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Live painting, music, food on the menu in the downtown this weekend

There will be a surprise artist taking part in 'Metamorphosis' event as part of See You on the Patio event, says arts and entertainment columnist
Paul Baxter at Live Painting Metamorphosis Week One Creative Nomad Studios
Paul Baxter is captured creating at Live Painting Metamorphosis One at Creative Nomad Studios last Friday night. Creative Nomad photo

And just like that, here we are at the August long weekend! The weather looks great so there will be lots of crowds at our parks and beaches. Hopefully some of those crowds will come on down to Orillia’s See You On The Patio event, which is expanding to include Saturday night, starting this weekend.

Downtown streets are closed to vehicles from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, from this weekend until Labour Day weekend at this point. There is live music, live art demos, and lots and lots of restaurant patios. The city has a call out for artists to animate the street, so look for some interesting ideas to enjoy from our local creatives.

One such idea is Creative Nomad Studios’ Live Painting event, running from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, outside of the studio at 23 Mississaga St. W., opposite the library.

Come watch the artists paint in real time, in this “Metamorphosis” event. Featured artists this week include Catherine Cadieux, Pauline Tofflemire, Katheryn Kaiser, Virginia Barlow, Marlene Bulas, Douglas Porter, Anitta Hamming, and one surprise.

You have a great view of this event from The Common Stove and Eclectic Café patios, so you can enjoy dinner at the same time. Definitely make a reservation for dinner. Enjoy!

Another event which is part of Friday night is a new fundraiser for the Orillia Youth Centre in honour of Jake Beers and Nelson Bell. There is a sweet ride with the HXMESWEETHXME logo on it to view, T-shirts and stickers for sale, and you can make a donation to the youth centre. Look for the car downtown this Friday night.

Orillia artists have been very busy during this pandemic creating lots of new pieces and experimenting with different styles and media. You can view their work at many galleries and shops downtown and on Peter Street, including Hibernation Arts, Creative Nomad Studios, Peter Street Fine Arts, The Shadowbox, Tiffins, Apple Annies café, the Orillia Museum of Art and History, and lots more.

When you think of buying art for your home or as a gift, think of buying from our local artists. There are so many talented souls here, so support them first.

Travis Shilling and Naomi Woodman, of Otter Art Club, have been busy during the pandemic and have put together a short video of some of what they have been up to. Check out this beautiful short about nature and their creative process, here.

Don’t forget the Orillia Public Library is still doing lots of great online programming, including a Harry Potter Trivia night this Friday. The library is still closed but does offer curbside pick up of library materials ordered. For more details on everything library, check here.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) is open Thursday to Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. by appointment. They have a new exhibit on the main floor, Hunter Games, which is totally amazing. Call today 705-326-2159 to book your spot to see it. OMAH’s online art auction continues apace with gorgeous art available for you to bid on…check it out here.

The Stephen Leacock Museum is also open Monday to Friday by appointment only, and the gift shop is open as well, with contactless payment options. To book your self-guided tour, click here.

And lastly, the Orillia Opera House IS presenting a show this summer, Norm Foster’s On A First Name Basis, which will run from Aug. 19 to Sept. 4 with a 50 person maximum audience, physically distanced in the large Gordon Lightfoot auditorium. For more information and tickets, click here.

Let’s enjoy the second half of our pandemic summer by keeping each other safe and supporting all of our local creatives.

Please send me your arts news to by Tuesdays at noon.