The Bala Cranberry Festival returns for another year of Muskoka fun
OCTOBER 18 TO 20 As fall comes around, Muskoka’s verdant greens change to golden yellows and oranges. One colour is particularly evident: the deep red of millions of ripe cranberries. The Bala Cranberry Festival pays homage to the annual harvest of the tangy little fruit, with fun activities taking place throughout town, including farm tours, craft shows, live entertainment and, of course, some of the best cranberry-based goodies in Ontario. Various venues, $7 (free for children under 6); call 705-762-1564 or visit balacranberryfestival.on.ca for details.
Bala’s Museum participates in this year’s Doors Open Muskoka festivities
JUNE 15 & 16 Visitors are invited to literally walk through history during this season’s Doors Open festivities, a province-wide program designed to introduce new generations to the built heritage of various communities. On June 15, explore Gravenhurst sites like its turn-of-the-century Opera House; on June 16, venture to Bala and Port Carling for Victorian-era architecture and quaint attractions such as Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Various venues, free; visit doorsopenontario.on.ca for further details.
Bala's Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery is just one of the Muskoka attractions participating in Doors Open
There’s much more to Muskoka than marinas and cottages. This weekend, get out an explore the region as part of Doors Open. Saturday sees Bala, Port Carling and Torrance offer insight into their communities at participating attractions like Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the Hall Family Log Cabin at Muskoka Lakes Museum. On Sunday, sites such as the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre help the town of Gravenhurst get in on the fun.
This Thursday not only marks the summer solstice, but also National Aboriginal Day. Huntsville honours Ontario’s numerous First Nations peoples from noon to 2 p.m. at River Mill Park, where guests can participate in drum and buffalo teachings and more.
View the works of some of the region’s finest painters, printmakers and more as the Northern Ontario Art Association’s 55th annual juried exhibition continues in Burk’s Falls. About 40 kilometres north of Huntsville, local furniture-maker the Wooden Roo hosts 40 distinct pieces through to June 28.
An evening of toe-tapping tunes and teary-eyed ballads awaits on Thursday evening, as the Gravenhurst Opera House plays hosts to country crooners The Stellas. Singers Marylynne and Brad Stella have the sort of effortless rapport that’s the hallmark of all great singing duos—no surprise, as they’ve been married for 16 years.
Pick a pepper (and other fresh produce) at Muskoka's farmers' markets
Our guide to cottage-country events and activities has returned for another summer! Check back every Monday for more timely ideas for family fun.
Support Ontario growers and get some fresh ingredients for this week’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners at a pair of farmers’ markets that are now in full swing. This Wednesday (and all subsequent Wednesday throughout the summer) the Gravenhurst Farmers’ Market operates from from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Muskoka Wharf, while the Bracebridge Farmers’ Market runs on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Memorial Park.
Stretch out on a blanket at Bracebridge’s Memorial Park bandshell and listen to the acoustic folk sounds of Neil Hutchison. Influenced by the likes of Gordon Lightfoot and Ian Tyson, Hutchison takes the stage this Thursday at 7 p.m.
Grab your motorcycle boots and leather jacket and head on down to the Kee to Bala. Blues singer and guitarist George Thorogood—with his longtime band, The Destroyers—rocks the joint on Saturday, with hits like “Bad to the Bone” and more.
Drive around the region this Saturday and Sunday and take in not only the exceptional natural scenery, but also some great artistic visuals. This year’s Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour allows you to visit the studios of 11 top cottage-country artists in Bracebridge, Bala, Port Carling and elsewhere.
The local food movement just keeps creeping ever closer to home; one of the latest trends is to keep a chicken or two right in your own backyard (depending on municipal bylaws, of course). If you’re interested in learning more, regional culinary association Savour Muskoka hosts a poultry workshop on Sunday at Severn Sunset Eco Farm in Severn Bridge, where participants will find out some of the ins and outs of working with chickens, ducks and turkeys.
1. Major Canadian talent makes the trip to Muskoka this week, as acclaimed singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith takes the stage for two shows at Peter’s Place Live on July 23 and 24.
2. Check out the latest pleasure crafts and cottage accessories from July 22 to 24, as Gravenhurst’s Muskoka Wharf hosts the annual In-Water Boat and Cottage Show. If all that salivating (at boats) makes you actually hungry, you’re in luck, the Muskoka Cottage Brewery lounge, also on-site, offers a filling Ribfest, too. (more…)
Steven Page plays the Huntsville Festival of the Arts this week
1. The Huntsville Festival of the Arts has a big week. Former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page is sure to bring the house down when he plays the Algonquin Theatre on July 15. On July 17, the ever-popular Rod Beattie brings his curmudgeonly character Walt Wingfield to town in Wingfield’s Folly.
2. Parry Sound’s biggest annual event kicks off on July 15 as the Festival of the Sound hosts a “piano gala” featuring music by Debussy, Gershwin, Beethoven and more. Four additional concerts and two lectures round out the weekend’s programming. (more…)
photo by Meddygarnet
The Canada Day long weekend brings much excitement to the Muskoka region!
1. Friday, July 1 offers sure cause for celebration in Huntsville, which hosts a bevy of Canada Day activities from morning to night. Among the attractions, Muskoka Heritage Place hosts a strawberry social beginning at 10 a.m. And don’t miss the fireworks display over Hunters Bay, starting at dusk.
2. Also on July 1 (and running to July 3) is the annual Bala Antique and Nostalgia Show, which takes place at Bala Arena. More than 40 vendors set up shop at this event, with everything from vintage country furniture to estate jewellery and collectibles. (more…)
Laugh along with Robin Duke and the rest of the "Women Fully Clothed"
1. The delightful dames of Women Fully Clothed—Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek—bring their humorous yet affecting stories to cottage country. See their latest show, Older and Hotter, on June 10 at the Gravenhurst Opera House.
2. View and purchase the works of 20 fine artists and craftspeople while partaking in the annual Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour on June 11 and 12. This self-directed jaunt takes art lovers to the studios and galleries of creators in Bracebridge, Bala, Port Carling and more. Click here for a map. (more…)
You’re in for a good laugh this weekend with hours of comedic skits ahead of you. Another exciting note: Muskoka hosts this year’s G8 Summit, a gathering of the world’s economic leaders.
Music on the Barge offers a Sunday evening showcase in Gravenhurst
Friday, June 25
Be on the lookout for famous politicians as economic leaders from as far as Russia fly in to attend the 2010 G8 Summit today and tomorrow at Huntsville’s Deerhurst Resort.
Discover the makings of Muskoka’s heritage by exploring historic buildings in Bala and Port Carling as part of the weekend-long Doors Open Muskoka event. Tomorrow, Bracebridge welcomes you into its most intriguing sites, while Gravenhurst opens its doors on Sunday.
Start your weekend off right with some belly laughs courtesy of Yuk Yuk’s and comedians Rob Ross and Ian Sirota. See their stand-up stylings tonight with with a reservation at the Muskoka Bay Club, 9 p.m. Tickets $30; call 705-687-7900, ext. 301.
Saturday, June 26
The Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre in Bracebridge also offers its share of chuckles this weekend. In the afternoon, CBC Radio’s The Debaters records Canadian comedians as they tackle hot topics and compete for the biggest guffaws. Later in the evening, the Cottage Country Comedy Festival‘s performers will have you in stitches.
Shake your hips to the many hits of beloved Canadian blues-rocker David Wilcox, as he performs live in concert at the Kee to Bala.
Sunday, June 27
Enjoy such madcap performances as “Moose Bloop” and “Summer Fun by Jam Sandwich” as part of the family-friendly Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival.
Stay tuned this evening for the Bi-focals concert band as Gravenhurst’s Music on the Barge continues its summer-long concert series.
October 16 to 18 Delight in all things red and tarty as the Bala Cranberry Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary. The annual fall event showcases the diverse sides of the tangy fruit, from food vendors offering sauces, jams, muffins and pies to craft shows dedicated to the beauty of the little berry. Other activities include farm tours, daily entertainment, cook-offs and more. The festival runs throughout Bala along Muskoka Road 169. Adults $6, kids $3, children six and under free; call 705-762-1264 for details