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Charles W. Stockey Centre

Hot Date: Artistic Excellence in Parry Sound

The Charles W. Stockey Centre is one of the region's top performing arts venues

JULY 15 TO AUGUST 7, 2011 Sensational sonics are heralded each summer at the Festival of the Sound. In a concert hall that overlooks the lapping waters and pine-dotted islands of Georgian Bay, this year’s concerts are sure to delight both visitors and locals alike. Get set to be serenaded by the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets, or hear the compositions of Liszt and Paganini. Big band jazz and grand choral masterworks are also part of this season’s impressive lineup. Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, tickets up to $42, some shows free; call 705-746-2410 or click here for showtimes and to buy.

The Muskoka Seven: Things to do from June 27 to July 3, 2011 (Canada Day Edition)

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…)

The Muskoka Seven: Things To Do from May 23 to 29, 2011

Visit the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre at Muskoka Wharf

1. Spend a sunny day exploring the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst. The waterfront village boasts a handful of shops and restaurants, a lovely lakeside boardwalk, and the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre.

2. If on-water activities aren’t your cup of tea, consider buying a road or mountain bike and get pedalling around the Muskoka region. Ecclestone Cycle in Bracebridge and The Bike Shop in Gravenhurst are among the area’s respected purveyors. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, July 16 to 18

Muskoka’s arts and music scene is abuzz this weekend.

The Festival of the Sound kicks off Friday night at the Charles W. Stockey Centre

Friday, July 16
Browse creative and colourful pieces at the Muskoka Arts and Crafts Show. More than 200 local artists and craftspeople offer their original works at this weekend-long event in Bracebridge.

Be dazzled by classical music. The much-anticipated Festival of the Sound kicks off this weekend at Parry Sound’s Charles W. Stockey Centre with a gala opening concert featuring Oxford Six Pianos.

Saturday, July 17
Stay in Parry Sound and take the opportunity to check out the premiere of Impressions of the Massasauga Provincial Park, and meet the artists as they share their interpretations of this breathtaking Canadian landscape.

Prepare for a thunderous roar as vintage planes soar overhead at the Muskoka 2010 Air Show, which this year honours the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Norway and the Battle of Britain. This year’s event is held slightly southwest of Muskoka in the town of Midland, site of the Norwegian Air Force’s WWII training base.

Sunday, July 18
Partake in an artful afternoon at Huntsville’s River Mill Park. From noon to 3 p.m., kids can paint a masterpiece (or have their faces painted) for free as part of Art Splash. Those with an interest in more “established” talents can enjoy an arts walk with live demonstrations by local artists.

Dance to some hot new-country music as an uncanny look-alike performs the Ultimate Tribute to Shania Twain at a Music on the Barge concert in Gravenhurst.

Hot Date: Summertime Tunes

The Stockey Centre hosts numerous musicians during the Festival of the Sound

JULY 16 TO AUGUST 8 During the past three decades, the Festival of the Sound has introduced Parry Sound audiences to hundreds of Canadian and international musicians. This year promises more melodious marvels at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts. A highlight for 2010 is the Jazz Canada Weekend from July 31 to August 2, which delves into everything from swing standards to movie themes performed by such respected ensembles as the Graham Campbell Quartet and the Dave Young Big Band. Tickets up to $42, some shows free; call 1-866-364-0061 or click here for showtimes.

Door to Dock

Do it all from the water this boating season—dine, shop, sightsee and more. Landlubbers need not apply. By Meaghan Lamb

The Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

PARRY SOUND
The summer population quadruples in this town on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay. Culture-seeking boaters can cruise into the world’s deepest natural freshwater port and hop ashore to the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, while the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame celebrates the region’s favourite hockey legend.

HUNTSVILLE
See outdoor murals inspired by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven in the town that plays host to the 2010 G8 Summit. Scout out The Finds, Wooden Penny and Nutty Chocolatier. Style the whole family at Big Bear Outfitters (64 Main St. E., 705-788-1351), The Village Shop or Muskoka Jewellery Design.

BOATING FOR BEGINNERS
Take a few paddling lessons and you’ll be skimming the lakes in no time.
>> White Squall is the place for kayak touring. Take both beginner- and advanced-level classes starting at $60 for two and a half hours, or request a private session.
>> Algonquin Outfitters boasts daily canoe and kayak programs at its Huntsville location situated on the water’s edge.

Try a White Squall paddling adventure

BRACEBRIDGE
Water has been an integral part of the area’s history with the North Falls acting as a source of hydraulic power. Tie up at Bracebridge Bay Park in the heart of downtown and get fashionable at Tiggs Clothiers, have Christmas in July at The Gingerbread House and be spoiled for choice selecting cupcakes at Sweet Aroma. For leisurely pursuits, visit Applause! Toy Store, Readers World and the Norwood Theatre (106 Manitoba St., 705-645-2333).

ROSSEAU
Sing your heart out while coming into the Rosseau wharf as holidaymakers did when arriving on the steamships a century ago. Peruse The Craft Room Rosseau or the Farmers’ Market (at Short Street) on Fridays.

FULL SERVICE
>> Port Sandfield Marina offers watercraft rentals, fuel, repairs, servicing and detailing on-site, as well as storage. Shop the Boathouse for clothing, footwear and boating accessories or grab a coffee or ice cream.
>> Pride Marine Group has four marinas under their umbrella here—Pride of Muskoka, Pride of Muskoka West, Pride of Lake of Bays and Pride of Rosseau—each of which provide service seven days a week, gas, as well as new and used boat sales.
>> Skeleton Lake Marina sells new and used boats as well as servicing and repairing many styles of boats. No boat? Rent one and have it delivered to your lake.

Steamships glide through Port Carling

PORT CARLING
Cruise through the locks from lakes Muskoka to Rosseau where you’ll find pleasant respite at the “Hub of the Lakes.” Dock at Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill (123 Medora St., 705-765-1753) for a lunch of burgers, salads, beer-battered fish and chips and more. Grab the necessities from Tommy Bahama before rejoining the water world.

MUSKOKA WHARF
The $170 million rebirth of this wharf in Gravenhurst meanders the length of the waterfront. Find docks, marinas, dining, boutiques, lodging, heritage facilities and the homeport of the Muskoka steamships. Berth your own vessel and promenade along the boardwalk.

Weekend Roundup, June 19 to 21

Greet the beginning of summer in Muskoka with open-air activities and indoor indulgences.

Friday, June 19
Discover the glacier-sculpted islands and remote ruggedness of Georgian Bay on a two-hour Island Queen Cruise.

Upon a sturdy Icelandic horse, gallop through the Almaguin Highlands and along the pristine shores of Newell Lake at Clear Lake Farm.

Saturday, June 20
Stimulate your senses with cottage air, country fare and cold cream ale on a tour of Lakes of Muskoka Cottage Brewery.

Delight in the decadence of the Summerside Surf and Turf Kitchen Party, where you’ll find fresh lobster, succulent steak, an oyster bar, salads and a side of East Coast entertainment at Parry Sound’s Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts.

Sunday, June 21
Take in the tranquil terrain of pink-granite rock walls and verdant valleys while you tee off into the sunset at the Lake Joseph Club.

Soak up some sun and celebrate Father’s Day at Gravenhurst’s Gull Lake Park while enjoying toe-tapping Music on the Barge.