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COLUMN: Orillia Museum of Art and History reopens its doors

Check out the latest news, upcoming events and much more in Anna Proctor's weekly column devoted to the local arts and entertainment scene
Sam Johnston submitted photo
Sam Johnston will be among the featured local performers at the Roots North Musical Festival Online, to be aired April 23.

Spring is in the air!

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) is now open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., no appointment necessary. Come in and check out current exhibits, and try your guess at what the exhibits for 2022 will be, by finding the clues in OMAH’s tableau of clues, on exhibit now at the museum.

Don’t forget about your local galleries, all of whom are open to browse in and purchase from. Tiffin’s Creative Centre has acrylic on canvas works from Linda Plourde as well as Zephyr Art members’ Walls of Smalls, small works by many different local artists. Tiffin’s is located in the alley beside OMAH and is open for in store shopping as well as curbside pick up.

The Orillia District Arts Council is advertising some paid workshop teaching opportunities for artists! ODAC received some funding to put together some workshops for women’s mental health, and is looking for workshop facilitators. Deadline to apply is March 31, and all the information can be found here. Good luck!

As we reach the end of March, our thoughts used to turn to that traditional springtime event: Roots North Music Festival. But the pandemic has turned that on its head.

Roots North of course had to cancel last year due to the pandemic and the enforced lockdown that ensued. They were hoping to stage a festival this year, but sadly we are not there yet.

Roots North is all about getting together and supporting venues and our downtown and getting together is still a no-no.

Luckily for us though, the Roots North committee were able to take the time and talents of lots of local musicians and videographers and sound people and put together a beautiful night of music for all of us: The Roots North Musical Festival Online.

This free online festival will take place Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m. and will feature local and well-loved musicians Alex Andrews and Marta Sołek, Craig Mainprize, Darrin Davis and Amy Jefferies, Sam Johnston, Sean Patrick, and Zachary Lucky.

The committee is also hoping the festival will air on Rogers TV and are in talks with Rogers to confirm that. The show will definitely be available to watch on YouTube and Facebook.

If you purchased tickets for this year’s in person festival, you can hang onto those tickets to keep some green in the festival’s bank account, or contact the festival for a full refund. Looking forward to seeing this beautiful virtual festival on April 23!

To get us ready for Roots North, Zachary Lucky is hosting an online show this Sunday at 8 p.m., Zachary Lucky Live from Home. You can tune in on Zachary’s YouTube channel, here.

In other local music news, Kirty, favourite Orillia girl moved to the big city, has released a new single and video, God Help Us, which you can find here.

This video follows on the heels of her single released in December 2020, aptly named This Year’s Been Hell, which she actually wrote before the hellish year that was 2020! You can find This Year’s Been Hell here.

Both videos and songs are perfect Kirty, introspective and thoughtful, with her distinctive voice and sound. Thank you Kirty for these works, and looking forward to the next album!

Creative Nomad Studios is launching a four-week art class for kids, geared to those in grades 1 to 4, called Let’s Draw! Taught by local artist Steph Whalen, these classes will get your artistic kiddos’ creative juices flowing! First class is Wed. March 24 at 4 p.m. and you can access the classes afterwards at any time. You can sign up and learn more here.

Speaking of kids and drawing, Little Tigers posters, which I have mentioned previously in this column, has lots more posters for your kids to colour! Dinosaurs, birds, spring greetings, happy birthday, giraffes, zebras, robots, fast cars…you name your kid’s obsession, and Little Tigers likely has a poster for it, or will shortly! To see all the posters available and to order, click here.

Storytelling Orillia presents New Beginnings, a kitchen party, this Sun. March 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. New Beginnings will feature Selina Eisenberg, a storyteller from Montreal and former president of Storytellers of Canada; Clara Dugas from Halifax; Orillia teller Laura Joyce; Alan Cantor from Toronto; and Bob Graham, Tim Greenwood and Jan McFarland, members of Storytelling Orillia. Sherry Lawson, elder, author and storyteller from Rama, will also join. And on the musical end of things, Sharon Langfield and Peter Cox will fill that role. Email to receive the zoom link to this fun afternoon of stories and music!

If you have arts news, please send it to by Tuesday at noon to be included.