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huntsville

Nuit Blanche North Lights Up the Huntsville Night

Nuit Blanche North offerings artistic enlightenment in Huntsville

Nuit Blanche North offerings artistic enlightenment in Huntsville (photo: Katherine Fleitas)

JULY 13  Taking a cue from the all-night events popular in cities like Paris, London and Toronto, Nuit Blanche North invites you to unearth truly unique art under cover of darkness. As the sun sets, culture vultures are invited to descend on downtown Huntsville to take in exceptional theatre, music, film and interactive installations. With more than 60 artists expected to participate, the event is sure to inspire awe under the stars. Along Main Street, and at River Mill Park and the town dock, free admission; call 705-571-4334 or click here for a full list of exhibitions.

Things to Do in Muskoka: June 3 to 9

EACH WEEK THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER, WHERE MUSKOKA IS YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR INFORMATION ON ALL THE GREAT EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN MUSKOKA!

Sonny Landreth is scheduled to perform at Peter's Players—just one of this week's things to do in Muskoka (photo: Acadiana Centre for Film and Media

Sonny Landreth is scheduled to perform at Peter’s Players—just one of this week’s things to do in Muskoka (photo: Acadiana Centre for Film and Media)

JUNE 5  Spend an afternoon at Huntsville’s River Mill Park and check out the colourful canoe-paddle art created by Huntsville High School’s youth in transition.

JUNE 7  Listen in wonder as Louisiana slide-guitar virtuoso Sonny Landreth performs classic tracks and songs from his latest album at Peter’s Players.

JUNE 7 & 8  Parry Sound’s Stockey Centre hosts a toe-tappin’, head-noddin’ good time thanks to its two-day Rock Fest. Friday night is headlined by “Signs” singers the Five Man Electrical Band, while Saturday sees performances by Eagles tribute band Hotel California and others.

JUNE 8  Classic rock fans may want to make a return trip to Peter’s Players: the Gravenhurst venue’s second show in as many days features Yardbirds founding member Jim McCarty and his blues- and classical-influenced band.

JUNE 8 & 9  Hit the road this weekend—not just to enjoy the region’s natural scenery, but also to take in the excellent visuals by participants in the annual Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour.

Weekly Planner: July 2 to 8

Real rodeo excitement comes to Muskoka in the Bracebridge Bullnanza (photo courtesy of Double D Rodeo Productions)

Thrill to the real rodeo action of the Bracebridge Bullnanza, taking place on Thursday at the J.D. Lang Activity Park. The show features bull riding, barrel racing, a performance by the Canadian Cowgirls mounted drill squad and more. Yeehaw!

Meet Muskoka artists and craftspeople—and perhaps purchase some of their beautiful ceramics, paintings, jewellery and more—as the Art in the Heart outdoor market opens for its fifth season this Saturday. Running from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., it takes place along Manitoba Street and Chancery Lane in downtown Huntsville.

Craftsmanship of a different kind can be viewed on Saturday in Gravenhurst—the Muskoka Wharf hosts the region’s 32nd annual Antique and Classic Boat Show, with more than 100 exquisite wooden watercraft displayed in-water.

Should you find yourself salivating in Port Carling, it may be due to the aroma of fresh-cooked seafood. The town hosts its summer Lobsterfest on Saturday, so be sure to book your tickets in advance at the Apothecary Shop (86 Joseph St.). Not a fan of crustaceans? There’s a steak dinner, too.

Perk up your ears to some great music. Muskoka venues host three must-hear concerts this weekend. On Saturday, slide guitar virtuoso Sonny Landreth takes the stage at Peter’s Players, while Canadian rockers Big Wreck reunite at The Kee to Bala. On Sunday, head to Deerhurst Resort, where Trooper will try to live up to its reputation as the country’s “greatest party band.”

Weekly Planner: June 25 to July 1

Celebrate the RMS Segwun's 125th anniversary in Gravenhurst!

Celebrate an icon of the Muskoka lakes—this weekend marks the 125th anniversary of North America’s oldest operating steamship, the RMS Segwun. The festivities begin with a parade from Gravenhurst’s Gull Lake Park to Muskoka Wharf on Friday at 1 p.m., followed by free Kawartha Dairy ice cream, face painting, live performances and a fly-past by the Snowbirds. Saturday features an all-day barbecue, more live music, a fishing tournament and one-hour Segwun cruises by donation.

You might want to skip lunch on Thursday, as Flavours of Muskoka is certain to satisfy all your cravings. From 6 to 9 p.m. at The Rosseau, this annual “amazing graze” offers foodies and oenophiles a chance to sample the region’s culinary bounty as prepared by more than 40 chefs, brewers and winemakers. Best of all, proceeds help support Kaleidoscope Arts in Education programs for children.

If you’re not able to make it to Flavours of Muskoka, there’s another way to support Kaleidoscope Arts in Education—the group’s annual Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival rolls into Minett, with all kinds of family-friendly activities on Saturday at Clevelands House and Sunday at The Rosseau.

The weekend also offers the chance to pick up some lovely items for your home and cottage—or gifts for friends and family who might be hosting you—as the Bala Craft and Gift Fair sets up shop Saturday and Sunday at the Bala Community Centre. If you prefer vintage to contemporary wares, you’re in luck! The Bala Antique Show shares space with the craft fair.

Have a rip-roarin’, bronco-bustin’ good time at the Burk’s Falls Rodeo rustles up some old west excitement on Saturday and Sunday. This Ontario Rodeo Association–sanctioned event features bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and much more.

Wear your red and white all Sunday long—it’s Canada Day, and communities throughout the region are offering all sorts of patriotic fun. Parry Sound, in particular, offers a full day of fun with a pancake breakfast, entertainment and fireworks at the town dock. Or if you find yourself in Huntsville, head over to Muskoka Heritage Place for its strawberry social, then watch the evening fireworks display over Hunter’s Bay.

Weekly Planner: June 18 to 24

Bala's Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery is just one of the Muskoka attractions participating in Doors Open

There’s much more to Muskoka than marinas and cottages. This weekend, get out an explore the region as part of Doors Open. Saturday sees Bala, Port Carling and Torrance offer insight into their communities at participating attractions like Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the Hall Family Log Cabin at Muskoka Lakes Museum. On Sunday, sites such as the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre help the town of Gravenhurst get in on the fun.

This Thursday not only marks the summer solstice, but also National Aboriginal Day. Huntsville honours Ontario’s numerous First Nations peoples from noon to 2 p.m. at River Mill Park, where guests can participate in drum and buffalo teachings and more.

View the works of some of the region’s finest painters, printmakers and more as the Northern Ontario Art Association’s 55th annual juried exhibition continues in Burk’s Falls. About 40 kilometres north of Huntsville, local furniture-maker the Wooden Roo hosts 40 distinct pieces through to June 28.

An evening of toe-tapping tunes and teary-eyed ballads awaits on Thursday evening, as the Gravenhurst Opera House plays hosts to country crooners The Stellas. Singers Marylynne and Brad Stella have the sort of effortless rapport that’s the hallmark of all great singing duos—no surprise, as they’ve been married for 16 years.

Weekly Planner: June 11 to 17

The West Parry Sound District Museum hosts a documentary screening this week

Be entertained while enhancing your knowledge of the world around you. This Tuesday evening, the West Parry Sound District Museum‘s “Films That Make You Think” screening series continues with the documentary Vanishing of the Bees, which examines the possible causes and consequences of Colony Collapse Disorder.

A convention for all things canine awaits you in Huntsville from Friday to Sunday. The Cottage Dog Show features all kinds of vendors offering pooch paraphernalia, plus dog activities and contests, and a performance by YouTube Jesse, a Jack Russell Terrier that’s alleged to know 1,000 tricks.

Cheer on the paddlers as they stroke through the waters of Georgian Bay at Parry Sound’s Dragon Boat Festival. The day-long event takes place this Saturday at Waubuno Beach. In addition to high-energy boating heats, the event promises children’s activities, live music, food and more.

Get up close and personal with veteran Canadian comedian Scott Thompson—the Kids in the Hall member brings his cerebral, off-beat brand of humour to the Peter’s Players stage on Saturday night, as part of the popular Cottage Country Comedy Festival.

Celebrate Father’s Day weekend with your “old man” and a herd of classic and specialty cars, as the Muskoka region plays host to a pair of automotive events. The Gravenhurst Antique and Classic Car Show rolls into Gull Lake Park on Saturday; the Bracebridge Father’s Day Car Show is sure to get your motor running on Sunday.

MAP: Our Guide to 16 of Muskoka’s Best Nature Trails and Hiking Destinations

By CHRIS RYALL


View Muskoka Trails: Pathways to Fresh Air and Fun in a larger map

Nature takes centre stage in Muskoka with daily performances by 250 species of birds, 50 types of mammals and 25 species of amphibians. Turn off the iPod and open your ears to Muskoka’s natural sounds by hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking through the region National Geographic Traveler selected selected as one of the top 20 “Best Trips of the World” for 2012. No gas required and no stress allowed.

Here, we’ve mapped some of our favourite trails for you to explore (zoom in close to see all the smaller trails).

10 Ontario Hot Spots for Fall Colours

Photo courtesy of Ontario Tourism

By Merle Rosenstein

Fall evokes images of warm woolen sweaters, steaming hot chocolate and fresh apple crumble. In Ontario the end of summer is heralded by an eruption of colour—oranges, reds and yellows painted across treetops—and the gabble and squawk of birds as they migrate south. Autumn is a time of agricultural bounty in the province, displayed in farmers’ markets and at roadside stands: MacIntosh, Royal Gala and other tempting apple varieties are ripe for picking.  The drama of the season and the cool weather makes this a perfect time for a vigorous hike in the country. In the cities and towns, calendars are bursting with events from film and literary festivals to ghost walks and fall country fairs

(more…)

The Muskoka Seven: Things to Do from August 1 to 7, 2011

Take a trip on the Island Queen

1. Pick a pleasant-looking day (blue-skied and sunny, perhaps with a calm little breeze) to enjoy touring the Georgian Bay biosphere on an Island Queen Cruise. Don’t forget your camera—the rugged landscape is definitely worth framing.

2. Take a trip to the English countryside from within the Gravenhurst Opera House, which presents its annual dinner theatre production from August 2 to 13. This year’s show is a hilarious British farce entitled Beyond a Joke. (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)