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COLUMN: 'Great music, fun events' on the horizon in Orillia

There's lot of live music, free Culture Days events, OMAH offerings and much more happening, says arts and entertainment columnist
Steve Henry is playing at Couchiching Craft Brewery this Saturday
Steve Henry is playing at Couchiching Craft Brewery on Saturday.

It is so hard to believe we are moving into October this weekend. September went by in a blur, and I am afraid October will be just as quick. Enjoy each day as you can.

If you were hesitating to buy your tickets for An Autumn Mariposa, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is, the afternoon show at Bayview Memorial Park is sold out. The good news is, there are still tickets available for the evening show at the Orillia Opera House, with Julian Taylor and Dala. You can get your tickets for that show here. Of course, it will be a wonderful evening of great music.

This Friday at 6 p.m., Cloud Gallery has an opening reception for Pairing Palettes with Miriam Slan and Jennifer Woodburn. Enjoy complimentary wine and snacks as you gaze upon the works of these talented artists.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) has a couple of fun events this week. Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. is the inaugural Music and Mocktails evening, featuring free admission to the galleries, music by talented local people, and a free mocktail for you to take with you as you peruse the galleries. Come out and enjoy this fun and different evening, every Thursday.

Also at the OMAH, this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., is the opening reception for two new exhibits: Sylvia Tesori, and the Carmichael Exhibition of Canadian Landscapes. There will be a bar and snacks, and an opportunity to meet the artists and see wonderful works. See you there!

Thanksgiving weekend is coming up super fast, and of course, in our neck of the woods, that means the Images Studio Tour is heading our way. The long-running (over 35-year history) studio tour this year features over 30 artists at 18 different studios, which are scattered throughout Simcoe County, mostly in Oro-Medonte and Orillia.

The tour runs from Friday, Oct. 7 to Monday, Oct. 10 inclusive, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Most artistic media is represented including painting, sculpture, woodturning, photography, and more. Many of the artists will be showing in their home studios, giving attendees a chance to see that side of things, and of course each artist will be in attendance at the show, meaning it’s your chance to talk to them and find out more about their life and craft.

Some of the artist in the tour are: Paul and Pam Allen, Tony Bianco, Deb Brown, Heather Smeding, Mike Bailey, Dave Beckett, Marlene Bulas, Xavier Fernandes, Kathryn Kaiser and Jimi McKee.

Of course, the tour is free, but take your money and buy something unique and one-of-a-kind. It’s a great opportunity to support local artists, check off items on your Christmas list, or buy a beautiful wedding, birthday, or anniversary present. The bonus of a gorgeous driving tour of the fall colours in our area doesn’t hurt, either.

For more information and a tour map, click here or pick up a brochure at many locations throughout our area.

Culture Days this year is running from until Oct. 16, and there is a fair bit on offer in our area, thanks to the Orillia District Arts Council coming in to herd the kittens…to check out all the Orillia events, which are free and participatory, on offer, click here. Events include drumming, murals, and open rehearsals in various choirs and bands, as well as lots more.

Don’t forget, nominations are now open for the Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards. The deadline to nominate a deserving artist, heritage event or publication, and lots more, is Oct. 21. For all the details and the nomination portal, click here.

Live music this weekend? Steve Henry and friends are playing Couchiching Craft Brewery Saturday at 8 p.m. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are playing Casino Rama, also on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon, the Sunday Show at PICNIC features Scott Olgard, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Have a great week and weekend. If you have arts news, send it to by Tuesday at noon to be included.