From buskers to metal art designers, Ontario’s Southwest has it all.
Check out our thriving local art scene at these awesome art-filled summer events.
Art in the Park Petrolia: July 7th – 8th
Victoria Park in Petrolia, Ontario will display work from some of the area’s best artists this July. The event brings artists from all over Southwestern Ontario together to showcase their distinctive skills and abilities. With live music by local performers, a Teen Idol contest on the Saturday, and beautiful work from artists like metal art designer, Jason Archer, there’s something for all art lovers to enjoy. So head to Art in the Park Petrolia, where you’ll find a variety of pieces that range from watercolour, oil, and acrylic paintings to pottery, stained glass, and wood working.
Art in the Barn: July 8th
Head over to Dorchester Fairgrounds to experience Southwest Ontario’s biggest summer arts & crafts festival. With free admission and parking, and over 200 vendors showcasing fine art, pottery, home décor, jewelry, and more, this is an event you just can’t miss out on. Art in the Barn is a fundraiser for the North Dorchester Agricultural Society, and all money raised goes toward youth agricultural projects and agricultural awareness. So support your local agriculture and come early for the famous pancake breakfast, or shop through four buildings and the surrounding property, which will be full of artisans, crafters, soaps, jewelry, clothing, furniture, authors, candles, poetry, and much more.
The SESQUI Cinematic Dome Tour: June 29th – July 3rd and July 7th – July 11th
SESQUI is partnering with the province through Ontario150 to put on an immersive cinematic dome tour with free screenings of the 360o film, HORIZON. The film showcases Canada’s mesmerizing sceneries and the exceptional people that call Canada home by featuring over 380 on-screen performers, a soundtrack of original contemporary Canadian music, and scenes shot in every province and territory. The SESQUI Cinematic Dome Tour will be at two locations in Ontario’s Southwest this summer: London and Windsor. It will be in London at the Budweiser Gardens Lot from June 29th – 3rd as a part of SesquiFest, and in Windsor at Municipal Lot 16, a historic CN Train lot, from July 7th – 11th.
Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival: July 20th – July 30th
This summer The Olde Walkerville Theatre in Windsor will feature performances of theatre, music, dance, comedy, and improve, highlighting unique performances like a Bubble Show and a comedic one-man performance, Life of Len. The artists who perform will collect 100% of the ticket revenue from their performances in order to give them a platform to share their talents no matter the form, content, or style. So head to the Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival to support some local favourites and up and coming performers.
The Crawl: July 22nd
Sample London’s art scene while sipping on some delicious craft beer at The Crawl. Join the Museum Underground for their yearly gallery crawl through downtown London and use their passport map of all of the galleries taking part in this exciting event. Afterwards, head back to Museum London for a wonderful evening of art, music, and beer tasting where you can sample local breweries like Anderson Craft Ales, Forked River Brewing Company, and Toboggan Brewing Co.
Media City Film Festival: August 2nd – August 5th
All the film buffs out there should head to the Art Gallery of Windsor to check out the Media City Film Festival, an annual international film and video art festival that has taken place in both Windsor and Detroit since 1994. With five days of screenings, live performances, exhibitions, and artist discussions, this event attracts filmmakers and audience members from around the world. In fact, some of the films that have premiered at Media City have gone on to famous institutions like the MoMa, the Tate Modern, and the Harvard Film Archive.
Lynn River Music & Arts Festival: August 5th – 7th
If film isn’t your thing, that very same weekend is Lynn River Music & Arts Festival at 50 Bonnie Drive & Norfolk St. (Hwy #24) in Simcoe, Ontario. Hosted at two adjacent parks that border the Lynn River, you are bound to experience several of the sights, sounds, and talents that can only be found at this music and art festival. If you get a little hungry while you’re there, you can even take part in the ‘Pancakes in the Park’ breakfast or try a tasty treat from one of many food vendors.
Jukebox Memories: August 13th
Relive rock and roll with the 50’s and 60’s Jukebox Memories at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in St. Thomas. Take a seat on the lawn behind the winery where you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful vineyard with the perfect view of a stage carved into the forest where you can watch five hours of live music and entertainment that’ll make you feel like you’ve travelled back in time. For $30 - $35, you can enjoy the music of the Beach Boys, Pauly and the Greaseballs, Jersey Nights, and many more.
ARTZscape by the Bay: August 19th – August 20th
Embrace your inner artist and experience the displays of acrylics, watercolours, oils, photography, pottery ceramics, mixed media, and so much more at ARTZscape by the Bay. The 5th anniversary, which has grown up to 100 exhibitors, will be located at Centennial Park in Sarnia, Ontario where you can enjoy live bands, demos, and a dining pavilion. Not only is this a great event, but it’s a great cause. As a fundraiser event for Pathways Health Centre for Children, ARTZscape has raised over $60 000 to provide therapy programs for children with disabilities in the Sarnia Lambton community.
Walkerville Night Market: Recurring
Once a month you can find this recurring community market promoting the hip and historic Walkerville community. On June 30th, July 28th, August 25th, and September 29th, people will come together with local businesses, musicians, and artists to enjoy the beautiful neighbourhood of Walkerville. Located in the Willistead Restaurant parking lot, this event will feature ready to eat meals by the Willistead restaurant, with tables and chairs for guests to sit at. So take a break and relax while enjoying the Walkerville Night Market and some tunes by featured musicians like Autumn Kinds and Chelsey Danfield.