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COLUMN: Music and humour on this weekend's event menu

Roots North Revisited concert on tap Saturday; Leacock Medal will be awarded as gala returns after two-year hiatus, says columnist
Rick Mercer | Supplied photo

There are a couple of big events this weekend, kind of on opposite sides of the coin.

The first is the Roots North Revisited concert, in support of the Orillia Youth Centre (OYC). This annual event is one of a few that didn’t disappear during the pandemic.

Creatively, the organizing committee took the show to the Sunset Drive In in fall 2020, and then, a big tent at ODAS Park, in 2021. Both events were huge successes, and a highlight of creative thinking.

This year, the show is back at Fern Resort, this Sat. Sept. 17, doors open at 6 p.m. Performers are Ron Hawkins from Lowest of the Low, Billy the Kid, and REAY Music. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at Dapper Depot Men’s Wear (cash only) or online here.

There will be food available from Fern Resort, a cash bar, and a great silent auction, featuring items and packages donated from The Rind and Truckle, Quayle's Brewery, weekend passes to the 2023 Roots North Music Festival, high end clothing from a host of suppliers, and more.

Also part of the silent auction, a house concert with Irish Mythen, which she donated last year, when she performed at the show at ODAS Park.

Do come out to this very special event and fundraiser. One hundred per cent of the proceeds goes to the Orillia Youth Centre and it will be a great night out.

Also coming up this weekend, is the Leacock Medal for Humour Gala weekend at the Stephen Leacock Museum. Friday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m., there is a meet-the-authors cocktail party and student showcase. Saturday at 5 p.m. is the main event, the gala dinner and medal awarding. Both events will be hosted in a marquee at the museum grounds.

Short-listed nominees for the prestigious Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour this year are Mark Critch, Dawn Dumont and Rick Mercer. Terry Fallis is MCing on Friday night, and Ali Hussein is MCing Saturday.

At time of writing, there are only two gala dinner tickets left, at the bargain price of $105 a pop. For Friday night, there are fewer than 20 tickets remaining, at $40 a pop (includes pub food).

So, grab those tickets here right now to avoid disappointment. Guaranteed fun and hilarity.

I don’t usually get into all the shows at the casino in this column, but worth noting, Air Supply is playing at Casino Rama Sept. 16 and 17. Are you “All Out of Love?” Grab your tickets today.

Speaking of shows that will likely sell out, tickets for An Autumn Mariposa are selling fast, as are the tickets for Mariposa in Concert, both on Oct. 1; the first outdoors at Bayview Memorial Park in Oro-Medonte, and the second at the Orillia Opera House.

An Autumn Mariposa runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and is a bring your lawnchair event, featuring Treasa Levasseur, Alexi Campagne, Union Duke, and Irish Mythen. This event is licensed, and there will be food on site as well, as well as some tables and chairs.

In the evening, Julian Taylor and Dala will be performing at the Orillia Opera House, at 7:30 p.m.

You can grab tickets for just one event for $40, or both for $70, which is really a bargain when you look at the lineup. Tickets at

Nominations for the 2022 Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards are now open, and the deadline for nominations is October 21. Start thinking now about outstanding events, projects, or publications, a lifetime achievement nominee, or an emerging artist. Check out all the categories and the nomination portal here. You can also contact me for more information.

A shout out to Mariposa Folk Festival, Meg Leslie and Atherley Arts, and the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) for a great collaboration in the mosaic at the front of the OMAH stairs, which was installed over the past little while. Atherley Arts had a make your own face ceramic tile workshop in the community village at the folk festival, and the clever decision was made to turn these clay tiles into a mosaic of the community at OMAH. They look great, and what a fun memory for everyone involved. Check out a video of the process on the OMAH Facebook page, here.

Shorts: The Chris Robinson-Will Davis jazz duo is playing at Lot 88 on Fri. Sept. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. Madison Mueller plays The Couchiching Craft Brewery, Sat. Sept. 17, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Couchiching Craft Brewery hosts Vinyl Night this Thursday with DJ Wilverine from MAX FM. And don’t forget the Sunday Show, Sunday afternoons at PICNIC Tapas and Wine Bar, with special guest musicians each week.

Have a great week, and if you have arts news, send it to to be included.