Gravenhurst, Ontario’s Muskoka Music Festival and Dockside Festival of the Arts are excited to announce their return for the 2023 edition happening August 18th – 20th! This past Friday, multi-award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Loreena McKennitt – inducted earlier this month into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame – was announced as the 2023 Headliner. Loreena will be returning to her roots at three Ontario summer folk festivals, including Muskoka Music Festival, performing some of her early, most traditional Celtic songs.
The folk festival performances are rare occurrences for the international artist, who will be presenting a 60-minute set, largely featuring her early repertoire of traditional Irish songs. “It will be a bit like going back to ‘touch the stone’ performing some of these traditional songs which inspired me so many years ago. Besides, this is really in my backyard,” says McKennitt. “I first began performing in folk clubs in Winnipeg and folk festivals are in my blood. I miss them terribly and am so looking forward to being a part of them again this summer.”
McKennitt will be joined by special guests The Bookends, a Stratford-based Celtic band and several of their songs will also be included in the sets. The band also performed with her during December’s eight-city Under A Winter’s Moon Tour in Ontario. Members of the band are Errol Fischer on fiddle and banjo, Miriam Fischer on piano and accordion, Cait Watson on whistles and flute, Pete Watson on guitars, and Romano DiNillo on Bodhran.
“To have this Canadian icon perform in the Gravenhurst Opera House that my Great-Great Grandfather had built is truly a full circle generational moment,” shares Miranda Mulholland founder and Artistic Director of the Muskoka Music Festival.
Tickets for the August 19th Opera House Show, along with the Weekend & VIP Packages are on sale now. More details can be found below and at www.muskokamusicfestival.com. Stay tuned for the full festival lineup to be announced soon!
Muskoka Music Festival (formerly Sawdust City Music Festival) is a boutique 3-day multi-venue festival that takes place in Gravenhurst, ON annually in August. The not-for-profit festival was founded in 2017 by JUNO nominated artist Miranda Mulholland, and over the years has featured performances at the Opera House, evening shows at the Sawdust City Brewing Co. Saloon, Songwriters’ Circles, Music on the Barge, Free Sunday Kids Zone, a vendor village in Gull Lake Rotary Park, performances at the Oar and Arts At The Albion, VIP Experiences, and Write It, Track It, Play It Songwriting Initiative. To check out the previous lineups please visit www.muskokamusicfestival.com.
Dockside Festival of the Arts, since 1991, is a celebration of summer in Gravenhurst with artisans, gourmet food, music, family fun, and more. It takes place at Muskoka Wharf Special Event Park.
Incredible artisans, live music from our sister festival, Muskoka Music Festival, great activities for families, tasty food, and drinks! All Daytime programming & Artisan Village is by Donation. We are a Not—For-Profit organization with a mandate to provide accessible excellent entertainment and wonderful artisans to celebrate the past and future of Gravenhurst. We welcome your support!
Dockside will run Friday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vendor applications are open now! Please apply here by April 17th.