• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Festival of the Sound

Check Out These Venues During Muskoka’s Summer Concert Season

Soak in the culture during the Muskoka summer concert season at these performance venues and musical festivals.

BY LINDA LUONG

Parry Sound's Stockey Centre hosts some of the region's best concerts and recitals

Parry Sound’s Stockey Centre hosts some of the region’s best concerts and recitals

CHARLES W. STOCKEY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
This beautiful timber-framed multi-use facility built in 2003 sits on 3.5 acres of expansive lakefront land, and features a 480-seat performance hall as well as the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame. Legendary country singer Willie Nelson arrives in town on June 18 at the Bobby Orr Community Centre for an exclusive live show with his family. The centre is best known as the home of the annual Festival of the Sound, which has celebrated chamber music since 1979. Running from July 18 to August 11, this year’s lineup includes the New Zealand String Quartet, which honours masterpieces by Beethoven and Brahms on July 24, and the Cecilia String Quartet offering pieces by Haydn on August 1. The festival also offers a “Bach Around Town” program with Baroque music performed at various stages around Parry Sound.

• 2 Bay St., Parry Sound, 705-746-4466; stockeycentre.com
Map and reviews

(more…)

Weekly Planner: July 30 to August 5

Nikki Yanofsky plays Huntsville’s Algonquin Theatre this week (photo by Jeff Lipsky)

Jazz is on the schedule at both of the region’s big music events this coming weekend. If you’re in Huntsville on Saturday for its renowned Huntsville Festival of the Arts, be sure to check out the vocal stylings of Nikki Yanofsky. Northwest, Parry Sound’s Festival of the Sound offers a somewhat more venerable lineup—a performance by legendary vibraphonist Peter Appleyard, then a show by iconic bandleader and clarinestist Phil Nimmons.

There’s even more music this week at Gravenhurst’s Peter’s Players! Blues and soul belter Bobby “Blue” Bland—known for classics like “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” and “Turn On Your Love Light”—takes the stage on Friday, while Saturday sees a rocking appearance by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

Families are always welcome in Muskoka, of course, but there’s even more fun this Friday through Sunday at the MacTier Big Weekend Festival, which is simply stuffed to the gunnels with everything from a beach volleyball tournament and a regatta to comedy night and “under the big top” dance party.

Stay out late on Friday night in Bracebridge—the town’s Midnight Madness event runs from 6 p.m. to midnight with all manner of fun distractions, including buskers, a climbing wall, kids zone, live music and more.

 

Weekly Planner: July 23 to 29

Bala’s Museum presents its annual “Everything Anne” day—fun for the whole family on July 24.

Mark the 90th anniversary of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s notable sojourn in Muskoka at “Everything Anne” day, July 24 at Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery. The heritage centre, now celebrating its 20th year, is a must-visit for fans of the Anne of Green Gables books (written by Montgomery, of course). This particular special event focuses on the book series’ red-haired protagonist, and offers all manner of old time family fun—sack races, cake, prizes for best in-character costumes and much more!

Climb aboard the RMS Segwun on July 27 and embark on the Muskoka Heritage Foundation’s annual summer cottage tour of Lake Muskoka. This year’s excursion offers a look at some of the classic cottages in the Beaumaris area, and includes lunch at the acclaimed Taste restaurant at Touchstone on Lake Muskoka.

The Huntsville Festival of the Arts continues this week with daily performances and highlight concerts by the likes of crooner John McDermott (July 25), indie rockers the Joel Plaskett Emergency (July 26) and a comedic appearance by farce-master Rod Beattie, who presents Wingfield on Ice (July 27).

And for even more music, try the Festival of the Sound. Its classy concerts this week include an evening of songs by Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, George Gershwin and others as interpreted by soprano Patricia O’Callaghan and the Gryphon Trio (July 24), plus an opera gala (July 28) featuring top Canadian vocal talents.

End the week by feasting your eyes and filling your mouth! From July 27 to 29, Gravenhurst hosts the Muskoka In-Water Boat and Cottage Show in conjunction with the Muskoka Rib Fest. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of more than 100 top-of-the-line boats and cottage displays to view, plus live entertainment, giveaways and, of course, succulent barbecued meat.

Weekly Planner: July 16 to 22

Jim Cuddy plays the Huntsville Festival of the Arts this week.

The 20th annual Huntsville Festival of the Arts is now in full swing, with it’s slate of daily concerts by local performers plus three headlining shows this week. First up is Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, playing on July 17 in an intimate trio setting with violinist Anne Lindsay and guitarist Colin Cripps. On July 19, powerhouse vocalist Molly Johnson demonstrates why she’s one of the country’s best-known jazz and blues singers. And on July 21, CBC radio host, writer and musician Jian Ghomeshi takes the stage to share stories and insight from his time behind the microphone.

The Festival of the Sound, another hugely anticipated annual concert event, returns on July 18 with a gala featuring England’s Choir of Trinity College performing Eleanor Daley’s festival-commissioned Paradise: A Song of Georgian Bay, plus works by Bach, Mendelssohn and more. And if that wasn’t enough, the event offers classical music every day this week, including an appearance by the Canadian Brass on July 21.

Want more music? You’ve got it at Bracebridge’s Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre, which hosts a Jazz in July celebration on July 21. Expect an ebullient evening of big band swing, Latin jazz, R&B, motown and more, as interpreted by 12-piece ensemble Spektrum.

Once you’ve taken in the tunes, it’s time to eye some superlative visuals at the 50th Muskoka Arts and Crafts Summer Show. Running from July 20 to 22 at Bracebridge’s Annie Williams Park, this very popular gathering brings together dozens of Ontario-based painters, sculptors, jewellers, fashion designers and even a batch of gourmet food vendors. It’s a veritable one-stop shop to help make your home or cottage look its best for years to come.

 

The Muskoka Seven: Things to Do from July 18 to 24, 2011

Ron Sexsmith

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…)

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 July 11 to 17, 2011

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…)

Weekend Roundup, July 30 to August 2

July is not going down without a party first. Take particular note of numerous jazz concerts as you celebrate this Civic Holiday long weekend!

North Restaurant chef Alain Irvine serves up the flavours of the Muskoka region

Friday, July 30
Don’t miss the Huntsville Jazz Festival, running this weekend only!  Juno award–winner Alex Cuba opens tonight at the Algonquin Theatre.

Prepare for an evening packed with family fun, shopping and entertainment at the Bracebridge BIA Midnight Madness event.

Saturday, July 31
Indulge in one of Muskoka’s best meals at Gravenhurst’s North Restaurant. Chef Alain Irvine’s fresh, seasonal cuisine is sure to please.

Continue the jazz extravaganza tonight at the Festival of the Sound. The 16-piece Dave Young Big Band performs the renowned bassist’s original compositions and breathes new life into old standards.

Sunday, August 1
Find swing of a different kind by booking a tee time at the exceptional Ridge at Manitou golf course.

Dash into the 1950s tonight as the Lincolnaires offer a nostalgic set of early rock ‘n’ roll classics for Music on the Barge.

Monday, August 2
If the greens are still calling, tee off at the Muskoka Bay Club’s naturally beautiful 18-hole course. On site, the newly renovated Clifftop Clubhouse boasts a pro shop plus indoor-outdoor bistro with tantalizing dining options.

Step aboard the Island Queen for its Sunset on the Bay Musical Cruise. Watch as the sun dips under the water while vocals and instruments provide a musical lullaby.

Weekend Roundup, July 23 to 25

Music and art continue to make their marks this weekend in Muskoka.

Vintage goods abound at the Muskoka Antique Show

Friday, July 23
Look out for antique goodies as 40 dealers from across the country gather at the 29th annual Muskoka Antique Show in Port Carling.

Take in a memorable celebration to one of country music’s modern legends, as Leisa Way stars in Rhinestone Cowgirl: A Tribute to Dolly Parton. The performance, part of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, makes its way to the Algonquin Theatre tonight.

Saturday, July 24
Enjoy a pancake breakfast with live music or set up the kids with some face painting and a petting-zoo experience at the Baysville Walkabout Festival. After that, treasure seekers can peruse the offerings of more than 120 artisans and craftspeople who line the town’s main street.

Combine art and nature at Bracebridge’s Artful Garden. Here, more than 40 artists showcase their original garden-inspired visuals in the open air at the studio and home of area residents Jon and Suzann Partridge.

Sunday, July 25
Pay homage to true divas at Classic Primadonna, a Festival of the Sound production starring soprano Mary Lou Fallis. Dessert and coffee are served while you enjoy a classy evening with music by Mozart and Schubert.

Rock on with jukebox hits performed live on the water by Freddy Vette and the Flames as part of the Music on the Barge Festival concert series in Gravenhurst.

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.

Weekend Roundup, August 7 to 9

The holiday weekend is over, but Muskoka is still buzzing with activity—we’re particularly excited about Handel’s Messiah on Sunday!

RMS Segwun

Tour Muskoka's lakes on the historic RMS Segwun.

Friday, August 7
Brush up on your canoeing skills by registering for a five-hour course from Muskoka Outfitters in Bracebridge. Learn how to paddle in tandem, how to brace, and how to canoe through rough waters.

Armed with an affordable day membership for Spa at the Rosseau, relax in the steam room or sauna, take advantage of complimentary refreshments in either the men’s, women’s or co-ed lounge, and admire the lake vista while soaking in an indoor hot tub.

Saturday, August 7
Board the RMS Segwun, North America’s oldest operating steamship, for a Millionaire’s Row cruise. Feast on lunch and the multi-million-dollar summer homes perched on Muskoka’s shores.

In the evening, head over to Port Carling and seek out in Treasure Island, an interactive family theatre production that’s part of the Muskoka Lakes Music Festival. Who doesn’t like pirates? Arrr!

Sunday, August 9
It’s your last chance to catch the Festival of the Sound. Spend the afternoon listening to Handel’s Messiah, as performed by the Elmer Isler Singers with the Festival Chamber Orchestra and others. Arrive early at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts to hear conductor Lydia Adams talk about the classical-era masterpiece.

Kids too active to sit through a concert? Then take them to the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, also located within Parry Sound’s Charles W. Stockey Centre, to learn about one of the National Hockey League’s greatest players. (Visit the Hall’s website for a printable 2-for-1 admission pass.)