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COLUMN: Tickets selling fast for trio of popular events

Evening of Gospel and Blues event, Roots North festival and REAY event among many events on jam-packed local calendar, says columnist
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Mariposa Arts Theatre is hosting a Night of Tomfoolery with the Old Dancehall Players, at the MAT Warehouse, on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Happy almost mid-January. We will get through this, folks, and there will be no January blahs in good old O-town.

First off, three ticket alert events that will sell out, so get those tickets now.

REAY Music is playing at Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. Jan. 28 and there are very few tickets left. This great show is a fundraiser for the Sharing Place Food Centre, which always gets forgotten about in January, so come out for a wonderful time and raise money for this important non-profit in town.

Tickets are $15, with $10 from every ticket sold going to the Sharing Place. You can get them here.

The second event that will sell out is Lance Anderson’s Evening of Gospel and Blues. This is presented by the Mariposa Folk Foundation and will be a star-studded evening of incredible music and musicians that always blows people away.

The show is Feb. 4 at the Orillia Opera House, and you can get tickets through the box office there by calling 705-326-8011 or going online at orilliaoperahouse.ca.

The third event I am alerting you to is the Roots North Music Festival. This wonderful weekend festival has sold out its main stage at St. Paul’s Centre consistently, and with two fantastic artists announced already, Michael Kaeshammer and Kellie Loder, tickets will be moving fast now. The festival is April 20 to 23 and you can grab tickets here.

The City of Orillia and the Orillia Museum of Art and History are creating an art in public places strategy. The strategy will help guide the city in decision making around art in public places.

A local artist engagement session is being held Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. at Creative Nomad Studios. This will be facilitated by Jeremy Freiburger of Cobalt Connects, a non-profit arts organization with 20 years of experience in public art, neighbourhood revitalization and artist engagement.

If you are a local artist in any discipline, I urge you to come out to this important session. If you want a voice in this key issue, this is your chance to be heard.

Another wonderful St. Paul’s Centre Pub Night is coming our way Friday, Jan. 20 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The last one was a great success and raised $3,000 for the centre. Since this pub night features Alex the Folk Band, I am thinking it will be a great success as well. The cover is $10, there will be lots of pub food and a bar, and you will need cash for all of that. There will be a silent auction as well, and you can use a cheque for that.

A couple of local choirs are looking for more voices.

In town, the Orillia Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Blair Bailey, is starting rehearsals again Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre. Fees for this winter term are $125 and if that is a barrier to join, please reach out as there are scholarships available. If you are a student, the membership is waived.

The Hawkestone Singers are also looking for new members. This choir is normally based at the Hawkestone Hall, but with the fate of that building unknown, the choir is rehearsing at the Oro-Medonte Community Arena at Line 4 and Highway 11 South. The first rehearsal is Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m., upstairs in the banquet hall, and the music director is Terry Therien. You don’t need to read music to be a member of this choir; just come out and have fun.

Mariposa Arts Theatre (MAT) is hosting a Night of Tomfoolery with the Old Dancehall Players at the MAT warehouse on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. There are only 42 tickets available, so grab them now here. MAT is also looking for hair and makeup artists, so if that is your jam, reach out today.

Couchiching Craft Brewering Co. continues its tradition of excellent live music all weekend long with Ian Chaplin playing Friday night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Nolan and Eric from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and the Will Davis/Chris Robinson duo on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. for Jazz in the Afternoon.

In other live music, Jakob Pearce is playing upstairs at Quayle’s Brewery on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.

Have a great week; we have January beat.

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