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COLUMN: Big plans on the horizon at Orillia's Leacock Museum

The Leacock Museum is hiring two new people to enhance visitor experience and will be home to a new restaurant in 2022
Leacock museum credit OM
The Leacock Museum is hiring new staff and will have a new eatery in 2022.

Well, we almost made it to Christmas before COVID-19 and Omicron got the better of us. So glad most of the holiday concerts were able to happen safely, and ditto with the holiday markets…although today's Orillia Farmers’ Market Christmas market was canceled.

A couple of big news items via the Orillia's Manager of Culture, Jacqueline Surette.

First off, the Art in Public Places Committee has launched a new call to artists for the Orillia Recreation Centre’s art gallery. Using the site as inspiration, from its industrial past to its current use, artists are invited to draw on their own creativity to glean what ‘Mechanics of Life’ means to them through visual expression.

Submissions are due Jan. 28, 2022. Details are available at Good luck!

Secondly, the Leacock Museum is hiring! Seems that Ms. Surette was able to persuade the city to put some money into that special place, and as a result, two brand new positions have been created and talented folks are invited to put their best resumes forward. Here are the details, from the City of Orillia website:

“The Leacock Museum is hiring a Program and Event Supervisor responsible for providing customer service along with support and coverage for museum events, meetings, private functions, and other programming initiatives. Deadline to apply is noon Jan. 14, 2021.”


“The Leacock Museum is seeking applications for an Experience Development Officer. The Experience Development Officer is responsible for the coordination and delivery of a seamless visitor experience. They are responsible for the collection, exhibit development, educational programming, and community outreach; and will work alongside the Museum Coordinator to provide a cohesive approach to museum programming, bookings and visitor experiences. Deadline to apply is noon Jan. 14, 2022.”

Please let everyone know about these fantastic opportunities. Not only will these job opportunities be interesting and rewarding, but the Leacock Museum grounds is the most gorgeous waterfront in the city. Who wouldn’t want to work there?

Inn addition to these new positions happening, the folks from Krew Catering are taking over the café and you know what that means: really great food, regular hours, and a nice redo of the dining area. Krew has promised that you won’t even recognize it! The revamped café will open sometime in the spring, COVID and construction willing.

Here’s to 2022: the year of the Leacock Museum!

On Dec. 29, the Orillia Museum of Art and History is planning a holiday season finale, again, COVID-19 willing. This special holiday open house is from 1 to 3 p.m. and will include:

  • A guided make-and-take art activity led by one of the museum educators
  • A special show-and-tell with some of their favourite artefacts from the vault
  • Hot drinks and delicious treats
  • A guided tour of the museum, including the historic jail cells
  • Access to four exhibitions, including the celebrated Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition: Tradition Transformed

The program is free to all visitors, and supplies are provided, although of course, donations are appreciated.

For more information, check out the website at

That’s it for me for 2021, folks. Next column will be Jan. 5, and if you have arts news, send it to me by Jan. 4 to be included.

Have a safe, merry and bright Christmas 2021 and here is to a much brighter, safer, happier 2022!