5 Things to Look Forward to at OMAH in 2015

Clock tower on winter day Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building

Another year has come and gone here at the Orillia Museum of Art & History, and we are already looking ahead to 2015!

2014 brought us over 12 exhibitions featuring talented local and national artists as well as a year long retrospective of Orillia's involvement in World War I & II. Our Collection was re-archived in proper storage space, including the digitization of photography and a Museum Assistance grant for our textile collection. Our Educational Programs soared to new hights with our many passionate instructors along with many successful workshops, summer camps and drop-in programming. The events never seemed to end, from Smiles of a Summer's Night with Charles Pachter, to Festival of Banners, and many more! Needless to say, OMAH has had a wonderfully busy year.

But as one year closes, another one opens and we want to give you a sneak peek at what to look forward to in the new year.

Jail, Bail & Jazz

OMAH's infamous jail cells will be taking in some new residents for one day only as part of a fundraiser for OMAH hosted by Lake Country Rotary on February 6th. Members of Orillia's council and OMAH's Board of Directors will be locked up in our historic jail cells,  and must find a way to get themselves bailed out before the end of the day. The evening will be full of syncopation, celebration, and incarceration with the Will Davis Trio and reception at OMAH, where tickets are $50 each.

Music in the Museum

The last Sunday of each month from January to April will host Music in the Museum starting at 3pm after our Family Fun Drop-In. The Upper Gallery will be filled with sound as musicians put on a live concert for visitors. On January 25th, listen to the smooth jazz tunes of Cole Mendez, a young piano player who has caught the ear of many a visitor at OMAH before. We are happy to welcome him back for the kick off of the new year. On February 22nd we welcome the Andy Lee Trio, March 29th brings us Winnie Brave, and closing out the season on April 26th will be Chamber Music Orillia's Children's Choir. OMAH gladly accepts donations for concert admissions.

Upcoming Exhibitions, Lunch & Learn Series

Opening January 15th, Creating Futures: Threads of Hope for African Grandmothers, an exhibition of 29 extraordinary textile artworks produced to raise awareness of the plight of grandmothers in sub-Sarharan Africa. This travelling exhibition will be hosted by the Mariposa Grandmothers, part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

As part of OMAH's Lunch & Learn series, on February 4th we will be screening the Stephen Lewis Foundation's new film documentary that shines a light on the urgent need to provide better protection for the human rights of African grandmothers. Following the screening will be a talk by Tina Blaszczak of the Mariposa Grandmother's group.

In February, OMAH welcomes back the International Women's Day Art Show as they celebrate their 19th year with the theme 'Eye to Eye'. The exhibition is a non-juried show featuring both professional and first time women artists from Orillia and surrounding area. The members of the International Women's Day Art Show Committee will take part as a panel for the March Lunch and Learn series on representation of women in the arts.

March Break & Make Art Camp

After the wild success of this past year's Summer Camps for kids, OMAH will be offering a 5 day in-house camp for children during the March Break week. With knowledgable art instructors, children learn about different techniques with great opportunities for fun and engaging activities! Register for this camp by clicking here with course code 34294, or contact Lois Green, Programs Coordinator, for more information.

OMAH's Youth Arts Council

Did you know OMAH has its own youth-run arts group? In 2014 these young adults hosted an open-mic concert and participated in various events at OMAH. a The group meets regularly to do fun, innovative art activities from silk screening, meme making, book binding and even animation! In 2015, YAC is looking to be bigger and better than ever, inviting teenagers from ages 13 - 18 interested in getting involved in the Orillia arts community. Participation in the Youth Arts Council qualifies for Community Service Hours along with additional rewards and perks for attending. The council meets on Fridays at OMAH from 3:30pm - 5:30pm.

We can't wait to see you in the new year and are excited for what 2015 has to offer!