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'Eat Your Art' brings healthy snacks, creativity to Orillia park

'There's been such a positive response and we have adults, children, parents, everyone really taking part … so it's been extremely positive,' said city official

Playing with your food may be generally frowned upon, but not if you were in Walter Henry Park on Wednesday evening.

In an effort to bring arts and culture into Orillia’s neighbourhoods, the City of Orillia and Orillia & District Arts Council hosted the Eat Your Art event this week as part of its six-week Orillia Summer Nights Series.

Residents had the opportunity to enjoy live music, grab a healthy snack, and turn it into a piece of art in the fourth installment of the interactive series.

Adults and children alike gathered to try their hand at making artwork out of the event’s snack offerings.

“They grab their plates. They get some different pieces of fruit and they can (select) a picture off of the columns, and then they can make that particular picture,” explained ODAC board secretary Christine Hager. “Then we'll look at it and maybe somebody will get an award.”

With a new theme each week, the program brings dance, theatre, and other interactive activities to a different park in the city for younger and older Orillians alike.

Next week will see ‘Laughs on the Lawn’ come to Victoria Park on Aug. 24 at 6:30 pm.

The collaboration between the city and ODAC arose from a desire to make arts and culture more accessible, said Jacqueline Surette, Orillia’s manager of culture.

“During the pandemic, we were looking at ways to think outside the box, and how to bring culture to our community and make it more accessible,” she said. “We have the wonderful Opera House, Leacock Museum, the Orillia Museum of Art and History, but we’re looking at other ways to engage our community and their neighbourhoods.”

Surette said the response to the program so far has been “extraordinary.”

“There's been such a positive response and we have adults, children, parents, everyone really taking part … so it's been extremely positive,” she said. “We actually have people asking for it in their community, so we'll be looking at this, obviously, as part of our 2023 programming.

“Making this connection between neighbourhoods and our cultural facilities and our other programming is one of the goals of this type of event program," she said.


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Greg McGrath-Goudie

About the Author: Greg McGrath-Goudie

Greg has been with Village Media since 2021, where he has worked as an LJI reporter for CollingwoodToday, and now as a city hall/general assignment reporter for OrilliaMatters
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