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Missing Mariposa? Check out the festival's Virtual Stage this weekend

First instalment of concert series features Gordon Lightfoot and Dala, columnist explains
2020-06-24 Gordon Lightfoot
Mariposa and Canadian icon Gordon Lightfoot will be the first guest at the new Mariposa Virtual Stage on June 28 at 8 p.m. Laura Proctor Photo

Welcome to another edition of what’s on in culture in Orillia and area.

The Mariposa Folk Festival just announced it will be running a series of free online concerts over the coming months, called Mariposa Virtual Stage. The first one is June 28 at 8 p.m. and features host Shelagh Rogers and performers Gordon Lightfoot and Dala. The shows are available live on Mariposa’s Facebook page. Each episode will also be available after the fact, through Mariposa’s newly redesigned website. (By the way, the new website looks fantastic, and so easy to navigate. Way to go, Mariposa!)

The National Arts Drive presented by RAW Artists and, co-presented locally by the Orillia and District Arts Council (ODAC), had several cheerful participants in our area. Hibernation Arts with Patti Agapi, MJ Pollack, Heather Kerslake, Kathryn Kaiser, Creative Nomad Studios, Hobo Jam and Paul Baxter all had displays and/or music for art patrons to enjoy during the event, which ran from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Speaking of ODAC, the board has just announced that the organization has received funding to produce a program called Discovering the Artist Within: Arts Education for Vulnerable Women. This program uses the power of art to involve and encourage vulnerable women in their personal journey toward health and confidence. This is supported by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Support Fund and Community Foundations of Canada. More deets coming soon.

Local farmers’ markets are slowly reopening either virtually or in person. The Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market is online and you can shop here.

The downtown Orillia Farmers’ Market is in the throes of hiring a new manager and is not open at this time.

Gravenhurst and Bracebridge markets are live and in person with appropriate precautions as we are still in the midst of a pandemic and will be for quite some time. So, practise social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly and often and please wear your mask when you go inside a place where social distancing is not possible.

The Muskoka Drive-In is open, Friday to Sunday only. You can check here for all the rules and regs as well as where to pick up tickets. This Saturday, Garth Brooks will be performing on the big screen there, in a special drive-in presentation. For tickets for this event, click here.

Humdinger Bike Tours is doing its Far-Out Fridays Art Romp this Friday, June 26, and every other Friday after that, starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information and to sign up, go here.

The Orillia Public Library has started curbside pickup and already there is quite a backlog, so please be patient. The library’s online programming continues apace, with language lessons, trivia, genealogy, writing workshops and more. This Friday, it will host a special Canada Day trivia party. For more information on all the library has to offer, click here.

Hibernation Arts has moved and has soft-opened at its new location, 17 Peter St. S. The first show in the new space is called Covid Creations and is having a cautious opening, as befits a pandemic, on July 4. The gallery is open now, so do come and check out all the artwork there, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Most of the other galleries in the Peter Street Arts District are now open as well, so don your masks and come check out the work of all of our creatives.

Don’t forget, Creative Nomad Studios’ 2020 Unlimited show is ongoing in the window, on Mississaga Street. All of the art is for sale. Also, Creative Nomad’s website is hosting some downtown artists and businesses for online sales. Check all of this out here.

Also don’t forget, the Orillia Museum of Art and History’s online art auction fundraiser is still going strong, with new art being uploaded to the site every two weeks. Bid on your new piece of art today. Click here to get started.

The Essential Concert Series this Thursday, June 25, at 8 p.m. features Jakob Pearce. This online live show raises money for the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation. You can watch (and donate) here.

Here we are, coming up on Canada Day already! Because of the pandemic, Canada Day is going to look a little different this year. No fireworks, no parade, and definitely no hundreds of people in Couchiching Beach Park, not social distancing. There are some fun online events happening, though, and we encourage you to partake to get in the spirit of Canada Day 2020. 

Rogers TV is running Canada Day Orillia: A Virtual Celebration on and off all day on July 1 as well as on other days and times. This will be a celebration of music, food and Canadian pride, and we know Liz Anderson will be one of the featured performers, among many more local favourites. For more information, click here.

For even more Canada Day celebrations online, click here. There is a daytime and an evening Canada Day show, activities your family can do together, and links to ways other communities are celebrating Canada on our big day. Watch safely at home with your immediate family, have a barbecue and be thankful to be Canadian.

I am off next week, so send me your art news by Tuesday, July 7, to be included in my next column, to Stay safe!