Featuring, Dufferin County’s 2019 Arts Year in Review

January 10, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Once again, the new year ticks us over into – this time- a new decade. There were some true wonders that took place in 2019 and we have manged to include most of them here. This review focuses on the cornerstones of the arts community in Dufferin: Theatre Orangeville, the Museum of Dufferin (MoD) and BookLore.

Have fun reviewing the list and here’s hoping there are some good memories in it for you.

Museum of Dufferin (MoD) – True. Grit.: January – December Looking into the past: to the original pioneers to understand where our community began. This display of artifacts, archival materials and modern photography compares and contrasts the pioneers and the present-day people who have made important contributions to Dufferin County. 

MoD: January to August; 2020: Temperance & Temptation Exhibit – Between the mid-1800s and early 1900s was the debate about consumption of alcohol in Canada. This exhibit makes the journey into prohibition in Dufferin County’s bootleggers and the historic Hotel Alexandra. 

Theatre Orangeville (TOV) February 7 -The Snow Queen, PJ Party. Presented by Little Red Theatre

Hans Christian Andersen’s story takes the simple lesson of ‘growing up’ and imbues it with its own unique and special mysteries. Wonderful lighting and music effects transform the room into a magical snowy palace.

TOV- Across The Pond – February 14 – March 3: Starring Leisa Way and The Lonely Hearts Club Band, this show covered 50 years of British pop & rock music from the 60’s to today’s biggest stars, saluting, amongst others: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Petula Clark, Tom Jones, Queen, Rod Stewart, and so many more. Created and written by Leisa Way.

MoD -March Break opened for free during March Break, which included a museum-wide scavenger hunt.

TOV- March 28-April 14: Off The Grid, World Premiere by John Spurway -Couple who disagree about the “good life,” Martha and Leonard, manage to agree on spending a week “off the grid” for their sixth wedding anniversary. Lowell, the reclusive next door neighbour, arrives on the scene, and he soon stirs things up. 

TOV- March 7 – 9 -School for Super Heroes -Students at the Royal Academy of Superheroes who have lost their powers suddenly have to take over crime fighting. The world’s Superheroes, and the students in training need to act quickly to save the world. If not, only evil will prevail! Performed by the Creative Partners On Stage (C.P.O.S.).

TOV: May 2 – 19: Where You Are – World Premiere by Kristen Da Silva. Sisters, Glenda and Suzanne live a peaceful retirement on Manitoulin Island. This summer, they are preparing for the visit of Suzanne’s grown daughter, Beth, complicated by the secrets each of them carries.

TOV-Shake Rattle n’ Roll – May 24-26 Celebrating the best of Rock and Roll from the 50’s and 60’s with the Theatre Orangeville Youth Singers (T.O.Y.S.)

MoD: May 26 -Order of Canada and multiple award winner, Jim Cuddy, songwriter and vocalist for Blue Rodeo and a Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame came to the MoD for a light, fun conversation about his life and music. 

BookLore- May 28: One Book One County reveal of Fate by Ian Hamilton at BookLore.

TOV- May 29 -Treeboy PJ Party – story with a moral about a boy, Avery, debating with his father to save his favourite tree from the axe. The testing moment comes to see if Avery can stand for this environmental dilemma. The show was taken into schools, performed by Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA)

BookLore  June 1: author Caroly Morris with her book The Community Garden and her baby ducklings.

TOV- The Dream Chaser – June 6-8 – C.P.O.S returns to the main stage with this tale about choosing the road when it takes an inevitable fork. The line acknowledges that dreams are worth pursuing.

MoD- June 9, 10 – Corn Flower Festival -Annual Corn Flower Festival brings enthusiasts each year to the popular Show & Share Sessions, allowing visitors to bring in a piece of their own Corn Flower Glass to be authenticated by experts.

MoD – June 23 – Michael Enright – host of CBC Radio One’s The Sunday Edition and the archive show Rewind, came for a delightful conversation with the audience.

MoD to June 30 – Emilia Perri -Hockley Valley artist, presented “Nature & Structure,” a collection of abstract work. In 2016, Emilia received the Reed T. Cooper Bursary in Visual Art, allowing her to travel to the Yukon.

TOV- July 19 – 20 . 21 North(519) – Best of Fringe TOV brought Fringe back to Orangeville, featuring two shows selected by the TOV team from the amazing line-up of over 150 Toronto Fringe Festival performances. In Orangeville, these were hosted in local venues, offering local audiences a chance at Fringe close to home.

North(519) Best of Fringe Kidsfest -new this year, there were two kids shows for the Best of Fringe Kidsfest: Dungee the Dragon & the Just Ok Juggler & Inky The Octopus Takes Over the World.

TOV – July 26-28 Matilda – Matilda is an astonishing little girl with psychokinetic powers. Unloved by cruel parents, she becomes close to her schoolteacher, Miss Honey. On the other end of the spectrum, is the psychopath headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who hates children. Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and is the school pupils’ saving grace! Performed by TOV’s Music Young Company.

MoD – July 28-October 20 -Please Draw on the Walls – TheSilo Gallery was covered in paper for anyone to draw. While we didn’t encourage you to draw on the walls at home, you could get away with it here!

BookLore August 11 – Authors in Mulmur with Terry Fallis, Bianca Marais, Tish Cohen. Fabulous venue in a purpose built barn.

MoD- August 4, Civic Holiday “Tunes n’ Brews” sponsored by Country 105 – a Sunday afternoon to explore the grounds, listen, and line dance to the Dufferin County Line Band and enjoy the Mulmur Farmers’ Market offerings. 

TOV – August 22 -25 The Dream at Island Lake – A Midsummer Night’s Dream: this production was a dream, ten years in the making, come true. A dream of a community celebrating each other. A dream of people coming from all over to take part in the joy of a new theatre experience. TOV presented Shakespeare’s comedy in a way that had not been done before.

With this production, barriers were broken and another step was taken towards equality in the performance arts. Coming together were professional and non-professional actors, young and old, celebrating all levels of ability; both physical and developmental, and in experience level. Together, with other community organizations such as Credit Valley Conservation Authority and the Sweet Adelines’ Orangeville Chorus, this production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream was performed at the waterfront amphitheatre at Island Lake Conservation area. Combined with a completely original set, the stage was ready for this tremendous time at the theatre. Nature approved and granted good weather.

BookLore:September 15 – One Book One County Finale at Grace Tipling Hall

MoD -September 15 – November 3 – The Dwelling Museum- This exhibit is a collection of objects and conversations telling the story of “making a home” from the perspective of newcomers to Canada, made possible in part with a grant from the Reed T. Cooper Bursary, DAC.

TOV – September 18-22- Dean & Jerry -starring Derek Marshall & Nicholas Arnold In a concert presentation of Dean & Jerry: What Might Have Been. Created by Jesse Collins. They brought their version of this legendary comedy team that dominated screens and stages in the 1950’s, suggesting the burning question: what if they had never split?

MoD – September 23 – October 20-The Canadian Federation of University Women CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with Clubs in every province across Canada. Since 1919, CFUW has worked to improve the status of women while promoting human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. For the CFUW’s 100th anniversary the MoD hosted a pop-up exhibit.

BookLore -October 2: Authors On Stage presented by BookLore and TOV- acclaimed authors Emma Donoghue, Charlotte Gray and Linden MacIntyre – was a must attend event, nice reception after

BookLore – October 17 – author & adventurer Adam Shoalts with his book Beyond the Trees at the Paul Morin Gallery, presented by the Grange Association.

BookLore -October 19 – at MoD: launch of “Successful Healer” by Debra Jones.

TOV- October 17 – November 3 -Come Down From Up River by Norm Foster. As a logger in the woods of northern New Brunswick,Shaver Bennett arrives at the doorstep of his estranged niece, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years. The niece, Bonnie, and her wife, Liv, give him a strained welcome into their lives but the ice melts before the end.

MoD: October 26 -1919 Prohibition Halloween Dinner Theatre -host, Ms. Eleanor Crumpacker (Mag Ruffman), her attempted to recruit you for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and away from the temptations of the evening, were no doubt tremendous fun!

BookLore -October 29 – Authors on Stage presented by BookLore and TOV, welcomed legends Guy Gavriel Kay with his latest, A Brightness Long Ago and Michael Christie with his novel, Greenwood.

MoD – November 1- December 15 -Lawless in Dufferin. Dufferin County wasn’t the wild west but there was lawlessness here. Some seem the stuff of legends. Did these things really happen in our quiet county?

TOV: December 15, 16 – Rebel Without A Claus – T.O.Y.S performed a story of disillusioned kids rediscovering the magic of Christmas when they meet young orphans who have very little but love Christmas. 

BookLore:November 27 – launch of “A Walk in her Shoes” by Travis Greenley, the only man to be employed at FTP, a life long learning curve.

TOV- Nov 28 – Dec 22: Little Women- Music & Lyrics by Jim Betts; Book by Nancy Early-

Spanning one turbulent and joyful year in the life of the four March sisters, Little Women is an all-Canadian musical adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott classic novel. This year’s annual Christmas show.

MoD – November 30 to December 15 – Holiday Treasures -was a market of diverse collection of trinkets and treasures to find something for every one.

BookLore – Dec.7- Orangeville launch of Caledon Trailway with author Diane Allemagne

BookLore – Sat., Dec.14 – Celebration of BookLore’s 30th anniversary with local authors Marina Reed and Carolyn Morris

MoD: December 15. A Hollywood Christmas! In the Corbetton Church: Theatre, comedy, oodles of performers and singing, the MoD tradition of a unique holiday show.

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