COLUMN: Roots North’s program includes free shows and workshops – 71Bait

Main stage passes are sold out for next weekend’s Roots North Festival, but there are “some really great musicians, fun workshops” and open mics all over town

A few time-sensitive topics to talk about this week, so let’s get started.

The Roots North Music Festival has sold out its weekend passes to the festival’s main stage at St Paul’s Center on April 22nd and 23rd, but don’t despair. There are loads of Roots North (mostly) free shows throughout Orillia throughout the weekend.

There are some really great musicians in the lineup that are definitely worth checking out and some really fun workshops for all ages. And open mics too. Kudos to Roots North and organizer Amy Mangan for giving these musicians space to get back on track.

Here is the schedule of shows off the main stage from April 21st to 24th, mainly in downtown Orillia:

Thursday 21.04

  • Lindy Vopnfjord, 6 p.m., Lot 88 Kitchen and Bar, 294 Memorial Ave. (free show)
  • Alex Andrews and Michael Martyn, 9 p.m. Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E. (free show)

Friday 22.4

  • Alleycats Open Mic, All Day, Alleycats Music and Art, 95 Mississaga St.E. – Contact Jake from Alleycats to play
  • Meredith Moon, 3 p.m., Eclectic Cafe, 39 Mississaga St. W. (free show)
  • Steph Dunn, 6 p.m., Lot 88 Kitchen and Bar, 294 Memorial Ave. (free show)
  • Grady Kelneck, 6 p.m., Rustica Pizza Vino, 132 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Scott Olgard, 10 p.m., Kenzington Burger Bar, 85 Mississaga St.E. (free show)
  • Open Jam Session, 10:00 p.m., Hog N’ Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (Free Show)

Saturday 23.4

  • Alleycats Record Store Day Open Mic, All Day, Alleycats Music and Art, 95 Mississaga St.E. – Contact Jake at Alleycats to play
  • Dray Tony, 10am, Mark IV Brothers – 187 Nottawasaga St. (Free Show)
  • Music for Little Kids: Music Puppies (0-5 years), 11am, Orillia Music Center – St. Paul’s Center Studio #338 (free show)
  • Jack Nicolle and Dan McBride, 12 p.m., Apple Annie’s Cafe and Shop – 101 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Dray Tony, 12:30pm, Lone Wolf Cafe, 10 Matchedash St. S. (Free Show)
  • Tunes To Tweet LIVE Podcast Replay, 1:00 p.m., Knight Vision Media Studios, 18 Mississaga St.E. (Free Show) – Email tyler@knightvision.ca to reserve a seat.
  • Elwood Hammond (Woodsie) 2 p.m., Hibernation Arts, 17 Peter St. S. (free show)
  • Sam Johnston, 2 p.m. Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Chris LeMay, 2 p.m., Lot 88 Kitchen and Bar, 294 Memorial Ave. (free show)
  • Family-Friendly Hand Drum Fun, 3:00 p.m., Orillia Music Centre, St. Paul’s Center Studio #338 (Free Show)
  • Dave and Aaron Play Tunes 2 Tweet, 5 p.m., Hog N’ Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (Free Show)
  • Jenni Lawrence, 6 p.m., Rustica Pizza Vino, 132 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Taylor Knox, 10 p.m., Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E., $10 admission or free with show of weekend pass
  • Run With the Kittens, 10 p.m., Couchiching Craft Brewing Co., 162 Mississaga St. E. – $10 admission
  • Ronnie Douglas Band, 10 p.m., Brewery Bay Food Co., 117 Mississaga Street East (free show)
  • Open Jam Session, 10:00 p.m., Hog N’ Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (Free Show)
  • Michael Costantini, 10 p.m., Kenzington Burger Bar, 85 Mississaga St.E. (free show)

Sunday 24.4

  • Alleycats Open Mic, All Day, Alleycats Music and Art, 95 Mississaga St.E. – Contact Jake at Alleycats to play
  • Jaedon Daly, 12 p.m., Bakes by the Lake, 178 Mississaga St. E. Reservations are preferred by contacting the company directly (free show)
  • Sean Patrick, 2 p.m. Picnic, 140 Mississaga St. E. (free show)
  • Jakob Pearce, 4:30 p.m., Hog N’ Penny, 9 Matchedash St. N. (free show)

Nice to see a music festival in our area again after such a dismal two years. Get out and enjoy.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) has launched a couple of new spring workshops and one of them, Life Drawing with Kathryn Kaiser, starts on Thursday April 14th. Kathryn is a master of life drawing and a great teacher, so if you want to up your game in this area or start over, this is a wonderful option.

Kathryn is so good and so popular that there are two time slots to choose from on Thursdays, 1pm to 4pm or 6pm to 9pm. To learn more and sign up, click here.

OMAH’s History Speakers virtual series continues online with The Prisoners of Gravenhurst on April 20 at 7pm PDT. founded an orchestra, cooked meals and sunned themselves on the beach of a former luxury sanatorium in Gravenhurst.

This should be a fascinating and fun evening with lots of good stories about this incredible time and place. To sign up to receive the Zoom link, email Monica at Visitors@orilliamuseum.org.

Finally, one last time-sensitive thing for this week: Lakehead University’s Office of Community Engagement is hosting a four-week series of food-themed workshops, all focused on Spring Into Learning. The workshops will start on April 19th with the first Zoom event “What is ‘Shumka Dust’?”.

On April 26th the topic is “The Art and Science of Chocolate”, on April 30th “Bread 101” and on May 4th the last workshop is “Cheese: It’s Gouda!”.

Each workshop is $30 and there are additional materials that can be picked up or shipped to attendees. Here you can find out much more and register.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy spring and the beautiful sounds of live music, finally back in O-Town. And Happy Easter.

If you have art news, send it to annaproctor111@gmail.com by Tuesday noon to be included.

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