5th Annual Roots North Music Festival in Orillia

Downtown Orillia, Ontario Canada

April 25, 26 & 27, 2019

Our main stage performances are Sold Out. Thanks for the incredible support!

Our main stage shows are Sold Out but we have lots of other great performances throughout Downtown Orillia for you to experience and our Art Market is FREE to attend on Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm until 10pm

Check out the schedule below for info on our FREE shows

Download Our Full Schedule Here:

2020 Weekend Passes On Sale Now!

2019 Main Stage Artists

Ron Sexsmith


The Roots North Music Festival is proud to announce that Juno winning Canadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith will be one of our headline performers during the 5th annual festival taking place 

this April, 2019

Ron Sexsmith was seventeen when he started playing at a bar, the Lion's Tavern, in his hometown. He gained a reputation as "The One-Man Jukebox" for his aptitude for playing requests. Ron Sexsmith’s status as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation has never been in doubt, even from the moment he released his self-titled major-label debut album in 1995. His career arc since then has in some ways been a study in how that pure ability has been handled in the studio 

He has won acclaim not only from critics but from fellow performers like Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, and John Hiatt -- some of the same artists, ironically enough, who initially inspired Sexsmith himself to become a musician

The Weather Station


We are proud to announce The Weather Station will be our second headline artist performing at the upcoming Roots North Music Festival.

Plain but elegant, simple but intricate… Her songs feel very much like attempts to understand and appreciate the world in spite of its bitter ills like the most basic forms of folk music, a term Lindeman readily embraces, they come with intent and aim." – Pitchfork

The Weather Station is the project of Canadian songwriter Tamara Lindeman folk music based in classic elements of songcraft – melody, tension, meaning. On the acclaimed All Of It Was Mine, and follow-up What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know, (both for You've Changed Records) Lindeman established herself as a songwriter's songwriter, earning accolades for her delicate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, complex metaphors, 

and rich details of the everyday.

Alysha Brilla


Alysha Brilla is a 2018 Juno Award nominated artist, music producer and songwriter. Her music, blogs and spirituality are inspired by growing up with parents from two different cultural and religious backgrounds; an Indo-Tanzanian father and Euro-Canadian mother. Her fourth, self-produced album "Rooted" culminates the spiritual & philosophical musings with upbeat folk, jazz, and world sounds. 

Brilla has performed internationally including across Canada, Australia, Singapore, Tanzania, Chile and more. In addition to live performances of music, Brilla conducts arts education workshops in schools; promoting diversity in music and mentoring in self-expression through the arts. 

We're very excited to have Alysha join the 5th Annual Roots North Music Festival

Rose Cousins


A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose Cousins lives in Halifax Nova Scotia. She deeply values being part of multiple music communities, and is constantly fueled by collaboration. Cousins’ 2012 album We Have Made A Spark celebrated her Boston community and featured a cast of musicians Cousins had known and played music with for a decade. It won a Juno Award, 3 East Coast Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, and made picks/best of lists in USA Today, 

NPR Music and Oprah Magazine.  

Her music has found its way into several TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy. Cousins' 2017 release, Natural Conclusion, made with Grammy award winning producer Joe Henry, is what she calls "the most honest and vulnerable thing" she has made to date. The album received a 2018 Grammy nomination and Rose was nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Juno Awards and Artist of the Year at the International Folk Awards.

"The simplicity of these songs is deceiving; as sparse as they feel, her voice draws you in until you realize you are at the heart of the storm." – The Guardian



Blues and Roots Radio Album and Song of the year (2018) nominee VK, featuring singer-songwriting dual Steve and Marni Van Kessel are a welcome addition to this years' Roots North Music Festival - Main Stage. A Canadian duo with a unique style and sound, VK hails from Orillia, Ontario - our festival hometown.

“The vocals are smooth and mellow, with well-crafted lyrics and musical accompaniment that take the entire Americana sound to a new and different level.” -Bob Leggett, LA Music Critic 

The songs come from a personal past — Marni immersed in vocal training and choirs, Steve as a young songwriter and guitarist, honing his skills and confidence to share his creativity. A notable mixture of old-school rock and roll and “Americana” with heart, passionate vocals, super-clean production, and superb musicianship. Think Blue Rodeo rather than Wilco; think the Hip rather than the Drive by Truckers. 

A performance not to be missed.

Ariana Gillis


 In 2011 Ariana launched her CD with a live appearance on the US satellite station SiriusXM. The show was hosted by Dave Marsh, author of more than 25 books on rock and roll and known as the "dean of American rock writers", who admits to being her biggest fan. Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist, publicly admitted on his radio show, "I'm staggered by how good she is...There is not much that impresses me these days but after hearing her available tracks, I can honestly say she's the single most exciting thing 

I've heard in a very long time."

Her distinctive voice and poignant songs garnered Gillis Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards, followed by Female Vocalist and Album of the Year in 2010. She networked at music conferences, which led to that two-song performance for Dave Marsh, airplay on his radio show, 

and the ear of Bernie Taupin. 

Her voice is like an instrument in itself, stripped bare, full of passion and honesty like Ani DiFranco, Terra Lightfoot, and Patty Griffin with hints of Tom Waits, Nick Drake, and Bob Dylan. 

Friday April 26th, 2019 - Main Stage Schedule

6pm - Doors Open & Art Market Begins

  Admission to the Art Market is FREE for anyone to attend  

7pm - Ariana Gillis

8pm - Rose Cousins

9.15pm - Ron Sexsmith

All Main Stage Performances Are Included With Your Weekend Pass

Saturday April 27th, 2019 - Main Stage Schedule

6pm - Doors Open & Art Market Begins

 Admission to the Art Market is FREE for anyone to attend 

7pm - VK

8pm - Alysha Brilla

9.15pm - The Weather Station

All Main Stage Performances Are Included With Your Weekend Pass

Late Night At The BrownStone, Brewery Bay & Hog N' Penny

Skye Wallace - The Brownstone - Friday April 26th - 10pm


Skye Wallace is what happens when a trained singer with east coast roots discovers punk rock in their youth and writes music that makes you feel excited. We're thrilled to have her join us as part of our late night programming. Skye's performance will take place Friday April 26th at The Brownstone Cafe. Cover is $10 at the door or FREE with your Weekend Pass    *Pending venue capacity*

Jamie Drake - Hog N' Penny - Friday April 26th - 10pm


 Jamie Drake has been playing music since the age of 11, when he started messing around with his dad’s guitars. His dad then taught him some chords and, with the help of the family’s record collection, started to develop a passion for music. In addition to forming his own band and playing solo acoustic shows, Jamie became a sought-after open mic & jam night host, back-up and session musician; gathering stories, friends and experiences along the way. He's entertained all around the region from small bars & restaurants to the main stage at Boots & Hearts. Free cover.   

Lost Cousins - The Brownstone - Saturday April 27th - 10pm


Family isn’t always bound by blood. In the case of Lost Cousins it is bound through the kindred connection found in their unique blend of psychedelic soul rock. Coming together as students in Kingston, ON, Dylan Cantlon Hay, Cam Duffin, Lloyd McArton and Thomas Dashney had humble beginnings at house concerts and basement performances, where they became known for their intensely energetic live shows and memorable songwriting.

Check out Lost Cousins at The Brownstone. The show is FREE for Weekend Pass holders (pending venue capacity) or $10 at the door for others.

Zachary Lucky - Brewery Bay - Saturday April 27th - 10pm


Zachary Lucky is unapologetically old-school country, armed with a husky, baritone voice - he carries himself like a younger Richard Buckner or a heartier Doug Paisley and often receives comparisons to songwriters such as Gordon Lightfoot and Kris Kristofferson. He sings of Canadian places and people as knowingly as he might townes Van Zandt or the Rio Grande. It's a relatable show on many levels, and conjures universal feelings that have passed through our collective timelines. Already hailed as a master storyteller by outlets ranging from No Depression to The Globe And Mail, and recently nominated Best Solo Artist Of The Year at the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards. We're proud to have him perform at Brewery Bay on Saturday April 27th as part of the 5th Annual Roots North Music Festival. FREE Show!

Shows In Downtown Orillia & Beyond

Thursday April 25th - 7.30pm

Roots North Trivia Night + Craig Mainprize

Hog N' Penny

+ Event Details

Thursday April 25th - 7.30pm

Roots North Trivia Night + Craig Mainprize

Roots North Festival kick off party! Think you know the history of the festival and all of the artists we've hosted? This is your chance to prove it and enjoy some great music. $5 cover at the door.

Hog N' Penny

Friday April 26th - 6pm

Main Stage - Weekend Pass Required

St. Pauls Centre

+ Event Details

Friday April 26th - 6pm

Main Stage - Weekend Pass Required

6pm Doors Open & Art Market Begins - FREE Admission for all at the Art Market

7pm Ariana Gillis

8pm Rose Cousins

9.15pm Ron Sexsmith

St. Pauls Centre

Friday April 26th - 10pm

Late Night At The Brownstone with Skye Wallace

The Brownstone

+ Event Details

Friday April 26th - 10pm

Late Night At The Brownstone with Skye Wallace

$10 cover at the door or FREE with your Weekend Pass *Pending Venue Capacity*

The Brownstone

Friday April 26th - 10pm

Late Night At The Hog N' Penny with Jamie Drake

Hog N' Penny

+ Event Details

Friday April 26th - 10pm

Late Night At The Hog N' Penny with Jamie Drake

Free cover at Orillia's finest British Pub

Hog N' Penny

Saturday April 27th - 8am

Jeremiah Hill

Nourish Yoga

+ Event Details

Saturday April 27th - 8am

Jeremiah Hill

Morning Yoga with live acoustic music.  $15 drop-in fee or FREE for members, plus pass the hat to pay for the musical artist

Nourish Yoga

More Events

About The Roots North Music Festival

A Festival to Remember


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. 

Our Venues


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 South. 

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. 


More Music Throughout The Downtown


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.

2019 Performance Venues Include:

Brewery Bay, Alleycats Music & Art, The Brownstone Cafe, Bakes By The Lake, Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co., Hog N' Penny, Apple Annie's Cafe, Nourish Yoga Studio, Orillia Farmers' Market, The Eclectic Cafe, Mark IV Brothers and Tre Sorelle

2018 Highlight Video

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Contact Us

Do you have questions? Do you have an entertainment request for next year? 

Reach out, and let's make magic happen. 

Roots North Music Festival

62 Peter Street North, Orillia, Ontario


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