Kingston arts shine in the summer

Breaking down the season’s must-see arts festivals and events

Image supplied by: Supplied by SPAF
Summer is an exciting time for Kingston arts.

Although the school year is winding down, the Kingston arts scene is heating up. For those interested in diving into the arts after exam season, The Journal is running through a few of the festivals and events on offer just in time for the warmer weather.


Artfest Kingston

Returning for its fourth year, Artfest Kingston is a jam-packed event featuring artists from Ontario and Quebec. The festival will be running from July 1 to 4.

With the festival’s theme this year being “Friends Across the Water,” show producer Lory MacDonald hopes the dates will encourage both Canadian and American visitors as it will be running for Canada Day and the Fourth of July. The festival will serve as an opportunity to celebrate the two countries’ friendship.

“[Canada and America] share so much along the waterways including transportation, recreation, food, culture, sports, tourism and more,” MacDonald said in a press release.

The festival’s theme is also meant to open the festivities to visitors from Quebec, with MacDonald citing the St. Lawrence as a vital means of connection between it and Kingston. 

There will be a francophone day at the festival to ensure the festivities are as inclusive as possible.

“Why not have a Francophone day at the festival too?” MacDonald said.

“It all fits with our overall vision of an art and craft festival that will enrich the lives of many and acclaim Kingston as a thriving cultural centre.”

Artfest Kingston will feature over 150 different artists, with poets showing their craft for the first time at this year’s festival. The accompanying Foodfest will ensure visitors’ appetites are satisfied, too. More info on Artfest Kingston can be found here.

Road Apples – A Tribute to the Music of the Tragically Hip


A list of Kingston’s arts events wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the city’s most revered band, The Tragically Hip. Road Apples, a Kingston-based band, has been performing The Hip’s work for decades, travelling from coast-to-coast and playing at thousands of venues.

Road Apples aims to perform The Hip’s track as closely to the source material as possible. Their shows feature hits and deep cuts from The Hip’s discography, making them perfect for long-time fans and rookies alike.

They’re playing the Grand Theatre on April 28 at 7:30 p.m.—just in time for the conclusion of the semester. Those interested in purchasing a ticket can do so on the Grand’s website.

Skeleton Park Arts Festival

The wildly popular Skeleton Park Arts Festival (SPAF) will be returning for its fifteenth year on June 21 to 25. The event will take place at Skeleton Park—officially McBurney Park—and will feature a wide array of art and musical performances. 

SPAF organizes one large festival annually in June and multiple year-round events centred around the arts. It is a vital contact point between local artists and Kingstonians, with the festival offering pop-up vendors throughout its duration.

More info about SPAF can be found on their website.


There’s certainly no shortage of events and festivals this summer in Kingston. Hopefully you’ll check them and find yourself taken away by some incredible art!


Art, festivals, summer

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