Come together in your car

August 21, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Sandy Brown

Don’t write off the summer of 2020 just yet! A new live entertainment series aims to offer the live-performance experience that so many have been missing through the pandemic.

Building on the momentum and popularity of drive-in movies, Orangeville is launching the summer concert series featuring live performances from local musicians and comedians. Summer Break Out will launch August 20, featuring live performances from some of Orangeville’s most popular entertainers Campfire Poets, Leisa Way, Ty Baynton and others to be confirmed – which will help to cure your lockdown blues!

The Drive-In Movie has been resurrected and embraced across the country presenting a safe way for communities to gather. The Summer Break Out Concert Series will expand on this idea and include a concession stand organized by Community Living Dufferin. 

There’s still a pandemic happening, so we need to be committed to keeping ourselves and others safe. Tickets must be purchased in advance, through the town website, and entertainment seekers will be able to enjoy the performances from their car with friends and family from their social circle. Anyone leaving their car does need to wear a mask and go directly to their destination, whether it is the concession stand or the washrooms. There will also be a strict no alcohol policy enforced. 

Thank you to David Nairn, Artistic Director, Theatre Orangeville and Community Champion for your dedicated work assisting us with planning this – as well as Town Staff and fellow Council members for your input and support for this Community Event. 

This week, tickets will go on sale for $25 per car, per evening. This affordable pricing is possible due to our sponsors E Hoffman Plastics, Theatre Orangeville, Town of Orangeville and B Social. There are still opportunities for businesses and individuals to sponsor the event.  Please contact me at sbrown@orangeville if you are interested in sponsoring a show.   

Despite the recent rain and heat, it’s good to see Orangeville’s parks, splash pads, outdoor and recreation spaces open. Walking on the trails, hearing the laughter of kids playing and enjoying our short summers have always been important to Canadians and overwhelming evidence supports getting outside and moving to improve our mental health and feel less isolated during the pandemic.

In July, Thinc Design presented Council with a draft Recreation and Parks Master Plan based on the research conducted from November 2019 to Spring 2020. 

Open houses, surveys and interviews were conducted with stakeholders and the public to prepare this plan, which outlines the opportunities and directions that are available to develop our town, our backyard over the next ten years. 

There is a growing awareness of the health benefits of physical activity and more people are engaging in spontaneous and condensed activities to fit into their busy schedules. These trends are expected to continue and increase in a post-pandemic world, along with more experience-based tourism. People are looking to explore our backyard and we want to provide the best experience for day trippers and environmental tourists to reboot our economy, while ensuring residents have access to the resources they need and want. 

This “living document” is a roadmap to our future program development, facilities, parks and service delivery will continue to be developed and discussed to ensure that our changing needs are being met. The plan is ambitious and makes the best use of our abundance of natural resources, outdoor and recreation spaces and how families, individuals and visitors use these facilities. 

The 500+ page document is a wealth of information and highlights four key areas –  

Programs and Events, Facilities, Parks and Service Delivery, along with 144 recommendations. These are suggestions from the consultant. No actions will be taken by Council before additional public input, Council debate and Council budget considerations. I believe Dufferin County should be brought into the discussion for public input and possible financial participation in a Regional Rec Facility  

Some of the high-level directions to consider include: 

● Establishing a Regional Recreation Hub, collectively serving Dufferin County with ice and dry training surfaces, community pool, municipal gym and soccer/lacrosse fields;  

● Focusing on making our parks greener by increasing tree canopy coverage, planting edible gardens and naturalization; 

● Creating a Downtown Event District comprised of a new Farmer’s Market and Cenotaph space along with dedicated space for outdoor entertainment and live performances; 

The plan also includes a detailed background study, enhanced access and benefits for seniors and special needs groups, increased community culture and diversity and continued improvement to our environmental efforts while redefining Orangeville’s role in recreation delivery and services. 

It’s an ambitious plan that will take more discussion from Council and requires ongoing input from residents. Town staff have been asked to prepare an outline for the 16 projects contained in the document that will be discussed in detail along with potential timelines and funding sources. It is my hope that these projects will come back with opportunities to explore Provincial and Federal Funding partnerships.   I encourage all residents to get involved in this process. Information regarding the draft plan is available on the Orangeville website and Council members welcome your emails and calls. This Council is listening – reach out to myself or any member of council with your ideas!


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