Insight Advisor

Culture Takes Centre Stage

South Eastern Ontario offers a thriving and vivid community that is rich in culture. With many theatres, productions, galleries and concert series in the area, arts and culture play a prominent role in the composition of the region. See a live theatre performance at Ontario’s only dockside theatre or enjoy Shakespeare outdoors with the St. Lawrence River as a backdrop. Listen to powerful voices and musicians performing at local nightspots, concerts, and special events. Our many cultural opportunities will leave you hoping the curtain never closes on the fantastic performances in South Eastern Ontario!

Theatre at its Best

Exploring Local Community Theatre
Exploring Local Community Theatre
South Eastern Ontario sets the stage for professional theatre
South Eastern Ontario sets the stage for professional theatre
Signature Cultural Experiences
Signature Cultural Experiences

Exploring Local Community Theatre

Expect excellence in the dramatic arts at community-based theatres across South Eastern Ontario. Visitors can enjoy musicals, classical works, physical theatre puppetry, and interdisciplinary works performed by artists from all walks of life that draw inspiration from the stunning scenery here. Visit a local theatre; sit back and relax, and revel in local talent at its best!

Find a blend of classic and contemporary; laughter, tears, debate, and the joy of music with the Belleville Theatre Guild at the Pinnacle Playhouse, located in historic downtown Belleville.

Experience fantastic music and alternative theatre at the Old Church Theatre near Trenton. Housed in a renovated, rural church built in 1876, performances here are intimate and memorable.  

Cornwall’s Old Canal Theatre is a performing arts co-op created by three local theatre companies and Dream Builder Studio. Working together the coop has successfully created a thriving bilingual theatre community in Cornwall and area. The Vagabond Theatre in Cornwall presents comedies, mysteries, whodunits, and dramas. Similarly, the Seaway Valley Theatre Company in Cornwall aims to broaden the imagination through the experience of live community theatre, while le Théâtre de L’Amalgame community theatre troupe in Cornwall promises a friendly atmosphere, and uniting voices song.

For more than 10 years, the Festival Players of Prince Edward County has been bringing the stunning landscapes, towns, and villages of the County to life through the power of theatre. In fact, productions have taken place in a century-old barn, under a tent in an estate vineyard, in a village church-turned-theatre, and on the unforgettable properties of many of the County’s finest agricultural and hospitality businesses. The arts meet history at the Regent Theatre in Picton. This beloved arts centre in Prince Edward County holds a special place in the community: it’s a rare example of a still intact Edwardian opera house. Construction began in 1918 using the 80-year old foundation of a former warehouse. Still boasting an old-school marquee it’s now a unique venue for live theatre and music.

Kingston has a thriving theatre scene, with the truly community-based Domino Theatre, to the professional company, Theatre Kingston, which brings Canada’s great plays and performers to Kingston in three shows annually. Salon Theatre has also called Kingston home for more than 25 years, all the while exploring the life and legacy of Canada’s first Prime Minister.

Stirling Festival Theatre in Lennox and Addington is always buzzing with activity with family-oriented entertainment, including musicals, comedies, children’s programs, and concerts attracting more than 45,000 patrons to over 100 theatrical performances each year.

READ ALSO: Explore The Artistic Side of South Eastern Ontario At These 11 Theaters


South Eastern Ontario sets the stage for professional theatre

Sit back and get lost in another world – one filled with laughter, daring drama, edge-of-your-seat suspense. Allow yourself to get carried away on pitch-perfect high notes of a soprano, or marvel at the talent of an international musician. The performing arts take over professional stages in South Eastern Ontario, with leading Canadian actors and world-renowned performers showcased throughout the region at professional live theatre, concerts and special events that will take your breath away.

The Thousand Islands Playhouse is known as Canada’s Dockside Theatre and has been presenting live entertainment in the heart of the 1000 Islands for more than 35 years in Gananoque. Its Springer Theatre features two decks that have a panoramic view of the St. Lawrence River. This renovated heritage venue, built in 1909, was originally the Gananoque Canoe Club, and retains the vintage cottage-style craftsmanship. Just up the hill, its Firehall Theatre provides a unique theatre-in-the-round setting, in a refurbished emergency services building. Patrons can arrive by water and dock right in front of the theatre!

The Upper Canada Playhouse sets the stage for enlivening professional theatre in Morrisburg. Operating for more than three decades, The Playhouse produces an April to December season with a minimum of eight productions built and rehearsed onsite and plays to an audience of over 40,000 patrons annually. It operates out of a charmingly converted, 275-seat former toothbrush factory!

Kingston Grand Theatre serves as the prime performing arts venue for hundreds of professional and amateur performances annually including ballet, modern dance, theatre, variety, musicals, comedy and more.

In addition, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art performing arts centre that includes a world-class concert hall, a studio theatre, an art and media lab and a film screening room.  

Kingston is also home to the Leon’s Centre, a modern event facility that can host large-scale concerts, conferences, trade shows, and gala dinners. The arena is the home of the Kingston Frontenacs hockey team of the Ontario Hockey League.

The Empire Theatre in Belleville is considered by both national and international performers to be one of Ontario’s finest live performing arts theatres. With 700 seats, the theatre hosts artists ranging from rock to country, blues and jazz, as well as featuring acclaimed movies.

The Brockville Arts Centre is known as Canada’s foremost mid-sized historic theatre. Located next to the St. Lawrence River in downtown Brockville, the arts centre welcomes thousands of theatre-goers each year to an experience that makes them feel close and connected to the performers on stage. The Brockville Arts Centre also has one of the region’s top art galleries.

Cornwall’s Aultsville Theatre has hosted world-class performances in its spacious theatre for more than 40 years. Audiences enjoy excellent acoustics, with no seat more than 90 feet from center stage!

Signature cultural experiences

Signature performances bring a new element of artistic and cultural experience to your visit in South Eastern Ontario! Make memories by witnessing one of these vibrant spectacles first-hand.

Experience some of Shakespeare’s most memorable work, performed outdoors against the stunning backdrop of the sparkling St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands. Prescott’s St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival sets this enchanting scene rain or shine annually during July and August. The outdoor, waterfront amphitheatre at the town’s harbour plays a remarkable host to the growing professional festival. Working with the local community, the festival aims to provide diverse audiences with an inspirational and accessible theatre experience at the highest professional standard. (note: the link on the current theatre page for this festival is broken).

The Kingston Symphony Association produces and promotes professional-quality programs of instrumental and choral music for the education, enjoyment, and enrichment of audiences in the Greater Kingston area. The association is the umbrella organization for six performing ensembles including the Kingston Symphony, the Kingston Choral Society, the Kingston Youth Orchestra, the Kingston Youth Strings, the Kingston A-Strings, and the Kingston Community Strings. Marvel at the fine musical talent in South Eastern Ontario!

 Fort Henry in Kingston offers award-winning, world-famous Sunset Ceremonies every Wednesday evening in July and August. Redesigned for this season with a new, action-packed show, the Sunset Ceremonies promises to captivate, featuring the Fort Henry Guard Drums, Drill Squad and Artillery Detachments presenting a taste of 1860s military music, drill and artillery.


Theatre Articles

History And Culture Meet Entertainment In South Eastern Ontario

Explore the connection between history, art, and entertainment by discovering local heritage sites, and revel in the vibrant arts scene in South Eastern Ontario. A brief tour through the creative communities in South Eastern Ontario provides inspiration to spare – while at the same time paying homage to years gone by. If You’re Coming From Toronto… Day 1 Start the excursion in the Bay of Quinte at the National Air Force Museum of Canada. The museum enjoys a national reputatio...
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Explore The Artistic Side of South Eastern Ontario At These 11 Theaters

If you enjoy the arts scene, there is no shortage of local theatres in South Eastern Ontario. Whether you enjoy comedy, musicals, dance or a mix of genres, you are bound to find a show that scratches your artistic itch. 1000 Islands Gananoque  1. Thousand Islands Playhouse  Known as “Canada’s Dockside Theatre”, the Thousand Islands Playhouse operates two historic theatre venues right beside the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque. With over 44,000 tourists attending sho...
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