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Photo courtesy Muskoka Music Festival


Contributor Kim Kerr shares exciting news of the much-anticipated return of the Dockside Festival of the Arts in Gravenhurst


Summer in cottage country Muskoka brings with it many enjoyable 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 18th to 20th, this first-rate arts event is now in its 31st year and draws crowds from across the province of Ontario to the town’s Muskoka Wharf to shop and be entertained.

Highlights this year include numerous unique artisan vendors offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities from arts and crafts to jewelry and clothing. In addition to arts and crafts for the adults to enjoy, there’s also plenty of fun for youngsters from mural painting, giant Jenga, and much more.


Fun Things To Do @ Dockside Festival of the Arts


Also returning for 2023 are the many great food and beverage opportunities, as well as the slate of music talent introduced by the team behind the Muskoka Music Festival, the new operators of the Dockside Festival.

To say community and culture are very important to Muskoka Music Festival founder Miranda Mulholland is an understatement; cultural engagement in the arts is her life. Which is just one of the reasons why Mulholland and her team jumped at the chance to take over the popular Dockside Festival of the Arts.

“It was the perfect opportunity to integrate music in a significant way into the already popular artisan village,” says Mulholland.  “Now we can celebrate the past and future of Gravenhurst at the Muskoka Wharf as well as in the downtown core. Operating the Dockside Festival of the Arts and Muskoka Music Festival as sister festivals will make the third week of August the crown jewel of summer in Muskoka.”

Continues Mulholland: “We’re excited to take over stewardship of this legacy event and bring a diverse array of incredible artisans to Gravenhurst as, well as continue to showcase top local and international musical talent.”


Strong Local Support


Mulholland’s enthusiasm and excitement for this revitalized arts event are certainly shared by the local community.

“The Chamber of Commerce wanted to be sure this legacy event would be handed off to someone who would understand how important it is to our community,” said Sandy Lockhart, a former Executive Director of Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce.

“With Miranda’s deep Gravenhurst roots and her team’s experience operating a very successful event in our community, we have every confidence Dockside Festival will thrive as part of the Muskoka Music Festival family.”


What to Expect at the 2023 Dockside Festival of the Arts


In addition to arts and crafts, food vendors, kid-friendly events, and cold drinks for adults, visitors can also expect to find great live music performed throughout the three-day event. 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.  

In addition to having the chance to get in some great shopping from vendors, visitors also have easy access to the shops, restaurants, 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 2023 Dockside Festival of the Arts runs from August 18th to August 20th. 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




 Kim Kerr is a Muskoka-based writer and a frequent festivalgoer. 

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