Opened in 2003, the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts (705-746-4466, 1-877-746-4466, www.stockeycentre.com) in Parry Sound sits on the shores of Georgian Bay and is home to the stunning 480-seat Festival Performance Theatre. Acoustically superb, the theatre has the look and feel of a grand Muskoka cottage, featuring locally sourced granite and massive pine beams.100+ ENTERTAINING YEARS
The Gravenhurst Opera House (705-687-5550, 1-888-495-8888, www.gravenhurst.ca/townOffice/ operaHouse/performances.html) has been the town’s cultural epicentre for more than a century. The historic landmark is a noble-yet-comfortable, 338-seat venue which, despite its name, features a much broader spectrum of entertainment than just Italian arias.NIGHTLY STAGE SHOWS
Deerhurst Resort (1-800-461-4393, www.deerhurstresort.com) has a rich, 25-year tradition of producing exciting live shows. The shows play six nights a week during the summer and feature current music and talented young performers. Fans well know that it was at Deerhurst where Shania Twain honed her vocal skills and showmanship before going on to international stardom. Open to both resort guests and non-guests, Deerhurst’s Lodge Showroom is a warm and cozy 190-seat venue with top-notch lighting and sound systems.
THE LATEST HOTSPOT
Huntsville’s Algonquin Theatre (705-789-4975, www.algonquintheatre.ca) opened its doors in 2005 and, for a 408-seat venue, it’s surprisingly intimate. Home to the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, the theatre is well suited to hosting theatrical productions and musical performances alike.THE TRADITION CONTINUES
The Kee to Bala (705-762-3134, www.thekee.com) is a Muskoka institution. The venue began life as a summer music pavilion in 1942, and this stage in the heart of Bala quickly garnered a giant reputation for hosting such major musicians as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong. Today, The Kee continues to draw music fans, with the jeans-and-T-shirt crowd faithfully turning out to pack the venue’s huge dance floor.—Andrew Wheeler