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Looking for a way to celebrate your mom? Look no further!

Our arts and entertainment columnist has lots of suggestions for Mother's Day
craig mainprize
Local artist and musician Craig Mainprize is having a one-day art sale May 11 upstairs at 5 Peter. St. S.

Shout out to the organizers of great events last weekend in O-Town!

I heard Dinner and Show with Lance Anderson was stellar, with food and music being top-notch and money being raised for the Orillia Youth Centre’s new Valis Sound Studio. And I can vouch first-hand that An Evening of Song at St. Paul’s was mind blowing.

The art openings in several studios in our arts district were also well attended and first rate. Well done everyone!

This week, weekend and beyond is also shaping up to be full of wonderful events to enjoy.

Tomorrow night, do get out to the Geneva Event Centre to catch the Sunshine Initiative’s Orillia’s Choice Awards. This is a Dragon’s Den type event where ideas to make Orillia an even better place to live are pitched to a panel. Winners receive money to help bring their ideas to life. Thursday, five ideas will be pitched including one from a pair of 11-year-olds.

The fun starts at 7 p.m., admission is free and there is a cash bar and door prizes. The organizers ask that you register here to say you are coming.

This weekend is Mother’s Day weekend and there are so many things to do and see to help celebrate with your mom all weekend long.

Is your mom into trail running? Then take her to the 2019 Trails in Motion World Tour, featuring five films on trail running and hosted by NGO Wakunga and local business, Up and Out.

This mini film festival is being shown at the Orillia Community Church at 64 Colborne St. E., and doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Sat. May 11. Tickets are only $15 for a great evening of entertainment, pick them up here through Eventbrite.

Mom not so much an adventurer? How about taking her to Hibernation Arts at 7 Peter St. S. and she can pick up some bling? The studio has lots of bling for mom and will be showing it all off on Sat. May 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Or how about looking at more bling and supporting the Mariposa Grandmothers to Grandmothers group as well? These ladies are having a fundraiser on Sat. May 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter St. N., selling bags and bling to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Accessorize your mom in the Peter St. Arts District, and then show her off at all the other great galleries in the area.

While you are there, don’t miss Craig Mainprize’s art sale on May 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Craig wants to buy some art supplies for a new project and to do that, he is offering 30 paintings for sale for only $200 each. This incredible art sale will be at 5 Peter St. S., upstairs in room 202. Don’t miss this chance to buy great one-of-a-kind art from a talented local artist.

Or maybe mom is a music lover? There is so much music this weekend for her to enjoy.

Steph Dunn is playing at Tailwinds Bar and Grill out at the Lake St. John airport on Mother’s Day Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are recommended. If you don’t get in there, take mom for an early or late treat at Lake Country Grill where Steph will be playing for their Wine Down Wednesdays, May 8, 15 and 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Mom likes other kinds of music? Orillia Silver Band has a Mother’s Day concert at the Orillia Opera House, Orillia Silver Band Goes to the Beach, on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Grab your tickets through the Opera House box office at 705-326-8011 or pick them up at the door.

Mom likes music and the bar scene? Try The Brownstone café, May 9, with Sam Weber, May 10 with Seth Anderson or May 11 with The Coyote Kids. Or how about May 10 at the Hog ‘n’ Penny with Orillia native Alex Rabbitson or May 11 at the Hog with McGinnis and Marshall?

The casino was definitely thinking of mom when they put this line-up together: Air Supply on May 9 and Franki Valli and The Four Seasons on May 10. Mom will love that for sure.

If you or your mom like looking at records, Alleycats Music and Art can offer that and more, with Good Music/Bad Coffee at 1:30 p.m. on May 11. Check it out, at 95 Mississaga St. E.

Now that mom has been feted, wined and dined, and blinged, let’s look ahead at some events to put on the calendar and grab tickets for, now.

Singer-songwriter Ian St. Arnaud from Edmonton, Alberta will be playing The Brownstone café on May 15 with fellow musician Katey Gatta from St. Catharine’s.

St. Arnaud was already fully immersed in his Americana/folk trio, North of Here, when his bandmate was killed, forcing a reworking of songs and an album already in the works. Come out and hear these songs reworked for a solo act, next Wednesday at the Brownstone, as part of his Ontario tour, including stops in Toronto as well. Gatta is on stage at 8 p.m., followed by St. Arnaud.

Also coming up, the May long weekend, two art show openings: Wes Trinier’s landscape paintings at Lee Contemporary, May 18 from 1 to 3 p.m., and Tango Artspace Black and White show opening, featuring work from the three ladies at Tango, also May 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. Both galleries are located upstairs at 5 Peter St. S.

Lots more great events in store; more on that next week. Please send your art and culture events to me at by Tuesday at noon so I can include them in next week’s column.