Arts and entertainment columnist shares what’s coming to an end and what to look forward to in September

This weekend is a series of lasts: the last two See You on the Patio events Friday and Saturday nights; the last Art Walk Friday night; the last showings of the summer theatre series with the play, Halfway There, at the Orillia Opera House; the last of the Summer Music Series at Quayle’s Brewery; the last long weekend of the summer; and the fast-becoming-traditional end of the summer holidays, the Port of Orillia Pirate Party, running Friday to Sunday.

There will be politicians and local celebs walking the plank, in-water pirate displays, a pirate village with live re-enactors and demonstrations, and lots more family-friendly fun.

Orillia Museum of Art and History is getting in on the pirate action as its Guns, Gangs and Grog walking tour will be happening three times on Saturday as part of the fun. There will also be several pirate battles and the storming of the Champlain Sailing Club and the Leacock Museum.

For the schedule and full list of events for this amazing weekend, click here.

Of course, endings also signal beginnings, and this is true of summer as well. September, the beginning of fall, is shaping up to be an amazing month of arts and cultural events in our little burg. I’m going to give you just a quick sneak peek of them here so you can plan your September calendar and/or buy tickets before events are sold out. Here goes:

Saturday, Sept. 9 to Friday, Oct. 2: Sustainable Orillia Student Art Show at Hibernation Arts. Come and see the originals of the student works chosen for the Sustainable Orillia calendar for 2024. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. at Cards and Coasters: Angry Yoga, an improv comedy show by the Old Dance Hall Players. Guaranteed to be hilarious. Tickets are available here.

Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Orillia Opera House: Lennon.Live: Love is Real tribute band. Tickets can be purchased here.

Sunday, Sept. 17 at noon at St. Paul’s Centre: Paso Por Paso presents the ‘Mi tierra linda/My beautiful land’ fundraising concert featuring Guatemalan-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Paula Sofia. Tickets are $50 per person and include a live performance, plus Guatemalan lunch from El Quetzal Restaurant & Bakery. All proceeds go to Paso Por Paso. Tickets are available here.

Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. on Zoom: Orillia Museum of Art and History History Speakers Series, featuring Chris Newton speaking on 50 years of Mariposa Arts Theatre. For the Zoom link, go to orilliamuseum.org/9-23.

Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre: Lowest of the Low with special guests Reay. This fall starter for the monthly Thursday-night music series at St. Paul’s, produced by Inside the Music, is going to be a banger. Get your tickets here before it sells out.

Thursday, Sept. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Creative Nomad Studios: Arts Orillia presents Showcase 2023, a fundraiser and sneak peek of the coming season. If Lowest of the Low is too much of a banger for you, come here instead. There will be delicious food by Rind and Truckle and a bar, and a beautiful, refined atmosphere. Plus, you will be supporting a great arts organization here in town. Tickets are available here.

Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Orillia Opera House: The Rolling Stones Tribute band. Tickets can be purchased here.

Saturday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. at Fern Resort: Roots North Music Festival Revisited with The Sadies, with the Ronnie Douglas Band and Jerry Leger and the Situation opening. Honestly, I can’t think of another evening of music more likely to appeal to everyone, of all ages and stages. All three bands have incredible musicians and I guarantee you this is a don’t-miss. All proceeds go to the Orillia Youth Centre. For tickets, click here.

Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at St. Paul’s Centre: An Opportunity to Respond to Call to Action 83 art project. To register, email [email protected].

Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at Creative Nomad Studios: Beginner Block Printing Workshop with Gillian Lowry. Get tickets here.

Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. at the St. Paul’s Centre Banquet Hall: Terry Savage with Roger Harvey and the Big Bad Jug Band. A great evening of local music with the incredible Roger Harvey thrown in for good measure. All proceeds go to the Nelson Bell and Jake Beers fund at the Orillia Youth Centre. Tickets can be purchased here.

Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre: Swing into Fall with the Orillia Big Band, a fun evening of dancing, with light food and a cash bar. Tickets go on sale Sept. 5 and more information is coming soon.

So, maybe we don’t need to be so sad about summer ending, after all. September in Orillia is looking incredible.

If you have arts news, send it to [email protected] by Tuesday at noon to be included.


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