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Arts & Culture

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Kingston is home to more than 20 museums, each with its own special theme or focus. A large number of museums celebrate Kingston's rich political, military and marine history. Some examples are:

  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston
  • Pump House and Steam Museum
  • Princess of Wales' Own Regiment Military Museum
  • Military Communications and Electronics Museum
  • Royal Military College Museum
  • Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation
  • Murney Tower
  • Bellevue House
  • Fort Henry

Other Kingston museums explore a variety of different subjects including health care, Kingston-area penitentiaries, the region's geology, the history of hockey, schools, woodworking technology, and scouting.

Kingston museums are popular with local residents and visitors. A detailed guide to the museums of Kingston, including their hours of operation and location, can be found on the city's website (see For More Information links below).


The city is home to a full-time professional symphony orchestra that performs in concerts from September through to the end of July. The orchestra was founded in 1953 and has grown to more than 55 members. The Kingston Symphony Association is the umbrella organization for two youth orchestras, a 50-member community strings ensemble and a large choral society. The association runs a number of school and community programs designed to stimulate interest in classical music.


Kingston has a vibrant arts and cultural community. Artists, musicians, dancers, actors, theatre groups, and artisans perform to both English and French audiences in venues throughout the city.

The Kingston Arts Council is the umbrella organization for the city's arts and cultural groups. The council also works closely with the municipality to distribute money to local organizations under a municipal arts fund. The Frontenac Cultural Centre promotes the production of francophone artistic events in Kingston.

For More Information

Queen’s Community Music
An organization housed at the Queen’s University School of Music that provides courses, ensembles, workshops and performance opportunities to university students and people from the Kingston community.

Historic Walking Tours
Information on free walking tours in Kingston. Explore the city and different neighbourhoods, learn about local architects, follow in Sir. John A.’s footsteps, and investigate local Naval and War of 1812 historic sites. Includes downloadable maps and some audio tours.

Kingston Arts Council
A guide to arts organizations in Kingston with links to activities, shows, projects, performances, calendars and committees.

Agnes Etherington Art Centre
A guide to the exhibits, collections and programs at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, a community facility located on the Queen’s University campus. Includes an online events calendar. The centre can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Arts and Entertainment (Tourism Kingston)
An overview of arts and entertainment in Kingston, including museums, galleries, theatre, art schools, artisans, studio tours, the Rogers K-Rock Centre and Grand Theatre.

Kingston Museums
A list of museums in Kingston, with a brief description and website links.

Guide to Ontario Museums
A searchable directory of museums in Ontario by name, type, city and region, with maps.

Le Centre culturel Frontenac
Information on the centre: their services, programs, members, journal Informel and library. Available only in French.

Grand Theatre
Information about performances, box office hours and contact information for the municipally owned Grand Theatre on Princess Street.

Kingston Symphony Association
A guide to the concerts and special events of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, two youth orchestras, Kingston Choral Society and Kingston Community Strings.

Orchestra Kingston
Orchestra Kingston is a community orchestra composed of local amateur and professional musicians.

Cantabile Choirs
Cantabile Choirs is an umbrella organization for eight choirs in Kingston.

Open Voices Community Choir
Open Voices is a community choir that strives to be inclusive, accessible and represent the community’s diversity.

Kingston Chamber Choir
Information about programs and concerts sponsored by the Kingston Chamber Choir.

The Melos Choral Ensemble
Information about the Melos Choral Ensemble, how to join, community activities and an online newsletter.

Theatres & Performing Arts (Kingston Arts Council)
A list of arts events in Kingston, including those at the Grand Theatre, Theatre Kingston and L’Octave Theatre ‑ Centre culturel de Frontenac.

Art Galleries
A list of art galleries in Kingston, including address, website and contact information.

Culture Days
A Canada-wide movement to raise awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Events and activities take place annually over the last week of September. Find out what will be happening in Kingston!

Downtown Kingston! — Events Calendar
A calendar of major festivals and celebrations as well as community events held in downtown Kingston. Includes anything from street performing, live music, and food tasting, to sailing and boat competitions, and fireworks. This site also includes links to the event calendars for the K-Rock Centre and the Grand Theatre.

Kingston WritersFest
Information on this annual, multiday festival. Writers, readers, and aspiring authors of all ages and from across Canada converge to attend panels and workshops is about all things literary. Events are hosted by leading authors and held in multiple Kingston venues.

Queen’s AMS Clubs by Category
Queen’s University Alma Mater Society (AMS) -affiliated club listing by category. Categories include: academic, arts, business, common interest/social (i.e. games, cooking, interests, etc.), politics, and sports amoung others. Includes links to full profiles of each club as well as to the full club listing.

QUIC Associated Clubs
Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) has various associated clubs and organizations, each of which has membership open to international and Canadian students. Clubs are organized by geographic regions, religious groups, or social action interests.

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