Generations have come through the doors and been on stage at the Aultsville Theatre in Cornwall.

Communities have grown up at the theatre helping out, experiencing live shows, and performing. It has been a focal point on Cornwall’s cultural scene for almost five decades – and is poised to elevate that unique relationship with the arts community in the years ahead.

The Aultsville Theatre was completed in 1976 as an expansion of the St. Lawrence College campus in Cornwall. General Manager Brittney Waldroff said over the last 46 years, the theatre has served as a hub for arts in the city, hosting music festivals, dance recitals, and graduations and as a roadhouse theatre.

“With such a rich history in our community, generations have now been coming to Aultsville Theatre to pursue the arts and in this post-pandemic era, it feels amazing to be welcoming that community once again,” she said.

St. Lawrence College originally managed the 680-seat theatre, but its operation has been a separate entity since the 1990s. The theatre is now managed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of members of the community in close partnership with the City of Cornwall. Waldroff said the city holds the lease with St. Lawrence College and also contributes to the annual operating costs. It has been a registered non-profit, charitable organization since 2002.

Finding The Aultsville Niche

The theatre sets itself apart by enticing well-known artists such as Blue Rodeo, Buffy St. Marie, Ron James and Gordon Lightfoot, but also catering to local theatre groups and dance studios. That translates into continuously presenting something special on stage which draws a crowd to the theatre. Its location is along the Hwy. 401 corridor, as well as its close proximity to Akwesasne, SDG Counties, as well as larger urban areas, makes it an ideal stop for professional touring artists and a destination for audiences.

“We are always looking to attract top talent to Cornwall and showcase local talent as well,” Waldroff said. “Coming out of the pandemic there is a real opportunity to rethink what had become standard programming for the theatre and bring our guests a new experience. While we are not ready to share details quite yet, we look forward to announcing some updated programming in the new year.”

See It On Stage

In fact, there is a lot to look forward to in 2023 at the Aultsville Theatre. After a busy holiday season, Waldroff said they are enthusiastic about the winter and spring programming which includes:

The Sound of Music, presented by the Seaway Valley Theatre Company (February 17-25, 2023) 
Hotel California – The Original EAGLES Tribute Band (March 30, 2023)
Cornwall Concert Series – Joe Trio (April 22, 2023)
Cornwall Concert Series – Heather Bambrick Quintet (May 6, 2023)

Waldroff said they are looking forward to bringing comedy back to Cornwall with Crackup Ottawa recently announcing their intentions to bring An Evening with Mary Walsh, and Comedy Night in Cornwall for Carefor to Aultsville Theatre in March. Tickets will be available in January. 

 “We are also finalizing details for community fundraisers, music festivals and dance recitals, as well as business development talks,” she said.

Refresh And Refocus

The Aultsville Theatre used the downtime during the pandemic to make some key investments when the doors were closed. Upgrades included improving the performer and guest experience, including a new website which will be launched in the next few weeks.

Waldroff said there is real excitement at the theatre these days, with both the audience and crew behind the scenes thrilled to be back enjoying music, stories and dance on stage again. “Collectively we have been through a lot and having this space where you can leave everything else at the theatre door and just be immersed in a live experience again is something that people really missed during the lockdowns,” she said.

Vital Volunteers

Waldroff noted that volunteers play a key role in the operations of the theatre. She said in addition to the board, the theatre has about 30 community volunteers who serve in a variety of roles. “We are fortunate to see many of these volunteers returning to us following the pandemic which speaks to the passion they share for the theatre,” she said.

Waldroff noted the volunteer Board of Directors has led the theatre to where it is today. In fact, she said that the City of Cornwall recently signed a 19-year lease with St. Lawrence College for the theatre space, ensuring that the theatre will carry on past the next half-century.

In the meantime, the theatre is seeing a lot of inquiries from both past clients and visitors to the Aultsville Theatre, as well as new artists who are looking to come to Cornwall. Waldroff said this is exciting; it will help to diversify the programming hosted at the theatre, as well as bring new patrons to the space in future.

For more information or tickets to upcoming shows at the Aultsville Theatre, visit or follow along on Facebook @AultsvilleTheatre.