The Huntsville Festival of the Arts (HfA) is back for its 31st summer season of concerts and events.
Muskoka’s largest arts organization has cooked up a rich artistic program for every palette. Whether your taste favours a folk-rooted country ballad, laugh-out-loud comedy, virtuosic musicianship, or a raucous drag show, there’s plenty to savour in this season’s line-up of shows. Combined with visual art, waterfront movies, and award-winning special events, the 2023 season is expected to attract thousands to the area.
Returning festival favourites include Canada’s Celtic Ambassadors the Barra MacNeils, legendary musicians Lighthouse celebrating 50 years, and the jazzy and infectious voice of Holly Cole. With a star on the Walk of Fame, the Order of Canada, and no less than 15 JUNO awards, Jim Cuddy needs no introduction and will undoubtedly offer a sell-out performance.
The season also features boundary pushing Canadian musicians including Newfoundland-born Tim Baker, celebrated folk artist Hayden, and the one-of-a-kind CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR!, where the audience will be led in a giant sing-a-long of ABBA’s joyous MAMMA MIA! Indie Rockers Lowest of the Low return and Grammy-nominated country artist Steven Lee Olsen whose music has been recorded by Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, and more makes his Huntsville debut.
There’s plenty of diverse seasoning in this year’s program. Grammy-winning Alex Cuba showcases his unique mixture of Latin rhythms and pop. Internationally renowned soprano Measha Brueggergosman-Lee returns with a program of pop, show tunes, and spirituals, and rising indigenous folk artist Aysanabee shares his powerful voice and storytelling. Also look for the 1st annual 3 Fires Film Festival featuring international, Canadian, and Indigenous films screening in River Mill Park in Downtown Huntsville.
HfA’s season will also tickle your funny bone with hilarious comedian and host of the Debaters Steve Patterson. Star Wars fans will love the family-friendly One Man Star Wars Trilogy™, while Lemon, Canada’s “Queen” of the North, brings a full-blown drag show to the Algonquin Theatre.
Programming will also continue to venture into alternative venues. Legendary blues and reggae artist Jay Douglas is featured as part of the popular Etwell Concert Series. Hillside Farm will host Reggadiction – Ganja Harvest: a night featuring reggae versions of songs from Neil Young’s Harvest Album. And Toronto’s CORPUS will bring the visually stunning outdoor theatre dance performance La Bulle to Camp Tawingo for three shows.
Local Artists will be on the main menu this season with piano virtuouso Kyung-A Lee teaming up with Neil Barlow and the Orillia Silver Band for a one-a-kind classical music performance. Gina Horswood uses her incredible voice to explore Adele’s immense songbook of hits. Local Hannah Shira Naiman brings her award-winning Appalachian folk to Hillside Farm, and the SOLD OUT hit Acoustic Floyd returns for a multimedia experience at the Algonquin Theatre. Other local artists to be featured this year include several musicians playing in the popular Music at Noon Series running July 17-21.
“The theme of our summer season is Arts with Taste” says Dan Watson, Executive Director of Huntsville Festival of the Arts. “We aim to present a diverse menu of tasty artistic dishes that entertain, enrich, delight and showcase our beautiful region. We also strive to keep our programming financially accessible by offering free or low-cost events, discounted seniors pricing and $20 youth programming to all our shows.”
The 2023 event will see the return of the popular Nuit Blanche North: a one-night multi-arts street festival that takes over downtown. The season also sees the return of Movie on the Docks: a boat-in movie experience where films are shown on a double-sided screen, and audiences can either watch from the water or on shore. It will also mark the return of the Huntsville ART CRAWL in June, including the extremely popular Tom Thomson Canoe Murals and the addition of the En Plein Air Art Market: an open air market on June 24 featuring local artists and live painting in River Mill Park.
Tickets for the general public will be on sale starting on May 4th at 10am. Those who want to get to the front of the line can purchase a “Friend of the Festival” membership which gives them advance access to tickets starting April 12th. Memberships also offer discounts of 15% on all Festival shows and many other perks. Memberships are available for purchase immediately. Once purchased, Friends can purchase tickets to summer shows by visiting huntsvillefestival.ca or by calling the box office at 705-789-4975.
Huntsville Festival of the Arts is made possible through the generous support of its sponsors, members and government funders. To learn more about these supporters, or to see the exceptional line-up of concerts, shows and performances or to purchase tickets online, please visit www.huntsvillefestival.ca.
2023 Huntsville Festival of the Arts Summer Programming
– Huntsville ART CRAWL | June 1-30 | Downtown Huntsville
– Tom Thomson Canoe Murals | June 12-17 | River Mill Park
-The Dreamboats| June 16 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Alex Cuba | June 22 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– En Plein Air Art Market | June 24 | 10am-6pm | River Mill Park
– Measha Brueggergosman-Lee | June 29 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Steven Lee Olsen | June 30 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Lighthouse | July 6 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Gina Horswood Sings Adele | July 7 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Barra MacNeils | July 8 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Tim Baker | July 9 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– HfA Nature Arts Camp | July 10-14 | 8:30-4:30 | HfA Studio
– Choir!Choir!Choir! | July 13 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Kyung-A Lee featuring Neil Barlow & the Orillia Silver Band | July 15-16 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Music at Noon Series | July 17-21 @ 12pm | Trinity United Church
– Lowest of the Low | July 21 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Nuit Blanche North | July 22 | 8pm-2am | Downtown Huntsville
– Aysanabee | July 26 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Three Fires Film Festival | July 27-30 | River Mill Park
– Hayden | July 28 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Reggaddication – Harvest | July 29 @ 8pm | Hillside Farm
– Hannah Shira Naiman | July 30 @ 2pm | Hillside Farm
– One Man Star Wars Trilogy | August 1 @ 7pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Movie on the Docks | August 5 @ 9pm | Town Docks
– Jim Cuddy | August 9 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Holly Cole | August 10 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Lemon – Drag Performance | August 11 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Steve Patterson | August 12 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Jay Douglas | August 13 @ 3pm | Etwell Concert Series
– HfA Summer Drama Camp | August 14-18 | 8:30am-4:30pm | Algonquin Theatre
– Acoustic Floyd | August 17 @ 8pm | Algonquin Theatre
– La Bulle – CORPUS | September 1-3 @ 7pm | Camp Tawingo
Huntsville Festival of the Arts is a registered charitable, not-for-profit organization with a goal to further develop the community’s appreciation of the arts by providing an eclectic mix of performances and exhibitions presented in a variety of venues throughout the area and involving performers of local, national, and international stature.
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