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This weekend is jam-packed with activities ... get out and enjoy!

From boat show, to art, music and literary genius, there's something for everyone, says arts and entertainment columnist
shoot the moon band
Shoot the Moon will be part of the ShineBrite Festival in Coldwater Saturday. Contributed photo

It’s Wednesday, so time for another arts and culture column for OrilliaMatters! I just want to give a shout out to everyone at OM for giving this column a go, and especially to my kind and patient editor, Dave Dawson. So glad our former Orillia Packet colleagues found a home in this special online publication. Now on to some arts news!

This weekend is the Port of Orillia Spring Boat Show and it is also, therefore, time for Art Under the Pavilion. This show is curated by Paul Baxter with help from Xavier Fernandes, and is located yes, you guessed it, under the pavilion by the water in Couchiching Beach Park.

This year there are 10 great artists showing and selling a variety of artwork, including printmaking, watercolours, woodworking and more and you should definitely get down there and check it all out. The show runs this Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Also this weekend, on June 8, the ShineBrite Festival is happening at the Coldwater Arena. This is an all-ages music festival, running from noon to 12 a.m. Headliners include Hells Bells, and Practically Hip along with Crued (Motley Crue), Early Elton (Elton John), and Crush (Bon Jovi).

You will also enjoy LiquidCristal, This Side Up, Shoot The Moon, and The Straight Goods. There are food and drinks available, and it is licensed. Proceeds are going to local causes for youth including the Valis Sound Studio, Coldwater Youth Centre, Corey’s House, and Mikey’s Centre for Autism.

Tickets are $30 and up and can be purchased here. This should be a really fun day of great music supporting great causes, so check it out!

If you spend the day in Coldwater, maybe you would like to spend the evening in Hawkestone. The Hawkestone Singers choir is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a bang-up show at the Hawkestone Community hall, 3 Allen St. Oro-Medonte (just off Line 11 south) on June 8, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The show will feature past and current conductors of the choir, including Marilyn Gregory, Scott Boyer, Tara Johnson and Terry Therien. There will be lots of familiar tunes to enjoy and it should be a great night of music for everyone. You can grab your ticket at the door, but get there early, the hall isn’t big enough for all the music fans there I am betting.

Also this Saturday is the Leacock Medal Gala Dinner, at the Mariposa Best Western. Tickets for the dinner are $75 available by emailing The meet and greet with the authors nominated for the Leacock Medal for Humour is Friday, also at the Mariposa, at 7 p.m. Tickets for this are only $20 and you can grab yours from Jen at that email as well. Super fun to be there and meet everyone involved with this very special literary event in good old Mariposa.

And one more Saturday event, in the Peter Street Arts District, look for the opening for Raune-Lea Marshall’s art show, at Hibernation Arts at 7 Peter St. S. from 1 to 3 p.m. Also at Hibernation Arts, Dads and Grads show, so come check it all out. And save the date for the Solstice Art Tour throughout the arts district and beyond, June 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Next week has a couple of cool events, including Looking for Elvis at Lakehead University, June 10 at 7 p.m. This lecture is presented by popular music prof Mike Daley and tells us all about Elvis, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, with music played by Prof. Daley as well. Tickets are $19 and include wine, and are available here.

This evening is a prelude to the Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture’s dance night, Looking for Elvis and The Man in Black, wonderful dance performances to the music of Elvis and Johnny Cash, choreographed by James Kudelka and Laurence Lemieu and previously presented by the National Ballet of Canada. This show is at the Orillia Opera House, on June 28 at 8 p.m. and tickets can be grabbed by phone at 705-326-8011 or online here.

Also next week, on June 11 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter St. N., the Shout Sisters Choir is putting a concert on, in aid of the H.O.L.L.Y. project, a horse-therapy program for at-risk youth. Tickets are $15 at the door.

Are you into making arts and crafts but need some direction? Harold and Ferne: The Local Goods Co., at 165 Mississaga St. E., hosts lots of making workshops all year round. June 13, there is one on hanging planters, and June 18, handlettering. If you want to get your arts and crafts on, check out all the great workshops coming up there, through the website at or through the Facebook page.

This weekend in the bar scene and at the casino, great music as always. The casino features David Foster on June 7 and REO Speedwagon on June 8. At the Hog ‘n’ Penny, the Jazz Trio made up of Randy Hoover, Suds Sutherland and Ian Thurston on guitar, plays June 7, and Don James and Jack Nicolle play June 8. At the Brownstone café, the Terry Savage CD release is June 7, sure to be a great night, and June 8 Coyote Kids, also an awesome band.

Finally, a piece of good news, great follow up to The Postcard Project, put on by Orillia Fine Arts Association. This two-day sale of artwork raised $665 for Mariposa House Hospice, last weekend. Well done artists and thanks to Peter Street Fine Arts Studio and Gallery for hosting.

Email me your arts news at by Tuesday at noon to get in this happening column!