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Local art could be the perfect Christmas gift

Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces make for special gifts while supporting local talent, says our arts and entertainment columnist
2019-12-18 Will McGarvey
Local painter Will McGarvey is having a one-day studio sale Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Supplied photo

Well, here we are, hurtled pell-mell into the week before Christmas. Where did the time go?

I hope you have been enjoying all the Christmas arts and culture events I have been highlighting in my column and they have added to your enjoyment of the holiday season. I want to let you know I will be taking a short holiday break from the column, so the next one will be on Facebook on Jan. 8 in the evening and in the emailed headlines Jan. 9.

For those of us doing some last-minute Christmas shopping (and yes, I am including myself in that group), the galleries and shops in Orillia’s Arts District and downtown are open and ready for you with handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces for your special someones. Buy a gift from a real person and not a corporation this holiday season. Most galleries and shops are open Saturday all day. Some are open Sunday as well.

Local painter Will McGarvey is having a one-day studio sale this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in his studio at 15 Peter St. S., upstairs (above Shadowbox). There are eight-inch-by-eight-inch original oil paintings on panels for only $150, limited editions for $100 with a $50 framing coupon from Shadowbox, and selected other pieces on sale. This is your chance to own one of Will’s stunning works. Come check it out!

Looking ahead to plan out your January, the City of Orillia parks, recreation and culture guide is out with lots of great courses to attend starting in January. Not just for sporty folks anymore, there are lots of cultural offerings as well, for all ages. For more information and to register, click here.

Also starting in January, the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) has a whole new line-up of workshops you can attend, again, for all ages. Check out still-life drawing classes, Monday crafternoons, wine and paint nights, lunch ’n’ learns, family fun drop-ins, and history speaker evenings, all at OMAH. For more information, go to

January also brings the second part of the Mariposa Arts Theatre film nights, starting Jan. 15. Titles are coming soon. You can check the website for more details. Always a fun night and money goes to this great community theatre here in town.

Jan. 15 is also the deadline for submitting your proposal for the Mulcahy Publishing Initiative at OMAH. Submit your proposal involving a book about the history of the area, for publication. For more information, go here.

Lots of music at the bars over the next few days. At the Brownstone Café on Thursday: Great Women in Song, selected songs performed by Kayla Mahomed, Olivia Duck, Sam Johnston and Alex Rabbitson; Saturday: Warming Winter Solstice with Morgan Rider and The Doozies. At the Hog N’ Penny on Friday: Charlotte Unplugged; Saturday: Terry Savage. At Fionn MacCool’s on Friday: Derrick Zuber; Saturday: Shane Cloutier. At Lake Country Grill on Thursday: Jazz Standards. Saturday at ANAF Orillia (Army Navy and Airforce Hall) come to a dance with Wendy Whelan and band.

Have a wonderful holiday season and don’t forget to send me your 2020 events, at, by Tuesdays at noon.