Festival of Small Halls expanding to welcome new rural venues for 2018, including Winchester

Seen in image above: Winchester United Church revealed after recent update. Courtesy photo

WINCHESTER — With more than 40 performances over two weeks in September, the Ontario Festival of Small Halls is promising to get toes tapping across the province this fall – in even more cherished spaces.

In past years Winchester’s Festival of Small Halls event has been held at Old Town Hall, this year the affair will take place at Winchester United Church.

Other local Small Halls events include; Spencerville Mill, La Fraternite in Alexandria, and St. James Roman Catholic Church, Maxville.

The festival that melds big names in music with rural communities is expanding its scope again and bringing internationally-renowned musicians to special halls this fall. The celebration of exceptional live music is taking place from September 13 to 30 in intimate settings that provide authentic rural Ontario experiences.

Now in its fifth year, the festival continues to highlight many towns and villages throughout the region, as well as the warmth and hospitality of the communities that fill them. The new host halls this year stretch from Combermere to Matawatchan and from Harrowsmith to Snow Road. While some venues are familiar hosts from last year, such as Elgin’s Red Brick School, others are new to the festival line up, like Sydenham’s Grace Hall, as well as the Rankin Cultural and Recreation Centre.

Kelly Symes, General Manager of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, said the festival allows music fans to experience a memorable evening of live music in beloved places. “These spaces play a vital role in bringing people together,” she said, recognizing that some halls have deep roots as community gathering places. “Some of the venues include heritage spaces, ornate churches, an historic mill, and even a country hall that was entirely built using local materials and labour,” Symes said.

“We’re thrilled to continue showcasing these intimate gathering places, by welcoming big name musical acts to small town Ontario,” she said, noting that dozens of new halls applied this year. Symes said the festival is expanding quickly thanks to loyal supporters and the commitment of host communities.

Keep your ear to the ground in June: organizers of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls will be announcing the schedule and the big-name musicians who will be taking center stage across Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley, at the following chosen venues:


  • La Fraternité, Alexandria
  • Almonte Old Town Hall
  • Joshua Bates Centre, Athens
  • Balderson United Church
  • Althorpe Bolingbroke Community Hall
  • Burritts Rapids Community Hall
  • Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall
  • Combermere Community Centre
  • DACA Community Centre, Dacre
  • Delta Old Town Hall
  • Dunvegan Recreation Hall
  • The Red Brick School, Elgin
  • Golden Links Hall, Harrowsmith
  • St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kilmaurs
  • Lyndhurst Legion (Royal Canadian Legion Branch 504)
  • Maberly Hall
  • St. James Roman Catholic Church, Maxville
  • Matawatchan Hall
  • McDonald’s Corners Agricultural Hall
  • Merrickville United Church
  • Union Hall, Mississippi Mills
  • Morton Community Hall
  • Portland Community Hall
  • Rankin Cultural & Recreation Centre
  • Seeley’s Bay Community Hall
  • Snow Road Community Centre
  • Spencerville Mill
  • Grace Hall, Sydenham
  • Tatlock Community Hall
  • Tamworth Legion (Royal Canadian Legion Branch 458)
  • Marble Arts Centre, Tweed
  • St. Andrew’s United Church, Pakenham
  • Westmeath Recreation Centre
  • Winchester United Church



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