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COLUMN: Power of the Purse looks to help local women succeed

Orillia Museum of Art and History issues call for artists for April exhibit called Dying Matters: Reflections of Growth Through Grief
Layne the Auctionista
Layne the Auctionista will be handling auction duties at the virtual Power of the Purse event Jan. 29 to benefit Dress for Success, a local charity that helps area women succeed.

January is usually a slower month, culture and event-wise, but of course, this January, like the last, is COVID-slower, so that is exponentially slower.

Nevertheless, Orillia and area is once again rising to the challenge and still providing some great entertainment and fun for those in our region.

Power of the Purse is the big fundraiser of the year for Dress for Success Orillia Barrie (DFS), and it is coming up fast on Jan. 29. This is the second year that DFS has made the event virtual, and it is a lot of fun! (I attended it last year, so I should know.)

Power of the Purse features an online and live auction, with hosts Dale and Charlie from Kool FM, and Layne the Auctionista (and trust me, she is fun and hilarious) providing the auctioning duties. Silent auction offerings include many designer purses, duh, but also beautiful jewellery, fun experiences, and so much more.

The best news? Virtual Power of the Purse is free to attend!

But, DFS also offers a limited number of VIP for Two virtual Power of the Purse experiences. The VIP experience is $155 for two people, and is well worth it, as the VIP duo receives a bottle of red wine from PICNIC in Orillia (you can switch for white), a handcrafted charcuterie board made by RM83 Designs to keep, and charcuterie for two from Eclectic Cafe by Melanie Robinson Catering. Plus, you get a $31 charitable tax receipt and you'll be entered to win a designer handbag! And of course, you get to help a fantastic local not-for-profit which helps women succeed.

You must register to attend and to bid on all the beautiful auction items, which are online to peruse; you can check out the items and start bidding on Jan. 15 at 8 a.m. For lots more information and to register, click here. Have a wonderful time, can’t wait to ‘see’ you there!

Some other fun things are going on. The Orillia Public Library (OPL) is offering express service pick up and access to the library will be limited to the lobby while Omicron is raging, but you can reserve books online and by calling the librarians who are ready and waiting to help you.

OPL is also coming up with new and fun activities for adults and kids daily. There is an I Spy Take and Make Kit for the kiddos ready and waiting for you, just drop by and grab it. There are also multiple activities to do on Zoom, so check out the website or the OPL Facebook page for more information.

The Orillia Kiwanis Music Festival has made the difficult decision to take the festival virtual again this year. The festival itself is in April, but the deadline for applications is Jan. 31, so if you have a talented musician in your midst, check out the details here and register today.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) is forging ahead, and has a call out for artists for an April exhibit called Dying Matters: Reflections of Growth Through Grief.

This is a community-based exhibition and fundraiser in partnership with Hospice Orillia, wherein the artists will receive 50% of the proceeds, and OMAH and Hospice Orillia will each receive 25%.

Local artists, here is your brief: Artwork must address the theme of death, loss, grief, or growth and renewal after trauma. Artwork must be no larger than 12”x12”x12” and be ready for installation. (See installation guidelines on the website.)

OMAH is accepting submissions in all mediums for 2-D and 3-D artwork.OMAH welcomes video submissions, but please note that they might be shown virtually, not in the gallery.

This show will be curated by OMAH’s Arts Programming Coordinator, Tanya Cunnington, and a representative from Hospice Orillia.

For 2-D submissions, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, or photography, please send one high resolution image. For 3-D submissions, such as sculpture/installation, please send up to three high resolution images. Include a 50-word (maximum) statement about your submission and how it relates to this exhibition, along with the title, size, medium, and value of your piece.

Send submissions to Tanya Cunnington by email at using the subject line Dying Matters submission. Submissions will be accepted up to Feb. 11, 2022. Successful applicants to be notified by March 1, 2022.

I know many of our talented local artists will have incredible submissions for this important exhibition.

Also in OMAH news, the next Zoom History Speaker Series is on Jan. 19 and will feature popular local historian Dave Town, speaking about his book, Yellowhead’s Revolt. You can register for free, to get the Zoom link, by emailing

That’s all for this week, folks. Please stay safe and send your arts news to by Tuesday at noon to be included.