News & Media Releases

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...

Leslie Frost: Orillia’s First Premier

Leslie Frost: Orillia’s First Premier

Premier of Ontario 1949-1961 By John Merritt, Simcoe County Historical Association   September 20, 2020 marked the 125th anniversary of the birth of Orillia native and former Ontario premier Leslie Frost. Frost was born in Orillia on September 20, 1895 to William...

What We Have Lost

What We Have Lost

What We Have Lost  By David TownAs we approach the one-year anniversary of the YMCA closing in Orillia, I think it is insightful to see what the Y did for Orillia from a historical perspective. You never know what you’ve lost ‘til it’s gone. The Y in Orillia, as...

Sound as a Barrel

Sound as a Barrel

by Ellen Blaubergs, Volunteer, Coldwater Canadiana Heritage Museum    There are numerous interesting “works in progress” involving artifacts at the Coldwater Canadiana Heritage Museum, including two wooden barrels once used to transport ceramics. Both are in...

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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.