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Peter Street will be hub of artsy fun this weekend

A new month means lots of new events, shows and happenings, says arts and entertainment columnist
nicole duquette
Nicole Duquette is playing at the Hog ‘n’ Penny this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Nicole Duquette photo

Welcome to April, and a whole new array of fun artsy things to do, see, and be a part of!

First things first, if you procrastinated and didn’t grab your tickets to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this week at St. Paul’s, you are likely out of luck. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were just a handful of tickets left, only for Saturday evening’s performance.

If you are feeling lucky, you can call 705-326-7351 ext. 7 and see if you can reserve any. Congratulations St. Paul’s volunteers and staff on an awesome and likely sold-out show!

Luckily for procrastinating and theatre-loving Orillians, there are some tickets left for some performances of Mariposa Arts Theatre’s Living Together, running this Thursday to Sunday at the Orillia Opera House. You can get tickets here.

Orillia’s Arts District on Peter Street South is once again a hub of artsy fun this weekend!

Peter Street Fine Arts Gallery and Studio, at 23 Peter St. S. welcomes guest artist Lyndell Oldfield this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Lyndell enjoys painting her hometown of Washago in colourful acrylics which are on display at PSFA for the month of April. Do come and welcome Lyndell and see the fine art and other work by regular members of the gallery.

Two other galleries are celebrating openings this Saturday as well. From 1 to 3 p.m., Hibernation Arts show Spring! with various works by local artists, will be revealed. Let’s hope Mother Nature is listening.

Also on Saturday but this time from 1 to 4 p.m., aRt & HOME Studio at 17 Peter St. S. will be having an opening reception for guest artist Barbara Schmidt. Come by and view her work as well as the work from 19 other artists in this gallery.

Saturday is also Slow Art Day, a global art-appreciation movement which encourages people to slow down and view art in a more contemplative manner.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History is participating in Slow Art Day Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. by encouraging people to come in and view some of the Women’s Day Art show works for ten minutes for each work. Then, enjoy a coffee while discussing the works with other participants and the artists themselves.

Of course and as always, drop in to the other galleries in the area and view works on display at each and every one of them. I guarantee you will enjoy!

Local artist Meg Leslie has lots of upcoming workshops at her new home and studio, Atherley Arts. She is also having a Studio Open House if you want to come check out her new digs, Sunday April 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Also check out the Facebook page, Atherley Arts, so you can stay up-to-date on all the workshops she has planned.

In other workshop news, local artist and coach Gaia Orion is hosting a creative workshop on April 27 in Sebright and online via Zoom, titled From Stress to Rest.

Gaia is a certified creativity coach and will help guide you through creative play and mediation, towards a more restful and centred mode of living. To register and for more information, go to the website.

What’s coming up music-wise?

The Orillia Vocal Ensemble (OVE) is having a fundraising concert for the Alzheimer’s Society of Simcoe County, this Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter St. N.

OVE Music Director Roy Menagh assures me this will be a lovely love-themed concert with beautiful music and talented guests, including local soloist Marcia Armstrong and St. Paul’s organist Blair Bailey ... don’t ask me how he is fitting this concert in on the same week as Joseph.

Admission is by donation to the cause. Do come out and enjoy great music for an important local non-profit.

Speaking of St. Paul’s Centre ... and I was ... there is a lot coming up there that you should check out and be aware of.

The Orillia Youth Centre's next fundraiser for the Valis Forever sound studio is on May 3 featuring a dinner by Melanie Robinson catering and music by Lance Anderson and friends.

he next night, May 4, An Evening of Song with beloved vocalists Lillian Brooks and Amy Dodington and beloved pianist Doreen Uren Simmons will begin at 7 p.m. And on May 1, a free screening of the documentary The Social Shift, all about social enterprises in Canada, will begin at 7 p.m.

Also, don’t miss Orillia’s first foray into wrestling, Mariposa Mayhem, on Saturday, April 20. Doors open at 6 p.m., yes, at St. Paul’s Centre. Check out all the events at this busy hub here.

I want to give a shout out to the Gravenhurst Opera House, our neighbour just up the road, and tell you to pay attention to some great programming up there.

Marc Jordan’s CD release is April 6 and Luke McMaster is on April 27. They have a great summer theatre line-up as well as other exciting shows. Check it all out their website and nip up to Muskoka for some culture!

Lots of great live music in the bars this weekend.

On Friday, Charlotte and the Dirty Cowboys are doing an acoustic duo at Fionn MacCool’s, there’s a Jazz Trio at the Hog ‘n Penny, and Fresh Breath is at the Brownstone.

On Saturday, Hobo Jam plays at the ANAF hall starting at 8 p.m., Nicole Duquette is at the Hog ‘n’ Penny, Augusta Ray is at Fionn MacCool’s, and Mattie Leon and Brother Mike are at the Brownstone.

Have a great week and don’t forget to send me your events,