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Summer music festival bringing five more nights of drive-in concerts

The festival opened this weekend with a performance by the National Academy Orchestra of Canada led by Maestro Boris Brott


This past Saturday and Sunday marked a dazzling kick-off to a week of daily performances in the second annual Collingwood Summer Music Festival.

Concerts and events continue to run nightly from Monday, July 12 through Friday, July 16 both as in-person drive-in experiences in the parking lot of New Life church and live streams.

The festival's artistic director, Daniel Vnukowski, was thrilled with the high quality of the performances and enthusiastic reception from Collingwood and area music lovers.

"It was a spectacular musical weekend, beginning on Saturday evening with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada led by Boris Brott and seven incredible singers who sang their hearts out," said Vnukowski. "It was a powerfully moving program, from the tragic despair of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci to Bernstein's effervescent Candide. Drive-in patrons were constantly flashing their lights and honking their horns between each aria hoping that the concert would go on for several more hours!"

On Sunday morning, Lara Heaton engaged marvelously with our local youth, teaching pre-schoolers the basic building blocks of music with her two host puppets Adagio and Allegro. Everyone wanted to take them home by the end!

Sunday night, we hosted an insightful discussion outdoors together with the executive producer Stevie Salas and producer Christina Fon of the award-winning movie Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World. Stevie Salas identifies as a Native American guitarist and is a musical celebrity himself, who has performed all throughout the world with such stars as Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and Justin Timberlake. The movie was an eye-opener, showing the enormous influence of Indigenous people on the shaping of the American music landscape from Delta blues to jazz and rock.

Later this week, we will host Mayumi Seiler who performs on a famous 1684 Croall Stradivarius violin, one of the greatest instruments ever built, of which only a few hundred copies exist today. She'll be partnered with Angela Park on piano and Cris Derksen on electric cello.

Our grand finale brings acclaimed Lebanese-Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury together with an energetic ensemble made of piano, violin, accordion, double-bass and percussion – led by Grammy-nominated and Juno-winning Armenian-Canadian pianist Serouj Kradjian.

For the next five evenings, the 2021 Collingwood Summer Music Festival continues to present a unique live music experience that includes a diverse array of artists, including Juno and Grammy-nominated musicians, in which classical masterworks fuse with contemporary novelties.

Over the rest of this week, the festival features six brilliant Indigenous artists, three Canadian premiere performances, two acclaimed poets. As well, two local visual artists' pre-recorded painting sessions will be projected onto the big screen behind two live concerts, and one musical artist will be connecting all the way from Rome.

Visit the festival website at  to learn all about the remaining events and how to order your tickets.