Skip to content

After successful folk fest, there's still plenty to do this weekend in the area

From exhibits and concerts to escape rooms and fundraisers, our arts and entertainment column tells us there's no shortage of events
2019-07-10 Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot so kindly graced us with his presence, performing his hit, If You Could Read My Mind, Saturday at the Mariposa Folk Festival. LPPhotographs/Supplied photo

Welcome to your arts and entertainment column for this week. Hope everyone had an awesome Mariposa weekend! Thank you to the weather gods for mostly sparing us, and thank you to the hard-working organizers, volunteers and incredible musicians for making it an amazing 20th-anniversary year back in Orillia.

Highlights for me were Carole Pope and band in the pub tent — 73 next month? No way! — Tom Cochrane and Red Rider doing Avenue A (fav song ever), Danny Michel, Jeremy Fisher, Jim Bryson and Hawksley Workman in the pub (absolutely hilarious) and, of course, the great Gordon Lightfoot giving us If You Could Read My Mind — as he said, “the obvious choice.” Honestly, as a venue, Tudhope Park is an absolute knockout, and the Mariposa vibe is like no other. Start planning now for the 60th-anniversary Mariposa, July 3-5, 2020.

We are right into the summer now and that sure doesn’t slow down the entertainment in our Sunshine City. This weekend there is so much going on all throughout the downtown and beyond.

This Saturday, you can do a mini art crawl in the Peter Street Arts District, as there are openings at both Lee Contemporary and the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH), starting at 1 p.m. Lee Contemporary has paper-quilling artist Ronald Regamey in for the month. His work with coloured paper has to be seen to be believed. That’s upstairs at 5 Peter St. S.

At OMAH, check out the new exhibit, Project Voyageur, at the opening there. Speaking of OMAH, nip over there Friday at 1:30 p.m. and take part in a gallery tour, led by a volunteer; it’s free with admission. Of course, check out all the other great art galleries along Peter Street. They are all open on a Saturday afternoon.

Also on Saturday, Cards and Coasters is running a Zombie Escape Room for Grown-ups, in collaboration with the Orillia Public Library. The fun gets underway at 6:30 p.m. but they do ask that teams of two to six members pre-register, through the library, at 705-325-2556 or email Cost is only $5 and you must be a library member to register. This event is for ages 18-plus.

The Orillia Opera House is having a fun concert Saturday. It’s The Brothers Gibb, a Bee Gees tribute evening, and tickets are just $45 plus applicable fees, through the Opera House website or by calling 705-326-8011. Hurry, though — there aren’t many tickets left!

If you feel like a drive in the country this Saturday, drive on up to Washago for Art on the Severn, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Centennial Park. This is a juried art show with many different kinds of art and will be a lovely day out in the park.

While you’re up that way, maybe you would like to see Earth, Wind and Fire. This amazing band is playing at Casino Rama, two shows, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Check the casino website to find tickets.

Coming up next week, artists Patti Agapi and Tammy Henry are hosting an abstract painting workshop July 17 at 6 p.m. It’s a great chance to learn from two of the best around here. Cost is $45 for three hours of instruction and fun, including materials. You will end up creating two paintings, 12 inches by 12 inches. To register, call or text 705-331-2836 or email

And, next weekend, July 20, please join in on Nelson’s Gift, a Day of Family Friends and Fun, at ODAS Park. This is a fundraiser for the Nelson Bell bursary and starts at 2 p.m. with a free three-hour family fun afternoon of silent auction, games and prizes. At 6 p.m., there will be a ticketed event with lots of great music, and the silent auction and more fun will continue. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased here, or $20 at the door. Come out and help build Nelson’s legacy.

Don’t forget the Orillia Scottish Festival is next weekend. More on that in my next column.

Music in the bars this weekend? You betcha. At the Brownstone, July 11, Teagan McLaren; July 12, Honky Tonk Zeros; July 13, Lion House/Huttch/David Dino White; July 17, Fast Romantics (with local singer Kirty). At the Hog ’N Penny July 12 will be Jazz Trio. At the Simcoe Yard House, Casino Rama, Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and midnight, the Kelly Burrows Trio will perform.

Have a great week, and send me your arts news by Tuesdays at noon to get your events noticed. Email me at