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COLUMN: It's time to 'fall' in love with local arts, culture

As autumn nears, the calendar is beginning to fill up locally with lots of highly anticipated concerts, events, festivals, receptions and much more
The Bowie Lives is at the Orillia Opera House this Saturday
The Bowie Lives will be performed at the Orillia Opera House Saturday. Local artists Madison Mueller and Sammy will be opening this tribute show.

Welcome to fall, the season of pumpkin spice, warm sweaters, cool nights, and many arts and culture events in Orillia and area. Oh, wait, that’s every season! Lots of new events have been announced over the past few days, so I will try to touch on as many as possible.

To start off, this Saturday at 8:30 p.m., country music star Brett Baker will be playing at the Orillia Legion. Just a $7 cover, and fans of country music will love this performance, so go check it out.

Also this Saturday, at 8 p.m., Jeff Young will be playing at Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. This is the second night of a three-week extravaganza by the brewery, which it is calling Rocktoberfest. Great music, seasonal food, and, of course, great beer.

Rocktoberfest actually starts this Friday, with the Bob Taylor Band at 7 p.m. in the main taproom. Other acts playing this fun festival include the Ronnie Douglas Blues Band, Paige Rutledge, and Run with the Kittens. Rocktoberfest runs until Oct. 8 at Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. Follow the brewery on Facebook to find out who is playing when, and reserve a spot for your favourite bands.

Washago Lions are hosting their Oktoberfest, for the first time since COVID, at the Washago Community Centre this Saturday from 4 p.m. on. There will be a beer garden, food, and live music with the Oom Pah Pah Band, Deep River Chris, and Johnny Lebarr. Nip up to Washago and check it all out.

Also this Saturday, if you can believe it, The Bowie Lives, at the Orillia Opera House. Madison Mueller and Sammy will be opening this special tribute show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. This is supposed to be a spectacular tribute, so if you love Bowie, come check it out. Tickets here.

There is a little local market, with various vendors, at Hewitts Fun Farm this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so come see, play some mini-golf, and buy some things. Speaking of farms, Roost Farm and Eclectic Café are teaming up for a wonderful farm-to-table dinner, this coming Saturday, out at the farm. Click here for more information and tickets.

A little outside of the arts and culture realm, but still relevant, September is Sustainable Orillia Month, and the team is closing the month off with a bang, with two events this weekend. Three urban planning walks with urban planner David Stinson are happening this Saturday, starting at the Orillia Waterfront Centre, at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. These are free walk-and-talks. Come learn about good urban planning.

Sustainable Orillia’s second big event is the Path to Net Zero Community Conference, this Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre. This is a community conference and workshop that will be anchored on the uplifting documentary film 2040. Participate and provide your suggestions for a more sustainable community. Incumbents and potential future mayor and council candidates will be there to participate as well.

Three call-outs were announced this week. Creative Nomad Studios’ Christmas Market vendor call-out is now open. The market is in the evening on Nov. 25, and daytime Nov. 26. For all the information, and to apply, click here.

Stack Gallery in the Orillia Recreation Centre is looking for new art in the theme of Renewal. Submissions are due Nov. 4, and you can find all the details here.

Another call-out this week is for trunkers for the super popular Trunk or Treat event, put on by The Big Event, at ODAS Park, this year on Oct. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m. More details here.

Cloud Gallery is hosting a kick-off to its fall showcase series, featuring Pairing Palettes with Miriam Slan and Jennifer Woodburn. This opening reception is Friday, Sept. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m., with free food, bar, and incredible artwork. Register here.

The opening of the Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition: Tradition Transformed at the Orillia Museum of Art and History is Oct. 1, so save the date; more information next week.

An Autumn Mariposa is coming up fast, Oct. 1 at Bayview Memorial Park in Oro-Medonte, and at the Orillia Opera House later the same day. More details here.

The Orillia Jazz Festival is also coming up fast, Oct. 14 to 16, with main-stage shows at the Orillia Opera House, and shows and events at participating downtown restaurants. For more information, go to It’s a great lineup, and I will have more on it later.

And, Culture Days is happening in Orillia, Sept. 24 to Oct. 16. Lots of venues and groups have gotten together with the Orillia and District Arts Council and put together a fun roster of open rehearsals, murals, workshops, artsy endeavours, and lots more. For more information, check the Orillia District Arts Council YouTube and social media or keep an eye out for Culture Days hashtags.

Have a great, busy week and weekend, and we will see you back here next week. If you have arts news, send it to [email protected] by Tuesday at noon to be included.