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COLUMN: Looking for something to do locally to celebrate Mom?

There are lots of options to help mark Mother's Day or to just enjoy what's happening in our community, says columnist
2020-04-15 Michael Martyn
Orillia musician Michael Martyn will collaborate with Julie Nesrallah at the Hog N Penny for a unique show Friday night. Supplied photo

We have just the things for Mother’s Day weekend! Read on for ways to make your mom feel special!

If you are looking for a fantastic, free concert with tons of local talent, all genres and instruments, make sure to check out the Orillia Kiwanis Music Festival (OKMF) Festival Encores concert this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Orillia Opera House.

The OKMF is a volunteer-run three-week-long opportunity for everyone who plays an instrument in Orillia to perform in front of a trained professional and receive valuable feedback. The festival just concluded near the end of April, and yes, all those performances were free and open to the public as well. They were all at St. Paul’s Centre.

Now it’s our chance to hear what we might have missed in April. So worth it to come out and hear these talented amateur musicians of all ages, performing right at our own Orillia Opera House. See you there!

Also on Friday (of course, when is there ever only one thing a night on in this crazy town of ours?) is the St. Paul’s Pub Night for this month, featuring Dan McCoy, Steve Braun, and friends! A $10 cover charge gets you through the door, the drinks are reasonably priced and there is also reasonably priced pub food for sale as well.

These Pub Nights have been a good thing for St. Paul’s, bringing in some nice revenue while the convivial atmosphere and great music have lured a lot of new folks in the doors of the lower level Banquet Hall ... the last Pub Night was literally standing room only! Pub Night runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m., this Friday.

Also this Friday: For the last while, Michael Martyn has been busy working with all kinds of musicians from here and far away, and this Friday you can hear his latest collaboration. Julie Nesrallah, excellent and famed mezzo-soprano, and host of CBC’s Tempo, will be joining Martyn at the Hog N Penny for a show that’s a little out of the ordinary, for both performers! I won’t say too much more, but think big hair, shoulder pads, Cher…Reservations are a must for this; two sets starting at 9 p.m.

Also on Friday, OMAH is hosting a special Wine and Paint workshop (ages 19+) from 6 to 8 p.m. Your instructor, artist Peter Fyfe, will guide you through the step-by-step creation of a painting while you enjoy a beverage or two. Absolutely no experience is necessary to enjoy this fun and unique night out, and OMAH will provide all supplies needed. Share a special evening of art and laughter with the mom in your life at OMAH. Register here.

This Saturday and Sunday, the Orillia Concert Band has a historic show going on. They are partnering with the Orillia Big Band to give you some great Big Band tunes, and they are partnering with Rick Stephenson, famed Frank Sinatra performer, and his pianist, to give you some gorgeous Sinatra tunes, perfect for Mother’s Day weekend. Also, as a huge bonus, Rick will be presenting his world premiere of the Gordon LIghtfoot tune, If You Could Read My Mind, arranged by John Brown.

Other tunes to be played include On Eagle's Wings, Basin Street Blues, Where or When, The Best is Yet to Come, Tribute to Count Basie, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, and My Kind of Town ... and that’s only the first half!

This is going to be such a great show, the band has decided to do a Saturday evening performance and a Sunday matinee performance, to give everyone a chance to hear it. Both shows are at St. Paul’s Centre. Get your tickets now, here. There will be limited tickets available at the door as well.

Live from the Met finishes off a great season at the Orillia Galaxy Theatre with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly this Saturday, May 11. If you haven’t seen this incredible classic opera, go! Performed by the world-class Metropolitan Opera Company, live, from the Met…it’s SO GOOD. GO! Performance starts at 12:55, tickets and show at the Galaxy Theatre.

Arts Orillia’s latest youth project in quite a long line of them got started this week in rehearsal at the Orillia Opera House. Seven local youth are working with an award-winning director to write and produce a unique play sharing their own stories, hopes, and fears. The youth are in rehearsal for two weeks, and the final result will be performed in front of a live audience at the Orillia Opera House Studio Theatre.

Get your tickets through and support this incredible opportunity for youth in our community. The show is May 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Next Wednesday (May 15), you are all going to want to jump on the Zoom at 7 p.m. to hear OrilliaMatters’ own editor, Dave Dawson, talk on Evolution: The Death of the Orillia Packet &Times Spawns the Birth of a New Digital Newspaper, as part of the Orillia Museum of Art and History’s History Speaker series. To get the link for this free and sure to be very interesting talk, go to or call the museum at 705-326-2159.

Also this weekend, lots of live music everywhere, including Grate Northern at Couchiching Craft Brewery Friday night. Live at the Loft at Quayle’s Brewery Thursday Vince Therrien, Friday Cam Galloway, Saturday Ron Whitman and Sunday afternoon, Jojo.

Also, Quayle’s Spring Market finishes up this weekend, both days.

Have a great Mother’s Day weekend and if you have arts news, send it to [email protected] by Tuesday at noon to be included.


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