Explore that small town vibe as the Festival wraps up this weekend

Another incredible weekend of live music is in the books as we cruise towards the last weekend of Small Halls 2018!

Were you there when the powered flickered in Delta at the exact moment that local opener, Silent Winters, was singing a lyric about keeping the lights on? Were you captivated in Merrickville when Basia Bulat dusted off the church’s historic organ and played her heart out? How about in Dacre when Mike Plume got people up dancing? Or when the power was out at the ABC Hall in Bolingbroke so Meaghan Blanchard and Grace Lachance played an incredible acoustic show in the dark? Or in Dunvegan when Cassie & Maggie’s constant smiles on stage were contagious throughout the crowd?

It’s hard to believe this is the last weekend of shows in your small halls! We’re looking forward to making more memories in Seeley’s Bay, Maxville, Portland, Lyndhurst, Westmeath, Combermere, Snow Road, Burritt’s Rapids this weekend! Take a peek at the schedule for the final week.

So far, artists, media, audience members and communities have been loving the small halls vibe, talent and cherished spaces which make the amazing music come alive with their ingrained history and heart. Did you see the Xplornet tent at a handful of shows, too? Be sure to pop by to say hello to the newest Ontario Festival of Small Halls sponsor this weekend in Seeley’s Bay and in Maxville.

So, you have your tickets – why not extend your visit to explore some of Eastern Ontario’s intriguing small towns? It’s easy to explore and celebrate small town charm and community – by discovering it! Here are some suggestions for authentic experiences to get you in the spirit for week three.

Portland – Stroll around the village and take a breather in Hanna Park across the road from the community hall. This park has a gazebo and a gorgeous old tree that shelters a few shoreline benches. Watch the sun set over the water after the show or enjoy a relaxing waterfront meal at The Galley restaurant just a short walk down the street and overlooking the Big Rideau.

Lyndhurst – Beginning at 5:30PM, indulge in the ultimate food truck experience as Polar Bear BBQ will be on site in the parking lot of the hall at 459 Lyndhurst Rd. No set price or reservations needed, just order from their menu and pay accordingly. Tables will be set up inside the church or outside if the weather allows. Fill your belly before filling your heart with music and community at the show! Please note this is cash only. Vegetarian options available.

Make a weekend of the NQ Arbuckle show in Lyndhurst! The day following the show, Sunday Sept. 30, a unique event is celebrating the rich arts scene in the area. The Lyndhurst Arts and Culture Tour, a partnership event with Brockville’s Culture Days Canada, invites visitors to come spend the day in Lyndhurst enjoying local artistic talent and hospitality. Set to take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at locations in and around the historic village of Lyndhurst, this is a self-guided tour that sees participants visit various fine art and traditional craft demonstrations, investigate historic and archaeological exhibits, and explore the many other unique features of the area. Find out more here.

Maxville – Stop in at Muir’s Bakery to savour a family-owned tradition since 1929. Established in Montreal, Muir’s features Scottish sweet and savoury delights such as meat pies, steak/kidney/mushroom pies, Empire or Princess cookies and of course Haggis! Get a treat to go and then visit King George Park to sit and enjoy it while embracing fall!

Seeley’s Bay – Come join in the fun before the show, as a celebration is being planned through the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands and Le Boat to showcase the improvements to the Seeley’s Bay Harbour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the Local Flavours and Experiences Market, stroll the village and learn from interpretive signs, picnic in the waterfront park, visit beautiful Haskin’s Point and enjoy being welcomed with small town enthusiasm to this community on the Rideau Canal! Learn more here. For the more adventurous, this is also an excellent location to put in your canoe or kayak for a leisurely paddle before the show!

Harrowsmith – The community that lends its name to the popular magazine born in the 1970s about back-to-the-land living and sustainability, still harbours that intrinsic rural vibe. Before the show, indulge in one of the pizza places for a bite to eat or one of the locally-made dessert options like the adorably delicious cheesecake in a jar from Harrowsmith’s The Cheesecakery.

Snow Road – This is the ultimate back country location. This is a favourite wintertime destination as the hall doubles as a snowmobiler’s haven, but in the fall it’s all about the fall colours. Before the show, hit the back roads to participate in the North Frontenac Back Roads Studio Tour running Saturday and Sunday, or head a few minutes down the road to the McDonald’s Corners Fall Fair running on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Combermere – Before the show, join in on a number of community events. From 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Anneliese Jamnik will lead a Heritage Plaque Walking Tour. The walk is free of charge. Or hop aboard Nigel Newing’s boat cruise, departing from the Boat Launch and heading to the Mayflower sink site. The cost is $20 per person and a group of 9 needs to be confirmed for the cruise to head out.  Finally, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. there will be a community meal held inside the Hall prior to the show. The cost is $12.00 per person. Please reserve with Elaine by email in advance if you plan to attend the boat cruise or the dinner  – elaineschweig@gmail.com.

Westmeath – Nature is grand in Westmeath and surrounding area! Feed your adventurous side and hop aboard a whitewater rafting experience nearby. Visit a real blueberry farm in a neighbouring town, complete with family friendly activities and fresh ice cream. Westmeath is also home to one of the most pristine sand dune and wetland complexes along the southern Ottawa River, at Westmeath Provincial Park. It’s located on Bellow’s Bay, and even features a rare, active sandspit! The park has no facilities or overnight camping, but does offer swimming and wildlife viewing as it is home to more than 300 plant species, more than 180 bird species and many species at risk.

Burritt’s RapidsStraddling the Rideau River, near Lock 17 on the Rideau Canal and a waypoint on the Rideau Trail, the village is a mecca for paddlers, hikers, fishermen, cyclists and birders. Work up an appetite hiking the Tip-to-Tip Trails or through the fields and up to the Stoney Steps and then eat: the wildly-popular Crusty Bakers from Kemptville return as the purveyors of the post-concert dinner, served this year in the form of hot & cold bento boxes filled with savouries and sweets, enabling options for picnicking and take-out. This year’s theme is a Japanese take on traditional North American picnic fare. A full vegetarian option is available. Tickets are $25 and must be booked in advance by emailing local host Andrea Cordonier: andrea@habicurious.com. Please identify any dietary preferences. Payment will be taken at the door; please be sure to bring cash as there is no bank machine in the village.

Don’t have your tickets yet? We can help! Click here or phone 613.402.1425 for more information or tickets. Check out our full schedule for the coming weekend and grab some friends to plan it out!