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COLUMN: Cold? Stay warm with shows, exhibits and concerts

OMAH has three new exhibits, The Music Man is dancing into town, and there's lots more to enjoy in arts and entertainment locally, says columnist
The cast of The Music Man has been busy preparing for its run at St. Paul's Centre. The show begins next week.

Happy mid-January!

A bit of a lighter week this week, leading up to some big shows at the end of January and into February.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) has a special opening reception for its new midwinter exhibits, this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. The exhibits are: Seeing Beyond, Works by Robyn Rennie; Sybil, Connections Fibre Artists; and Grant’s Legacy, Capturing Orillia’s History on Film. Should be a lovely and warm way to while away a winter afternoon, enjoying snacks and great art and history.

Hibernation Arts, right across the street from OMAH, is also having an open house Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. Gallery owner Molly Farquharson says there are lots of new artists there, and some changes up on the walls. So, stop by and check it all out.

Also at OMAH, next Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m., a workshop with artists Robyn Rennie and Peter Fyfe. It’s an opportunity to create your own mixed media artwork and learn about accessibility in the arts. For more information and to register, go here.

Speaking of Wildlife at 3665 Hampshire Mills Line is offering a photography session for local photographers to come photograph some of the wild residents at the sanctuary, including a wolf, coyote, bobcat, fox, and some birds of prey. It’s Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and cost is $40 plus HST. The animals are beautiful, not shy, and it’s an opportunity to capture some amazing shots. To register, email [email protected].

Coming up next weekend, it’s The Music Man at St. Paul’s Centre. Featuring a stellar cast of all the local musicians and actors you love, and music direction by the incomparable Blair Bailey, this will be a very high quality show.

There are evening performances Wednesday to Saturday, and matinees Saturday and Sunday. There are also a couple of chances to have dinner and a show. There is reserved seating, and it really is a don’t miss opportunity. Oh, and did I mention? It’s a fundraiser for St. Paul’s. So, go! For tickets and lots more information, go to

Saturday, Jan. 27, Live from the Met returns to Orillia with the classic, Carmen. Come enjoy incredible opera, coming to you live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Complete with behind-the-scenes interviews during intermission. The show gets underway at 12:55, and you can get your tickets through the Galaxy Theatre here in town. Again, just the thing for a cold winter day. 

Next Sunday (Jan. 28) at 2:30 p.m. come on out to the Orillia Concert Association’s third concert of the season, the Chris Robinson Quartet, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. With Chris on sax, Will Davis on keys, and a drum and bass accompaniment, the songs of Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Louis Jordan, Peggy Lee and many more will come to life! For tickets, go to

Local singer-songwriter Zahary Lucky is off on a U.S. tour in February, but before he goes, he is headlining a show at PICNIC on Feb. 2. He will be joined by his long-time dobro player Miles Zurawell, and it will be sure to be a great show. You can grab tickets here.

Looking even further into February, Mariposa in Concert presents Lance Anderson’s An Evening of Blues and Gospel XII, on Feb. 3 at the Orillia Opera House. Seven-time Maple Blues award winner Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne is headlining along with the phenomenal talent of Jordan John and legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer bassist Prakash John. Local Blues favourite from Rama First Nations Ronnie Douglas will bring his guitar-based rockin’ blues and soulful voice to the stage. As in past years Anderson will introduce an artist that is new to the Mariposa audience, the incredibly gifted pianist Michael Shand, from Toronto.

This event is selling quickly, so grab your tickets at today!

Of course, mid-February brings The Play That Goes Wrong, by Mariposa Arts Theatre (MAT), to the Orillia Opera House stage. This will be a super-funny, laugh-a-minute offering, just the ticket for midwinter. Lots of great actors in the mix, this will be a great production. Tickets at

Mariposa Arts Theatre Film Nights return on Jan. 24 at the Galaxy Theatre, with Scrapper. Here’s the summary: “Living alone in her London flat, 12-year-old Georgie must confront reality when her estranged father, Jason, shows up out of nowhere. Uninterested in a sudden new parental figure, she remains stubbornly resistant to his efforts. As they both adjust to their new circumstances, Georgie and Jason soon find that they still have a lot of growing up to do.”

Shows are at 4 and 7 p.m., and MAT has lowered its ticket prices to $10 per person, cash only. Come out, support MAT, and enjoy fantastic TIFF films right here in town. 

Live music this week: Jakob Pearce at Hog and Penny, Friday night; Cam Galloway Friday and The Offcuts Saturday, at Couchiching Craft Brewery. 

Lots of fun coming up, come out, support, and be entertained, during this cold winter. 

If you have arts news, send it to [email protected] by Tuesday at noon to be included. 



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