Local beach and lake hot spots are located near several live performance venues. The Rotary Community Stage on Grand Bend’s Main Beach is the host venue for musical concerts held every Sunday and holiday Monday in July and August. Huron Country Playhouse is just 5 minutes from Grand Bend’s beach, Blyth Festival Theatre is a 49-minute drive from the beach, Victoria Playhouse is a 50-minute drive, and Stratford Shakespeare Festival is the furthest at 59 minutes.
Professional Live Theatre
Huron Country Playhouse & Playhouse II, Grand Bend
www.draytonentertainment.com, 1-855-372-9866. 2017 season: Main Stage – Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (June 7-24), All Shook Up (June 28-July 16), Million Dollar Quartet (July 19-August 5), Beauty & the Beast (August 10-September 3). Playhouse II – Jonas & Barry in the Home (June 28-July 15), Lucky Stiff (July 20-August 5), One for the Pot (August 16-September 2).
Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia
www.thevpp.ca, 1-800-717-7694. 2017 Season: Fiddler on the Moose (May 2-19), The Birds & the Bees (May 30-June 17), Happy Together 1967 (July 4-23), Folks Like Us (August 1-12), Portia (Aug. 15-27), Rockabilly Swingtime (September 5-24).
Blyth Festival, Blyth
www.blythfestival.com, 1-877-862-5984. 2017 season: MR. NEW YEAR’S EVE: A Night with Guy Lombardo (June 28-August 19), The Berlin Blues (July 5-August 19), The Pigeon King (August 9-September 23), Ipperwash (August 16-September 16).
Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford
www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com, 1-800-567-1600. 2017 season: Guys & Dolls (April 15-October 29), Treasure Island (April 22-October 22), Romeo & Juliet (May 3-October 21), HMS Pinafore (May 4-October 21), Timon of Athens (May 8-September 22), Twelfth Night (May 13-October 21), The School for Scandal (May 15-October 21), The Breathing Hole (July 30-September 22), Tartuffe (August 1-October 13), The Madwoman of Chaillot (August 3-September 24), The Komagata Maru Incident (Aug. 2-Oct. 14).
The Livery / Goderich Little Theatre, Goderich
www.thelivery.ca, 519-524-6262. The Livery presents a number of theatrical productions under the Goderich Little Theatre flag, as well as a national and international film series April through September and live musical concerts. 2017 season: Art (February 9-11 & 16-18), The Odd Couple (March 23-25, 30 & 31, April 1), The 39 Steps (May 4-6 & 11-13).
Film Festival movie screenings: Jean of the Joneses (January 19), Manchester by the Sea (February 23), I, Daniel Blake (March 1), Julieta (April 7), Maliglutit/Searchers (April 7), Moonlight (April 8), Canada On Screen 150th Celebration Film: Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (April 19).
Two unique movie venues are located in the area: the Kineto Theatre in Forest, which is one of the world’s oldest movie theatres and the Starlite Drive-In, one of the last remaining drive-ins in Ontario. Both theatres screen first-run movies and always have family-friendly options.
Kineto Theatre (Forest)
In operation since 1917, Kineto is open four days a week, year round! Some movies shown in 3D. Call or go online to find out what’s playing. See what’s on: kineto.ca | 519-786-2303 | 24 King St. W., Forest.
Starlite Drive-In (Grand Bend)
What could be more fun than enjoying the remaining heat of a summer day while bundling the kids up in their pajamas to watch a movie under the stars? Call or go online to find out what’s playing. The 2017 season opens May 6 with Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Beauty & the Beast, Take a Minion Multiply by 3 and X-Men 3. starlitedriveintheatre.com, 519-238-8344, 36752 Crediton Road.
- Forest Film Festival, Forest – January 16, February 20 & March 20, 2017
- Lambton Film & Food Festival, Forest – May 26-28, 2017
See Festivals & Events for more events, dates, times and details.
Galleries & Art Workshops for Art Lovers
The local cultural community includes more than a dozen small galleries and working studios and hosts Paint Ontario – Ontario’s foremost juried art competition, show and sale of original representational art. Enjoy opportunities to browse and buy original art and photography of local artists, as well as participate in art and artisan workshops.
EXPLORE YOUR INNER ARTIST
The following locations offer drop-in and scheduled art classes for all ages and skill levels. For workshop details, dates and times call the studio or check their website.
Art By 3 Studio (Port Franks): Variety of one-day art workshops, including encaustic hot wax, photo encaustic, glass jewellery, stained glass drip and garden art. artby3.com, 519-243-3321.
Bittersweet (Grand Bend): A retail and studio location offering furniture painting and stenciling workshops. Transform old furniture for your cottage or home. bittersweetgrandbend.com, 519-238-1262.
Glass in Motion (Grand Bend): A working glass art studio and retail location that offers hands-on Funshop workshops for all ages. glassinmotion.ca, 226-271-5134.
Grand Bend Art Centre (Grand Bend): Offers scheduled and drop-in art workshops and events for all ages. gbartcentre.com, 519-872-7824.
Kryart Studio (Bayfield): Drop-in and scheduled art classes, all ages. kryartstudio.ca, 519-525-2515.
Lake Life Studio (Camlachie): A working glass art studio, retail and workshop location. lakelifestudio.com, 519-328-2217.
Treehaus Canada Studio (Grand Bend): A working glass art studio that offers fused glass workshops to everyone 10-years and up. treehauscanada.ca, 226-678-5118
GALLERIES / WORKING STUDIOS
- Art By 3: 7710 Clayton St., Port Franks, artby3.com.
- Janette Baillie Photography: 22 – 81 Crescent St., Grand Bend, bailliespictureframing.ca, 519-238-1742.
- Bill Nieuwland: Displayed at several galleries, including Sunset Arts, theartistbill.com, 519-238-6447.
- Bliss Studios: 7617 Riverside Dr., Port Franks, blissstudio.info, 519-243-3598.
- Castaway Studio Gallery: 67 River Road, Grand Bend, castawayartstudio.com, 519-238-8206.
- D. Culbard Fine Arts Studio: 30 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend, dculbardfineart.com, 519-238-0021.
- Glass in Motion: 17 Main St. W., Grand Bend, glassinmotion.ca, 226-271-5134.
- JMR Art Gallery: 9 Main St. N., Bayfield, jmrcollections.com, 519-565-2213.
- Kryart Studio: 24 Main St. N., Bayfield, kryart.com, 416-710-2695.
- Lovart Gallery: ackermann-artist.com.
- Main Street Gallery: 4 Main St. N., Bayfield, facebook.com/mainstreetgallerybayfield, 519-565-2048.
- Marten Arts Gallery: 17A Main St. N., Bayfield, martenarts.ca, 519-565-2222.
- Puck Merkies Fine Art Studio: 10350 Lakeview Ave., Grand Bend.
- RaeAnn Design: 63 River Rd., Grand Bend, raeanndesign.com, 519-319-0823.
- Richman Gallery: 30 Alberta St., Grand Bend, huronart.com, 519-238-6213.
- Studio 109: 239 Main St., Parkhill, mariebohm.com, 519-667-7869.
- Sunset Arts: 67 River Rd., Grand Bend, sunsetarts.info, 519-238-6914.
- Treehaus Canada Studio: Grand Bend, treehauscanada.ca.
- Victor Alderson Studio Gallery: 1 Queen St., Grand Bend, 14 Main St. W., Grand Bend, victoralderson.com, 226-927-7508.
- Paint Ontario, Grand Bend – March 10 to April 2, 2017
- Arts, Eats & Beats Studio Tour, Multiple Locations – May 5-7, 2017
- Culture & Arts Walks, Bayfield – First Fridays, June to October, 2017
- Lambton Colour & Craft Festival, Grand Bend – October 14 & 15, 2017
- Christmas Craft Show, Lucan – November 3-5, 2017
Since 1919, Grand Bend’s Main Beach has been a popular venue for live music. First with the Lakeview Casino, which operated for five decades until 1969, then with Canada Day Celebration events and now with the addition of Summer Sunset Sounds. Since 2014, this successful and popular concert series has offered beach-goers Sunday and holiday Monday performances in July and August. Construction of a permanent stage – the Rotary Community Stage – was completed in 2016.
Bach Music Festival (Exeter): Founded by Artistic Director Gerald Fagan in 2010, this event brings top Ontario performers from the Classical Music World to Exeter. This year’s festival runs from July 6-16 and with a nod to Canada’s 150th Birthday will celebrate “Our Home and Native Land”.
Leading talents to appear at this year’s festival include virtuoso pianist Leopold Erice, world champion fiddler Shane Cook (performing with local legend Jerry Smith), and world class cellist Cameron Crozman with his $12-million Stradivarius cello! The Grand Opening performance will feature baritone John Avey (Metropolitan Opera) with legendary pianist Marlene Fagan.
The Gala Closing performance will feature more than 200 musicians. bachfestival.ca, 519-235-2565 ext. 223 (box office).
Canada Day Celebrations & Fireworks (Grand Bend): Headliner band takes the stage from 8pm until the fireworks display at 10pm. FREE event – donations welcome. canadadaygrandbend.ca, 519-238-2001.
Summer Sunset Sounds (Grand Bend): Popular and up-and-coming Canadian performers take the stage at 7pm every Sunday and holiday Monday. Each concert features an opening act followed by a headliner performance. FREE event – donations welcome. summersunsetsounds.ca, 519-238-1472.
JAM SESSIONS, OPEN MICS & OTHER MUSICAL OFFERINGS
Patio dining while enjoying live musical performances is a popular summertime activity.
Grand Bend: Look for performance announcements posted on flyers and signs around town and plan to attend: Midori Sushi, Oakwood Resort, Pinery Antique Flea Market, Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse, The Sandbar & Grill, Aunt Gussie’s Dining, Gables and The Colonial.
Bayfield: Look for performance announcements from The Ashwood Bourbon Bar & Restaurant, Black Dog Village Pub and The Docks Restaurant.
- Summer Sunset Sounds (Grand Bend) – July 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30; August 7, 13, 20 & 27, 2017
- Bach Music Festival (Exeter) – July 6-16, 2017