Guitars in the works


Top: Pat Guinn
Middle left: Georgeanne Matthews
Middle right: Gayle Schofield
Bottom left: Laura Parna
Bottom right: Marg Gurr

Steve Caston


“Reflections” guitar a chance for community to get involved


Date: April 29, 2010

For immediate release
photo by Mark Tabor

Guitars on Parade! gives local residents an opportunity to participate

Orillia, ON — Have you heard about this summer’s Guitars on Parade!? If you haven’t, you certainly will after June 26. That’s the date Streets Alive! kicks off its annual outdoor arts project. This year, it’s a see-it-to-believe-it spectacle of 50 giant guitars hand-painted with beautiful designs by local artists.

Guitars on Parade! will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mariposa Folk Festival with a showcase of 50 seven-foot-tall guitar sculptures on the downtown streets of Orillia. The summer-long exhibit, under the leadership of local retailer Leslie Fournier, is modeled after other successful outdoor art projects like Toronto’s Moose in the City. In fact, Orillia’s super-sized guitars have been manufactured by the same firm in Toronto that made the moose sculptures back in 2000.

“As far as we know, no one in Canada has produced guitars like this before — so we expect lots of buzz and excitement. And we’re thrilled to be able to help celebrate the amazing 50 years of Mariposa,” says Fournier.

The community has been eager to participate in this unique art and music event. Local businesses and organizations have been so quick to support Guitars on Parade! that there is only one guitar left to sponsor. The Streets Alive! committee has come up with what they think is the perfect sponsor for this 50th guitar: the collective citizens of Orillia. “We want local people to have an opportunity to participate and feel ownership of the project,” explains Fournier.  “So we have designated this guitar as the ‘Citizens of Orillia’ guitar.”

The design is called Reflections and is by local resident and designer Brenda Black. “The concept behind it is very unique,” adds Fournier. The design will feature mosaic pieces of mirror. As Black puts it, “Is there a better way to represent arts and culture in Orillia than by reflecting the people who are part of it?”

Donations toward sponsorship of the Reflections guitar can be made at Apple Annie’s Café on Mississaga Street in downtown Orillia. This is your chance to be a part of a magical one-of-a-kind event, the likes of which Orillia has never seen before!


Leslie Fournier
Chair, Streets Alive!


Joanne Haskins
Think Communications