Big Summer Fun @ Huntsville Festival of the Arts 2023

Photo courtesy Barra MacNeils

Riley Contributor Kim Kerr takes a peek at the summer fun on offer at the Huntsville Festival of the Arts for 2023


While most visitors to Muskoka think of cottage country predominantly for its amazing natural scenery and outdoor fun, scratch a little deeper and you’ll discover the region has a rich tradition of cultural activities, too.

Huntsville in particular boasts an incredible array of local artists and performers, while its venues have hosted countless national and international acts. Leading the way is the popular Huntsville Festival of the Arts (HFA), which has crafted a superb series of experiences to showcase the best of both talent pools for its 2023 summer and fall seasons.

With most events held at the Town of Huntsville’s Algonquin Theatre, the HFA’s programming features an extensive range of genres, from classical to contemporary, and includes everything from jazz to rock and pop concerts, and plenty of other offerings in between.


Make the Most of Your Visit to the Huntsville Festival of the Arts


Here’s our rundown of the fun you can expect at the Huntsville Festival of the Arts this summer and throughout the fall. To learn more about these upcoming events and other fun things to do in Huntsville, as well as member discounts and special offers, visit the Huntsville Festival of the Arts website at

Thinking of making a fun Muskoka getaway out of your night of art and entertainment in Huntsville? Check out these stories for ideas of great places to stay in Huntsville:


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Huntsville Festival of the Arts 2023


Gina Horswood Sings Adele
Gina Horswood at Huntsville Festival of the Arts sitting with tea cups
Local talent Gina Horswood brings the music of Adele to the Huntsville Festival of the Arts


Muskoka’s very own Gina Horswood hosts a captivating evening delving into Adele‘s collection of top-charting songs. Known for her exceptional talent, Gina smoothly transitions between her original compositions, rock classics, and pop standards, for a memorable evening of great music.

Mark your calendars for July 7 at 8 pm at Trinity United Church.

Barra MacNeils

Representing Canada‘s Celtic spirit, the Barra MacNeils, a family group hailing from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, has been delighting audiences of all ages with its dynamic performances for over 30 years. Their diverse repertoire, extraordinary vocal talent, instrumental expertise, and electrifying showmanship have kept fans, both close to home and across the globe, captivated.

See them live on July 8 at 8 pm at Algonquin Theatre.


Tim Baker
Tim-Baker in field with flowers
Tim-Baker brings his nuanced performance to Huntsville in July


Recognized primarily as the lyricist and lead vocalist of Hey Rosetta!, a multi-award-winning, Juno-nominated, and Polaris-shortlisted band based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Tim Baker spent over 15 years performing high-octane shows in arenas, clubs, theaters, and at significant festivals worldwide.

When the band disbanded in 2017, Baker transformed himself from being the frontrunner and composer of a prominent indie rock band to a compelling solo artist. His solo LP, Forever Overhead, earned him a Juno nomination for Songwriter of the Year, three East Coast Music Awards, along with several nominations, and a spot on the Polaris long list.

He’s playing at Algonquin Theatre on July 9 at 8 pm.


Kyung-A Lee and Neil Barlow

In a unique fusion titled Where TWO Worlds Meet, esteemed pianist Kyung-A Lee collaborates with the revered Maestro Neil Barlow and Orillia’s Silver Band for an extraordinary musical extravaganza. This unforgettable evening unites two exceptional musical forces in a program featuring pieces from Bach, Chopin, Gershwin, and a special performance of Rachmaninoff‘s Rhapsody on a Theme piano concerto.

You can see them in action on July 15 at 8 pm at Algonquin Theatre.


Lowest of the Low
Lowest-of-the-Low-at Huntsville Festival of the Artsjpg
Expect a flawless performance by the Lowest of the Low in Huntsville


The origins of the Lowest of the Low can be traced back to 1983 when Ron Hawkins and David Alexander, as teenagers, formed the highly political, straight-edge band Social Insecurity. This partnership led to the formation of Popular Front in the late 80s, with the addition of guitarist Stephen Stanley. Although the band grew to include up to eight members at one time, the trio of Ron, David, and Stephen remained the constant nucleus, enduring the revolving door of other members until Popular Front evolved into Lowest of the Low.

The band continues to garner a loyal fan base and a packed performance schedule owing to their exhilarating live performances. But don’t take our word for it. You can enjoy the band’s distinctive blend of ingenious lyrics, sharp hooks, and flawless harmonies at Algonquin Theatre on July 21 at 8 pm.


Nuit Blanche North

Nuit Blanche North (NbN), a hallmark event of Huntsville’s summer season, stands out as a vibrant, interactive, multi-arts street festival located in Huntsville. This fun family festival transforms the streets into a dynamic hub of contemporary artistic endeavors for one special night.

During the evening event, the town’s downtown area buzzes with a diverse array of art-related activities, events, and exhibits, ingeniously housed in non-traditional spaces in and around the town center.

This fun free event takes July 22 from 8 pm to 2 am in downtown Huntsville.


Aysanabee’s captivating music is sure to light up the stage of the Algonquin Theatre


Aysanabee’s music captivates audiences with its solemn, uplifting tones, woven into an eclectic mix of indie, soul, and electronic melodies. His hypnotic sound, enriched by melancholic saxophone notes and thrilling fingerpicking, is as entrancing as it is melodious.

A multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer-songwriter, Aysanabee currently resides in Toronto. Of Oji-Cree heritage, he’s part of the Sucker Clan of the Sandy Lake First Nation, a remote fly-in community in the distant corners of Northwestern Ontario. He adopted his mother’s maiden name for his musical endeavors during the pandemic, a period of stillness that enabled him to slow down and craft music that he believes more accurately represents his artistic identity.

Aysanabee plays at Huntsville Festival of Arts’ Algonquin Theatre on July 26 at 8 pm.


Three Fires Film Festival 

With more than 100 films in its lineup, the Three Fires International Film Festival showcases a diverse array of local and international films across all genres this summer in River Mill Park in downtown Huntsville. The event is complemented by food, beverages, and an arts marketplace to support local talent, along with a variety of workshops encompassing storytelling, film production, and sound therapy.

This fun Muskoka film festival takes place July 27 at 6 pm and July 28, 29, and 30 at 10 am downtown Huntsville.


Hayden playing guitar at the Huntsville festival of the Arts
Hayden promises a sell-out show at the Huntsville Festival of the Arts


Hayden has been crafting music in his unique style and at his own pace for more than a quarter of a century. A nominee for both the Polaris Prize and a Juno, he has largely self-produced, engineered, and mixed his records, creating a distinct universe through his music.

His thematic exploration spans from love’s ebbs and flows to narratives of bear attacks and home intrusions. Additionally, Hayden is the co-founder of Dream Serenade, an annual charity concert held every autumn since 2014 at Toronto’s Massey Hall. The event is dedicated to supporting children with physical and developmental disabilities and their families.

See Hayden July 28 at 8 pm at Algonquin Theatre

Hannah Shira Naiman

Awarded the title of ‘Traditional Singer of the Year’ at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2017 for her album Know The Mountain, Hannah Shira Naiman of Huntsville flawlessly blends her potent songwriting abilities and remarkable musicianship to offer electrifying renditions of the traditional music she grew up with.

Having traversed from coast to coast across Canada and the US to her music, Hannah has been continually honing her songwriting craft since relocating to Northern Ontario four years ago. Supported by the Ontario Arts Council, she has also expanded her career as a children’s musician and music educator.

See her live at Hillside Farm on July 30 at 2 pm.




Contributor Kim Kerr is a lifestyle and travel writer, as well as Co-founder of Riley International Media. She’s a resident of Gravenhurst and a keen follower and supporter of the Muskoka region’s rich arts and culture community.

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