Christmas in Broadway’s Art World

November 25, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

“The ukulele is a happy little instrument – you can’t be unhappy when you’re playing a ukulele,” says Heather Katz, well-loved singer and co-owner with Michael Griffin of Broadway Music.

She went on to say, “Jake Shimabukuro could do Hendrix on the ukulele and we’ve seen him play the Bohemian Rhapsody but it is [very] easy to learn. It only has four strings.”

The Opera House and Town Hall dominates the street, reminding us that Theatre Orangeville is open again for live productions. Tickets for shows and subscriptions are nice gifts and available at the Box Office in the Opera House.

The shops are already all decked out for the Yule season. Please pardon those we weren’t able to include here.

Christine working at the Pear Home store said Dec. 4 is Customer Appreciation Day with give-aways and specials things.

“It’s so nice we can celebrate together,” she said. “Our customers have been like family. Now we’re taking orders for Christmas.” 

Dragonfly’s owner, Joan Hope, was enthusiastic too: “We’re open seven days a week for Christmas. In general, we’ve got extra stock –all the potters have brought in mugs; people love those for presents. There’s lots and lots of items very reasonably priced,” she said. “There are eco dyed silk ties.”

The artists have their paintings rearranged in their studios, putting up all sorts of new work.

Within the group, there is a charity fundraiser for a cat rescue.

Rosemarie Armstrong is a member of Artists for Conservation. She paints large intense landscapes and seascapes, developing the coming light of dawn or the impact of a moody dusk. Ms. Armstrong has travelled to capture the moments and emotions she instills into her paintings by being in the places she portrays.

Some of the artists are donating a dollar per sale of their pieces to charities.

Dragonfly gives that “ready!” air, ready to welcome Christmas into its shop again.

Back at Broadway Music, Heather Katz commented, with COVID-19 “being the way it is supplies are difficult but we’re gotten great deals in guitars for beginners under $200.” They have some beautiful Canadian guitars by major makers. There is lots of stuff for drummers. A full sized electric 88 key piano for $799 and Christmas books are available as well.

One could give music lessons as gift.

“There’s lots of things for stocking stuffers,” said Ms. Katz.

As she observed, during the Covid-19 lockdowns, a lot of people picked up an instrument to learn to play. The store sells violins and ukuleles across Canada, starting at $60 and up.

From the one ukulele in the store when they bought it, they stopped buying one at a time and started selling many of them.

Walking along the north side of Broadway, Sproule’s Emporium mixes a family’s history in Orangeville with a stock of interesting and beautiful items that partially comes from Fair Trade businesses in Asia, along with other made-in-Canada goods. 

At one time this location was Sproule’s Pharmacy but when the day came to close, the family kept the building and created Sproule’s Emporium, keeping a Sproule’s family business in Broadway for over 40 years.

Glasscraft, another standard of Broadway, has been in the same location for decades. Bill Adler has spent “a lifetime teaching his art while assembling [an] infinite collection of glass mania,” says the notes about the shop. Indeed, bar a few items of antique metal vehicle models, the shop’s stock is made up of all things glass. Like visiting whimsy, itself, the shop is fascinating and slightly addictive.

The other side of the business are the many courses and workshops for the various levels of the craft of stain glass projects, taught in the back of the shop and a studio in Grand Valley.

The Scented Drawer focuses not simply on lovely underwear and negligées but also cares to assist people into undergarments that are comfortable and completely suitable to the person wearing them, including post surgery and nursing bras. Beautiful and comfortable sleepwear for women. There are sleepwear and underwear for men as well.

Readers’ Choice is more than a second-hand book store; it also trades in first editions and collectors’ books. The racks are grouped and alphabetized so, given the vast number of books in store, it is easier than one might think to look in the right place for a desired volume. New books can be ordered as available online at the desk.
Fromage, that lovely cheese shop, has gift baskets, custom cheese trays made to order by the owner, Christine Patton, who was effervescent about the collection she has assembled: a gift for every invitation and need: great handmade cheese boards of black walnut and spouted maple boards with “little ceramic bowls and cheese spreaders; also just come-and-pick-up type of gifts,” she suggested, telling us, “I have been putting my orders. The first big order of specialty cheeses for Christmas is coming in the first week of December.”

Of her other items, Ms. Patton told the Citizen, “I’ve reached out to local craftsmen; the cheese spreaders are made by local artisans and the big boards are made right here in Orangeville. And each board is different from the natural variations in the wood.”

The hostess gift is a “truckle,” which is British flavoured cheddar cheese encased in wax, accompanied by a jam or jelly from Wiarton.”

All happy news for us foodies and people just wanting to step up from all those supermarket tightly-wrapped-in-plastic sad little cheeses, says this writer.

The Chocolate Shop: Barb Chadsey bought this small business slightly over 16 years ago as a “why not?” It was all there and she “enjoys” chocolate. When she moved the shop to its present location at 114 Broadway, she was happy, saying, “Basically, it is just really lovely to have a shop in downtown Orangeville.”

In addition to all the marvels of such a variety of chocolates, keeping in mind that the truffles are in a class of their own, there are also animals moulded in chocolate and some are making an appearance, especially for Christmas. Using only the best Belgium chocolate as the first ingredient, the rest of the secret is skill and deep enthusiasm.

The annual five box draw at Maggiolly is on again this year.

Owner Emilia Perri told us, “We are giving away five boxes of art supplies; we do this as a draw every year. People can come in and put their names down for the draw. There is nothing to pay.”

The boxes are all packed together in each category: a drawing essentials box; water media box; print making and collage box; acrylic painting box and a youth creativity box, they are valued between $70 to $100 each.

“They’re so well put together,” she boasted happily, “They make a happy picture.”

Additionally, she reported happily, “We’re stacked with supplies – there’s no supply chain issues here.”

Ms. Perri opened Maggiolly, the arts supply store, 26 years ago.

She declared, “It feels like I just started yesterday!”

Over the time, workshops in studio have increased, especially recently.

“We’re updating our website,” she said. “You can buy a gift certificate”

Drop into Maggiolly and put your name on a draw ticket and check out the plenitude of supplies. For the art boxes, drawing the names take place on December 18 at 12:00 – noon.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.