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Cloud Gallery in Orillia, Ont., a new 10,000-square-foot art space that launched last year, celebrates Ontario’s natural beauty.Supplied

While Toronto’s arts and culture scene is admittedly impressive, you’ll find the spirit of creativity is just as strong outside city limits. Here’s what’s worth checking out on your next day outing this fall and beyond.


The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is the only LEED-certified venue of its kind in Ontario. Its 720-seat Main Theatre presents more than 70 professional performing arts events each season, from popular music to dance, comedy, classical, illusion, speaking engagements and educational shows.

On Oct. 14, one of Canada’s most enduring and iconic bands, Glass Tiger, is bringing its new wave, synth-rock to the stage. If the classics are more your jam, check out the Vienna Boys’ Choir (Oct. 15), considered one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles for 500 years and counting. For the holiday season The National Ballet Theatre of Ukraine returns with the timeless Christmas classic, The Nutcracker (Dec. 2-3) and Celtic music superstar, step-dancer and fiddler Natalie MacMaster is performing a holiday show called A Celtic Family Christmas on Dec. 17.


The Shaw Festival is not only celebrating its 60th season this year but enters the next with a bang. “A mix of classics, real hidden gems, new works and a variety of voices will be seen, heard and experienced in both our indoor and outdoor spaces next season,” says Tim Carroll, artistic director of the Shaw Festival. “After these past two years, it’s time to further bolster our connection to one another.”

Get on board with festive classics such as A Christmas Carol (Nov. 9-Dec. 23) or White Christmas (Nov. 18-Dec. 23). Mark your calendar for next year’s playbill, too. Mahabharata (March 9-26) is a visually stunning spectacle offering a contemporary take on the 4,000-year-old Sanskrit epic about a family feud.

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For the holiday season, the Shaw Festival is presenting the family favourite A Christmas Carol.DAVID COOPER


The Art Gallery of Hamilton’s (AGH) annual film festival has evolved into a 10-day multi-arts extravaganza this year, bringing together artists from all creative disciplines Oct. 14-23. Check out a concert, watch a film screening or attend a panel led by Indigenous activists, protectors and educators on the art (and appropriation) of ribbon skirts, accompanied by drumming and hoop dancing (Oct. 20).

The AGH will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day throughout the festival. Admission is free to all four fall exhibitions, which debut during a special celebration on Oct. 13.


The Stephen Leacock Museum’s new permanent exhibit 75 Years of Laughs: Reminiscing the Leacock Medal for Humour features past winners of the Leacock Medal, such as Farley Mowat, Robertson Davies and Mordecai Richler. “Located 15 minutes south of Muskoka, the museum offers stunning scenery and a unique literary journey for visitors,” says Jacqueline Surette, manager of culture for the City of Orillia.

It’s also a featured stop this Thanksgiving weekend (Oct. 7-10) along the Images Studio Tour. This four-day, self-guided art tour through Simcoe County highlights more than 30 artists and craftspeople, including potters, sculptors, photographers and jewellers. Also worth a visit is one of the four art exhibitions running Oct. 21-Dec. 2 at Cloud Gallery, a hybrid art gallery started during the pandemic by a father-son duo to showcase Ontario’s best landscape artists. The 10,000-square-foot space, located in a heritage building, features a rotating display of more than 100 paintings.

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