 28; Aug. 25 Anne Walker; and Sept. 29 Blair Packham. You can get tickets online.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing has James Gray (who will be at Mariposa too) in to play June 28; Mr. B and the Band are in June 29; Briar Summers plays June 30; July 1 they have a beer garden with the Off Cuts playing at 1:30 p.m. and Chris Lemay at 7:30… Quayle’s Brewery has Meredith Warboys playing June 27; Chris Lemay June 28; Ron Whitman (early) and Stephen Bernard (later) June 29; Rebekah Hawker (early) and Burke Erwin (later) June 30; Mike Schultz (early) and Can Galloway (later) July 1… The Hog ‘N Penny has an Open Mic Sunday afternoons with Sean Patrick, Michael Martyn John MacDonald, Jessica Martin and whoever else shows up; Jakob Pearce and Dave Hewit are in June 28; Sean Patrick plays June 29…  Lake Country Grill has Even Steven playing June 29…  Jakob Pearce plays Ktchn June 27… Picnic has Bella Francis playing June 30
  • Part one of the arts column is here.

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

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