What is Streets Alive!?
Streets Alive! is an annual summer outdoor art event in downtown Orillia showcasing local art and culture. It attracts locals, cottagers and tourists to Orillia’s downtown streets, stimulating the local economy and instilling a sense of civic pride.
Streets Alive! started in 2009 as an offshoot of the successful Orillia Festival of Banners and an engaging way to kick off the festival. This first Streets Alive! event featured jury-selected artists bringing large-scale vinyl banners to life with their unique designs live on the street. The block was buzzing as Streets Alive! entertained the crowds with music, performance art and hands-on activity.
The appeal of the event was particularly evident on the second day, as over 400 people lined up in the rain to vote for their favourite banners. The top four artists earned substantial People’s Choice cash prizes, and their banners joined the Festival of Banners collection for prominent display in Orillia.
Streets Alive! in 2011
Sixty Sails saw artists and sponsors getting on board for an outdoor art event that made a huge splash all summer long. Artists put their distinctive touches on 60 lexan sail panels atop handcrafted wrought-iron hulls, a combination that made for a vibrant and distinctive arts showcase in downtown Orillia.
The sailboat project symbolized Orillia’s strength as a tourist destination with its connection to the water and to the boating community and was greeted with great enthusiasm by the community.
Streets Alive! in 2010
The 2010 Streets Alive! project put the spotlight on the achievement of the Mariposa Folk Festival as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Guitars on Parade focused on guitars and their obvious contribution to the Mariposa magic with a summer-long ‘parade’ of 50 super-sized guitar sculptures hand-painted with designs of local artists. Modeled on similar outdoor art showcases like Toronto’s Moose in the City and Vancouver’s Orcas in the City, the Guitars on Parade exhibit was unveiled on Mississaga Street on June 26 and remained downtown — except for an excursion to the Mariposa Folk Festival July 9–11 — until the Thanksgiving weekend.
Gala Auction The Guitars on Parade project wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors, some of whom donated their guitars back to Streets Alive! to be auctioned off. Eighteen guitar sculptures were on the auction block on October 28 at the Orillia Opera House.