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COLUMN: Orillia Museum of Art and History reopens its doors – OrilliaMatters



Spring is in the air!

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) is now open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., no appointment necessary. Come in and check out current exhibits, and try your guess at what the exhibits for 2022 will be, by finding the clues in OMAH’s tableau of clues, on exhibit now at the museum.

Don’t forget about your local galleries, all of whom are open to browse in and purchase from. Tiffin’s Creative Centre has acrylic on canvas works from Linda Plourde as well as Zephyr Art members’ Walls of Smalls, small works by many different local artists. Tiffin’s is located in the alley beside OMAH and is open for in store shopping as well as curbside pick up.

The Orillia District Arts Council is advertising some paid workshop teaching opportunities for artists! ODAC received some funding to put together some workshops for women’s mental health, and is looking for workshop facilitators. Deadline to apply is March 31, and all the information can be found here. Good luck!

As we reach the end of March, our thoughts used to turn to that traditional springtime event: Roots North Music Festival. But the pandemic has turned that on its head.

Roots North of course had to cancel last year due to the pandemic and the enforced lockdown that ensued. They were hoping to stage a festival this year, but sadly we are not there yet.

Roots North is all about getting together and supporting venues and our downtown and getting together is still a no-no.

Luckily for us though, the Roots North committee were able to take the time and talents of lots of local musicians and videographers and sound people and put together a beautiful night of music for all of us: The Roots North Musical Festival Online.

This free online festival will take place Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m. and will feature local and well-loved musicians Alex Andrews and Marta Sołek, Craig Mainprize, Darrin Davis and Amy Jefferies, Sam Johnston, Sean Patrick, and Zachary Lucky.

The committee is also hoping the festival will air on Rogers TV and are in talks with Rogers to confirm that. The show will definitely be available to watch on YouTube and Facebook.

If you purchased tickets for this year’s in person festival, you can hang onto those tickets to keep some green in the festival’s bank account, or contact the festival for a full refund. Looking forward to seeing this beautiful virtual festival on April 23!

To get us ready for Roots North, Zachary Lucky is hosting an online show this Sunday at 8 p.m., Zachary Lucky Live from Home. You can tune in on Zachary’s YouTube channel, here.

In other local music news, Kirty, favourite Orillia girl moved to the big city, has released a new single and video, God Help Us, which you can find here.

This video follows on the heels of her single released in December 2020, aptly named This Year’s Been Hell, which she actually wrote before the hellish year that was 2020! You can find This Year’s Been Hell here.

Both videos and songs are perfect Kirty, introspective and thoughtful, with her distinctive voice and sound. Thank you Kirty for these works, and looking forward to the next album!

Creative Nomad Studios is launching a four-week art class for kids, geared to those in grades 1 to 4, called Let’s Draw! Taught by local artist Steph Whalen, these classes will get your artistic kiddos’ creative juices flowing! First class is Wed. March 24 at 4 p.m. and you can access the classes afterwards at any time. You can sign up and learn more here.

Speaking of kids and drawing, Little Tigers posters, which I have mentioned previously in this column, has lots more posters for your kids to colour! Dinosaurs, birds, spring greetings, happy birthday, giraffes, zebras, robots, fast cars…you name your kid’s obsession, and Little Tigers likely has a poster for it, or will shortly! To see all the posters available and to order, click here.

Storytelling Orillia presents New Beginnings, a kitchen party, this Sun. March 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. New Beginnings will feature Selina Eisenberg, a storyteller from Montreal and former president of Storytellers of Canada; Clara Dugas from Halifax; Orillia teller Laura Joyce; Alan Cantor from Toronto; and Bob Graham, Tim Greenwood and Jan McFarland, members of Storytelling Orillia. Sherry Lawson, elder, author and storyteller from Rama, will also join. And on the musical end of things, Sharon Langfield and Peter Cox will fill that role. Email to receive the zoom link to this fun afternoon of stories and music!

If you have arts news, please send it to by Tuesday at noon to be included.





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Art exhibits return to Callander’s Alex Dufresne gallery –



After a long hiatus, art shows are returning to the Alex Dufresne Gallery at the Callander Bay Heritage Museum this Saturday.

The works of Carole Davidson and Sara Carlin-Ball are highlighted in an exhibit entitled “Journeys to a Conversation with Nature.”

In a release promoting the show, Davidson and Carlin-Ball explain the “works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.”

Their goal in selecting the pieces for the exhibit is to capture “the luscious spectacular that is Nature, Muse, Essence,” and emphasize how these “inspire the audience to revision their place – their gratitude and responsibility – on this Earth.”

See: Callander museum reopens from COVID with new art show

“It feels absolutely wonderful to have art back on the walls,” said Natasha Wiatr, the gallery’s curator.   

The last show was this past April but did not last long before Covid regulations closed the event. Since then, “the walls have been empty.”

“We haven’t consistently had shows in what feels like so long,” she said, and is pleased to launch what will hopefully be a long stretch of exhibits.

Currently, the gallery is booked until 2023, “and we’ve added two more shows per year,” Wiatr explained.

“We see ourselves as a community-based gallery,” she said, and as such, strive to present as many local artists as possible.

See: White Water Gallery has a new executive director

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The gallery can hold 14 people at once, and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can also be booked ahead of time at

Staff remind to you please wear a mask when you visit and maintain social distance.

Admission to the museum is $5 for seniors and students, $4.50 for kids 6-12, free for children under 6 and adults pay $5.50. Family rate for 4 is $15. Entrance to the gallery is by donation.

See: Mattawa museum celebrates reopening with Community exhibit

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Callander museum reopens with art show – The North Bay Nugget



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The art show Journeys to a Conversation with Nature will reopen the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery Saturday.

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The works of Carole Davidson and Sarah Carlin-Ball will remain on display to Aug. 20.

“There is an essential longing for life that erupts in a luscious spectacular that we call Nature,” the artists said in a statement.

“The human animal is a part of this longing for life that some might call a Muse – a Muse for artists of every passion and discipline. Artists are at the mercy of their muse and transcribe whatever is whispered to them about life, people, and the compelling natural environment they belong to.

“One may be a studied artist haphazardly trained while another may be an experimental soul, interpreting the ever-changing environment around her.”

Influenced by the gifts of their lives and the natural offerings around them, each artist interprets what touches her soul. Each piece of art tells a portion of her journey, calling to the viewer to look more closely at what life has to teach us.

Carlin-Ball’s muse slumbered as she was raising her children and working. As soon as she could make time, there was an explosion of experimentation driven by her mantra ‘What would happen if…?’

Mistakes happily romped with successes. Now, her careful, unique presentations interpret life and nature, and challenge one’s imagination.

As she learned of the melting of the muskeg and the possibility that Canada will soon lose that habitat and vibrant spring bloom, Carlin-Bell felt the compulsion to replicate that vital image with unexpected media: patinated and fired copper was punched and threaded through with fibre knotted to create the blooms and surface stems.

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Eventually, the vibrant muskeg spring emerged.

One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo
One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo

For Davidson, nature was a refuge she quietly celebrated with natural and cultivated talent for art and writing. A busy and brief career in graphic design took over until disabling MS symptoms forced (or allowed) her to slow down.

She began a meditation practice to cope with symptoms and immediately began painting again.

Her creative work parallels her spiritual path and the subjects of her study get smaller and smaller as she has the opportunity to stop and notice. She finds joy in a yellow spider on a sunflower or a nest full of baby robins.

Together, their works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be booked ahead of time at and the museum and gallery also welcome same-day walk-ins.

Those visiting are asked to wear a mask and social distance.

The museum and art gallery are located at 107 Lansdowne St. E., Callander.

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Greenpoint This Week: Art Fair, Staycations and More –



Happy Weekend Greenpoint!

This weekend, The Other Art Fair is back in town, with affordable artworks ready for your post-quarantine redecorating plans.

If you’re eager to get out, plan a staycation in the neighborhood, for a change of scenery, without a sink full of dirty dishes. If you prefer your own pillows, consider just spending a day at one of our local outdoor pools. The newly opened Le Doggie Cool also has open cafe hours this Saturday, for pups to play in their backyard pool.

This week, we reported that Brooklyn Bowl is reopening in early September! Get your tickets now for upcoming parties and shows. If you’re looking for a free event, Friday night brings a screening of Frozen to Transmitter Park.

We also reported that a new community fridge has opened on Greenpoint Ave. near Transmitter Park. And shared some unfortunate news about a Greenpoint resident arrested for recording his female roommates without their consent.

Make sure to fit in your last visit to the Leonard Library before it closes for renovations on Monday, August 2. Worry not – Greenpoint Library is still up and running, with computer service and open seating also now available.

Don’t forget to check out our summer 2021 fashion sundae roundup for this season’s best local looks.

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