Arts, Culture and Heritage

Kawartha Lakes has a vibrant arts, culture and heritage sector. Our cultural assets are central to our quality of life, and they attract people and investment to our communities. We have an impressive number of heritage buildings, historic sites, museums, theatres and art galleries, and Kawartha Lakes is home to many talented artists, musicians and performers.

In June 2016, City Council adopted the implementation plans for the Cultural Master Plan and the Heritage Master Plan and introduced a position in Economic Development to lead and support the development of a vibrant arts, culture and heritage sector.

What is culture?

Culture is defined as: the characteristics, traditions, activities, values and beliefs that distinguish one group of people from another.

Culture is expressed through the places and the things that we create, and through the arts, through forms of artistic expression such as music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature or other handmade/artisan creations.

Culture is showcased in our art galleries, museums, theatres and community events. Culture is ever-changing and evolves over time. Our museums, libraries and cultural maps are repositories of objects and stories from the past, and our buildings and streetscapes are tangible evidence of our unique cultural heritage.

Kawartha Lakes Cultural Roundtable

A new community-based "Cultural Roundtable" has been established in Kawartha Lakes to generate ideas and projects that will enhance cultural development, cultural tourism, and the creative economy through partnerships between communities, businesses, and the municipality.

The Cultural Roundtable is a series of meetings that brings together interested members of the community to consider how to carry out strategies from the Kawartha Lakes Cultural and Heritage master plans. The topics for discussion will be advertised prior to each meeting and anyone with an interest, related knowledge or experience is welcome to attend. Project groups may form from these meetings to take on specific projects or tasks.

View the City's Calendar of Events to find out about future Cultural Roundtable meeting times, locations and topics that will be discussed.

Kawartha Lakes Cultural Map

The Kawartha Lakes Cultural Map is a hands-on tool to help you find and access information on more than 700 cultural resources in Kawartha Lakes. The interactive map allows you to click on specific locations to find more information, visit their website or purchase event tickets.

The map includes:

  • cultural businesses
  • organizations
  • cultural facilities and spaces
  • festivals and events
  • heritage assets
Kawartha Lakes Stories Map

The Kawartha Lakes Stories Map highlights the intangible cultural heritage of Kawartha Lakes. It includes the folklore, beliefs, traditions and customs that shape our lives, influence the way we see the world, the objects we craft and the cities we build.

Intangible culture is best understood through our stories - our interpretations of experiences in the past and in the present. The map places each story at the location in which it took place and presents the stories chronologically. The map is interactive and allows you to add your story and contribute to the diverse and evolving cultural identity of our communities.

Kawartha Lakes Arts and Heritage Trail

The trail will help you discover Kawartha Lakes' rich heritage and diverse artistic talent. You can use it to discover lesser-known places and local legends, visit our galleries, artisan studios and craft shops, or take in a concert or festival. The Arts and Heritage Trail website and interactive map provide information about each Trail destination so that you can create your own weekend tour.

Any arts or heritage groups or destinations that would like to be a part of the Trail should complete the Arts and Heritage Application Package.

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