Culture Days, Truth and Reconciliation among Gananoque events

September 25, 2023

It’s a busy weekend in Gananoque.

Not only will Gananoque and the Thousand Islands play host to Culture Days for the next couple of weeks, but the waterfront community will also hold the Pump-Gan-Fest, a service to mark Truth and Reconciliation, and a market on Saturday.

There’s also the 1000 Islands Waterfront Festival, being held at Joel Stone Heritage Park.

“I think it’s important that all of these events will be an attraction for different interests,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Leakey.

“It’s good for children to be there, to look and see those shoes, to say to mom and dad, ‘what are they doing?’ The way this will happen allows for conversation. That’s important. It’s a continuous generational conversation. It’s not a conversation that stops with the people of now. It’s ongoing, so we don’t forget.”

A hub partner for the Culture Days event, the Gananoque Arts Network, will serve as an expert guide to the region, hosting events and assisting organizers and the attendees in the region to connect with other events occurring throughout the community.

Some of the events include Crafts on the River, to be held Saturday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 7; the Gananoque Arts Festival art tour, to be held Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gananoque Arts Network; and the Kingston Prize, to be held at the Firehall Theatre – Thousand Islands Playhouse, from Oct. 6 to Oct. 27 from noon to 8 p.m. daily.

Canada's portrait competition is exhibiting its finalists at the Firehall Theatre. The Kingston Prize is a prestigious award for portrait artists around Canada. Winners will be announced Oct. 13.

Crafts on the River is an opportunity for locals and local artisans to share their goods and crafts. The location is in the heart of downtown Gananoque, at Town Park. This event is available every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Oct. 7. The event has been coupled with the 1000 Islands Waterfront Festival and moves to Joel Stone Park on Saturday. Since it takes place outdoors, it is subject to weather changes.

The Gananoque Arts Festival art tour features local studios and galleries within the town. The headquarters for the tour will be at Gananoque Arts Network, where there will be directions for participating galleries and artists for participants to visit and enjoy. Studios will include Sarah Tom, Su Halle, Jeannie Catchpole, pottery slab demonstrations, pottery studio wheel demonstrations, Otis Tamasaukas etching demonstration, outdoor music with North Alley, Norbert Lepage, Davie Hale, Tegan McLaren and more.

Offsite galleries will include O’Connor Gallery, VAGA Gallery, Heather Haynes Gallery, Pat Lalonde Pottery studio, and the Debbi Burns Morrison studio.

As well as Culture Days experiences this weekend, the 1000 Islands Waterfront Festival, which began Friday and ends Sunday, will take over Joel Stone Heritage Park.

Each day's events run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is the third annual 1000 Islands Waterfront Festival – a weekend full of free fun for the whole family, featuring plenty of music and live entertainment, like face painting.

As part of this event, the Gananoque Lions Club will be holding a "burger and dogs" lunch on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More information, is available at

“There’s so many activities for people,” said Leakey of the town’s busy weekend. “There should be lots of entertainment for residents and visitors this weekend.”

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)