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COLUMN: Return of Orillia Fall Fair a 'wonderful sign of normality'

Not only has the weather started to change, but it seems like we are full-on back into lots of fall events, fun, and creativity for everyone, says columnist
Mike Bailey A Shoebox of Memories
Local photographer Mike Bailey will be opening his exhibit, Catching the Light, Friday night at Creative Nomad Studios.

Well, happy first full week of September and welcome to fall!

Not only has the weather started to change already, but it seems like Orillia and area are full-on back into lots of fall events, fun, and creativity for everyone. Forget about COVID-19, we have had enough and are going full steam ahead…masks and social distancing in place! And, if you are double vaxxed, even better!

First off, the Orillia Fall Fair is actually happening this Saturday! A modified version, to be sure, but still, what a wonderful sign of normality. The fair is running this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., one day only, at ODAS Park Fairgrounds just outside of town, off Highway 12.

The fair will feature all of its most popular events, including the demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls, inflatables, free rollerskating, a magician, free face painting, Cornhole tournament, pickleball, petting zoo and pony rides, vendors, and more.

There is a COVID-19 capacity limit, so it is recommended you get your tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for children) early, online, to avoid disappointment. You can pick up your tickets here. This is the only fall fair that is actually happening in our area, this year, so let’s make it a good one!

This Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. is the opening for Catching the Light, a photography exhibit by local photographer Mike Bailey, at Creative Nomad Studios. Bailey’s work is gorgeous, and I urge you to check it out! The event is free, but due to COVID-19 capacity limits, you need to grab a ticket online. You can get your free ticket here. You can see Bailey’s work on his Facebook page but check it out in person as well this month.

Speaking of Creative Nomad Studios, there is lots going on there and it’s full steam ahead for the fall. Lots of workshops, events, and fun, including Painting Like the Masters, Dance Balm, a Super Smash Brothers tournament, workshops with Mike Bailey, kids’ art classes and so much more. Check them all out here and get registered! Some are already sold out, so don’t delay.

Both Peter Street Fine Arts (PSFA) and Hibernation Arts (HA) have new guest artists for the month of September. At PSFA, the guest is Renata Mcginn. Mcginn hails from the Caledon area, and her fine acrylics feature the rolling hills and farmland of this beautiful area of Ontario. You can check her work out Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Peter Street Fine Arts, at 23 Peter St. S.

Hibernation Arts September guest artist is David Kennedy. His beautiful landscape photographs of the area will inspire you. HA is having a “covidly cautious” opening this Saturday from 12 noon to 3 p.m., so come out, meet the photographer, and enjoy these beautiful photos at 17 Peter St. S. You can also get a sneak peek of his photos through his website, but I urge you to check them out in person!

Hibernation Arts is also, covidly cautiously, restarting its music series, which was on hiatus during lockdown. On Sept. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m., you can enjoy the gorgeous tones of Marta Solek, cello, and Alex Andrews, viola, in this intimate space. You must be double vaxxed to attend, and tickets are $20. There is a maximum of 20 people allowed in the space, and you can email mollytas@gmail.com for more information.

Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) history speakers series begins again Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., and this one is still on Zoom. This month’s topic is Dr. Norman Bethune, and the speaker is Dr. Chris Decker. Bethune was a remarkable man in so many ways, join in and learn more about this famous man. Free tickets can be obtained by emailing visitors@orilliamuseum.org.

Meg Leslie from Atherley Arts is hosting a fun series of workshops, called Play with Clay! There are five weeks of workshops, and you can choose three to max out your learning and enjoyment! Each class is three hours long and cost of each is $40.

This is a beginner hand-building pottery class, and you will learn about coils, slab beating, pinch pots, and making and glazing tiles…which all sounds quite amazing! Due to COVID-19, classes are limited to eight people, so this is a great opportunity to have hands-on help from a real expert in this field. Classes start Sept. 17, so don’t delay, click hereto learn more and to sign up.

Sustainable Orillia Month starts this weekend with an electric car demo at the Orillia Square mall Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be many vehicles on display with their owners so you can talk EV, and special presentations on EVs inside the mall too. For more information, click here.

Sustainable Orillia (SO) is also sponsoring a Repair Café as part of Sustainable Orillia Month, Sept. 18, also at the mall. Check it all out here. More on SO month next week!

Shania Twin (Shania Twain tribute) is this Saturday at the Orillia Opera House. You can get tickets here.

This just in! Weekly live music every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Orillia Flea Market, the former Front Street train station. Hosted by L’il Durpy, this is a mix of funk, rock, and hip-hop, something for everyone to enjoy. See you there!

So much more to cover, next week…Orillia Museum of Art and History, Orillia Opera House, Leacock, art retreats…the list goes on!

Meantime, enjoy, stay safe and see you around town!

If you have arts news, send it to annaproctor111@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon to be included.