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Local crafters, artisans offer unique Christmas shopping experiences

There are many local pre-holiday events that are worth checking out, says arts and entertainment columnist
The Singing Soldiers Credit The Singing Soldiers
The Singing Soldiers are doing a concert in support of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation this Saturday at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre.

We are really getting into the pre-holiday events folks, so hold onto your hats! The next few weeks will be chock-a-block full of holiday markets, concerts, and events for every age and stage.

This weekend we have a new-to-Orillia concert happening at St. Paul’s Centre, Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. so concert starts at 7 p.m. These guys are The Singing Soldiers, two soldiers and country music artists whose motto is 'trauma heals through music therapy.'

They are raising money for our own Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation by putting on this great show right in O-Town. Tickets are only $25 online here. Check out this video of the guys to see what you are in store for: Come out and check them out!

Also this Saturday, from 1 to 3 p.m., we have a cool event happening at the Stephen Leacock Museum. It’s called “Storytelling Climate Change” and features readings from a new collection of climate change stories, titled Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times. There will be readings by Canadian writers Kate Story, Catriona Sandilands, Deborah McGregor, Hillary McGregor, and Sam Dewaele. The event is free, you are asked to register here.

Kevin Gangloff’s favourite singer, Bryan McPherson, is coming up to Canada for some shows, and Kevin is facilitating two of them, one at the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) and one at The Roost Farm, this weekend. For reservations and more deets, message or email Kevin at or check out the Orillia Youth Centre Facebook page.

Hibernation Arts is having another great gallery concert on Thursday at 7 p.m. This one features singer songwriter Michael Martyn and will really be a great evening in this intimate space. An awesome spot for a house concert. Admission is $20 at the door, go and have a great night at 7 Peter St. S.

There are lots of Christmas markets coming up, and what better place to pick up Christmas gifts than a local Christmas market? You get to be sustainable, environmentally friendly and shop locally all in one.

Cover your list off by supporting local causes, artists and artisans, you will be glad you did! Here is a rundown of upcoming Christmas markets in our area over the next couple of weeks:

Nov. 16 from 1 to 5 p.m., holiday market at Eight Limbs Yoga, corner of Peter and Mississaga, upstairs. Local artists and businesses, apple cider and music in this beautiful space.

Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Christmas crafters market at Trillium Manor at 12 Grace Ave. More than 20 vendors in this annual event, free admission, everything from dog treats to socks.

Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fall Craft Show at the Orillia Legion, 215 Mississaga St. E. Fall craft show with many small business owners, hosted by Fabricated Keepsakes.

Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Christmas Bazaar at Orchard Park School, 24 Calverley St., come out and see over 50 great crafters, bake sale and treats, and support the school.

Nov. 22 to Nov. 24, (Friday from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), check out the Holiday Art Hop in the downtown Peter Street Arts District. All the artists will have gorgeous offerings for your holiday shopping!

Nov. 22 to. Nov. 24, (Friday from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Orillia’s Christmas Market at St. James Anglican Church, 58 Peter. St. N. Over 20 vendors in this juried artisan market, including paintings, photography, woodturned items and lots more. Live music as well!

Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. Paul’s Teahouse Treats and Treasures Sale at 62 Peter. St. N. Baked goods, white elephant table, café, and jewelry. Come check it all out here.

Nov. 23 at 11 a.m., in person pop up sale in support of Charlee’s Run, at Changing of the Garnet on Mississaga Street, baked goods and sundries. Come check it out.

There you go, lots of holiday shopping to be had by supporting our local crafters, artisans and causes.

Don’t forget this is the last weekend for Urinetown, Mariposa Arts Theatre’s smash hit musical, running Thursday to Sunday this week, evenings at 7:30 p.m., with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday due to the Santa Claus parade. Tickets are at the Orillia Opera House box office right here.

Under coming soon and grab your tickets now, Downchild Blues Band is coming to the Orillia Opera House on a 50th anniversary tour! If you love the blues, these guys are IT! Do not miss this awesome show on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m., buy tickets here.

Music at the bars this weekend, here is a rundown: at Fionn MacCool’s, Nov. 15 and 16, Zac Erickson from 7 to 11 p.m. At Lake Country Grill, Nov. 16 Charlotte and the Dirty Cowboys. At the casino, Nov. 14 and 15, Styx, Nov. 16 Johnny Reid.

Have a great week and weekend and send your arts news to, by Tuesday at noon.