COLUMN: Skydiggers to perform Christmas show in Orillia

In a busy week of announcements, Mariposa Arts Theatre have unveiled their Film Nights lineup for the fall, says arts and entertainment columnist

Happy first week of September and, for students and educators that means returning to school. Hope everyone had a successful first day back, and are looking forward to a successful year ahead.

Arts and culture-wise, we are gearing up for an incredible 2023-24 season here in Orillia. We are absolutely spoiled for choice in our little burg, and I am not sure we realize it. I don’t think there is another town in Ontario of our size with the numbers of arts and culture events that we have. 

So, if you are planning on going to a show or event, get your tickets now. Commit early so the organizers know they can count on you, and don’t panic and cancel a show because of poor early sales. We are lucky to have so many shows here, let’s support them!

Big announcement today! The Skydiggers are making St. Paul’s Centre right here in Orillia one of their fall 2023 tour stops. The iconic Toronto band who made their debut in Toronto in the 90’s have a strong following decades later and really put on a wonderful show. 

The show at St. Paul’s is on Dec. 14 and will be a Skydiggers Christmas show … and you know you’re going to love it. If you can’t make Dec. 14 here at St. Paul’s, head on over to Meaford on Dec. 15 and catch the show at the Meaford Hall there. You can get your tickets NOW at

The Orillia Concert Association also made a big announcement this week; its 2023-24 season tickets are now on sale. Season subscription tickets are just $90 for five incredible concerts. Check this season out:

The TCO Stratton Soloists leads off the season on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m., at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Named in memory of Kerry Stratton’s musical legacy, Stratton Soloists continues Kerry’s heart of sharing music — the firm belief that good music can be found in all genres, and classical music can be enjoyed by all. 

Next up is Daniel Vnukowski at St. Paul’s Centre on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 2:30 p.m. Windsor-born Daniel Vnukowski is one of the country’s finest young concert pianists. He is also the morning host on Classical 96 FM.

The Chris Robinson Quartet starts off the new year with a concert on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Chris Robinson and Will Davis have a mutual love for the songs from the great American songbook which they perform with style and passion. Together with expert accompaniment of bass and drums they will bring to life the music of Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Louis Jordan, Peggy Lee and many more.

The James Campbell Trio will be featured on Sunday, March 24 at 2:30 p.m., at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Clarinetist James Campbell is the long-time Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound. Pianist Angela Park is a member of Ensemble Made in Canada. Soprano Leslie Fagan performs in recitals and oratorio across North America. These three fine musicians have joined together to present a chamber recital guaranteed to appeal to all tastes and interests.

Ensemble Vivant returns to Orillia for the OCA’s final concert of the season, on Sunday, May 5 at 2:30 p.m. at the Orillia Opera House. Join the OCA and Artistic Director, Catherine Wilson, as she heads up this Canadian musical treasure.

Starting Sept. 7, you can grab tickets for the OCA’s 2023-24 season at or

Another exciting season announcement? The Mariposa Arts Theatre Film Nights lineup for fall 2023 has just been announced. And here it is:

  • Wed. Sept. 13 – What’s Love Got to Do With It?
  • Wed. Sept. 27 – Little Richard: I Am Everything
  • Wed. Oct. 11 – Past Lives
  • Wed. Oct. 25 – Blackberry
  • Wed. Nov. 8 – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
  • Wed. Nov. 29 – Blue Jean
  • Wed. Dec. 6 – Jules

All films show at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Orillia Galaxy Theatre. Ticket sales open at 3 p.m. on the day of the screening and are $15, cash only. Student tickets, $10. Enjoy!

Of course, the Orillia Fall Fair is this weekend. Come out to ODAS Park and enjoy live music, demos, animals, food, demolition derby, tractor pulls and more. For more information,

Don’t forget that nominations are now open for the Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards. You can nominate deserving artists, musicians, events, historians or more in one of five categories: Education in Arts, Culture and Heritage; Emerging Artist; Heritage: Restoration, Renovation and Publication; Event in Arts, Culture and Heritage; and the Qennefer Browne Achievement Award.

Nomination deadline is Oct. 20, and you can find out all the details and nominate folks here

Don’t miss the Arts Orillia Showcase happening Sept. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. This is a sneak peek of what to expect in Arts Orillia’s 2023-24 season. It will be a lovely evening of music, nibblies by Rind and Truckle, and a cash bar in the gorgeous Creative Nomad Studios. Guest musicians Laura Kelly and Bonnie Black will perform. You can bid on original art by Sean Rees. All proceeds to Arts Orillia. For tickets, go to

Cloud Gallery is excited to share that the next Meet the Artist will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the talented David Carmichael. Come out and meet David, ask him questions, witness his creation process during live painting and enjoy a stunning display featuring an ALL-NEW collection of his paintings being unveiled. Cloud Gallery is located inside Creative Nomad Studios at 23 Mississaga St. W. in downtown Orillia.

Live music this weekend? Karaoke at Lake Country Grill this Saturday. Friday night, The Offcuts, Saturday night, Cam Galloway, and Sunday afternoon Jazz in the Afternoon with the Chris Robinson/Will Davis Trio, all at Couchiching Craft Brewery.

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

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