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Arts, Culture and Heritage

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

In February 2020, Council adopted the 2020-2030 Cultural Master Plan, after extensive consultation and engagement with community stakeholders throughout the municipality. This plan provides a long-term vision and a strategic action plan to guide the growth of the local cultural economy.

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. Through art, 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. Our buildings and streetscapes are tangible evidence of our unique cultural heritage.

Kawartha Lakes Cultural Roundtable - FILM

A new community-based "Cultural Roundtable" for Film and TV production will be established in Kawartha Lakes. The Cultural Roundtable - Film is meant to generate ideas and projects that will enhance it  development, cultural tourism, and the creative economy through partnerships between communities, businesses, the municipality and the Film/TV production industry.

The Cultural Roundtable will meet to bring together interested members of the community to consider how to carry out strategies to develop the Kawartha Lakes Film and TV production industry. 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 and connect directly with the operator.

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. 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 being hosted by a member location. 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.

Public Art Policy

The Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes (the City) recognizes that Public Art is a valuable cultural asset that improves the aesthetic of streetscapes and public space and expresses our cultural identity and heritage. It has been demonstrated internationally that Public Art is an effective tool for building economic vitality and tourism, contributing to unique public spaces for visitors and local residents that complement our natural and built cultural heritage.


For more information, read the full Public Art Policy (CP2021-035) or contact our Economic Development Officer -  Arts and Culture

Culture and Heritage Master Plans

The long term visions and action plans for our culture and heritage sectors are guided by the Cultural Master Plan and the Heritage Master Plan.


Heritage Designation

There are many heritage designated properties in Kawartha Lakes. You can explore our heritage properties and learn more about heritage designation in the municipality on our Heritage Preservation pages.

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