As trees turn to brilliant colours of red, orange, and yellow, Orillia & Lake Country becomes a living artistic landscape in the fall. Artists across mediums have found inspiration in the rolling hills and reflected waters of the region and fall is a perfect time to explore such creativity on a self-guided tour of Orillia & Lake Country’s arts and culture.
Images Thanksgiving Studio Tour
The Images Studio Tour is one of Ontario’s finest and longest running studio tours featuring over thirty outstanding artists and crafts people. Held over four days through the Thanksgiving Weekend, discover exceptional art and enjoy the beautiful fall colours of Simcoe County and Orillia Lake Country.
Artists, potters, photographers, and a host of creatives open their studios for the public to view, experience and purchase their works. This self-guided tour roams from Moonstone through the scenic Horseshoe Valley and along the Lake Simcoe shores to Orillia.
After a year on pause, the Tour is ready to be a thriving part of the community again. “Artists have had to adapt over the past year and a half,” says artist Tony Bianco. “That means creative growth in our world. Now we are ready to show that growth to our participants.”
The ways in which the last year have impacted these artists are woven into the very nature of their art. Dan Kansas is a new artist to the tour and creates large wall-mounted driftwood sculptures at his home studio in Horseshoe Valley. When beaches closed during the 2020 lockdowns, Dan reached out as far as British Columbia to source his driftwood, giving his pieces a cross-country connection.
Dan is one of thirty artists featured on this year’s tour, who all have a story to share through their art. See Images Studio Tour website for digital map and brochure. COVID-19 Safety Protocols are in place
Barn Quilts of Simcoe County
Art can be found all over Orillia & Lake Country as you traverse the countryside by car, bike, or motorcycle. Spend a day doing a self-guided Fall Tour Route and keep your eyes peeled for Simcoe County Barn Quilts, with participating locations through Oro-Medonte, Severn, and Ramara. Featuring 155 painted quilts, these striking pieces of art are mounted on barns and buildings across the region to celebrate agriculture as an essential thread in the fabric of Simcoe County.
Drive safely and respect privacy. When viewing barn quilts please use caution when stopping or slowing down. Please remember that the quilts that are on private property must only be viewed from the safety of your vehicle.
Streets Alive, Orillia’s annual public art festival, winds up after Thanksgiving but not before one last chance to enjoy the Streets Alive sculptures lining the streets. Walk the core of Orillia’s downtown where Hippie Vans mark the 60th anniversary of the Mariposa Folk Festival. Each artist has interpreted the theme through their own artistic lens and medium. You can even spot sculptures from previous Streets Alive festivals throughout the downtown and the Peter Street Arts District.
Orillia & Lake Country is full of talented artistic communities year-round, including the Orillia Museum of Art & History, Cloud Gallery, Creative Nomad Studios, Coldwater Studio Tour, Washago Art Club and more.
Extend your visit by booking an overnight stay in OrilliaLEARN MORE
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