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Orillia's artists, actors and musicians offer something for everyone

Our arts and entertainment columnist provides details of wide range of amazing events, shows and activities on Orillia's calendar
Michael Martyn by Ron Hill
Local musician Michael Martyn will play at the fundraiser for Mariposa House Hospice this Saturday night at the Geneva Event Centre. Ron Hill photo

Welcome to the last week of March! Let’s hope it goes out like a lamb weather-wise, but event-wise things are as busy as ever in the last week of the last month of winter.

To start things off, a couple of big events this weekend. Mariposa in Concert’s last event of the year is Betty and the Bobs, at the Best Western Mariposa Inn Saturday. Betty and the Bobs is a vehicle for various musicians familiar to Mariposan’s ears, including Suzie Vinnick, Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley.

Tickets are $30, available here. Doors open at 7:15 and the show starts at 8 p.m.

TEDx Orillia is on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Orillia Opera House. This event has been sold out for quite a while; they were limited to 100 tickets as it is not an ‘official’ TED event yet.

Speakers are awesome though, including Charles Pachter, Bob McDonald of Quirks and Quarks, and local powerhouses Beth Grixti, Erin Dixon, Emma Reynolds, Risha Yorke, Yvonne Heath, Nancy Osborne, and Ligaya Byrch.

The theme of the talk is Transformation. If you didn’t get tickets for this event, don’t despair…word is, there will be more, they will be ‘official’ and they will have more tickets! Watch this space for information on the next TED talk here in Orillia.

Last call for tickets for the Mariposa House Hospice fundraiser at the Geneva this Saturday, featuring the Polyester Slackers and Michael Martyn. Tickets are $15, cash only, available at Sunshine Carpet, Carson Funeral Home or Electronic Lifestyles. You can also try your luck at the door. This is an of age event.

Do you love theatre? Well then have we got news for you! Mariposa Arts Theatre’s production of Living Together starts next Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Orillia Opera House (OOH).

This hilarious comedy about a dysfunctional family is sure to be a popular choice for audiences. Tickets are $25 and are available through the OOH box office at 705-326-8011, or here.

The show runs Thursday to Sunday for two weeks. MAT is also presenting Educating Rita in June at its warehouse space. You should get tickets to that show at the same time; it will sell out.

You want more theatre? We’ve got it! St. Paul’s United Church presents the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, from April 3 to 6. With an all-star cast of over 60 performers, Joseph will be the ultimate family show for you and yours.

Wednesday night’s preview show will be a pay-what-you-can performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night you can enjoy dinner before your show for $25. Friday and Saturday the show starts at 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students, and there are limited tickets left for these shows.

Tickets can be bought through St. Paul’s, in person, Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cash, cheque or e-transfer only. Shows are at St. Paul’s, 62 Peter St. N.

Roots North Music Festival has been steadily releasing names and places of their Saturday daytime shows, free in venues throughout downtown Orillia. Lots of great names locals will recognize, including Caleb Kearey-Moreland, Kirty, Jakob Pearce Music and the Jennie Davis Trio.

The late evening shows are free with a Roots North ticket or $10 cover, and include Skye Wallace at the Brownstone Friday and other artists pending.

Main stagers include Ron Sexsmith, Ariana Gillis and Rose Cousins Friday night; and Saturday night, The Weather Station, Alysha Brilla, and VK.

Roots North runs April 26 and 27 and tickets are $45 for the weekend pass available here. Don’t delay, it’s over 60% sold out already.

This is a real grassroots festival organized by local people who care about great music and work really hard at putting together this very quality mini-festival. Hats off to them, please support this awesome event, in its fifth year.

This weekend is the last weekend to see many art shows in the arts district, including Peter Fyfe at Peter Street Fine Arts at 23 Peter St. S, About Women at Hibernation Arts (7 Peter St. S.) and OMAH@20 at the Orillia Museum of Art and History at 30 Peter St. S. New shows opening this weekend and next, including Lee Contemporary Art’s show, Paper III opening this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at 5 Peter St. S. upstairs.

As always, lots of choices for live music downtown at the usual haunts. At the Hog ‘n’ Penny at 9 Matchedash St. N., we have Alex Rabbitson Friday night and Charlotte Unplugged Saturday; music gets underway at 8:30 p.m.

The Brownstone café at the bottom of Mississaga Street has Grey Eyes with Global Paradise Friday and Suitcase Sam Saturday, both starting about 10 p.m. Studabaker’s Beachside down by the water has Ladies Night with DJ KAOS Friday night.

What’s coming up on the radar? April 12, Tech Night at the Brownstone with DJ Subverse. MAT movies, only two left this season: If Beale Street Could Talk on April 3 and Wild Rose on May 1. Both have two shows, at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Galaxy Theatre. Tickets are $10 per person, cash, first come first served.

Check back here next week to see lots more great arts and culture events and please email me your events, to