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COLUMN: Are you ready to celebrate Orillia's culture?

There are numerous events and unique activities planned as part of Culture Days with things kicking off Saturday with Orillia Vocal Ensemble performance
Blair Bailey is shown with the Orillia Vocal Ensemble, which will perform during the Orillia Farmers' Market Saturday morning.

To celebrate Culture Days in Orillia, the folks at Simcoe Mechanical Studio have come up with a really fun idea: a free recording session for aspiring singers to record holiday songs!

The free session will be on Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and lunch will be provided. This is open to young singers ages 12 to 17 years of age. You just need to register by emailing [email protected]. Who knows, the next Taylor Swift could be discovered, right here in Orillia! I look forward to seeing the recordings that come out of this special session. 

Another Culture Days event that is actually happening this Saturday, is a free performance by the Orillia Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Blair Bailey. The show will start at 11 a.m., during the Orillia Farmers’ Market, and listening and singing are welcomed and encouraged. Come and take part in the joy that is choral singing.

And finally, the last in the Orillia District Arts Council-sponsored Culture Days events in Orillia is a performance by The Flailing Shilaleighs, at Couchiching Craft Brewery. The show, featuring this high-energy Celtic band, will be in the Tap Room on Oct. 12 from 7 to 10 p.m., so mark your calendars now. 

This Saturday, the Orillia Museum of Art and History is having an opening reception for three new shows: A Close Up on Carmichael; Jennifer Zardo Home Sweet Home; and 50 Years of Mariposa Arts Theatre. The reception is from 1 to 3 p.m., come and check out these new exhibits either then, or Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during OMAH’s open hours. 

I hope you have your tickets for the Roots North Revisited/Orillia Youth Centre fundraising show at Fern Resort this Saturday. This awesome night features the Ronnie Douglas Band, Jerry Leger and The Situation, and The Sadies. Just a wonderful night of pure Canadian talent. There are still a limited number of tickets left for this outstanding show, so grab yours now at Doors open at 6 p.m. Don’t miss out!

Speaking of the Orillia Youth Centre, the next OYC-sponsored event is Terry Savage/Roger Harvey and The Big Bad Jug Band, next Fri. Sept. 29 at 7 p.m., at St. Paul’s Centre, downstairs in the Banquet Hall. Tickets are just $10 for this one, so, no excuse, get yours today here.

Do you love to dance, but don’t have anywhere to dance? Never fear, St. Paul’s Centre has your back. The Centre presents a Swing Into Fall Dance, next Saturday, Sept. 30 from 7 to 10 p.m., with the Orillia Big Band. 

You can grab your tickets at St. Paul’s, Tuesday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Your $40 ticket includes a light lunch as well as a fabulous evening of dancing. Come and enjoy this special night out!

Speaking of St. Paul’s, grab your tickets now for Lowest of the Low, with opener REAY, Thurs. Sept. 21, doors at 7 p.m. This will be a fantastic concert and you shouldn’t miss it…tickets here.

Also Thursday (Sept. 21), Arts Orillia presents Showcase, a wine and cheese, entertainment, silent art auction, sneak peak at the 2023-34 season. Tickets are just $75 and yes, you do get a charitable tax receipt. Grab your ticket here now

Looking ahead to October, absolutely a ridiculous number of phenomenal cultural events are coming our way. Here is a probably not even complete list, to whet your appetite, and fill your calendar:

  • Oct. 1 Rick Fines in Concert. Click here for tickets.
  • Oct. 5 Dwayne Gretzky .Click here for tickets.
  • Thanksgiving weekend: Images Thanksgiving Studio Tour. Click here for information. 
  • Oct. 13 Tommy Youngsteen performs Rumours. Click here for tickets.
  • Oct. 14: Autumn Mariposa III. Click here for information.
  • Oct. 13-15: Orillia Jazz Festival with Holy Cole, Lance Anderson, Brassworks and more. Click here for information. 
  • Oct. 18 Mathew Good solo show. Click here for information.
  • Oct. 21 Hillcrest Lodge fundraising concert by Orillia Concert Band and Orillia Big Band. Click here for tickets.
  • Oct. 21 the MET Live in HD at Galaxy Cinemas Orillia 
  • Oct. 22 Orillia Silver Band and pianist Kyung-A-Lee. Click here for tickets.
  • Oct. 28 Music at the Museum. Click here for details.
  • Oct. 29 TCO Stratton Soloists. Click here for information.

So yeah, start saving your pennies, you are going to want to go to these amazing shows.

Live music this weekend, among others: Friday, Even Steven, Saturday, James Gray, at Couchiching Craft Brewery. Saturday, Johnny Cash tribute at the Orillia Opera House. 

Have a great week and if you have arts news, send it to [email protected] by Tuesday at noon to be included.



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