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Joseph and his Dreamcoat sets 'amazing' new fundraising mark

Two new shows set to open next week at OMAH amid bustling time of events and activities, says arts and entertainment columnist
Deeps at Mariposa Showcase photo by Social More Media
Deeps was the winners at the Mariposa Showcase last Sunday and will be performing at this summer's event. Photo courtesy Social More Media

Well I hope you went to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at St. Paul’s Centre at the beginning of April. If you did, you were part of a record-breaking fundraiser.

Joseph netted almost $35,000 for St. Paul’s, the biggest net profit ever for a musical there! Congratulations to the hard-working volunteers, cast and crew, and especially to musical director and dreamer, Blair Bailey, and his equally talented director, Jody Maltby.

I also hope you went to Mariposa Folk Festival’s Showcase last Sunday at the Best Western Mariposa Inn. If you did, you got to be part of a standing-room- only crowd who saw such great talent that, out of the 10 groups performing, four were picked to play at Mariposa, not three! Yes, they were that great.

The showcase groups that are coming to Mariposa are: The Doozies, The Connors Brothers, Deeps, and James Gray Music. Mariposa 2019 also features headliners Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Carole Pope, First Aid Kit, Stars, Jason Isbell, and many more incredible musicians, in three days of music and fun at Tudhope Park, July 5 to 7 this year. Grab your tickets here. The price will keep going up until the big weekend itself.

Speaking of tickets, planning, prices going up…I also hope you got your tickets for Roots North music festival next weekend, because, you heard it here, it is sold out. When will you listen to me and buy your tickets early?

The good news is, you can still get in free at the various daytime venues on Saturday and hear some great music, and for a $10 cover, you can get in the late nights at the Brownstone café and ditto. But yeah, get your tickets early next year. For all the deets, go to the website.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History has two show openings next week. Playful Banquet: An Anthropomorphic, Apocalyptic Feast by Scott Sawtell, opens Thursday, April 25 from 7 to 9 in The Mulcahy Family Gallery.

Billed as “a suite of a variety of large scale works that illuminate and illustrate the mind, spirit and the mythology of artist-genius”, these colourful drawings are guaranteed to spark your imagination. The show runs until June 23.

The other show features a piece of local history. Mapping the Life of the Gaudaurs runs until Sept. 1 in the Upper Gallery and showcases that local family’s lineage and legacy in our area. The opening will also be Thursday, April 25 from 7 to 9 pm.

In addition, the new show Stylin’, will be open and available for viewing that night. Please check these great exhibits out, at the OMAH, 30 Peter St. S., at the south end of Orillia’s Arts District.

I am pretty sure you know this weekend is Easter weekend, and therefore there is a huge Easter Egg Hunt downtown for the kiddies. But what you might not know, is there is one for the adults, too…An Adult Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt.

Interested adults can win two tickets to the Old Dance Hall Player’s next show, April 26 at the Geneva Event Centre. Meet at Apple Annies café at 109 Mississaga St. E. this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. for your first clue.

Heck, even if you don’t go scavenger hunting, go to the show April 26 at 8 p.m., it’s sure to be super entertaining and…it will sell out! So grab your tickets today by emailing or calling 705-330-7933. If you or your offspring want to paint an Easter Egg or two, stop by Hibernation Arts at 7 Peter St. S. Molly will have some there for you to paint.

A couple of corrections: OMAH’s Gala fundraiser on April 27 is at Lakehead University, not the OMAH. Tickets are available here

And the Orillia Concert Association’s third concert next year, Bridge and Wolak, is “a stunning duo of baroque, classical, folk and contemporary music”. So grab tickets to that great series as well here.

I want to do a shout out to Orillia’s own Orillia Kiwanis Music Festival which has been in this community for over 50 years. The Festival gives musicians of all ages a chance to play together or singly and be workshopped by fantastic adjudicators from all over Canada.

Entry fees are truly nominal, and the performances are open to the public. This is an all-ages festival and features school groups as well as adult community groups, and of course singles, duos, trios and more in all instrument categories, including piano and voice.

If you enjoy and are curious about music, go to their website and download the program to see the schedule. The festival gets underway April 23 and runs for three weeks. All performances are at St. Paul’s Centre at 62 Peter St. N. and admission is free, although donations to the festival are gratefully accepted.

Have you been seeing lots of mention of Urban Sketching online and wondered what it’s all about, or if you could even do it? Well, wonder no longer.

Orillia’s Urban Sketchers branch is hosting a workshop, Urban Sketching for Beginners, on April 28 with urban sketcher extraordinaire, Brenda L. Murray. This complete workshop for beginning artists will teach basic perspective, how to put people in a sketch, and basic composition. The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is at Atherley Arts, 13 Creighton St. S. Registration is $55 and tickets can be found here.

Don’t miss this great workshop, Brenda L. Murray is a fantastic artist and teacher with lots of experience; this is a wonderful chance to learn from a pro.

Speaking of workshops, a reminder, Gaia Orion is hosting a creative workshop, From Stress To Rest, both on Zoom April 20 and in person at her studio in Sebright, April 27. Gaia is a certified creativity coach and this course will teach you to quiet your busy mind, take time for yourself and tune into your rest mode. For more information and to sign up here.

Lots of music this weekend, at the usual haunts. At the casino, Theresa Caputo both Friday and Saturday. Brownstone café, John’s Cottage with GURTH Friday and Coyote Kids Saturday. At the Hog ‘n’ Penny, McGinnis and Marshall Friday and A Jazz Trio Saturday. Craig Mainprize will be playing next Thursday at the Hog ‘n’ Penny.

Send me your arts news, at, and have a fantastic long weekend.