Dockside Festival of the Arts in Gravenhurst

By Kim Kerr-Dearsley

Summer on the Muskoka Lakes brings with it many great things to do, from fun outdoor events and festivals, to great summer theatre and entertainment.

One of the most anticipated events held in Muskoka each year is the Dockside Festival of the Arts. Being held in Gravenhurst at the south end of Lake Muskoka from August 16th to 18th, this first-rate arts event is now in its 28th year and draws crowds from across Ontario to the town’s Muskoka Wharf to shop and be entertained. Highlights this year include more than 100 unique jury-selected artisan vendors offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities from arts and crafts to jewellery and clothing.

“We’ve been completely blown away by the range of submissions we’ve received this year from across the province,” says Sandy Lockhart, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, who organize the popular Dockside event. “Glassblowers, metalworkers, clothing designers... we’re going to have a little something for everyone.”

In addition to arts and crafts for the adults to enjoy, there’s also plenty of fun for youngsters in the Kids Zone, including hands-on arts and craft opportunities, and much more.


Dockside Festival of the Arts food sampling vendor with spectators

Plenty of Fun for All at Dockside Festival

Also returning on 2019 are the many great food and beverage opportunities.

“There’s something for all ages at this year’s Dockside festival,” says Chris Hammar, the Chamber’s Marketing and Sponsorship Manager. “We’ll have food trucks with all types of different culinary creations. And our friends from Sawdust City Brewing will have cold drinks for the grown-ups.”

Visitors can also expect to find great live music performed throughout the three day event, too. This year’s line-up of top music entertainment will include artists performing live sets throughout the festival, showcasing their musical talents to an appreciative audience. Featured acts include Tobin Springs, Sean Cotton, James Gray, and Jess Sevier.

In addition to having the chance to get in some great shopping from vendors, visitors also have easy access to the shops, restaurants, things to do and attractions dotted along the waterfront. And for those who plan on visiting by boat, there’s plenty of mooring available on Muskoka Wharf.

The Dockside Festival of the Arts runs from 10am - 6pm August 16th and 17th, and from 10am - 4pm on August 18th. Admission is by donation. To learn more, and for other details relating to the Dockside Festival of the Arts, visit the event’s website at


Dockside Festival of the Arts people walking around vendor booths



Kim Kerr-Dearsley is a Muskoka-based writer... and a lover of good great art and good food.