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There's nothing like an outdoor summer concert by the lake!

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There's nothing like an outdoor summer concert by the lake!

Trace Adkins is headlining Kenora's First Country Music Festival • Credit: Trace Adkins

As far as music performances go, it's hard to beat an outdoor summer concert in Ontario. Here's The Top 10 Music Festivals in Sunset Country this summer.

* This is an archived article and contains events for 2014. 

In my university days, my friends and I would faithfully go to weekend outdoor concerts like Sunfest or Classic Rock (I'm dating myself with these ones!). Those in Manitoba or Winnipeg may remember those fun weekends, although those particular concerts are long gone.  Nowadays, I stay closer to home and try and fit at least one, if not two or more outdoor music concerts each summer.

The best part of music concerts in Northwest Ontario is that they are almost all by the lake. Talk about a great view! Some of the concerts are a single night, some are the whole weekend and there are  a few that happen weekly throughout the summer.

Here's a list of the best Music Festivals in Ontario's Sunset Country this summer listed in the order that they occur. Please click on the event for more information or to buy tickets. Follow our Facebook page dedicated solely to Northwest Ontario Events or go to the Sunset Country Events Calendar for a complete lists of events year round.

June 2014


Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

  • When: June 28, 2014 at 7:30pmFollow the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on Facebook
  • Where: Under the Whitecap Pavilion in Kenora
  • Cost: By donation, limited seating
  • More information: WSO website
  • Festival 101: The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performs with Suzanne McIntosh singing under the tent on the Kenora Harbourfront on beautiful Lake of the Woods. They'll start with O Canada and the Star Spangled Banner and then proceed with many classics such as Symphony No.4 in E minor and Symphony No.9, op.95, B.178, E minor and ending with My Own Way To Rock and New York, New York.


Stormy weather couldn't stop the Coney Island Music FestivalStormy weather couldn't stop the Coney Island Music Festival

July 2014


Thunder Bay Blues Fest

  • When: July 4-6, 2014Follow the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on Facebook
  • Where: Marina Park adjacent to Lake Superior in Thunder Bay
  • Cost: Single day $69, Weekend pass is $109 and VIP is $159
  • More information: Blues Festival website or this article
  • Festival 101: Friday Night starts out great with Melissa Etheridge, Shakura S'Aida, Steve Hill and James Boraski & Momentary Evolution. Saturday is jam packed with Rival Sons, Jimmie Vaughan & the Tilt a Whirl Band, Carolyn Wonderland, James Hunter Six, Matthew Curry, Colin Campbell & the C-Notes, the Groove Merchants and the Chain. Sunday's line up includes the Wallflowers, Serena Ryder, the Spin Doctors, Erya Lyytinen, Pavlo, Ken Valdez, Annie Mack, Tracy K & Jamie Steinhoff. 


Harmony of Nations Music Festival and Cultural Exchange

  • When: July 18-19, 2014Follow Harmony of Nations on Facebook
  • Where: Under the tent at Sorting Gap Marina in Fort Frances
  • Cost: Tickets for a single day are $12 for children and $35 for adults. 2 day passes are $24 or $60.
  • More information: Harmony of Nations website or on Twitter
  • Festival 101: The Fort Frances waterfront will host the first Harmony of Nations Music Festival, uniting artists and audience members from First Nation, Métis, Canadian and American communities. Performances by Chad Brownlee, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sierra Noble, Shy-Anne Hovorka and many more.


Shake on the Lake

  • When: July 26, 2014Follow Shake on the Lake for updates
  • Where: Under the Whitecap Pavilion in Kenora
  • Cost: Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
  • More information: Shake on the Lake website
  • Festival 101: Shake on the Lake featuring Elliott Brood with special guests Chris Carmichael Band and North Shore. 


Coney Island 'Maybe Annual' Music Festival

  • When: July 27, 2014 from 11:55am - 5:00pmLike the Coney Island Music Festival on Facebook
  • Where: Coney Island on Lake of the Woods in Kenora
  • Cost: Silver collection in support of the Lake of the Woods Arts Community
  • More information: Coney Island Music Festival website or on Twitter
  • Festival 101: Although Coney Island is only accessible by boat, there are shuttles from the Harbourfront starting at 10:00am and make their last trip to mainland a half an hour after the last performance. The line-up includes Glen McCabe, Chisholm Trio, Until Red, Young Running and Barry G Player. Come out for a relaxing day in the sun with family and friends. The snack shack is open all day. Bring your lawn chairs.  


Harbourfest's Sunday night entertainment is Slaughter and Bret MichealsHarbourfest's Sunday night entertainment is Slaughter and Bret Micheals


August 2014



  • When: August 1-3, 2014Follow Harbourfest on Facebook
  • Where: Under the Whitecap Pavilion in Kenora
  • Cost: Tickets run from $48.67 to $79.65 nightly.
  • More information: Harbourfest website or on Twitter
  • Festival 101: Harbourfest is Kenora's biggest weekend of the summer. The line-up in 2014 is fantastic. Friday nights start with the Bros. Landreth, Dallas Smith and then Doc Walker. Saturday nights rocks with the Sheepdogs and headliners Three Days Grace. Sunday proves to be another epic night with Slaughter opening for Bret Michaels. 


Sioux Mountain Music & Cultural Festival

  • When: August 2-3, 2014Sioux Mountain Events on the Blueberry Festival Facebook page
  • Where: Town Beach in Sioux Lookout
  • Cost: Free
  • More information: Blueberry Festival website
  • Festival 101: The Sioux Mountain Festival is a two-day festival which is part of the Blueberry Festival, that showcases the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the Sioux Lookout region. A showcase of local and regional talent presented at the Town Beach. Saturday sees an exciting line-up of mostly local bands playing from noon to midnight. Sunday includes a variety of performances from children's theatre to African drumming.


Trout Forest Music Festival

  • When: August 8-10, 2014Troutfest updates on their Facebook group
  • Where: Waterfront Park in Ear Falls
  • Cost: Tickets run $16 to $60 for a weekend pass until July 25th. After that $22 to $70. Day passes and camping passes available.
  • More information: Troutfest website
  • Festival 101: This year's Troutfest line-up is as stellar as ever. Acts such as Bill Bourne, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Canadian songwriting legends Lynn Miles and Linda McRae, 2014 Juno nominee Little Miss Higgins the F-Holes, Blues legend Big Dave McLean, hick-hop cowboy Ridley Bent, Queen-meets-Deep-Purple Canadian buzz band Bend Sinister, the lovely Sweet Alibi and many other artists.


Kenora Country Music Festival

  • When: August 17, 2014Kenora's Country Music Festival updates on Facebook
  • Where: Under the Whitecap Pavilion in Kenora
  • Cost: Tickets are $75 in advance, $90 at the door.
  • More information: Kenora Country Music Festival website
  • Festival 101: Another first in the summer concerts in Sunset Country is the Country Festival in Kenora with Trace Adkins and special guest Aaron Pritchett. In the day bring the kids down to the Harbourfront for horse rides, bouncy castles and to watch local acts. Aaron Pritchett goes on at 7:00pm and Trace Adkins at 9:00pm.


Moose n' Fiddle

  • When: August 22-23, 2014Moose n' Fiddle Event information on Facebook
  • Where: Caliper Lake Provincial Park in Nestor Falls
  • Cost: Tickets runs at $28 for a 2-day pass or $15 for Friday and $20 for Saturday.
  • More information: Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls website
  • Festival 101: In it's inaugural year, the Moose n' Fiddle is centered around professional and emerging musicians, folk bands, country singer/ songwriters on the outdoor stage. The Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. will have their beer on tap with proceeds going towards It's a Dogs Life. Friday Night entertainment starts at 7:00pm with the Great Canadian Fiddle Show followed by the Knackers at 8:30pm. On Saturday, the Great Canadian Fiddle Show will go on at 4:00pm and the Red Moon Road Band at 7:00pm.


There are plenty more events in Northwest Ontario, check out our events calendar for more information on the many other events in Sunset Country.


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 Sioux Mountain Music Festival is on the shore of Pelican LakeSioux Mountain Music Festival is on the shore of Pelican Lake


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