Re-imagined Ontario Festival of Small Halls announces lineup celebrating big Canadian music in beloved small places

This isn’t a typical year and this isn’t a typical Festival of Small Halls.

The Ontario Festival of Small Halls is announcing today that it is continuing the spirit of live shows within unique venues across Eastern Ontario – on a safe and small scale.

We’re talking limited bubble seating in select, spacious halls that can accommodate patrons in a socially-distanced environment.

From Oct. 9 to Oct. 31, the Festival of Small Halls will pull together stunningly creative forces in small-group live shows at four venues across Eastern Ontario: Almonte Old Town Hall, Manotick United Church, Seeley’s Bay Community Hall and St. John’s United Church in Brockville.

The Ontario Festival of Small Halls plants inspired, decorated and mind-blowing artists into rural halls across Eastern Ontario, bursting with community vibes.

This year, the artists are a tour de force of Canadian resilience, harnessing the spirit of triumph and reminding us what it feels like to celebrate something special. Hawksley Workman and Tom Wilson will kick off the re-imagined Festival of Small Halls and are joined on the bill by The Abrams and Festival favourites, Great Lake Swimmers. Festival aficionados will also remember the talents of NQ Arbuckle, Kelly Prescott, and Devin Cuddy, but be ready to fall in love with Festival first-timers Wild Rivers, Hannah Georgas, Tim Baker and Ben Caplan.

“With Festival of Small Halls, the original notion was to provide folks in rural areas an opportunity to enjoy the kind of music that’s usually offered in a bigger city, but in their own unique venues,” said Mark Monahan, the event’s executive director. “The growing support we’ve received from so many communities in recent years has been amazing—the way folks welcome the visiting artists is heartwarming—and you can see it means a lot to the musicians, too. For 2020, we feel we’ve taken it to the next level, with an outstanding line-up, while keeping safety measures foremost in mind.”

With that in mind, the Festival crew has a full safety and protocol plan in place to follow the guidelines set out by the province and local health authorities. There will be very limited seating available at each show to ensure distancing. Masks are mandatory. Some shows will also be recorded for later virtual streaming.

Organizers are thrilled to announce the lineup of musicians who will be welcomed at four select small halls across Eastern Ontario:

Almonte Old Town Hall
Friday, October 9 – Hawksley Workman with opener Johnny Shay
Saturday, October 10 – Tom Wilson
Sunday, October 11 – Tim Baker

Seeley’s Bay Community Hall
Friday, October 16 – The Abrams
Saturday, October 17 – Devin Cuddy with opener Johnny Shay

Manotick United Church
Friday, October 23 – NQ Arbuckle
Saturday, October 24 – Kelly Prescott with opener Jessica Mitchell
Sunday, October 25 – Great Lake Swimmers

St. John’s United Church, Brockville
Thursday, October 29 – Ben Caplan
Friday, October 30 – Hannah Georgas with opener Theo Tams
Saturday, October 31 – Wild Rivers

Tickets on sale today at 10 a.m. online only at: ontariosmallhalls.frontgatetickets.com/

The Ontario Festival of Small Halls takes showcasing cherished rural venues to heart and puts the halls themselves front and center to shine with intriguing details, heart-warming history and community at their core. For more information, please visit www.ontariosmallhalls.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.