A new festival combining music and art is coming to Orillia this spring.
The Orillia and District Arts Council is partnering with Arts Orillia and Couchiching Craft Brewery Co. to present Shivers & Sizzles on April 1-2.
The shivers portion of the event includes an ice-carving presentation in the Lone Wolf Café outdoor courtyard from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 1. The sizzles will follow with reggae music performances at Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. from 7 to 9 p.m.
The event will conclude on Sunday, April 2 at Creative Nomad Studios with a djembe drumming and pan drumming performance geared toward children.
Performing will be Liberty Silver, a multiple Juno and Grammy collaboration award-winning recording artist. The event will also feature M2 Studio band singer, Merlene Webber, and Errol Lee, a local singer, songwriter, and community advocate.
To attend the sizzle part of the event at the brewery, there is a $20 cover charge.
“That’s because we have an incredible musical lineup here,” says event organizer Christine Hager. “They are just fantastic. The $20 is worth it because this is a premium event.”
Hager encourages people planning on attending to call the brewery at 705-558-2337 to reserve a table. The rest of the event is intended for families and is cost-free.
“It’s going to be absolutely fabulous,” Hager said. “It’s an interactive experience.”
Hager says the event, funded by the City of Orillia and Arts Orillia, is meant to support businesses, restaurants, and retail stores in downtown Orillia during a quiet period for tourism. In future years, Hager hopes the event will be in early March.
“It will expand tremendously,” she said. “This year we are just going with what we know will work so far.”
Hager’s vision for the event is to have it grow to the scale of the Mariposa Folk Festival.
“I know that is very blue sky thinking,” she said. “Next year we will have packages for restaurants and hotels to draw people from outside of Orillia to come and spend a night during the time when there is nothing happening.”
When it comes to the success of this year’s event, Hager longs to see the first-come, first-served event at Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. sell out.
“That would be an indicator of success as would be the number of people watching ice carving and attending at Creative Nomad Studios.”
Hagar hopes the event will break the stigma that surrounds the Orillia and District Arts Council.
“Everyone just thinks we are about paintings on the wall and visual art,” she said. “We cover all disciplines of art, and we are much broader than the community recognizes.”
More information about the event will soon be made available here.