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Opera House awash in red for local artists impacted by COVID

Despite the ongoing pandemic, there is much to see and do on the menu locally, says arts and entertainment columnist
Orillia Opera House facade during Light Up Live Sept. 22 credit OOH
The Orillia Opera House façade is was illuminated with red flood lights during Light Up Live Tuesday night. Contributed photo

Welcome to the end of September, as we wind down into October with a series of warmer and sunnier days.

A reminder, this Friday is the last of the See You On The Patio nights in Orillia, so get out there and enjoy the food, music, art, and atmosphere this Friday in downtown Orillia. Many of our galleries are open during this time, so pop in and support local art.

The Orillia Public Library is continuing its creative and awesome pandemic programming with a virtual How-To Festival. Originally a part of Culture Days, the library’s How-To Festival in previous years had featured many - and I mean, many - short workshops on how to do virtually everything. Pickling, jam making, sock darning, cartooning, and the list goes on.

This year, in this pandemic fall, the festival is going virtual and here’s how it works: Starting at 10 a.m. on Sat. Sept. 26, go to the library’s Facebook channel here to view a series of short 10-minute videos on how to do virtually everything, including meditate, brew beer, make a smoothie, wrap a baby, be tech savvy, keep your kids safe online and more. For the full schedule of workshops, click here. Enjoy and learn How-To!

Also on Saturday, but from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Local Crafts Market is teaming up with the Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market to present a Pop Up Market. To view some of the awesome products that will be for sale, click here

There will also be items not able to be viewed online, so mask up and come out to see and buy handmade items for yourself or your loved ones. Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market is located at the Orillia Fairgrounds at 4500 Fairgrounds Rd., Severn.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) is starting fall programming, and there are a variety of experiences to choose from. All programming is offered both in person and virtually, and includes Life Drawing; Art 101: Introduction to Watercolours with Hilary Slater; a plein air watercolour workshop; and Arthur Shilling Inspired Self Portraits, facilitated by Tanya Cunnington. For more information and to register, click here.

OMAH’s online art auction is still going strong, with new art pieces going “on the block” every two weeks. To view the art available for purchase, click here.

Don’t forget the Roots North Revisited OYC Presents show at the Sunset Barrie Drive in this Saturday, doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the show starts at 7:15 ish. Featuring Hawksley Workman, Terra Lightfoot and The North River, this will be a very fun and safe night out in your own car, with your bubble. All proceeds go to support the Orillia Youth Centre, needed now more than ever. For tickets, click here. There are limited tickets available, so don’t delay!

I hope everyone took note of Light Up Live on Sept. 22, a day of visibility for all of the folks and venues in the live entertainment industry who have lost their livelihood due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Venues around the world were lit with red lights to spark the conversation.

Our live entertainment venues and artists need our support more than ever before. Talk to your MP or MPP about supporting this important and overlooked area in our economy. Live entertainment is what makes our lives special, let’s not lose it.  

Coming up in October? OMAH History Speakers (virtually); the opening of the Carmichael Canadian Landscape exhibit, also at OMAH; Flavours of Lake Country; and Culture Days at Creative Nomad Studios. 

Please send your arts and culture news to [email protected] by Tuesdays at noon to be included in this column. Keep on masking!


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