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What is Love? Find out in the heart of Peter Street Arts District!

Arts and entertainment columnist encourages people to kick off month of love at Hibernation Arts' event this weekend
Playwright Drew Hayden Taylor’s Cottagers and Indians is at St. Paul’s Centre Friday at 8 p.m. Drew Hayden Taylor photo

Hang onto your hats folks, this weekend is February already!

I know it’s hard to tell what month we are in with all that snow clogging our brains, but the shortest and longest month of winter is already upon us.

The good news is it looks like we can easily keep ourselves entertained with all the awesome events going on here, and it will be March before we know it!

This weekend, get yourself ready for the month of love with the opening of Hibernation Arts’ group show, What is Love?, this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

There should be lots of participants' work in different media on the wall, so stop by, check out the art and meet the artists this weekend. The show will be up until Feb. 28. Hibernation Arts is at 7 Peter St. S. in the heart of Orillia’s Arts District.

While you are on Peter Street, check out the multiple other galleries along that stretch, and stop in to the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) as well.

OMAH has several shows running right now, including Legacy Landscapes, The Labour of Art featuring all things quilt making, OMAH @20, and, now open, My World My Eyes My Voice, the annual high school art exhibition.

This Friday, you won’t want to miss Tarragon Theatre’s production of Cottagers and Indians, brought to us here at St. Paul’s Centre Orillia by the good folks at HCC Presents.

This play by scribe Drew Hayden Taylor is a humorous and far reaching look at water, land rights, NIMBY-ism and lots more, told with laughter and warmth by this talented writer. Don’t miss your chance to see this fine production right in your own back yard. Friday at 8 p.m., $30 tickets are available at Manticore Books and online.

Coming up in fine theatre as well, is The Diary of Anne Frank, a production by our very own Mariposa Arts Theatre. MAT is community theatre at its very finest and we are very lucky to have several excellent productions a year at the Orillia Opera House by this talented group of people.

The Diary of Anne Frank is running at the Opera House from Feb. 7 to 17, Thurs., Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. I have heard several performances are close to sold out, as this is being put on in the smaller Studio Theatre, so don’t delay, grab your tickets online today or by calling the box office at 705-326-8011. Tickets are a very reasonable $25.

If you are feeling lucky, you might want to see if you can get a ticket to this Sunday’s Orillia Concert Association show at the Orillia Opera House. Starting at 2:30 p.m., Guy Few, Stephanie Mara and Leslie Fagan are going to wow the audience with trumpet, piano and vocals. Tickets are by subscription to the series, but you can try your luck by emailing

If you are a local artist, start getting your application ready for the Images Studio Tour. Application deadline is Feb. 15 and the applications can be found here.

And if you are a local youth looking to become a triple threat, sign up today to audition for Drayton Entertainment’s Jack and the Beanstalk-The Panto, coming to the King’s Wharf Theatre June 5 to June 22. Auditions are on Sat. Feb. 9 and more information can be found here.

This weekend in Orillia’s live music at the bars scene, Alex Rabbitson is playing at the Hog ‘n’ Penny Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Jakob Pearce is in at Fionn MacCool’s also Friday, at 9 p.m.

Under coming soon, mark the calendar and save the date!

I can’t believe it, but as of time of writing, Mariposa in Concert still has some tickets available for An Evening of Blues and Gospel VIII on Feb. 9. This show will definitely sell out, so grab your tickets today here.

Be smart and sign up now for Patti Agapi’s Abstract Painting Workshop, to be held on Feb. 24. Email for more information or to register. Cost is $45 and includes all materials.

Late breaking news! Just got word that local photographer Greg James Thomson is opening a new studio, above Meridian Credit Union, at 73 Mississaga St. E. He is having an opening Saturday as well, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. so drop in, say Hi, and check out his new space.

Email me your news and events at