News & Media Releases

Booze!  Orillia’s Struggle with Drunkenness

Booze! Orillia’s Struggle with Drunkenness

by David Town What! No Beer?In 1908 a binding referendum in Orillia outlawed the sale of all alcohol. It was the culmination of a 50-year campaign to “civilize” the town and reduce the violence, crime and domestic hardship that followed drunkenness. For the next 40...

The Rev. Richard Greene’s Electric Car

The Rev. Richard Greene’s Electric Car

By Fred Blair The Rev. Canon Richard W.E. Greene served in Orillia for twenty-three years. An inductee in the Orillia Hall of Fame, he made an indelible mark on our community, making it richer due to his passion and commitment. Rev. Greene retired from ministry at St....

Two Canadian Winter Olympic Sport Pioneers

Two Canadian Winter Olympic Sport Pioneers

By Fred Kallin The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France, at the base of Mont Blanc in 1924.  2022 is very close to the 100th Anniversary of the those first Winter games. In this article we will recognize a couple of the early Canadian pioneers in the...

Ornaments from Christmases Past

Ornaments from Christmases Past

By Mary Ann Grant   Years ago, this writer became a collector of old-fashioned ornaments that fell out of favour with the advent of plastic. Whether antique, vintage or reproduction, they are precious for their beauty and unique design. They are not just the red...

A Tom Thomson Mystery

A Tom Thomson Mystery

By Fred Blair ​If you found the name “Tom Thomson” on the back of a landscape painting, would you think of the Group of Seven?  This is a wandering tale about a painting and the possible connections between four landscape painters and Stephen Leacock. In 1888, the...

Private Raymond John Gagnon

Private Raymond John Gagnon

By Mary Ann Grant The son of Aimee and Emile Gagnon came to Rathburn, Ontario (Monck Road) from Alberta as a boy. The family operated a small strawberry farm on the 12th Concession of Mara Township. A happy-go-lucky lad, Gagnon enjoyed joking with his siblings and...

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Land Acknowledgement

The Orillia Museum of Art & History is located on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabeg. The Anishinaabeg include the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomi nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. We respect and observe the long and enduring presence of Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Metis and Inuit – on this land. Their teachings and stewardship, culture and way of life have shaped our City’s unique identity.

In acknowledging that we occupy colonized Indigenous territories, and out of respect for the rights of Indigenous people, we accept our collective responsibility to recognize our colonial histories as well as their present-day manifestations in order to honour, protect, and sustain this land.