Orangeville Music Theatre Puts a Twist to ‘Nights of Cabiria’

Folks who come to watch Orangeville Music Theatre’s new production of Sweet Charity should to expect to enjoy some major laughs and a wonderful musical experience, this according to OMT’s co-director and choreographer, Roland Kirouac. He and his wife Sandra are the minds behind the show, and they’re both confident that people will have a grand time watching the musical.

Sweet Charity is based on Frederico Fellini’s film Nights of Cabiria. Reinterpreted by Neil Simon, it’s a musical play that tells the story and troubles of Charity, a dancer-for-hire at New York’s Fandango Ballroom. Charity tries to search for her one true love – the one who’ll sweep her off her feet and take her away from her tiring job.

Kirouac adds the play is a story about love, redemption, hope, and seeing life in positive light. And as with all musicals, Orangeville Music Theatre’s Sweet Charity is a marvelous showcase of song and dance.

But Kirouac says that it’s the comedic scenes that are sure to take the audience by storm.

Sweet Charity opens to the public  from the 11th until the 20th of June. Tickets are priced at only $23, and are available at the box office. Call 519-942-3423 for more information.

Some Orangeville Residents Not Too Happy About Proposed Leash-Free Parks

The proposed off-leash dog parks in Orangeville may be appealing to dog owners in town, but not everyone is happy about it.

At a meeting that took place on Tuesday, May 25, residents near the proposed sites were busy asking questions and raising their worries about the parks, with issues discussed ranging from poop, parking, bites, and children’s safety.

For Stephanie Wilson, a resident of Diane Drive, an off-leash park shouldn’t be placed in close proximity to a residential area. She pointed out that more consultation and investigation needs to be done before pushing through.

After going through a list of parks owned by Orangeville, the town’s Leash-Free Dog Park Committee announced that Erindale Park, located at the corner of Dufferin Street and Erindale Avenue, and Brown’s Farm Park along Diane Drive, will be Orangeville’s proposed off-leash parks.

According to the committee, the two parks were chosen because they matched the qualifications of an ideal off-leash park. The criteria covers factors such as park size, light, parking space, and distance from children’s play areas.

With the committee getting an earful from residents living near the two sites, members have promised to go over other parks and see if any alternatives can be found before ultimately making a recommendation to council.

Events Happening in Orangeville this Month

We’re halfway through the week and it’s time once again to give you the 411 on what’s happening here in Orangeville over the weekend and next week.

The Climate Change Action Group of Erin together with Credit Valley Conservation are proud to present the film, “Food, Inc.”, tonight at 7 in the evening. The film showing takes place at the Erin Canadian Legion Hall. The best part? Admission is free, but those in attendance are encouraged to make donations to both non-profit groups. You can log-on to for more information.

The Orangeville Art Group will be hosting an outdoor painting workshop on the 30th of May, at 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, at the open grounds of the RA Art Gallery. The workshop will feature renowned artist George Perdue, who’ll be discussing the ins and outs of plein air painting. Of course, there’ll be plenty of painting and sketching for interested art buffs. Admission is pegged at $50 for non OAG members and $30 for members.

This Saturday, May 22, the Headwaters Health Care Centre will be having a plant sale at the centre’s garden, beginning at 8:30 to 11 in the morning. The sale will feature a variety of perennials as well as a silent auction.

Orangeville Hosts Special Dog Walk

Laura Jotham looks just like any regular teenager you see these days. But unlike most of her peers, she doesn’t have the luxury of doing what she wants, going where she wants, and living the life of a normal teenager to the fullest.

The Orangeville teen was born with Retinopathy of Prematurity, a disease that damages the eyesight of premature babies. Laura was born 10 weeks early, and developed ROP during her stay at the hospital.

Today, Laura says she has 10% vision in her right eye, and none at all in her left – making her legally blind. Needless to say, this makes walking around the city very difficult, and she doesn’t feel particularly at ease with a cane, seeing as how it can make her an easy target for muggers and other criminals.

This prompted her to approach the group, The Lions Foundation of Canada, an organization that provides dog guides to individuals with disabilities. Laura visited their centre in Oakville where she met one of the trainers who was working with Hedda, a black Labrador.

It was love at first sight.

Today, Laura is back in Orangeville to support the Purina Walk for Dog Guides, which takes place on the 30th of may. The dog walk was organized to raise awareness and funds which will go to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program.

Photography Exhibits in Orangeville

If you’re into photography, then you shouldn’t miss these two photography exhibits happening in Orangeville today all the way until next month. Read on if you’re interested.

Kicking off today until the 11th of April is CLICK: In Studio and in the Field, an artwork exhibit by Ron Pitts and Pete Paterson, hosted by the Alton Mill in Orangeville. The exhibit is a hodgepodge of detailed photographs with images of wildlife and nature. Some of the photographs visitors can expect to see are shots of buffalo, whales, wild ducklings, and many more. The artists behind the exhibit will be making a special appearance on the 7th of March, and will be answering questions about their works of art on the same day.

While it’s still a number of weeks away, mark your calendars and check out the exhibit hosted by the Touched By Light Photography Gallery. The gallery will feature an exhibition of photographs of sacred sites, and will take place from the 18th to the 21st of March. You can visit the gallery from 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening. A percentage of the event’s proceeds will be donated to the Choices Youth Shelter. You can logon on to for more information.

Events in Orangeville this Week

We’re almost halfway through the week, and the Town of Orangeville has some events happening tomorrow all the way till the weekend. If you’re looking to check out an activity or two here in the community, here’s a list we’ve put together for you to read on.

Taking place tomorrow, Dufferin Women in Business will be featuring Carol Ring, Rogers Communications VP for business transformation. She will be speaking at this month’s regular networking luncheon. The Orange Agricultural Centre will be playing host to the event, which takes place on 11:30 in the morning to 1:30 in the afternoon. Tickets are priced at $25 for members and $32 for non-members.

Taking place on the 26th of December is the Big Chili Round-up at the Grand Valley Community Centre. The event kicks off at 5:30 in the afternoon and will feature entries from local businesses. You can have dinner for only $5, which includes chili, bun, beverage, and dessert.

And if you’re planning on getting married, then you shouldn’t miss the 2010 Orangeville and Area Bridal Show on the 27th, which kicks at 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon at the Orangeville fairgrounds. The annual event will feature live entertainment, games and prizes, free samples, raffle draws, and lots of freebies.

Love Stories in Hockley Valley

The beginning of John and Kersty Franklin’s relationship didn’t exactly get off to what we’d call a “great start” – terrible is more like it.

In May of 1999, Kersty, who was 44 then, worked as a sex therapist for the prison system in Florida. She was making plans to come up to Toronto in September of that year to hold a training seminar.

John on the other hand, just retired from his job as a university professor due to his developing of Parkinson’s disease. He had just opened a bed and breakfast in the Mono region, which he advertised as close in proximity to the city.

It was then that Kersty heard about John’s place and sent an inquiry after hotels in the city were booked for the Toronto International Film Festival. John sent back a long reply about why Hockley Valley was a great place to live in, and sent detailed bits of information on the sites to see and spots to visit.

But John also wrote her about the qualities he was looking for in a woman at the bottom of his reply, something which irked Kersty. According to her, she was shocked by the nerve of John to say such a thing. She wrote John back and said that she was disgusted with what he said.

John wrote a reply and apologized, saying that he was only joking. Kersty sent an apology after a few days.

It was then that the two began to correspond a lot, with Kersty making a visit to John’s bed and breakfast. Both were smitten when they first met. They finally tied the knot in March 2001.

Jazz Musician Performs in Orangeville

Joe Sealy, a renowned Canadian jazz pianist and composer, has deep ties with Orangeville’s arts scene. In 1994, he played the inauguration of the opera house after it underwent renovation. Together with former ballet dancer and producer/director Veronica Tennant, they performed to an excited audience – it’s a memory Sealy holds dear in his heart.

Fresh from receiving the prestigious Order of Canada, Sealy took to the opera house stage once more on Friday, February 5, as part of the Orangeville Concert Association’s (OCA) 2009-2010 season.

The two hour show featured a range of musical styles, with traditional song numbers done by Gershwin and Duke Ellington. Sealy performed together with three talented songstresses, namely Julie Michels, Adi Braun, and Gillian Margot – the trio also known as the Jazzbirds. And although Margot was unable to perform in Orangeville due to a conflict of schedule, Sealy was quickly able to replace her with Alana Bridgewater, a talented performer in her own right.

The show was a good mix of everything, with Michels performing jazz standards, Alana singing songs that border on R&B, and some other numbers with a gospel influence. Sealy on the other hand, accompanied the Jazzbirds on the piano.

With the show being a success, Sealy is looking forward to make another return to the opera house stage.

Ann Mortimer and Her Umbrellas Made of Clay

Renowned sculptor Ann Mortimer will be the first ever artist to exhibit at the Aurora Cultural Centre in Ontario.

She’ll be showcasing a collection of umbrellas crafted from clay, inspired by the paper umbrella factory she visited during her time spent in China.

Mortimer said it took a lot of time and effort to construct the umbrellas. She had to go through a lot of failures and designs to make them, she added. What drew her to make her clay creations was how the paper umbrellas made in that China factory seemingly took her breath away with their bright color and eye-catching designs.

For years, Ann Mortimer has made a name for herself for creating pieces many thought would’ve been impossible.

After working for a few years as a nurse, her interest in clay was sparked after a visit to King Crafts. After the untimely passing of her husband, she put up a house with an art studio on the property she and her husband bought on the Newmarket/King Township border.

She further honed her talent by attending a 2-week workshop with Hockley Valley Fine Arts, learning more techniques on how to craft clay.

Fast forward to today; Mortimer is considered one of the country’s most creative sculptors.

Hockley Valley Brewery Blends New Beer

Avid beer drinkers will be delighted to know that Hockley Valley Brewing, which is based in Orangeville, Ontario, is busy brewing its latest beer called Hockley Black & Tan, which representatives from the company say will be out on stores this summer

If that sounds like too much of a long wait, why not chill for the meantime and read more about the beer?

Hockley Black & Tan is a mix of the existing Hockley Stout, which makes up the “Black”, while new concocted ale will serve as the “Tan”. Hockley Black & Tan is a beer with a dark mahogany color, with hints of smoke, coffee, as well as chocolate, and small touches of sweet malt. The brewery described its new creation as a light and crisp beer perfect for all occasions.

And like all beers from Hockley Valley, expect to see Hockley Black & Tan will in can form.

Hockley Valley Brewing is a company dedicated to brewing beer to nothing short of perfection. Each step of their brewing process is done by hand – from beginning to end in small batches. The popular brewery also describes itself as a company that blends beers infused “The Perfect Balance”.