Dreams Come to Life

Somniatis and Other Local Opportunities for Young Artists

By: Zoe Dhillon, Orillia Bureau Chief

Photo by Through My Eyes – Photography by Deb Halbot. Designer: Lise Rowlandson. Model: Patti Sanderson.

The City of Orillia is abundant with creative opportunities for young artists. One local fashion show, Somniatis, is particularly interested in recruiting innovative and artistic students for future fashion shows. Somniatis, which originally debuted in 2015, is a wildly successful and collaborative “wearable art” fashion exhibition that features the works of aspiring local artists, models, hair stylists, jewelry makers, makeup artists, photographers, and other artists.

The Facebook page, “Somniatis III: A Wearable Art Show” describes their approach to wearable art as “inclusive” and “multi-disciplinary.” As an inclusive group, many local elementary school, high school, college, and university students have volunteered in Somniatis in the past, including many talented Lakehead Orillia students. Volunteers do not need prior exhibition experience to get involved — everyone is welcome.

All of the proceeds from Somniatis are donated to local organizations, including the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and the Orillia Museum of Art and History, and the show is organized and run on a purely volunteer basis. The current director of Somniatis, Tammy Hill, acknowledges that a project this vast is only able to thrive because of community spirit. Hill says, “This group offers so much to a small community. We are all volunteers, and when we all work together, our artistry and passion transfer into something so magical. Dreams come to life.”

In a town as small as Orillia, it is impressive that artistic ventures like Somniatis can flourish, utilizing hundreds of local volunteers and bringing in hundreds of audience members from all over Ontario.

Volunteering for creative groups like Somniatis is a great way to increase your artistic output, hone your creative skills, foster original and unique ideas, build up your resume and portfolio, and meet other young local artists, including other Lakehead students. Even then, as Hill says, the opportunities do not stop here: “There are so many artistic opportunities for university students in Orillia. You just need to know what the events are and put yourself out there.”

Other local events and organizations that are available for young creatives include: Starry Nights, Still Life Drawing Classes (OMAH), Streets Alive, Mariposa Arts Theatre, Orillia & District Arts Council, and Greater than Gatsby.

With so many fantastic and artsy opportunities available, why not get involved from the comfort of your own community?

If you are interested in volunteering for Somniatis’ next event, contact Director Tammy Hill at shadowssalon@ rogers.com.