Field Notes for Autumn 2023
Mark your calendar for an autumn full of art, music, outdoor fun, and history.
Iron Willed: Women in Stem
The Iron Willed exhibit at Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives celebrates the many notable (but often untold) contributions of women in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. You’ll learn about women such as Irish astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered the first pulsar signals from a neutron star, and Canadian Donna Strickland, whose work with lasers led to techniques used in eye surgeries and machining of glass.
The exhibit will also address the cultural barriers that result in the under-representation of women in STEM. The exhibit runs until January 2024.
Old-Time Country Music News
Leisa Way’s live show, Early Morning Rain, is a celebration of the late, legendary folksinger Gordon Lightfoot backed by a five-piece band on November 17 at the Rose Theatre in Brampton.
At Theatre Orangeville, Whiskey Jack performs Stompin’ Tom Connors’ greatest hits with a dose of backstage stories on September 15 to 17.
And The Tradition plays three-chord, raw-grit country music from heroes like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams at Caledon’s GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co. on September 29.
Habitat for Humanity Calls
Finding some gems while decluttering? Visit Habitat for Humanity’s pop-up station October 14 in Erin. Support local families in need of affordable housing by donating gently used household items, renovation materials, tools and home decor.
Fall Festival Alert: Creemore and Caledon Turn Up The Art This Fall
Creemore Festival of the Arts takes over the village at various sites from September 29 to October 1. Connect with your inner artist at interactive stations such as a “wool-to-wear exploration,” including spinning, knitting, crocheting and rug hooking at Creemore Log Cabin. Delve into the local art scene and attend ReconciliACTION, a performance by the Moose Cree First Nation and Ermineskin Cree Nation in partnership with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund — it provides programing for intergenerational survivors of the residential school system.
Live music, interactive workshops, artisans and authors abound at the Caledon Creative Arts Festival. On September 23 head to Caledon East Park to draw, sculpt, write and paint the day away with area artists, including painters Pauline Gladstone, Sherry Park and “pour artist” Deborah Powell. Live music from Collingwood’s Matthew and Richard Jazz duo and others will fill the air.
Calling All Screenwriters
The new Dufferin Film Festival launches with a screenwriting competition for short films — the details will be announced on September 28. The films will debut at the festival’s opening event in August 2024.
All screenwriters of any age can enter short film screenplays of five minutes or less. Two winning films will be produced by the team at Orangeville’s Rose Digital Media Group — and the screenwriters will get to be on set. Watch for more details on the DFF website.
Fall Fairs & Country Fare
Amaranth, usually a sleepy agricultural township, will be abuzz with visitors to the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo September 19 to 23. Get your country on at events ranging from old-school horse and mule plowing to a high-octane rodeo. Cheer on local plowing champion Daryl Hostrawser of East Garafraxa, who will be back in the fields with a new plow he and a friend recently designed and built. The expo also includes hundreds of vendors and agricultural exhibits, as well as live entertainment (local band Campfire Poets will be there). The RAM Rodeo event features Canada’s top talent competing in bareback riding, bronco riding, barrel racing and jaw-dropping bull riding.
Don’t miss the 173rd Erin Fall Fair, which welcomes over 30,000 people every Thanksgiving weekend in Erin Village. Take a stroll through the huge exhibit hall where you’ll find homecrafts, homemade jams and the fair staple, apple dumplings! There’s also a classic midway, vendor tents, a farmers’ market, demolition derby and tractor pull. Bridget Ryan of Equine Erin says to expect an equine tent with heavy horses, miniature horses, jumper shows, a petting zoo, and a Breyer pony painting event for kids. On Saturday, a Heritage Hall of Fame Award will be presented to a special person (or horse) who has made a significant contribution to the equine community in Erin.
The Dufferin Farm Tour on September 30 showcases day-to-day farming operations, farm-fresh produce and a chance to learn about the stellar commitment of local farm families. This year will highlight cattle, horses and Nigerian dwarf goats. Visit their Facebook page for up-to-date info.
Mark Your Calendar: Fabulous at 40
They don’t look a day over 39. Orangeville’s Achill Choral Society will celebrate their 40th season this year with two afternoon holiday concerts — November 25 at Westminster United Church in Orangeville and December 2 at Knox Presbyterian Church in Alliston — you might want to mark on your calendar now. Artistic director Shawn Grenke will take audiences back to the choir’s first performance in 1982, with songs from John Williams’ “Home Alone Suite,“ Howard Blake’s “The Snowman” and seasonal favourites, including a sing-along — accompanied by pianist Nancy Dettbarn.
Orangeville History Lesson
With her new book, Once Upon a Forest: Celebrating Orangeville’s Early Years, Alton’s Nancy Early celebrates Orangeville’s history with a glimpse of pioneer life, ghost stories, local celebrities and the role of environmental stewardship — all colourfully illustrated in a realistic, upbeat style by Kasia Charko, also of Alton. “We can all do our part to learn the lessons that history teaches us,” says Nancy. A book launch will be held at Orangeville’s Town Hall on Saturday, October 21 at 11 a.m.
Shelburne Gets Spooooky
Shelburne’s Carola and Jeremy Little and their family are gearing up for the 30th anniversary of “scaring the heck out of people,” as Carola puts it. On October 27, 28 and 31, dozens of volunteers and local sponsors transform the pavilion at Fiddle Park into a free Halloween nightmare. Over 40 volunteers in full makeup and costume work the haunted house, which includes a “chicken-out run” if things get too intense for you! There’s also a kid-friendly Mini-Boo event on Saturday during the day. Carola says the best part of Halloween is that “it’s an all-encompassing, equalizing holiday that everyone can enjoy.” Donations to the Shepherd’s Cupboard Food Bank are gratefully accepted.