A beach-and-lake-focused vacation along Lake Huron’s shoreline can include professional live theatre, gallery browsing and artistic workshops for art lovers and live music for music lovers.
For Theatregoers – 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.
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
For Music Lovers – 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 the addition of Summer Sunset Sounds at the new Rotary Community Stage. Since 2014, this successful and popular concert series has offered beach-goers Sunday and holiday Monday performances in July and August. Familiar Favourites Concerts joined the beach musical offerings in 2017, providing free concerts on Wednesdays.
For Cultural Explorers – In an area teeming with history, you have your choice of local museums to explore! Prepare to be transported back in time as you explore themed exhibits, browse artifacts and delve into the stories of the past. Catering to both kids and adults, you’re sure to find something for everyone!
Huron Country Playhouse & Playhouse II, Grand Bend
www.draytonentertainment.com, 1-855-372-9866. 2018 season: Main Stage – West Side Story (June 7-23), Cruisin’ Classics (June 27-July 7), Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry (July 12-August 4), The Little Mermaid (August 9-September 2), Holiday Inn (September 13-30). Playhouse II – Kings & Queens of County (June 13-30), Cinderella: The Panto (July 5-July 22), Out of Order (July 25-August 11), The Birds and The Bees (August 15-September 1).
Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia
www.thevpp.ca, 1-800-717-7694. 2018 Season: 2018 Season: Good Ol’ Country Gospel (April 24-May 13), Shirley Valentine (May 22-June 10), Rocky Mountain High (June 19-July 8), The Andrews Brothers (July 17-August 3), The Power of Song (August 14-26), East Coast Kitchen Party (Sept. 4-23).
Blyth Festival, Blyth
www.blythfestival.com, 1-877-862-5984. 2018 season: The Pigeon King (May 30-June 15), The New Canadian Curling Club (June 20-August 23), Judith: Memories of a Lady Pig Farmer (June 27-August 11), 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt (August 1-September 15), Wing Night At The Boot (August 8-September 15).
Stratford Festival, Stratford
www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com, 1-800-567-1600. 2018 season: The Tempest (May 10-October 26), The Comedy of Errors (May 15-October 14), Cariolanus (June 9-October 20), Julius Caesar (July 31-October 27), The Music Man (April 17-November 3), The Rocky Horror Show (April 27-October 31), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (May 5-October 13), An Ideal Husband (May 11-October 28), To Kill A Mockingbird (May 4-November 4), Brontë (June 6-October 13), Paradise Lost (August 1-October 14), Napoli Milionaria! (August 2-October 27).
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. 2018 season: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (February 21-25 & Marcvh 1-3), Calendar Girls (May 3-6 & 10-12), Twelfth Night (Summer). Film Festival movie screenings: Jean of the Joneses (January 19), Manchester by the Sea (February 23), I, Daniel Blake (March 1), Julieta (April 7&8), Moonlight (April 7&8), The Searchers (April 7&8).
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.
Park Theatre, Goderich:
Two screens playing current movies. movielinks.ca/park-theatre-goderich, 1-800-265-3438, 30 The Square, Goderich.
- Forest Film Festival, Forest – January 15 & 17, February 19 & 21, March 19 & 20, 2018
- Lambton Film & Food Festival, Forest – May 24-27, 2018
See Festivals & Events for more events, dates, times and details.
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. Check websites for details, dates and times.
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.
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.
Oakwood Resort (Grand Bend): Hosts group creative and art events with Amy Gelinas instructing. Check website for dates and details. oakwoodresort.ca, 519-238-2324
Pine Dale Motor Inn (Grand Bend): Hosts group paint nights run by local professional artist. Paint your own masterpiece and enjoy a cocktail. Check website for dates and details. pinedale.on.ca, 519-238-2231
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.wordpress.com, 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.
- Gallery on Main Street: 14 Main St. W., Grand Bend, victoralderson.com, markswatercolours.com, 226-927-7508.
- Ice Culture: 81 Brock St., Hensall, iceculture.com, 888-251-9967
- 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.
- Lake Life Sutdio: 3811 Lakeshore Rd., Camlachie, lakelifestudio.com, 519-328-2217
- 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.
- Patina Studios: 12B Main St. N., Bayfield, patinastudios.ca, 519-955-6517
- 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 23 to April 14, 2018
- Arts, Eats & Beats Studio Tour, Multiple Locations – May 4-6, 2018
- Culture & Arts Walks, Bayfield – First Fridays, June to October, 2018
- Lambton Colour & Craft Festival, Grand Bend – October 13 & 14, 2018
- Christmas Craft Show, Lucan – November 2-4, 2018
For Music Lovers
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. The beach now boasts a permanent stage – the Rotary Community Stage.
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. The series features original music in a variety of genres, including rock, folk, celtic, jazz and blues. Each concert features an opening act followed by a headliner performance. FREE event – donations welcome. summersunsetsounds.ca, 519-238-1472.
Familiar Favourites (Grand Bend): Concerts feature well-loved cover songs performed by area musicians every other Wednesday night in July and August. entertainthisthought. com, 519-933-0142 .
Bayfield Town Hall Presents (Bayfield): Concerts presented in an intimate atmosphere of up to 120 patrons. bayfieldtownhall.com, 11 The Square, 519-565-5788
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 (midorigrandbend.squarespace.com), Oakwood Resort (oakwoodresort.ca), Pinery Antique Flea Market (pineryantiquefleamarket.com), Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse (smackwaterjacks.ca), The Sandbar & Grill (sandbargrandbend.ca), Aunt Gussie’s Country Dining (auntgussies.ca), Gables (gables-grandbend.com) and The Colonial (colonialhotel-grandbend.com).
Bayfield: Look for performance announcements from The Ashwood Bourbon Bar & Restaurant (theashwood.com), Black Dog Pub & Bistro (blackdogpubbistro.ca) and The Docks Restaurant (docksrestaurantbar.com).
Exeter: One of the area’s finest restaurants now combines food with music on the patio during summer months. Check Eddington’s (eddingtons.ca) website for events and dates
- Summer Sunset Sounds (Grand Bend) – July 2, 8, 15, 22 & 29; August 6, 12, 19 & 26, 2018
- Bayfield Town Hall Presents (Bayfield) – May 18, 24, 28; June 15, 22, 28; July 12; August 4, 6; September 1.
For Cultural Explorers
In an area teeming with history, you have your choice of local museums to explore! Prepare to be transported back in time as you explore themed exhibits, browse artifacts and delve into the stories of the past. Catering to both kids and adults, you’re sure to find something for everyone!
Discover Local History
Arkona Lions Museum & Information Centre: Discover Devonian Era fossils and aboriginal artifacts found at Rock Glen Conservation Area. April, May, June, September & October: Saturday & Sunday, Noon-5pm. July & August: Daily, Noon-5pm. 8680 Rock Glen Rd., Arkona. April-October: 519-828-3071; November-March: 519-235-2610.
Forest Lambton Museum: Themed exhibits located in the former Forest Home Bakery building. Open by chance or appointment. 8 Main St. N., Forest, 519-786-3239.
Lambton Heritage Museum: Explore two main galleries and seven outdoor historical buildings. Collection established to preserve and interpret local history. Main galleries open year-round; outdoor buildings open mid-April to mid-December. lambtonmuseums.ca, 10035 Museum Rd., Grand Bend, 519-243-2600.
Lucan Area Heritage & Donnelly Museum: Dedicated to the preservation and retelling of famous Lucan area historical events, such as the founding of Wilberforce by a Black community from Cincinnati, area settlement by Irish immigrants and the Donnelly murders. May to Thanksgiving. donnellymuseum.com, 171 Main St., Lucan, 519-227-0756.
School On Wheels Museum: Hands-on experience of an early 20th-Century classroom built into a railcar and used to educate children in remote Ontario. Annual Thomas the Tank event. Victory Day Saturday to last Sunday in September. Thursday to Sunday 11am – 4pm. centralhuron.com/schoolcar, 76 Victoria Terrace, Clinton, 519-482-3997
St. Joseph Museum & Archives: Photographs and digital scans of original documents about the Huron Tract, the City of St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Canal, Narcisse Cantin and Saint André. Memorial Park (Hwy. 21 & CR. 84) displays historical plaques and statues of St. Joseph and Saint André. Open by chance or appointment. stjosephmuseum.ca, 72981 Bluewater Highway, 519-236-7707.
- 40 years, 40 objects: Celebrating Lambton’s Past- May 12 to October 8, 2018