ODAC: Nurturing Artistic Excellence in Orillia

By Press Release

Welcome to the new publishers of The Villager. The Orillia and District Arts Council (ODAC) looks forward to working with you promote and expand the arts, in all their formats, in our area. But – you may ask – what is it we do?

An Arts Support Organization (ASO) is a local, usually charitable, member-driven group that serves to sponsor and sustain artistic efforts in its selected communities. In the case of ODAC, this is the area in northern Simcoe County, working from Orillia. In this region we have so many wonderful visual artists, musicians, performers, and others who make art their passion. Most can benefit from the assistance of an ASO.

ODAC has collaborated with the City of Orillia to do Culture Days each September/October, has arranged, and manages, the Orillia Summer Parks evenings at local parks, and is the lead in developing several locally based art programs.

One such is A Visual Reconciliation – this is a project funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. It brings four diverse artists to the table to illustrate and demonstrate their interpretation of the seven grandfather teachings of the Anishinaabe.

Another is the drop-in program hosted with St. James Church, which offers mentoring by local artists for seniors living alone or in residence. Yet another is locating and managing artists from around the area to illustrate and decorate bike stations for the County of Simcoe Bike trails. This gave work to local artists and pizzaz to the County trail sites. For 2023, ODAC is also exploring arts and mental health.

The key vision for ODAC, since 1999, has been a strong united creative community working together to enhance culture in our area. In this regard, ODAC collaborates regularly with other arts and performance groups in the area. To achieve this, ODAC’s board and membership strives to empower, advocate for, and celebrate all art forms in our region. As an ASO, we pursue inclusiveness, life-long learning, respect for art and artists, diversity, community, and freedom of expression.

ODAC welcomes new members from any genre of artistic expression. As a member you have access to our displays at local businesses, insurance for your public presentations, and opportunity to design your own programs with assistance to locate funding. We’ll be spotlighting some of our on-going and developing efforts right here, in the Villager.

Visit www.orilliaartscouncil.ca to learn more.