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COLUMN: Local arts community emerging from the pandemic

Arts and cultural events are coming out of the woodwork now, fast and furious, says columnist of the many different events now being planned
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Anitta Hamming of Creative Nomad Studios is hosting a series of workshops called The Nitty Gritty, Understanding the Details of your Business, starting April 25.

After two years of pandemic life, it’s pretty obvious that everyone in Orillia and area has been dying to get out and have some fun. Arts events are coming out of the woodwork now, fast and furious!

Creative Nomad Studios has a long lineup of great workshops for all ages. 'Basic Family Haircuts' is this weekend, 'Dance Balm Spring Session' starts soon, 'Basic Weaving' is coming up, and lots more.

A one-afternoon, Latin-style line dancing workshop with Miriam Goldberger for only $30 is a fundraiser for Orillia District Arts Council and is coming up April 3. And Creative Nomad Studios owner Anitta Hamming is hosting a series of workshops called The Nitty Gritty, Understanding the Details of your Business, starting April 25.

For information and registration for all these workshops and more, click here.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) also has lots of great workshops coming up, and March break camps as well, for every kid in your life. The Eco Art program is once a month and has another four months to go, and it’s for kids ages 4 to 12 and their guardians, with lots of cool projects coming up. Click here to register.

OMAH’s March break day camp themes include OMAH Goes to Space, OMAH Superheroes Unite, OMAH Fairy Tale Adventure, and more, for kids ages 5 to 12. To register, click here.

Coming up on March 16 at 7 p.m., the OMAH History Speaker Series presents The War of the Woods, with speaker John Savage, who will tell us of the history of the logging industry and how in many ways it still shapes aspects of the way we live today. This lecture is via Zoom, it’s free, and you can email to receive the link.

Of course, OMAH also has several exhibits now open at the Sir Sam Steele building, including D. Ahsen: Nase Douglas: We Are Still Here!; From Marbles to Minecraft, A Century of Childhood; and Got the Time? OMAH is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and the Orillia Opera House is presenting the 'King of the Irish', Great Big Sea co-founder Séan McCann, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. McCann has a new album, Shantyman, with appearances by Hawksley Workman, Gordie Johnson, Jeremy Fisher, and J.P. Cormier. His new single, Rolling Sea, can be seen on YouTube here.

You can grab your tickets to see McCann via the Orillia Opera House box office by calling 705-326-8011 or go to

Couchiching Craft Brewery, which has only operated during the pandemic, has a fun event coming up March 19: one evening of its Winemaker Dinner Series, this one featuring Vadim Chelekhov, from Kacaba Vineyards and Winery, in Niagara. This delicious evening will feature a four-course meal from Chef Brandon as well as wine pairings and lots of information from the winemaker himself. Cost is $96.05 and you can register here.

Orillia and Lake Country’s Tap into Maple starts this weekend, and runs until April 3. This is an opportunity to visit our area’s maple syrup producers, enjoy special maple-themed experiences, and local maple-inspired cuisine. Visit their website for more information on all the participating businesses.

Roots North Music Festival has issued a call for artisans for its artisan market, which runs during the festival the evenings of April 22 and 23. For more information and to apply, email now.

Coming up?

Mariposa Arts Theatre’s Steel Magnolias is finally coming to the stage at the Orillia Opera House April 21 to 30, after being postponed due to COVID-19. This is a great comedy drama that will be wonderful to see. Grab your tickets here. They won’t last long.

The Orillia Scottish Festival is planning a special event at Quayle’s Brewery on Tartan Day, April 6, stay tuned for more information.

And March 4 and 5 Zachary Lucky is playing at PICNIC, grab your tickets here.

Have a great first weekend of March! If you have arts news, send it to by Tuesday at noon to be included.