Culture & Heritage
Grey Bruce has thousands of years of natural and human history, thousands of artifacts to choose from and thousands of compelling stories. Art galleries and studios, historic museums and heritage homes, studio tours, theatre, symphony, live concerts and more take place all year long.
Grey Bruce has scenic vistas, unspoiled shorelines and a quiet lifestyle which is a magnet for artists. Many artists and artisans have taken up permanent residence in the area. During recent years, co-operative galleries have opened in many communities and the popularity of studio tours continues to rise. Painters, potters, metalworkers, jewelers, photographers, weavers and wood turners. The artists work can be seen in studios, commercial galleries across the region, or represented in a number of public galleries and artist co-ops. The Durham Art Gallery is also an important regional gallery.
Be sure to visit GREY ROOTS: Your Heritage & Visitor Centre. Grey Roots combines Grey County's Museum, Archives and Tourism Services through permanent and nationally touring exhibits, including the Black History Exhibit, archival and genealogical resources, theatre, café, gift shop, events and more! Tourism Services rounds out the experience as a gateway of information to the many natural wonders of the region.
The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre opened its doors Sept. 24, 2005. A 24,000 sq. ft. addition complements the retrofitted 1878 Southampton School. The Bruce Power Theatre hosts an introductory video for the 8000 sq. ft. of exhibits, showcasing thousands of artifacts. The Ontario Power Generation Feature Gallery and the Bruce Gallery host special exhibits. The new Reading Room is available to researchers.
Owen Sound is "The Hub" of the Grey Bruce region, the cultural centre of a beautiful nature-based travel destination. In 2004, Owen Sound was in the national spotlight as a "Cultural Capital of Canada"; an award handed down by the Canadian government. The City was one of five such designated municipalities in the country, one of two with populations under 50,000, and the only one in Ontario. For generations, Owen Sound's cultural community has included active groups of individuals excelling in every sector of the arts: classical and folk musicians, world-renowned instrument makers, amateur and professional theatre, writers, area collectives, museums, public art galleries, and presenters of live musical and multi-media events. Events take place all year long.
Be sure to visit Owen Sound in August for the Art Town Studio Tour, or tour the region in early October for the Autumn Leaves Studio Tour and then again, on Thanksgiving Weekend for two studio tours, Artists Around the Sound and the Escarpment Studio Tour.
Explore Owen Sound's heritage by touring the Billy Bishop Home and Museum - A National Historic Site, Grey Roots: Your Heritage & Visitor's Centre, Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.
Grey County is the childhood home of one of Canada’s foremost landscape artists, Tom Thomson. Thomson was a maverick who fused a passion for Canada’s wilderness with experimental and skillful painting. Before Thomson, a Canadian art movement inspired by the Canadian landscape was not considered possible. Visit the Gallery in downtown Owen Sound to see intimate exhibitions of paintings by Thomson and the Group of Seven as well as the work of cutting edge, contemporary Canadian artists. Take part in a guided tours, art workshops, or film festivals. Visit the Gallery Shop for unique souvenirs and handcrafted items. There is always something happening at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery…come and see for yourself!
Discover the Living History of Grey County through the Local Heroes Tour. Many famous people were born or came from the Grey County area of Ontario.
Take home affordable, high quality Canadian art from the Owen Sound Artists' Co-op, a treasure trove of unique items produced by members of our thriving arts community: paintings, pottery, wood turnings, photography, jewelry, metal sculpture, glass, origami, greeting cards, candles, folk art, dried floral arrangements, stainless steel table-wear, weaving and hand-painted silk. Visit the Artists' Co-op year-round in downtown Owen Sound in the historic Chicago Building.
Air-conditioned and seating 400, the Roxy Theatre in downtown Owen Sound is the cultural kingpin of Grey Bruce, playing host to a stellar lineup of concert and stage presentations year-round. The Owen Sound Little Theatre, distinguished across the province for excellence in amateur theatre, delights audiences of all ages with their varied annual program.
The Southampton Art School & Gallery, the longest operating summer art school in the Province of Ontario, has been a leader in the artistic community. Growing from a one-room school during the 1950s to today's community campus, the school boasts a registration of over 900 students per year. Renowned artists from across Canada conduct classes from March to November, for children and adults and from beginner to accomplished artist. The work of over 50 regional artists fill the co-operative Gallery's rooms in the Old Southampton Town Hall.
Kincardine's artistic community shows off its artistic wares at the Victoria Park Gallery, a co-operative featuring the work of many members. And, on the Bruce Peninsula, there is the Bruce Peninsula Artists' Co-op Gallery in Lion's Head. Artists' studios are located throughout the County, and many of them open their doors.
Whether you are in for an evening of gourmet dining and entertaining live theatre or a wonderful weekend getaway, The Old Church in Port Elgin, is an ideal venue in a charming historical setting, making it perfect for creating memories you will always treasure!
On the Bruce Peninsula, Voyageur Storytelling offers a unique live performance. Its principle and favourite performances consist of Country Supper Story Concerts which takes place in its home on the Voyageur Alvar, 100 acres of diverse rocky woodland in Northern Bruce Peninsula. New in 2008 the Chordelle concert, a fusion of storytelling, classical music especially opera, and authentic northern Canadian spirit.
The Kincardine Theatre Guild has progressed over the past 20 years to a level that is envied by professional and semi-professional theatres alike. Productions run through the winter and are staged at the Kincardine Arts Centre. During the summer the Bluewater Summer Theatre, a professional company, takes to the stage.
Spend an evening in Victoria Jubilee Hall in Walkerton. The hall was built to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign and had its cornerstone laid in 1897. One of the most distinctive features outside the Hall is its bell tower and cupola. While inside probably the most remarkable feature of Victoria Jubilee Hall is the Opera Hall, an elegant 300-seat theatre. The acoustics are amazing and have been lauded by many top Canadian performers.
Culture and Heritage is alive and well in Grey Bruce, an experience of enlightenment.