The festival that melds big names in music with rural communities in Eastern Ontario is enlivening new spaces this fall.
Last year, the Ontario Festival of Small Halls got bigger and better, expanding its scope and bringing internationally-renowned musicians to two dozen rural gathering spaces. For 2017, the Festival is growing once again, encompassing more than 30 community halls from even further afield. The celebration of exceptional live music is taking place from September 14 to October 1, 2017 in intimate settings to showcase local hubs, attract visitors to new regions and build community.
The new host halls this year stretch from Dacre to Merrickville to Alexandria. While some venues are familiar hosts from last year, such as Chaffey’s Lock, others are new to the festival line up, like Dunvegan and Balderson.
Kelly Symes, General Manager of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, said the festival allows music fans to experience a memorable evening of song and dance in cherished places that have a long history of gathering people together.
“We’re delighted to continue showcasing these intimate gathering places, and welcome big name musical acts to small town Ontario,” she said, noting that 30 new halls applied from across Eastern Ontario.
Symes said the new venues were selected based on their history, charm and the eagerness of their volunteer teams. “These spaces play a vital role in bringing people together,” she said. “Some of the new venues include heritage spaces, a former schoolhouse and even a radio concert hall.”
This is the fourth year for the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, which has grown from only three halls on the schedule to over 30. Symes said the festival is expanding quickly thanks to loyal supporters, as well as the eagerness and kindness of host communities.
Organizers of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls will be announcing dates and the big-name acts later this spring who will be taking center stage across Eastern Ontario and the Upper Ottawa Valley, at the following chosen venues:
La Fraternité, Alexandria
Almonte Old Town Hall
Joshua Bates Centre, Athens
Balderson United Church
Community Hall Burritts Rapids
Community Hall Chaffey’s Lock
Community Hall DACA Community Centre
Dacre Delta Old Town Hall
Dunvegan Recreation Hall
The Red Brick School, Elgin
Lyndhurst Legion (Royal Canadian Legion Branch 504)
Maberly Hall St. James Roman Catholic Church Maxville
McDonald’s Corners Agricultural Hall
Merrickville United Church
Union Hall, Mississippi Mills
Morton Community Hall
Portland Community Hall
Valley Heritage Radio Renfrew
Batstone’s Northern Ramble
Seeley’s Bay Community Hall
Tatlock Community Hall
St. Andrew’s United Church, Pakenham
St. Andrew’s United Church, Toledo
Westmeath Recreation Centre
Winchester Old Town Hall
For more information, including a bio on each hall, please visit www.thefestivalofsmallhalls.com or follow on social media.