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COLUMN: Roots North lineup includes free shows, workshops

Next weekend's Roots North Festival is sold out of main-stage passes, but there are 'some really great musicians, fun workshops' and open mics throughout town
Lindy Vopnfjörd opens Roots North Music's downtown stage offerings, Thursday April 21 at 6 pm at Lot 88 (1)
Lindy Vopnfjörd will perform at Lot 88 during the Roots North Music Festival on April 21 at 6 p.m.

A few time-sensitive items to talk about this week, so let’s get to it.

Roots North Music Festival has sold out of its weekend passes for the festival main stage at St. Paul’s Centre April 22 and 23, but do not despair. There are tons of Roots North (mostly) free shows all around Orillia, all weekend long.

There are some really great musicians in the lineup, definitely worth checking out, and some really fun workshops for all ages as well. And open mics, too. Kudos to Roots North and organizer Amy Mangan for giving these musicians spaces to get back at it.

Here is the schedule of non-main-stage shows, April 21 to 24, mostly in downtown Orillia:

Thursday April 21

  • Lindy Vopnfjörd, 6 p.m., Lot 88 Kitchen and Bar, 294 Memorial Ave. (free show)
  • Alex Andrews and Michael Martyn, 9 p.m., Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E. (free show)

Friday April 22

  • Alleycats open mic, all day, Alleycats Music and Art, 95 Mississaga St. E. - Contact Jake at Alleycats to play
  • Meredith Moon, 3 p.m., Eclectic Cafe, 39 Mississaga St. W. (free show)
  • Steph Dunn, 6 p.m., Lot 88 Kitchen and Bar, 294 Memorial Ave. (free show)
  • Grady Kelneck, 6 p.m., Rustica Pizza Vino, 132 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Scott Olgard, 10 p.m., Kenzington Burger Bar, 85 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Open Jam Session, 10 p.m., Hog N' Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (free show)

Saturday April 23

  • Alleycats Record Store Day Open Mic, All Day, Alleycats Music and Art, 95 Mississaga St. E. — Contact Jake at Alleycats to play
  • Dray Tony, 10 a.m., Mark IV Brothers - 187 Nottawasaga St. (free show)
  • Music For Young Children: Music Pups (0-5 Years), 11 a.m., Orillia Music Centre - St. Paul's Centre Studio # 338 (free show)
  • Jack Nicolle and Dan McBride, 12 p.m., Apple Annie's Cafe and Shop - 101 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Dray Tony, 12.30 p.m., Lone Wolf Cafe, 10 Matchedash St. S. (free show)
  • Tunes To Tweet LIVE Podcast Recording, 1 p.m., Knight Vision Media Studios, 18 Mississaga St. E. (free show) — Reserve space by emailing tyler@knightvision.ca.
  • Elwood Hammond (Woodsie) 2 p.m., Hibernation Arts, 17 Peter St. S. (free show)
  • Sam Johnston, 2 p.m., Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Chris LeMay, 2 p.m., Lot 88 Kitchen and Bar, 294 Memorial Ave. (free show)
  • Family Friendly Hand Drumming Fun, 3 p.m., Orillia Music Centre, St. Paul's Centre Studio # 338 (free show)
  • Dave and Aaron Play Tunes 2 Tweet, 5 p.m., Hog N' Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (free show)
  • Jenni Lawrence, 6 p.m., Rustica Pizza Vino, 132 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Taylor Knox, 10 p.m., Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E., $10 cover or free if you show your weekend pass
  • Run With the Kittens, 10 p.m., Couchiching Craft Brewing Co., 162 Mississaga St. E. - $10 cover
  • Ronnie Douglas Band, 10 p.m., Brewery Bay Food Co., 117 Mississaga Street East (free show)
  • Open Jam Session, 10 p.m., Hog N' Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (free show)
  • Michael Costantini, 10 p.m., Kenzington Burger Bar, 85 Mississaga St. E. (free show)

Sunday April 24

  • Alleycats Open Mic, All Day, Alleycats Music and Art, 95 Mississaga St. E. — Contact Jake at Alleycats to play
  • Jaedon Daly, 12 p.m., Bakes by the Lake, 178 Mississaga St. E. — Reservations preferred by contacting the business directly (free show)
  • Sean Patrick, 2 p.m., Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Jakob Pearce, 4.30 p.m., Hog N' Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (free show)

Lovely to see a music festival in our area again, after such a grim two years. Get out and enjoy.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) has some new spring workshops starting, and one of them, Life Drawing with Kathryn Kaiser, is beginning Thursday, April 14. Kathryn is a master of life drawing, and a great teacher, so if you wanted to up your game in this field or start from the beginning, this is a wonderful option.

Kathryn is so good and so popular, there are two time slots to choose from on Thursdays, 1 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. To learn more and sign up, click here.

OMAH’s History Speakers Virtual Series continues online with The Prisoners of Gravenhurst, on April 20 at 7 p.m. The head of Gravenhurst Archives, Judy Humphries, tells the fascinating story of German prisoners of war held at Camp 20 in Gravenhurst, who were offered university courses, formed an orchestra, had chef-cooked meals, and sunbathed on the beach at what was a luxury sanatorium in Gravenhurst.

This should be a fascinating and fun evening, with lots of good stories about this incredible time and place. To register to receive the Zoom link, email Monica at visitors@orilliamuseum.org.

Finally, the last time-sensitive item for this week: Lakehead University’s Office of Community Engagement is running a four-week series of food-related workshops, all set for you to “Spring Into Learning.” The workshops start on April 19, with the first Zoom event, “What Is ‘Shumka Dust’?”

April 26, the topic is “The Art and Science of Chocolate,” and then, on April 30, “Bread 101” and, May 4, the last workshop is “Cheese: It’s Gouda!”

Each workshop is $30 and there are additional materials that can be picked up or shipped out to participants. You can find out lots more and register here.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the spring and the beautiful sounds of live music, back in O-Town again, finally. And Happy Easter.

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