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The Porchside Festival

July 1, 2022 - July 28, 2022

Festival performances are all outdoors, on or around porches in Collingwood. Please dress for the weather and bring your lawn chair. There are no public washrooms on site. Performances are approximately one hour long. Please take any garbage home with you. Thank you.

Shipyard Kitchen Party
Featuring John Eaton (Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Vocals), Sacha Law (Bass, Vocals) and Jason Murphy (Bodhran, Vocals).

Friday, July 1st 7pm

Saturday, July 2nd 2pm & 7pm

Location: Collingwood Amphitheatre


With Americana heart and East Coast soul, Shipyard Kitchen Party blends strong storytelling, traditional instrumentation, catchy pop hooks and sly humour for a fresh take on the folk music genre. They’re Gordon Lightfoot having a dram too many with Great Big Sea and Stan Rogers crossed with “Who’s Line it Anyway.” They’ll make you stomp your feet, laugh and maybe even shed a tear. And above all, they WILL have fun with you.

In their “Song about You” segments, Shipyard Kitchen Party engages directly with the audience to create improvised songs on the spot; a high-wire act of musicianship and comedy that attendees frequently describe as a highlight of the show.

Although they are united as long time Collingwood residents, Sacha Law was born in Dundee, Scotland, Jason Murphy from St. John’s, Newfoundland and John Eaton from Scarborough, Ontario. Each of them bringing a variety of musical influences and backgrounds to the “party”!

Shipyard Kitchen Party was a showcase performer at the 2019 Ontario Contact Festival and winners of the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Robert G. Kemp Award. Their first studio album, “Tom Thomson’s Wake”, will be released this summer.

This fall, Shipyard Kitchen Party is remounting tours of both of their popular theatrical productions. The band’s signature creations are their original folk musicals, a mix of concept album and live theatre, where a slice of Canadiana is re-interpreted through linked original songs, dramatic readings, photography and art. “Tom Thomson’s Wake” and “100 Years from” come to Collingwood September 16th and November 11th respectively.


Handsome, But Charmless!
Starring Kyle Golemba & accompanist Adam White

Sunday, July 3rd 7pm

Monday, July 4th 2pm & 7pm

Location: 297 Beech Street, Collingwood


In 2006, Kyle Golemba met Adam White and asked him to team up on a one-off cabaret. Adam said he’d agree if Kyle could secure a date and venue. Within a week, the theatre was booked, and the pair got to work. Sixteen years, nine cabarets, three provinces, one album and a forever friendship later, they’re still at it with a brand-new show: Handsome, But Charmless. Titled after Kyle’s worst review, Handsome, But Charmless is full of great Broadway music, hilarious stories, and reflections on a life in Canadian theatre. Kyle and Adam have been called “an excellent team” (BroadwayWorld) with “spunk and style” (Toronto Star), who are “witty” and “charismatic” (The Carillon). Together, they make Handsome, But Charmless a performance to remember!


Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Kyle has performed on stages from Nanaimo, BC to Summerside, PEI, including seasons at the Stratford, Shaw, and Charlottetown festivals. In addition to his theatrical work, he has also appeared in A Christmas Dance Reunion (Lifetime), SurrealEstate (SyFy), Hairspray (New Line Cinema), and Ross Petty’s A Christmas Carol (CBC). Kyle also created a revue of Canadian musical theatre, Making Love in a Canoe, with music director, Adam White. The official album, featuring four never-before-recorded Canadian songs, can be found on Apple Music. Kyle holds an Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance degree from Sheridan College and a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from the University of Guelph.


Adam White is a teacher, music director, and performer. He is currently a professor and co-coordinator of the Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College. Adam has music directed and acted at theatres across Canada, with favourites including Billy Bishop Goes to War (Neptune Theatre), Glorious! (Stage West Calgary and Globus Theatre), and his own cabaret, Something’s Coming. With Kyle Golemba, Adam created Making Love in a Canoe, an all-Canadian musical revue and its accompanying recording. Adam has been Associate Artistic Director at Musical Stage Company, and was program director of their annual youth training program, One Song Glory, and music director for the Banks Prize for emerging musical theatre performers for five years.

Opening to the Mystery
Starring Jake McArthur with musical accents by Violet Roseman on Tibetan Singing Planet Bowls

July 5th at 7pm

July 6th at 2pm & 7pm

Location: 84 Ontario Street, Collingwood


Join us for an evening of storytelling with Collingwood resident, Jake McArthur, based on intimate spiritual experiences with his late daughter Erica. These stories are taken from his published book. The storytelling will be followed by a reading of selected poems and a Q & A session. Signed copies of Jake’s book will be available for purchase for $20 cash at the show.

“Thank you for inviting us into the deep intimacy of your experiences and for being so courageous in your vulnerability. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.” — SF

“You are a captivating storyteller jake!” — MJM

“You have a wonderful stage presence … a gift of truly connecting with your audience” — PB


Jake is a resident of Collingwood and these days focuses his energy on creating content and experience as an author, playwright, poet, actor and celebrant/officiant for weddings and end of life celebrations. He formerly was a business leader, executive coach and facilitator. He has written plays performed by Gaslight Theatre; he has acted with Gaslight as well as Quarter century Theatre and last year performed in our Porchside Festival in Love Letters and in our production of A Christmas Carol. His personal life purpose is to create, perform and support. The experience of Opening to the Mystery provides a strong vehicle for each. His impactful storytelling style brings the stories to life in a personal and poignant way.


Violet will provide sonic accompaniment and augmented dimension to Jake’s storytelling. She will compose, in the moment, a one-of-a-kind symphony of sound that will transport your senses using an array of different musical instruments from the hand pan, crystal bowls, chimes, tuning forks and Tibetan singing bowls. Violet is a Licensed Soul Therapist®, Certified Generational Healer® + Spirit Guide and Tibetan Planet Bowl Practitioner infusing an array of sacred instruments. She is known for her passion to serve others in their healing journey with harmonic sounds to inspire others to connect to their authenticity.

Songs of the Silver Screen
Starring Dean Hollin
July 7th at 7pm

July 8th at 2pm & 7pm

Location: 458 Ste. Marie St., Collingwood

Dean is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. It was while living in that city when, in his mid-twenties, he found himself in a show called “Anything Goes” and promptly fell head-over-heels in love with the music of Cole Porter and the music of the Great American Songbook, of which he’s layered on a lot of knowledge about over the years – as well as a rather hefty collection. Recently, Moses Znaimer and Zoomer Radio hired him for a bunch of on-air duties including taking over the reigns as host of “Big Band Sunday Night” – four hours of programming which includes an hour of his own creation “Radio Limelite – All Things Great American Songbook”.

A professional entertainer for nearly three decades now, Dean came to Collingwood in 2003 to assume the role of Artistic & Managing Director of The Gayety Theatre, which at that time began presenting live entertainment. His professional credits include television, film and radio, as well as scores of roles in theatres throughout Ontario, North American and beyond. For years now in the South Georgian Bay area, Dean has operated musical theatre camps and classes for youth. He has done so much of this aided and abetted by the greatest love of his life – wife, Gayle, with whom he has four fascinating and beautiful children.


Gabs Sings Babs
Starring Gabi Epstein with accompanist Mark Camilleri

July 9th at 7pm

July 10th at 2pm & 7pm

Location: 57 St. Lawrence St., Collingwood


In this intimate show multi-award winning stage and cabaret performer Gabi Epstein (“Gabs”) shares her own journey of self-discovery using reimagined rearranged versions of Barbra Streisand’s greatest hits. Best known for playing Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at the Stratford Festival and Fanny Brice in Funny Girl both in Toronto and Montreal, Gabi honours her favourite performer in this part life story, part musical tribute by addressing themes of person vs. persona and influence vs. imitation as she explores the impact of “Babs”‘s life on her own career and how much of herself she must preserve in order to remain authentically “Gabs”. Audiences will enjoy new exciting versions of Don’t Rain on My Parade, People, Papa Can You Hear Me, Happy Days are Here Again, The Way We Were, AND MORE! A touching, reflective, and (of course) FUNNY show “Gabs Sings Babs” reminds us to remain true to ourselves by celebrating what makes us unique.


Hailed “Canada’s Queen of Cabaret” by CTV, Gabi is a DORA winner and one of Canada’s leading stage/cabaret performers best known for playing Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Stratford Festival and Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” at the Segal Centre and for the Harold Green Jewish Theatre. She is thrilled to be bringing “Gabs Sings Babs” a personal love letter to Barbra Streisand, the theatre community, and herself to the wonderful audiences of Collingwood.
Selected other credits include “Once” (Mirvish– DORA AWARD Ensemble/Production), “Billy Elliot”(Stratford), “Home for the Holidays” (Grand Theatre), “Prom Queen” (Segal Centre), “FAM JAM” (Porchside Songs, Musical Stage co.), “Fiddler on the Roof” (Stage West/Capitol Theatre), “Sweeney Todd”, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, “Candide”, “Dani Girl” (TIFT), “The Sound of Music”, “Blood Brothers” “Perfect Wedding” (Drayton), “We Will Rock You” (Magnus Theatre), “To Life” (HGJT– DORA AWARD Nomination Outstanding Performance), “Toy Story the Musical” as an original company member (Disney), and way too many concerts to mention.

She will be performing the role of Roz in “9 to 5: The Musical” at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope this summer. Gabi’s two albums “Gabs Sings Babs” and “Show Off” are on Spotify & iTunes (and for sale after the show) and her famous “Gabarets” have been performed all over North America (“Best Cabaret of the Year” by the Times Square Chronicles in NYC). “Gabs Sings Babs” (the stage show) debuted at the Toronto Jazz Festival in 2015 and has subsequently been performed at the Segal Centre, Globus Theatre, and just opened the Port Stanley Festival Theatre’s season this past spring. Gabi and her husband Jeremy Lapalme are the co-founders of “The New Local: Dine In, Sing Out” which partners with local restaurants to provide live virtual dinner & show events. Thank you for supporting the arts!

Instagram: @gabifayepstein

Mailing list: gabiepstein.com/gabiepstein

From Dusty to Dua
Starring Leah Allyce Canali with accompanists Chris Tsujiuchi and Mike Meusel

July 12th at 7pm

July 13th at 2pm & 7pm

Location: 288 Beech St., Collingwood

From Dusty to Dua is a retrospective of all of the best British Soul voices ~ Adele, Amy Winehouse, Dusty Springfield, Shirley Bassey, and even the Spice Girls! Leah Anne Canalli uses the music of these femail superstars to tell her story of working as a touring vocalist and songwriter.


Combining classical training with a signature smokey soulful tone, and a healthy dose of coveted whistle tones, Leah is a multi-genre master. Her voice has been compared to Adele, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Mariah Carey and Jill Scott but her vocal style is a sound all its own. In addition to her stage life, she is a session vocalist, songwriter and commercial jingle composer. Whether it be a headlining spot on one of the largest stages in the world or an intimate piano bar, Leah has an innate ability to connect vocally and emotionally to any crowd. Her repertoire combines the best of old and new, contemporary and classic with arrangements that will make you fall in love with your favorite music all over again.
Canali has been a touring vocalist since the age of 19. She is perhaps best known for her YouTube channel which in 2016 caught the eye of International drag Superstar, RuPaul, who is an avid follower and sharer of all of Leah’s music. Her cover videos have trended alongside such artists as Madonna, Katy Perry and Adore Delano. Speaking of Drag Race, Leah has become one of the go to vocalists and songwriters for the franchise and she has written, recorded and performed with: Katya, Trixie Mattel, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Priyanka, Cheryl Hole, Tynomi Banks and BOA. Her song Queen of the North, which she co-wrote for Brooke Lynn Hytes, was used as the finale song of Canada’s Drag Race Season 2 which marked the first time, in the history of the franchise, that a non-RuPaul song was awarded this honor. In 2021, Leah co-wrote, produced and sang on The Taste EP which debuted at #5 on the Itunes Pop Charts and featured the song Come Through which went viral on Tik Tok. Performance credits include: The Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Pride Toronto, World Pride, Celebrity Cruise Lines, World Fashion Week, Mirvish Productions (Broadway North), The Official Inaugural Party of Barack Obama.

Leah has also been featured on: VH1, Entertainment Weekly, ET Canada, The World Ballroom Championships, Logo TV’s NewNowNext and the Canadian Country Music Awards. Her debut EP, Light and Dark, was one of only 5 albums featured on Rupaul’s personal Instagram account in 2021.


Person of Interest
Written and performed by Melody A. Johnson
Additional dialogue by Eric Woolfe
Original Direction by Rick Roberts
Produced by Lunkamud

July 14th at 7pm

July 15th at 2pm and 7pm

Location: 66 Georgian Manor Dr., Collingwood


“Person of Interest, is a topical tale, about a good, law-abiding citizen like me who hoped to volunteer and so applied for a police background check. It was at that point when I discovered I was a Person of Interest…courtesy of some bad neighbours next door. It was their final act of retaliation.”
Melody Johnson

Debuting in 2018, Person of Interest has been delighting audiences across the country. Those who enjoy the wave of stand-alone storytelling like CBC’s Vinyl Café, and National Public Radio’s The Moth podcasts, will crave this yarn spinning, edgy, comic tale. Theatre Collingwood audiences may remember Melody from when we presented her one woman play Miss Caledonia. She is brilliant and so entertaining and we are delighted to now have her as part of the Porchside Festival.


I’m from Brantford, Ontario which is mostly known for Wayne Gretzky and Alexander Graham Bell. Not bad company. After I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre at York U, I began travelling and performing all over. I’ve created some wonderful characters in Canadian theatre while working alongside some of the best directors and playwrights around. While working on traditional plays I also monkeyed around in the improv and comedy worlds. Improv great Colin Mochrie hired me for The Toronto Second City Touring Company and that’s how I got to writing, mostly on my feet. After my time as a mainstage actor I began directing Second City’s touring company and mainstage revues, and ‘comedyturged’ south of the border on Second City Chicago’s #DateMe show. As an actor, comedian and storyteller, I honed material for my latest show, Person of Interest at comedy clubs in Toronto and Halifax, and I’m pretty honoured that actors coast to coast are now performing my play Miss Caledonia.

From Forensics to Theatre:
being First-Gen in the arts
An open dialogue about Canadian theatre (with some singing and Tap dance, too!)
Performed by Andrew Prashad

July 16th at 7pm

July 17th at 2pm and 7pm

Location: 30 York Street., Collingwood


In this unique show, Award-winning performer Andrew Prashad shares his experiences growing up in Canada, the calamity of trying to balance his culture and heritage with white suburbia, and how it all somehow lead him to study Forensic Science… before switching into THEATRE!
Bring all you senses to this one because Andrew will tell stories, sing, Tap dance, and even answer your questions!


Andrew is a solidly trained and versatile dancer as well as a musician, singer and actor. He is one of the
leading Tap dance artists in Canada, teaching and choreographing around the world. He is an award-winning actor, composer and writer, having recently had his self-produced short film officially selected
in 12 festivals around the world and winning 4 awards including BEST SHORT FILM. Recent TV/Film credits include Disney’s film SPIN, the television series THE HOT ZONE: ANTHRAX, a principal recurring on the new series LARRY and a fun jaunt in BLUES CLUES AND YOU with his son.

On stage he’s been a featured singer and dancer on the 20th Anniversary World Tour of RIVERDANCE, originated a role in Mira Nair’s MONSOON WEDDING musical at Berkeley Rep Theatre, played Cogsworth in Young People’s Theatre’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Billy in ONCE at Theatre St John’s in Newfoundland, Boutons in Neptune Theatre’s CINDERELLA where he won a MERRITT AWARD for OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR, and originated the role of Jonas in JUKEBOX HERO at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.

After doing HOLIDAY INN at the Shaw Festival he made his Stratford Festival debut with his One-Person show ONE STEP AT A TIME. It is a critically acclaimed, multi-medium show (Tap dance, acting, singing, and video) chronicling his family’s journey with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and has been presented by schools and theatres, raising $11,500 (to date) for SickKids Hospital and Erin Oak Kids. He recently finished playing The Beadle Bamford in Talk Is Free Theatre’s production of SWEENEY TODD. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Toronto at Mississauga with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance as well as French Literature.

The Aaron Solomon Show
Starring Aaron Solomon

July 19th at 7pm

July 20th at 2pm and 7pm

Location: 243 Birch St., Collingwood


Aaron Solomon is a world class musician and performer based in the Toronto area. Cape Breton born, his passion for music and fiery fiddling style took root at the age of two when he asked for his first fiddle. He has been wowing audiences ever since as an energetic singer, actor, and multi-instrumentalist mastering an astonishing variety of instruments and styles including jazz, swing, Celtic, rock, blues, R’n’B, Quebecois, Cape Breton, bluegrass, folk, ethnic, old-tyme, country, and classical – ever increasing the versatility and dynamics of his performance.


Aaron Solomon’s musical career has spanned three decades starting as a fiddler who embraced and mastered the world of music becoming an accomplished singer and multi-instrumentalist performing on violin, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, 5-string banjo, drums and percussion. He also is an experienced record producer and a trained actor. He performs as a band leader, solo artist, sideman and is a sought-after session musician having worked on over 500 recording projects with producers such as Phil Ramone (Simon and Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand) and Mutt Lang (Shania Twain, AC/DC, Def Leppard). That experience has informed his own career as a record producer.

Some of the many artists he has performed with include Shania Twain, Big Sugar, George Hamilton IV, Jason McCoy, The Star-Scape Singers, FM, Jeff Healey, Mac Wiseman and many others.

Every Brilliant Thing
Play written by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe
From Talk Is Free Theatre
Starring Michael Torontow

July 21st at 7pm

July 22nd at 2pm and 7pm

Location: 275 Third St., Collingwood


Hugs, the smell of old books, a hairdresser who listens to what you want. The colour yellow, roller coasters, ice cream — as a mother battles chronic depression, a child creates a list of every brilliant thing they can think of, to remind them what makes life worth living. As the child grows, so does the list. Looking back on a life of ups and downs, the man takes the audience on an inspiring journey that celebrates finding joy in the mundane and being grateful for the simple pleasures hiding all around us. At once intimate and interactive, this touching, funny, and uplifting performance chronicles life’s small joys and reveals the lengths to which we will go for those we love. A beautiful piece of work performed by an incredible talent!


‍While pursuing a double-degree program in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Ottawa, Michael began performing with local community theatre groups and realized he was headed down the wrong career path. He smartened up, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Arts Administration, and immediately moved to Toronto. After beginning his professional acting career on the US National Tour of Mamma Mia!, Michael returned to Canada to play Link Larkin in the original Canadian company of Hairspray and has been gracing stages from coast to coast ever since. He has now taken on the role of Artistic Director for Talk Is Free Theatre.

Written and performed by Scott Hurst

July 23rd at 7pm

July 24th at 2pm and 7pm

Location: 9 Callary Cres., Collingwood


In his 60 minute musical cabaret “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat” performer Scott Hurst takes us through 40 years of “his life as a Canadian character actor”! Singing songs and sharing personal anecdotes from productions of Guys & Dolls, The Music Man, Oliver!, 42nd Street, Man of La Mancha and his solo show, Laughton Common, he weaves a wistful tale of love, laughter, and losing weight!

Accompanied by his friend and colleague Greg Gibson this is going to be a musical performance to remember.

Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat is suitable for all ages, and will especially be enjoyed by lovers of The Golden Age of Musicals.

DRUMS: A People’s Journey
Written and performed by Rudi Quammie Williams

July 25th at 7pm

July 26th at 2pm and 7pm

Location: TBA (to be announced)


My African Ancestors realized the ability of rhythm to unify the elements of mind, body and spirit and to be a cohesive and healing force in community. Rhythm connects us to our ancestors and to our spirituality. The invention of the drum increased our ability to communicate rhythm more effectively and its journey is our journey. A People’s Journey is a musical and especially rhythmic storytelling that traces the path of my people from our West African origin to the Caribbean and South America through to North America and our present day existence in Clearview Township. Come and dance with us through this celebration of our journey, our rhythm, and our lives.


Rudi Quammie Williams is a mentor to youth, community businesses, organizations and individuals. He is a business consultant and facilitator with a passion for non-profits, entrepreneurship and small business. In addition to his dedication to creating strong qualified leadership, Quammie is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in the use of arts and culture in African centred learning opportunities. In addition to his study of African and Caribbean drumming traditions, Quammie is a graduate of York University’s Fine Arts and MBA Programs and has contributed his skills and knowledge of the percussive arts to the music of Joe Sealy, Judy Mowatt, The Parachute Club, Martha and the Muffins, Dr. John and many others. He is a co-founder of Usafiri, Sankofa, and Baro Dununba, three ensembles dedicated to educating and entertaining through the presentation of African and African Diasporic Music and Dance.

BROADWAY JUKEBOX: Pop Music Meets Broadway
Written and performed by Deb Fitzsimmons and Greg Gibson

July 27th at 7pm

July 28th at 2pm and 7pm

Location: 240 Maple St., Collingwood


Broadway Jukebox: Popular Music Meets Broadway
When two people with very different musical tastes are friends for over twenty-five years, an appreciation of those tastes is bound to develop over time. When Deb Fitzsimmons and Greg Gibson met in high school, they couldn’t have been more different – her a fan of such iconic artists as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Elton John; and him a fan of Broadway musicals and pop music of the time. This show blends those musical tastes by showcasing artists of popular music who have been represented on Broadway – whether it’s as composers, as performers, or by having their musical catalogues combined into “jukebox musicals”. From artists including ABBA, Alanis Morissette, Elton John, Billy Joel and The Temptations… And from shows including Jersey Boys, Once, Mamma Mia, Rock of Ages and Jagged Little Pill… This show combines those different musical tastes into a program of songs showcasing the evolution of a very special musical friendship.


Deb Fitzsimmons is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who hails from Collingwood. Music is truly at the centre of everything she does. This life-long love of music led her to York University, where she earned an Honours B.A., specializing in ethnomusicology, music history, and vocal performance. A natural performer, she has been entertaining people in the Collingwood area with jazz, blues, gospel, classic rock, Celtic, and folk music for many years. In her spare time, she is a (very) amateur songwriter and recording engineer for her own solo CD projects.


Greg Gibson has worked as a music director, conductor, pianist, composer, arranger and vocal coach throughout Canada and the United States with companies such as The Shaw Festival, Talk Is Free Theatre, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Theatre Collingwood, The Gravenhurst Opera House and The Weston Playhouse. He visited all seven continents and over sixty-five countries cruising the world as a Band Leader for Holland America Line from 2010-2019. Most recently, Greg was Music Director for the Broadway musical Jersey Boys onboard the Norwegian Bliss. Upcoming: Music Director for Kinky Boots onboard the Norwegian Encore.