Skip to content

Starry Night Studio and Gallery Tour set for Saturday night

Arts and entertainment columnist says it's her favourite night of the year ... check out why!
Starry Night credit Deb Halbot
The 15th annual Starry Night Studio and Gallery Tour will be held Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. in downtown Orillia. Deb Halbot Photo

And just like that, we are on the cusp of the biggest art event of the year! Yes folks, Orillia’s Starry Night Studio and Gallery Tour is upon us, this Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m.

This year it is the 15th annual, with 35 stops throughout downtown Orillia and dozens of participating artists. The streets will be closed, there will be music, and lots of amazing art. There will also be a couple of giveaways, and some great deals on beautiful local art. You can grab a map at any of the participating venues, or download your own here.

Also that night, Streets Alive will be announcing the winners of its Peddle Powered public art show, on display all summer throughout downtown Orillia. The presentation will be taking place at 8:30 p.m. on Peter Street South. Next year’s Streets Alive theme will also be announced at that time, so stay tuned to be in the know.

As part of Starry Night, Makers Market, at 23 Mississaga St E. is having its grand opening, starting at 9 a.m. and going right through until 11 p.m. There will be a huge giveaway of a handcrafted dining room table, free slushies and popcorn, live music all day, and lots more, including a few surprises. Also don’t forget about Xavier Fernandes’ Backroom Art Sale at Peter Street Fine Arts, another special part of Starry Night. That’s at 23 Peter St. S.

Of course, every gallery and stop on the map has something special to offer. Starry Night is literally my favourite night of the year, so I urge you to brave whatever the weather brings, and I will see you out there!

Just prior to Starry Night, at 5 p.m. Saturday, High Court County will be playing a show at the Port of Orillia as part of its summer concert series. The music is sponsored by Allstate Insurance in Orillia. Come out and enjoy the show!

As part of Antiques Month at Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH), evaluators have been in the museum each week ready and waiting to appraise any treasures you bring in. This Saturday is your last chance at this opportunity, with Julie Riches of Riches Appraisals & Consult at OMAH from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pricing is $15 for one item, $40 for three items for those who have pre-registered. If you drop in, $20 for one item, $50 for three items. Call 705-326-2159 to pre-register.

You can also have a gallery tour this Friday at OMAH at 1:30 p.m., hosted by one of OMAH’s docents. Come learn about and appreciate art in a whole new way in these guided tours. The tour is free for members or free with the price of admission.

Moving on from fine art, this weekend is the ever-popular annual Rib and Craft Beer Fest at Tudhope Park. The festival runs Friday from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturday noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday noon to 7 p.m. Admission is free and there will be lots of ribs and beer to buy. There is also a kidzone, music, cooking lessons, games, face painting, a bubble zone and lots more fun and entertainment. Enjoy the weekend at this beautiful waterfront park.

The Orillia Opera House (OOH) is also having some waterfront fun with the show Surfin’ Safari: The Ultimate Beach Party Tribute, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. This Bill Culp production features the music of Jimmy Buffett, Frankie Avalon, The Ventures, Jan and Dean, and of course, the legendary Beach Boys. Tickets are $39 plus fees and are available by calling the OOH box office at 705-326-8011 or buying them online here.

And, of course, the OOH’s production of Bernard Slade’s classic comedy, Same Time, Next Year, continues until Aug. 30. Don’t miss this fantastic play in our venerable Opera House. There are a few remaining tickets, available here.

I hate to tell you folks, but we are almost at Labour Day weekend, September, and back to school. There is lots of new adult programming at the OMAH for the fall, including Art 101: Intro to Everything, Life Drawing, Plein Air Painting, Wine and Paint Night, printmaking, and more.

Tons of kids programming, too, including Baby Art Crawl, STEMStudio, Clay workshops, and the very popular Family Fun Drop in, each Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. New this year, the Steelies Art Club, every Tuesday 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Oct. and Nov. To find out more about all this fall programming, go to the OMAH website.

Since we are speaking of September, I also want to mention the seventh annual Sunset Cruise and Concert on Sun. Sept. 1, on board the Island Princess. Boarding begins at 5:30 p.m. and the Lake Couchiching cruise is from 6 to 8 p.m. with music by the incomparable Craig Cardiff. This cruise usually sells out, so grab your $35 advance tickets here.

More on September happenings next week!

Music in the bars this weekend? For sure. At the Brownstone Café, Aug. 22 Rebekah Hawker CD release, Aug. 24 Sean Patrick Trio. At the Hog ‘n’ Penny, Aug. 23 Don James and Jack Nicolle. At Fionn MacCool’s, Aug. 23 Mr. Mad, Aug. 24 Jakob Pearce. At the Simcoe Yard House Live at the casino, Aug. 23 Taylor Abrom, Aug. 24 Ben Hudson Duo. At the casino, Aug. 24 Michelle Wright, Aug. 29 and 30 Foreigner.

Have a wonderful Starry Night weekend, and send me your arts and entertainment happenings to by Tuesdays at noon.