Music and memories: expanding on the last week of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls

sheesham-3Last weekend was incredible and we created so many fantastic musical memories in treasured small halls across Eastern Ontario – we’re ready to do it again!

This week, we shared news that Shawn Tavenier will be joining Sheesham and Lotus & Son in Smiths Falls on Thursday, Sept. 29. Based in Ottawa, this charismatic singer/songwriter and front man for roots rock powerhouse, Silver Creek, is known for his strong presence, powerful voice and his ability to hold an audience.  As a songwriter, Tavenier is not afraid to embrace his love of the written word and poetry and blend it with unique but still classic melodies. Find out more here and take a peek at how the show is shaping up or get your tickets here.

img_3032It’s hard to believe this is the last weekend of shows in your small halls! We’re looking forward to going to Smiths Falls, Mississippi Mills, Lyndhurst, McDonald’s Corners, Pakenham, Gananoque, Burritt’s Rapids and Bolingbroke. 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.

tomato-tomato-4-fosh-elginSo, you have your tickets – why not extend your visit to explore some of Eastern Ontario’s intriguing small towns? It’s easy to extend your stay 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.

Why not extend your visit to:

Mississippi Mills
Before the Harrow Fair show with Terry Tufts this Thursday, be sure to explore Mississippi Mills! Pay a visit to the Clayton General Store – a historic, old-style general store near the shores of Clayton Lake. Gas, groceries, maple syrup, a lending library and a community billboard. Taste a little slice of country and visit the community hub for generations!

Smiths Falls
Why not make a full day of your visit to Smiths Falls! A picturesque spot on the Rideau, Smiths Falls boasts working locks, several museums, and many vantage points for taking it all in! Grab a bite to eat at one of the town’s many restaurants or stroll downtown for some shopping.

McDonald’s Corners
Discover more near McDonald’s Corners! Make memories while visiting nearby Wheeler’s Maple Heritage Museum, which holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of maple production artifacts in the world! Lace up and visit nearby Purdon Conservation Area – home to unique nature trails (one is even an accessible boardwalk), as well as the largest native colony of lady slipper orchids in Canada. McDonald’s Corners Agricultural Hall will be buzzing with activity before the Friday show, as a delicious community dinner is taking place beginning at 6 p.m.! Reservations can be made by phone at 613.259.3480 or tickets can be purchased at the door.

Explore Lyndhurst! Take a picture with the legendary plaid house on the main street, stroll along the docks and discover Ontario’s oldest bridge, find unique gifts in a few local shops and take advantage of an amazing community supper on Friday evening! Beginning at 5 p.m. at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, a chicken dinner will tempt tastebuds before the show! Tickets are $15 and the price include dessert. Tickets must be purchase in advance and are available at St. Luke’s Thrift Shop (459  Lyndhurst Rd.) and the Green Gecko (436 Lyndhurst Rd.) or reserved by phone at 613.507.3311.

Take in the natural beauty and friendly community of Pakenham! As a scenic village on the banks of the Mississippi River, it’s easy to see why generations of people have made a home here. Marvel at the only five-span stone bridge in Canada, step back in time at the Pakenham General Store which has been in operation since 1840 and visit some other unique shops and eateries.

So much to see and do in Gananoque! Why not turn your Ontario Small Halls exerience into a weekend-adventure? Take a boat cruise among the 1,000 Islands and tour real castle; soar above the islands during a first-class helicopter tour; stay in one of the charming inns or hotels in Gananoque, or stroll around town and enjoy the shops and beauty!

Discover country charm in Bolingbroke! This is the definition of Sunday drive. The winding roads, gorgeous scenery and even a nearby elevated bridge high over picturesque train tracks – you never know what is around the next bend! Bring your camera and enjoy exploring the back roads. Fall River Restaurant and coffee house is only minutes away on Hwy. 7 and even an overnight cottage stay is doable on Farren Lake right in Bolingbroke.

Burritt’s Rapids
Why not make a full day of your visit to Burritt’s Rapids? Outdoor fun around the village is on the agenda before the show! Straddling the Rideau River, sited 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. Take an easy walk on the Tip-to-Tip Trails (4.5 kms roundtrip) or through the fields up to the Stoney Steps (3 kms roundtrip) or choose a grab a longer section of the Rideau Trail. There is a play structure in the backyard of the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall, a virtual scavenger hunt for kids and a number of Geocaches to find. There are Anglican services held every Sunday at 9 a.m. in the charming Carpenter Gothic Church and the restaurant at Lock 17 is open for a pre-show lunch or drinks. There is an additional architectural walk around the village before the show; if you’re not all worn out after the show, stick around for some toe-tapping, roof-raising, pitchfork-and-torch-wielding traditional and folk music and dancing with friends and perfect strangers afterwards! Food vendors will be on site, as well as a fine art and craft exhibition.

Don’t have your tickets yet? See our full schedule here! Please note that ticket purchase over the phone is also an option and can be easily done by calling 613.791.3476.

We can’t wait to celebrate week three of incredible live music in community spaces with you!