Story telling

COLUMN: Ugly sweaters, a treat, storytelling puts the “fun” in fundraising

There are plenty of festive events on the calendar and unique ways to support local charities and local businesses, says arts columnist

Welcome to snowy November! Now that the weather is more seasonal, it’s time to take a look around and see what fun events are happening, to help us forget about the cold snowy days and evenings.

A big traditional event this time of year is the Ugly Sweater Bowling Party! Now in his seventh year, he’s back with the Christmas bells, having been canceled last year due to COVID-19.

The Big Event organizer Derick Lehmann is determined to sell these lanes and raise big bucks for The Sharing Place Food Center at this critical time of year. To date, this event has raised over $ 15,000 for The Sharing Place.

Lehmann shared that there were only six lanes left this weekend and said, “I always like to call ‘sold out’ as soon as possible.”

The seventh annual Ugly Sweater Bowling Night will be held on December 17 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Orillia Bowl. The event is licensed and is a fun, family-friendly night of fundraising for a good cause… and in fancy dress! There will be lots of music, door prizes, and food and drink available.

Let’s give Lehmann his Christmas wish, put on our ugly Christmas sweaters and buy those alleys! For tickets, click here. For ages 12 and over, proof of vaccination is required.

The Orillia Scottish Festival is hosting a St. Andrew’s Day and Story Party on November 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Creative Nomad Studios.

Special guest author Terry Fallis will tell hilarious stories from his latest book, Operation Angus, and Krew Catering’s three-course meal looks fantastic and Scottish-themed (think steak pie, sausage roll and whiskey… with vegan options of course!)

The whole evening costs just $ 50 per person and all proceeds go to the Orillia Scottish Festival, which will hopefully be allowed to continue this coming summer, if COVID-19 wants it. For tickets to this fun event, click here. You must bring proof of vaccination to attend.

Thursday, November 25, meet at Hibernation Arts (on Peter Street) for a fantastic and intimate musical evening with SAMMY (Sam Johnston). SAMMY’s music is a mix of blues, rock and old school country and you will love it.

SAMMY has been nominated for the Emerging Artist Award as part of the Orillia Arts and Heritage Awards and the winner will be announced tonight, so you might see an Emerging Artist Award recipient!

Either way, SAMMY is a real talent and well worth the price of admission, which is $ 20 and goes to the artist. The show starts at 7 p.m. and you can pay at the door. Proof of vaccine essential.

Cineplex theaters are open again, of course, but the real news is that the Live from the Metropolitan Opera series is back! These incredible shows are literally live from the Met, and there’s some great lineup coming now and into the New Year.

On December 4, customers can enjoy the opera Eurydice, with the conductor of the Met Yannick Nezet-Seguin (who is Canadian). Here is the website blurb:

“The ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, who attempts to harness the power of music to save his beloved Eurydice from the underworld, has inspired composers since the early days of opera. Rising American composer Matthew Aucoin now carries that tradition into the 21st century with a captivating new take on the story. With a libretto by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Sarah Ruhl, adapted from her acclaimed 2003 play, the opera reimagines the familiar story from Eurydice’s perspective.

“Met musical director Yannick Nézet-Séguin steps onto the podium, leading the evocative music of Aucoin and a new immersive staging by Mary Zimmerman. Soprano Erin Morley sings the title role, opposite baritone Joshua Hopkins as Orpheus and countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński as his alter ego from another world.

As an opera fan believe me it will be amazing! The show is at Barrie Cineplex on December 4th with an encore on January 15th.

Some operas are shown at the Orillia Theater, so check them out hereand grab your tickets today so you don’t miss a thing!

Now it’s time for Christmas shopping! Local artist Craig Mainprize is hosting a holiday party at the downtown Lone Wolf Café. Come discover and buy Craig’s latest works. The date is December 2 from 7 p.m. to midnight, so come see us!

The Lighthouse organizes a pop-up Christmas shop every Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. until December 23 at the Lighthouse, in the Wagner meeting room. Lots of Lighthouse products as well as OC emporium items, handmade items, chocolates and more. Also come shop and support a good cause!

Lots of local holiday markets this weekend, check out my column last week for more details!

Speaking of shopping, there are so many opportunities for local shopping this year and every year. Many downtown businesses and galleries remain open Friday nights until 7 p.m. this year until Christmas. These mom and pop stores are where you can shop for unique items for your friends and family. Local galleries are where you can find art and trinkets for your loved ones. Buy local today.

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