Arts & Culture


Jacqueline Soczka
Manager of Culture
50 Andrew Street South
Orillia, ON L3V 7T5

Phone: 705-325-4530
Fax: 705-329-2176

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 Picture of the Museum The birthplace of legendary folk singer, Gordon Lightfoot, and summer home of Canada's most famous humorist, Stephen Leacock, Orillia has inspired outstanding artistic creation for generations.

Group of Seven painter Franklin Carmichael and renowned sculptor Elizabeth Wyn Wood were also born in Orillia, a city where arts and culture are important - a city that continues to produce and sustain a wealth of painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, and other artists.

Every year, popular events such as the venerable Mariposa Folk Festival, Scottish Festival, Blues and Jazz festivals, Starry Night Art Walk, Arts for Peace Festival, and Festival of Banners, bring many thousands to the Sunshine City to celebrate works of the imagination. For a full list of events and festivals in the city, including Canada Day Celebrations (Orillia's largest FREE festival) visit here.

 Picture of people walking on the street  

The Orillia Museum of Art and History, with its prominent four-sided clock tower, is the centre of the city's art district on Peter Street South. Formerly a post office, police station, court house, and jail, this handsome heritage building showcases local artwork and historical artifacts.

Built in 1895, the stately Orillia Opera House is a downtown landmark, home to professional and amateur performances in its 700-seat main auditorium and 100-seat studio theatre. The building's acoustics are exceptional. Classical pianist, Glenn Gould, used to slip in from his cottage on Lake Simcoe to play the grand piano during off hours. A resident ghost has been known to make impromptu appearances when lights are dimmed.

The Leacock Museum in the humorist's summer home on Brewery Bay is a National Historic Site. It lovingly recreates the early 1900s atmosphere and preserves manuscripts, photos, and memorabilia. A summer reading festival on the museum's lakeside property attracts many of Canada's most notable writers.

If you're looking for arts and culture, look no further than Orillia!