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COLUMN: It's been a 'hard sail,' but live music returning to Opera House

Chantal Kreviazuk will kick off the return of live performances at the Orillia Opera House with her March 10 concert
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Chantal Kreviazuk will be performing at Orillia's Opera House on March 10.

Well, we are coming up to Family Day weekend and the end of most pandemic restrictions after nearly two years.

Businesses that are asking for proof of vaccination have had their capacity restrictions ended, and starting March 1, proof of vaccination will perhaps be a thing of the past, and all capacity restrictions will be lifted. Mask mandates are still in place, however.

Cinemas and event spaces are open and are wasting no time getting their lineups confirmed and publicized. The Orillia Opera House has several excellent shows coming up in the next little while, starting with Chantal Kreviazuk on March 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Kreviazuk is a Winnipeg native who burst on the music scene in 1998 and was soon a household name, with multi-platinum award-winning albums and 15 hits in Canada, including Surrounded, All I Can Do, and her version of Leaving on a Jet Plane from the Armageddon soundtrack in 2010.

Kreviazuk is one busy lady. She and hubby, Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida, have had three sons, are based in Los Angeles and were made members of the Order of Canada in 2014.

She has also appeared in several films, been active in several charities, and started painting. Her album Plain Jane came out in 2009, and her last album, Hard Sail, came out in 2016.

Hard Sail came about after several years being at home with her kids.

“I didn’t choose to make this album. I just had things to say and so they came out…there wasn’t any pressure to record, which for an artist is a great place to be coming from, because it’s real,” she said.

“Over the past several years, I’ve kept up with the practice of song writing while staying home and being near my kids. It’s a very humbling experience to be a parent," she explained.

"You do the work, your little people know who they are, they have a foundation. They sort of dictated when it was going to be OK for me to be comfortable with making a record and promoting that. It’s been a very organic process,” said Kreviazuk.

The album is called Hard Sail because, as Kreviazuk said, “I have a wonderful marriage and family through hard work.” The first two singles are Into Me and All I Got. Kreviazuk said, “This album is an opportunity to take a picture of where I am.”

The show at the Opera House is part of the tour for her new album, Get To You. Tickets are available for the March 10 concert on the Orillia Opera House website here.

The Orillia Opera House also has The Shantyman Sings For The Saint - A Celebration of Irish Song with Sean McCann of Great Big Sea, coming up on March 17 for St. Patrick’s Day. And, on March 20, Ron James is back, with “Back Where I Belong”. Hopefully we will all be back where we belong, this March, at the Orillia Opera House.

This Friday and Saturday, don’t forget about the Braestone Classic at Braestone Farm, a chance to check out some fun hockey along with food and entertainment, for a good cause at Braestone. For more information, click here.

This Sunday at 1 p.m., Couchiching Craft Brewery presents Trivia: Family edition. No cover, feel free to bring the kiddos and come have a pint and test your knowledge of more family-friendly trivia. For more information, click here.

Don’t forget the SNOWGA event at Leacock Museum, also on Sunday at 1 p.m., benefitting The Sharing Place.

March 4 and 5, local singer/songwriter Zachary Lucky is playing shows at PICNIC, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and you can grab them here.

Enjoy your Family Day weekend! If you have arts news, send it to annaproctor111@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon to be included.