The Next Stage Theatre Festival

A theatre festival takes place in January called The Next Stage. It also presents an opportunity for unknown and innovative productions, but the scope of the Festival is decidedly smaller.

Bernard Shaw Festival

The only theater in the world specializing in the plays of Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries (in 2006, among other works selected for production were Chekhov’s The Bear and The Proposal). The Festival was founded in 1962 by Niagara-area lawyer and playwright Bryan Daugherty when he arranged for two shows of the great playwright Don Giovanni in Hell and Candide. The historic courthouse was converted into a small theatre. On June 20, 1973, the main theatre of the Festival was built and inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II. Today performances take place in three theatres, the third location is the Royal George Theater, built back in 1915 to show vaudeville. Every season 10-12 new performances are presented, a total of 800 times, the number of visitors during the whole period of the Festival exceeds 300 thousand people a year.

Stratford Shakespeare Festival

The history of the Shakespeare Festival is similar to that of the Bernard Shaw Festival. Local journalist Tom Patterson had long dreamed of creating a festival of plays based on Shakespeare’s plays, which was natural, given the city’s name. He met the famous British director Tyrone Guthrie, who agreed to stage two plays, Richard the Third and All’s Well That Ends Well. The founders even managed to lure to town the legendary English actor, Sir Alec Guinness, who played the role of Richard in the play that opened the first Festival on July 13, 1953. That first Festival lasted two weeks.

Stratford Shakespeare Festival

The project soon became known around the world. In 1957 the main Festival Theater was built. In 1963 the Festival Committee bought the Avon Theater and began to rent another space for workshops and seminars. Today, the Festival runs for 25 weeks a year, plays are performed over 450 times during the festival period, and over 100 regular actors are hired for the entire season.

Blyth Theatre Festival

The Blyth Centre for the Arts (including the Theatre Festival) was founded in 1975 to stage exclusively Canadian works. Along with the theatrical productions, the Festival includes concerts by the Festival Orchestra, singers and instrumentalists.


For ten days in June, Toronto’s stages, streets, and public spaces take on a special glow that the young but already popular Luminato arts festival brings to them. All arts and genres are represented: theatre, dance, music, literature, food, arts & crafts, fashion, film, filmography and everything else you can think of. Participants from Toronto and other cities in Canada and other countries will be invited to take part. Many Festival events are free.

Sound of Music Festival

This Burlington-based Festival is one of the 50 most popular festivals in Ontario. It features new forces, Canadian “idols” of yesteryear and today’s crowd favourites, along with well-known artists. The Festival takes place at several concert venues along the lake and downtown and is paraded through the downtown streets. Concerts range from religious choral music to rock.

Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival

Toronto has hosted this popular Festival since 1987. In its 20 years of existence, the Festival has presented 20,000 artists, 85% of whom are Canadian; hosted more than 1,500 free events and welcomed over 6 million people.

Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival.

Mariposa Folk Music Festival

For more than 40 years, the Mariposa Festival in Orillia has presented world-class authors and performers in folk and roots music, blues, spirituals, acoustic and ethnic music. The concerts take place in seven open-air venues. During the Festival, there are also exhibitions and sales of folk arts and crafts, musical instruments, jewelry, etc., and various ethnic cuisines. The Festival is held in the park on the shore of Lake Couchiching. The Gordon Lightfoot Folk Singer Trail, part of the Trans-Canada Trail, runs through the park.