John Swartz


A memorable Gathering

The highlight of last weekend’s Gathering, a two-day affair of music and dance at St. Paul’s Centre, was the performance of the Hilario Duran Trio.

Santa Claus

Countdown to Christmas

This weekend is about Christmas. I know it's early, but as someone who participated in about 100 Santa Claus parades, I can definitively say they work a lot better in nicer weather.

All that jazz in Orillia

The Orillia Jazz Festival started Wednesday night with Rik Emmett at the Orillia Opera House. (New seats -- woohoo!) Over the next four days, there's still plenty of music to enjoy.

Thanksgiving Images Studio Tour coming up

The forecast for this weekend is colourful. There aren’t any solar flares headed our way (why we get northern lights), but it is Thanksgiving weekend and that means the Images Studio Tour is happening.

Weekend all about the arts

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Orillia and District Arts Council (ODAC) will announce the winners of the annual Arts Awards at the Orillia Public Library.

Ready to kick open the doors

Two things are happening Sept. 30, and now would be a good time to order that split personality. Two? Try dozens split among two umbrellas.

Cooling down at the jazz festival

We are a month away from the Orillia Jazz Festival. It's still coming together with several acts yet to be announced, but the available pickings are interesting.

Season’s curtain call nears

Summer theatre in town is hitting the home stretch. The Orillia Opera House has Weekend Comedy, a play by Sam and Jeanne Bobrick. I have not seen the play yet, but I am hopeful the streak of good plays at the opera house will continue.

Partner with the province

Last week, the province released a summary report of the consultation for the Huronia Regional Centre land (which they apparently have renamed the Huronia Regional Centre Campus).

Security camera

Smile for the camera

The issue of the mysterious graffiti that popped up in various locations downtown over the past month illustrates two points.

Poetry slam dunk

I went to a poetry reading Sunday. There are a lot of things I could have been doing, like packing my drum and heading to an industrial park to practise for a few hours, but I went to a poetry reading.

Mariposa artistic director Mike Hill holds a copy of his book The Mariposa Folk Festival: A History. PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES

Seasonably funny

Woo-hoo! I'm going to be a reader at the Leacock Summer Festival. I'm not talking about reading the program to stay on track, but a story I wrote, out loud, to an audience.