Downtown Orillia, Ontario Canada
April 23rd to 25th, 2020
Roots music can refer to several styles or genres in music, but to us it’s music that is firmly rooted in a place of honest expression and emotion. It’s music that travels, shares, and connects, while honouring the past and bravely moving forward. It’s our mission to bring together a wide range of artists and people who share this vision for a weekend of great live music.
Historic Downtown Orillia, Ontario, Canada serves as the backdrop for the music festival. Our headline shows will take place at the beautifully restored
St. Pauls Centre at 62 Peter Street North.
3 artists perform each evening in our comfortable soft-seat theatre.
Before each performance, and during intermissions, we encourage our guests to explore the on-site art market curated by the wonderful folks from Harold & Ferne. A selection of merchandise from our performing artists is also available in addition to one of a kind Roots North Music Festival logo'd memorabilia,
some of which you get the opportunity to design and create on-site as part of our dedication to the arts in Orillia.
Music, shopping and entertainment surround you as you explore during the Roots North Music Festival in Orillia.
In addition to our ticketed main event performances, several businesses along Mississauga Street, and beyond, have teamed up to provide FREE live music shows within their shops and restaurants. Be sure to explore and join us.
Performance venues include Brewery Bay Restaurant, The Brownstone,
Hog N' Penny, Tre Sorelle, Eight Limbs Yoga, The Orillia Farmers' Market, Alleycats Music & Art, Mark IV Brothers, Eclectic Cafe, Bakes By The Lake, Apple Annies, Jim Ostler Contracting, and Kensingtons.
Schedule announcements coming soon.
In 20 years since his full-length solo debut, One Left Shoe, Steve Poltz blessed the world’s ears with thirteen solo records, spanning the acclaimed 2010 Dreamhouse and most recently, Shine On in 2019. NPR summed it up best, “Critics and fans alike now regard Poltz as a talented and prolific songwriter.” Evoking themes of “hope, love, contemplation, celebration of Wednesday, pharmacists, and the fact that windows are not inanimate objects and they sometimes have conversations with each other,” Shine On represents Steve at his most inspired and insightful. The opener and title track pairs a delicate vocal with lithely plucked acoustic strings as he urges everyone to, “Shine on, shine on.”
In the end, for everything you can call him “searcher, smartass, movie freak, lover of technology, news junkie, baseball fan to nth degree, lapsed catholic who still believes in god even though all his friends are atheists and think he’s an idiot, and maker of fun,” you might just call Steve that little light in the dark we all need in this day and age. Or Nashville’s Canadian Jiminy Cricket…
For his eagerly-awaited sophomore album, songwriter William Prince begins with single word, Reliever, which informs a collection of exceptionally rendered explorations of what, who and how peace is found. Relievers come in all forms; for Prince, it is song. With its emphasis on words and confidently unfussed accompaniment, Reliever puts Prince’s gift for sparking powerful emotions of both personal and communal relevance at the fore. A masterclass in skillful simplicity, Reliever works a generous and profound kind of magic.
Prince’s influences and references, from the gospel of his childhood to Christopher Wallace’s sermons of a different sort, the pantheon of classic outlaw country singers, baseball and the great beyond, shape Reliever into a collection that approaches the big questions with humility and curiosity. At the edge of the ocean, between father and son, from stranger to lover, the album flows through the places and moments where real connections and healing happen.
Begonia’s Alexa Dirks is bold, brazen with her florid, surprising pop that is tempered with sensitivity and wisdom.
Three years ago, the Winnipeg-based Alexa Dirks began to transform. Dirks, an eminently talented vocalist equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers & ballads, had made a name for herself in folk festival circles for her work in ensembles like the Juno-winning Chic Gamine. But in 2016, she stepped forward, redubbing herself ‘Begonia’ and signaling the blossom of a dynamic and intriguing artist: a glittery supernova who felt like music’s best-kept secret.
With exquisite harmonies, gorgeous melodies and emotionally charged, tightly crafted lyrics,
Wild Rivers deliver their unique blend of folk-pop songs that are at once inviting and infectious. Their sound is an amalgamation of their various influences, from contemporaries like The Lumineers, Bahamas and Kacey Musgraves to the iconic storytellers of the 70s, like James Taylor, Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac. With over 100 million streams and counting, the Toronto four-piece has earned a dedicated live following thanks to their captivating stage presence.
Following the success of their 2018 EP Eighty-Eight, which received praise from the likes of Rolling Stone Country, PopMatters, Earmilk and No Depression, Wild Rivers released “Thinking ‘Bout Love,”. In their latest song, clean guitar and a steady beat reverberate amidst a heartfelt vocal volley between lead vocalists Khalid Yassein and Devan Glover. Wistful recollections of an old flame give way to gospel-style harmonies as Devan soulfully sings, “I’m just thinking ‘bout love.” Khalid says of the track, “’Thinking 'Bout Love’ is about both sides of the breakup. One person is thinking practically: their respective happiness; long-term repercussions of the decision; and, on paper, what the best path is. And the other person believes the love they share can cut through all the distractions and hardship, and trumps everything else. It’s about a difference of opinion, and there’s a certain acceptance in it. On the last day of recording, everyone involved in the project - the band, co-writers, our producers - all gathered around a mic and sang this part together. It felt fitting with the tone of the song to wrap up this record singing with the people we love."
Raised on a healthy dose of the country music narrative and the spiritual motivation of gospel hymns, Lydia Persaud is reconnecting with her roots with her debut EP “Low Light”. Winner of the 2013 Oscar Peterson Award, Lydia has had an active involvement in the Toronto music scene since her graduation from Humber College's Jazz program. After performing internationally with The O'Pears and Dwayne Gretzky, and backing artists such as Lee Fields, Jill Barber, Royal Wood, Jadea Kelly and Karl Wolf, Lydia has emerged with her own voice in the world of folk-soul.
Spring of 2017 found Lydia touring solo through Spain, then returning to Canada to play shows in Canada's East Coast. “Low Light” features some of Canada's finest musicians such as Robbie Grunwald (Jill Barber, Good Lovelies), Joel Schwartz (Birds of Chicago), Josh Van Tassel (Great Lake Swimmers), and Drew Jurecka (Jill Barber). Lydia's intimate songwriting paired with subtle instrumentation inspired by her process of writing with voice and baritone ukulele is a highlight of the EP. Influenced by songwriters Eva Cassidy, Michael Kiwanuka and Ray Lamontagne, Lydia combines folk story-telling with a soulful vocal delivery.
From his early days in the indie rock collective, Jetplanes of Abraham, through four solo albums, artist Craig Mainprize “continues to evolve, fearlessly and confidently refining his identity with each new release.” Over the years, he has shared the stage with groups such as Metric,
Hey Rosetta, Do Make Say Think,
and Rock Plaza Central.
The common thread in Mainprize’s musical career is a deep appreciation of folk music and the poetics of songwriting. The lush atmospheric arrangements of his recordings are part of the beauty of Mainprize’s songs, but it is his powerful voice and attention to song craft that truly shine in his solo performances.
730pm / Roots North Trivia Challenge / Hog N' Penny / $5 Cover
6pm / Doors Open At St Pauls Centre / Art Market - Free Admission
7pm / Lydia Persaud / Main Stage / Weekend Pass
8pm / Wild Rivers / Main Stage / Weekend Pass
915pm / William Prince / Main Stage / Weekend Pass
10pm / Long Range Hustle / The Brownstone / $10 Cover or Free* with Weekend Pass *Pending Capacity
10pm / Darrin Davis Band / Hog N' Penny / Free Cover
6pm / Doors Open At St Pauls Centre / Art Market - Free Admission
7pm / Craig Mainprize / Main Stage / Weekend Pass
8pm / Begonia / Main Stage / Weekend Pass
915pm / Steve Poltz / Main Stage / Weekend Pass
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Do you have questions? Do you have an entertainment request for next year?
Reach out, and let's make magic happen.
62 Peter Street North, Orillia, Ontario
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