Dockside Festival of the Arts Really Rocks!


 Dockside Festival of the Arts Really Rocks!     
By Kim Kerr


Summer in Muskoka brings with it many great things to see and do, from fun outdoor events and festivals, to great summer theatre and entertainment.

One of the most anticipated events each year is the Veridian Dockside Festival of the Arts. Being held in Gravenhurst from August 17th to 19th, this first-rate arts event is now in its 27th year and draws crowds from across Ontario to the town’s Muskoka Wharf to shop and be entertained.

Highlights this year include some 100 unique jury-selected artisan vendors offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities from arts and crafts to jewellery and clothing, great live music (more on that in a minute!), and plenty of fun for youngsters in the Kids Zone, including hands-on arts and craft opportunities, live reptiles, and much more.

There’s also the welcome return of the popular food and drink lounge, including craft beer from Gravenhurst-based Sawdust City Brewery, along with plenty of great offerings from on-site gourmet food vendors.

Great Musical Talent

Dockside Festival of the Arts Singers

Performers Cole & Jess set to rock Muskoka

The more than 5,000 who attend Dockside Festival are also treated to a superb line-up of top musical talent, too. These artists will each be performing live sets throughout the festival, showcasing their musical talents to an appreciative audience.

And as exciting as it is for festival-goers to enjoy these musicians, the acts themselves are the first to admit their excited about the chance to perform in Gravenhurst.

“Some of our best childhood memories are of summers in Muskoka,” performers Cole and Jess told LuxuryMuskoka when asked about the cottage country experience. “Beaches, bonfires, and of course, lots of music. Playing festivals in Gravenhurst reminds us of those special times as we see families sing, and kids dance, along to our music.”

The duo adds: “With this in mind, we have decided to donate a portion of our earnings to MusiCounts to help put musical instruments into the hands of kids who need them the most.”

You can enjoy the music of Cole and Jess on Saturday, August 18th between12:30 to 2:30 pm, and again on Sunday, August 19th, from 2 to 4 pm.

Playing the Dockside Festival

Dockside Festival of the ARTS GINA HORSWOOD

Huntsville’s Gina Horswood will be performing

Another artist looking forward to playing at the Dockside Festival is Gina Horswood, who will share her distinctive brand of singing and song writing on Saturday, August 18th at 3 to 5 pm.

“Dockside is the perfect display of community and creativity coming together,” says Horswood. “Rain, hail, or shine there are always great vibes at this festival! I love that so much of what Muskoka has to offer – artisans, musicians, craft beer, beautiful scenery – is captured in this one spectacular event. It makes me proud to call this area home and I am grateful to be joining the music line-up once again!”

Other acts to watch out for include:

  • Nicole Duquette, an indie/folk singer/songwriter/musician from Huntsville who will perform Friday, August 17th from 10 am to 12 pm, and again on Saturday, August 18th from 10am to 12pm 
  • Sean Cotton, who brings his ‘Wooden Spaceship’ to town on Friday, August 17th from 3 to 5 pm, and again Sunday, August 19th from 11:30 to 1:30 pm

Fun for the Kids

Dockside Festival of the Arts Kids Zone

The Kids Zone… fun for kids!

There’s also plenty of fun planned for the kids, too.

Highlights include a thrilling ‘critter’ chainsaw carving display, along with real beasties including turtles and snakes, plus educational programming aimed at helping kids understand the need to protect our wildlife. Other must-dos for kids include fun yoga and craft events, bath-bomb making workshops, a chance to make (and take home) their own solar lights, painting classes… and, of course, face painting.

To learn more, and for other details relating to the Veridian Dockside Festival of the Arts, visit



 Kim Kerr is a Muskoka-based writer and festival-goer.






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