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Newsletter - Spring 2023

It’s Spring at last! And we are excited to offer you news!

Coming this week!! Arts Orillia is thrilled to present an evening of cello and dance in partnership with the Orillia Concert Association. Don’t miss Ottawa Dance Directive (ODD) & Raphael Weinroth-Browne at the Orillia Opera House. This performance is part of the national tour of Empty Space | Empty Time and Worlds Within this Wednesday, May 10th at 7:30pm.

Empty Space | Empty Time and Worlds Within - ODD and Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Photo: Curtis Perry)

Coming in just three weeks! Plan to attend the 5th edition of Gathering: Festival of First Nations Stories, June 1st – June 4th. We are pleased to welcome back Cultural Advisor Sherry Lawson, Producer Fred Addis and the newest member of our team, Curator JP Longboat of Canoe Stories Festival. Programs are hosted by the Chippewas of Rama First Nation and St. Paul’s Centre.

Gathering 2022 - Armand Garnet Ruffo (Photo: Mike Bailey)

The full program will include a welcoming circle and an impressive schedule of widely-recognized authors and speakers. See visual installation works from Canoe Stories Festival in collaboration with local Elders and artist Chief Lady Bird. Join us for a Saturday Sunrise Ceremony and community breakfast — and don’t miss performances by Tom Wilson and Tomson Highway!

Tomson Highway and Tom Wilson

We are grateful to work with the Gojijing Truth and Reconciliation Round Table, Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle, Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin, Simcoe County District School Board, and Reconciliation Canada to bring all of these incredible guests to our local school children!

Find the complete schedule on our website (see button below). Let us know you’re coming. Your RSVP will help us organize for each event!

Tickets for Tom Wilson’s concert June 2nd, and Tomson Highway’s concert June 3rd, can be purchased using the buttons below.


Community, recap. It’s been a busy year so far!

A warm thank you to the Theatre and Cross Creativity cast. This powerful project brings stories forward from our local community. Eleven Youth and Senior participants came together in a collaborative creative process with Directors Clara McBride and Iain Moggach. Their work came to life at the Orillia Opera House. Severyn Dahlke, Barb Gale, Miriam Goldberger, Bob Graham, Patricia Hamilton, Ted Laughlin, Michelle Ste Marie, Norah Taylor, and Africa Wagg – you were sensational! Thank you for sharing your stories.

Theatre & Cross Creativity - Severyn Dahlke, Bard Gale, Africa Wagg, Patricia Hamilton (Photo: Sean Rees)

Introducing Global Steps! Artist Yi-Chen (Selina) Tsai came to our community delivering workshops in Chinese Dance to Orillia Secondary School, Nantyr Shores Secondary, Eastview Secondary, Brechin PS, GMA Academy, East Oro PS, and Hillsdale PS. Thank you Selina, the students were captivated. Thank you Arts Facilitator Bonnie Black and the SCDSB, for your continued partnership!

Global Steps - Yi-Chen Tsai and students (Photos: Arts Orillia)

Have you heard about Creative Youth Lab? It’s our new FREE, after-school lab where young makers can create digital art with Arts Orillia’s Design Manager, Sean Rees. If you know of a young person in our community who is interested in expressing themselves through computerized drawing, memes, digital stickers, and coding, let them know that they can sign up on our website.

Congratulations to Orillia & District Arts Council (ODAC) for their new Shivers & Sizzles Festival. We were delighted to participate in programming.

Shivers & Sizzles - Zane Campbell, Errol Lee, Liberty Silver (Photos: Sean Rees)

Thank you and congratulations to Dance&Design resident artists, Emma Kerson and Jane-Alison McKinney of Bare Nerve, who worked with Lighting Designer, Noah Feaver, at the Orillia Opera House to create their new performance – hard wire!

hard wire - Emma Kerson and Jane Alison McKinney (Photos: Sean Rees)

And finally, to the artists of BoucharDanse, Choreographer Sylvie Bouchard and Visual Designer Ed Pien who also worked with the OOH crew developing très loin this January.

It was inspiring to have Dance&Design artists in our community! We are wishing you well with these beautiful performances and look forward to having you back.

tres loin - BoucharDanse performers Sierra Chin Sawdy, Raelyn Metcalfe, Lucy Rupert (Photos: Sean Rees)

That’s it for now. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon. If you would like to be involved with the growing family at Arts Orillia, please be in touch.

Creativity, Culture, Community - Kate Hilliard and the team at Arts Orillia!

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