Ways To Experience Ontario’s Arts And Culture Scene This Summer

As festivals and events resume, it’s time to get out and have fun

During the pandemic, the arts and culture sector was hit hard. Galleries and museums across Canada closed and many artists found other ways to stay productive. For instance, previously, blank street walls were transformed into colourful murals with messages of hope. Now, as galleries reopen and street festivals return, there’s lots for you to discover. 

Explore the trails at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg

Take a 30- minute drive outside of Toronto to one of the largest publicly funded galleries in Canada that exclusively features Canadian and Indigenous art. The Collection is renowned for being the home of works by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and more. Surrounded by 100 acres of forested land along the Humber River, the property offers a network of trails. While the art gallery is only open from Thursdays to Sundays, the grounds are open daily, with parking available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spend a day at the gallery and learn about Canada’s rich cultural and Indigenous heritage. Then head outdoors to the Ivan Eyre Sculpture Garden or wander around the paths lined with maple trees and tall pines. Listen to an audio file to learn about the grounds and history of the gallery. Find out more at https://mcmichael.com/.

The Muskoka Arts and Crafts Show, July 15-17, Bracebridge

Muskoka Arts and Crafts

This summer, the show celebrates 60 years of supporting artisans in Muskoka’s creative community. The show features more than 200 artisans and offers music, food and drink. The event takes place at Annie Williams Memorial Park. To purchase tickets, visit https://muskokaartsandcrafts.com/summer-show/.

Kempenfest, July 29-Aug. 1, Barrie

Kempenfest is one of the largest outdoor arts, crafts and music festivals held annually in Ontario. Featuring 300 jury-selected artisans from across Canada, visitors are sure to find diverse and eclectic creations. You can enjoy preserves and jams at the Taste of Kempenfest and there’s a Music that Moves You concert series that starts July 29th at 5 p.m. with a performance by Canadian rock band The Sheepdogs. More information is available at https://kempenfest.com/.

The Artsburg Streetfest, Aug. 13, Clarksburg 

Dubbed ‘Artsburg’ by the locals, this small village is in The Blue Mountains, just south of Thornbury. Dotted with Victorian architecture, the eclectic town offers a variety of unique shopping and dining experiences. The festival features family-friendly activities, including live music, art demonstrations, and a youth entrepreneur market. Make a weekend out of it and tour other towns in the area. For more details about the festival and accommodations, go to https://www.visitclarksburg.ca/.

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