Street Art in Orillia Ontario
Streets Alive Letters
Streets Alive is an outdoor art exhibit held in Orillia, Ontario, that has been running since 2009. Every year I look forward to walking through the downtown core to view the magnificent sculptures that are created by local artists. Each year there is a different theme. This years theme is letters. of the alphabet. The letters are six feet tall, and there's a total of thirty-two that are decorated and hand painted.
Each letter has a plaque with a number on it. This is so people can vote on their favorite sculpture. The top four artists will receive a cash prize for their work.
All photos in this article are the property of the author Susan Zutautas. Please do not copy or borrow them without first getting written permission.
Where is Orillia? - There's lots of things to see and do in Orillia.
"G" featuring The Stephen Leacock boathouse, The Catholic Church, and Orillia City Hall
An Interactive A
There are four letters in front of Orilla's new library that will stay there permanently. When standing across the street you can see them quite clearly. Since the letters are so big and I was taking them with my iPhone, I wasn't able to capture all of them. The word they spell out is R.E.A.D.
The "A" is quite a unique letter as it is an interactive letter. This letter is covered in musical instruments made from metal, plastic, and wood, that you can play on.
Pictured here is a young boy playing on the letter along with my mother in law.
Beautifully painted blue jays.
Orillia Opera House
There's a beautiful Opera House in Orillia, which was built in 1895. Currently it is a theatre/opera house, but at one time it was used as a jail/police headquarters.
Great musicians have played here in the Gordon Lightfoot Auditorium.
Out of all of the letters that I saw this year the "O" in front of the Opera House is my most favorite. The artist for this letter is Kathryn Kaiser-Hiron. It gives me a sense of community, of hands reaching out to help each other.
Vote for Your Favorite Letter
Which letter is your favorite?
The Peoples Choice Winners
for 2013 Streets Alive
The Interactive "A" created by Laura Parna, took first place. Laura won $10,000.00.
Second place was the "C" mosaic, created by Meg Leslie who won $5,000.00.
Two third place winners; the letter "O" 3D hands, created by Kathryn Kaiser-Hiron, and the letter "H" tower, created by Bernie Logan. These two artists each won $1,000.00.
A Few Interesting Things About Orillia
Did you know that Orillia is Gordon Lightfoot's home town?
Orillia was the first municipality in North America to build its own hydro-electric power plant.
Stephen Leacock, Canadian author and humorist spent many summers at his summer home on Brewery Bay in Orillia.
Art Grows Here 2014 Streets Alive in Orillia, Ontario - The theme in 2014 is PlantersClick thumbnail to view full-size
In 2012 Streets Alive was called "Everything Leacock". There were 50 bigger than life sized chairs made from sheet metal and faux wood. Many of these chairs are still on display right here in Orillia.
Pictured here is Stephen Leacock reading from one of his own books.
In 2011 the theme for Streets Alive was 60 Sails
Guitars on Parade was the theme in 2010.
My mother in law and I look forward each summer to seeing what the theme of Streets Alive will be. It's a fun event and healthy at the same time, as there's a lot of walking involved.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it.