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Highlands Summer Festival Outdoor Concert!

The smash hit concert Rock the Night Away, landing in Haliburton for three performances only on Sat. August 21st  at 7 p.m.and Sunday 22nd, at 2 and 7 p.m. celebrates 50 years of Rock history.

Internationally acclaimed Canadian Songbird Leisa Way has created magic with her newest concert, “Rock the Night Away!  Way and her Wayward Wind Band keep Rock ‘n Roll and the Classic Rock flame burning in this high energy show that will thrill audiences with the electrifying sounds of the hottest rock stars in history.

There is no finer way to celebrate summer and gathering with friends than by experiencing this incredible outdoor concert!

This “not to be missed” concert showcases the sensational hits of Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis, Linda Ronstadt, Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin, Freddie Mercury & Queen, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Steppenwolf, Fleetwood Mac, The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Animals. Jimi Hendrix, Trooper,  Van Morrison, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Procol Harum, The Doobie Brothers – and more!

Concert creator, Leisa Way, has enjoyed a career that has taken her all over the world.  She formed Way-To-Go Productions 10 years ago and has enjoyed phenomenal success with the 12 concerts she has created. These concerts include Across the Pond (The British Invasion); Sweet Dreams (Patsy Cline), Early Morning Rain, which celebrates the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot; Rhinestone Cowgirl (Dolly Parton), and the patriotic Oh, Canada, We Sing For Thee! which travelled to 44 cities across the country during our Canada 150 year.

The Wayward Wind Band are outstandingly talented singer-multi-instrumentalists.  Fred Smith has performed with the likes of Chuck Berry, The Supremes, The Drifters, and The Mamas & The Papas;  Bobby Prochaska is a Broadway veteran (Buddy Holly & original production of Crazy For You (Royal Alex);  Musical Arranger Bruce Ley was The Tommy Hunter Show pianist, is the composer of an Academy Award nominated film and his band once opened for The Rolling Stones; and drummer Don Reid, is a versatile percussionist who also plays with many orchestras and stage shows.

Make it a date night – or a night out for the entire family and join Leisa Way and The Wayward Wind Band for this fun night of greatest hits from rock’s best.  Rock the Night Away sets down at the Head Lake Park Band Shell on Saturday, August 20th at 7:00pm, and Sunday, August 21st at 2:00pm, and 7:00pm.  You’ll be singing and dancing along to every song!

This a free concert (donations gladly accepted), but tickets are required due to limited seating.

Concert tickets will be required so we can track the numbers, (attendance limited to 186 per concert) and provide necessary contract tracing. Patrons will be seated in, appropriately distanced, family or bubble groups. Please bring your own chairs or blankets. We’ll have supply of refreshments available for purchase, but you are encouraged to bring your own beverages and snacks. We request you wear a mask until seated. Additional Covid protocols may apply.Tickets are available on line at: https://www.highlandssummerfestival.on.ca/season-pass/


A Message from the Festival

A message from Brian Kipping – President of the Highlands Summer Festival



Love is in the air

We’re celebrating Valentines Day with these great love stories that were nurtured at the Highlands Summer Festival. We hope these tales will make your day!

Covid concerns place

2021 season on hold

Press Release January 31, 2021

In the continued uncertainty of safety around Covid-19, it is with a heavy heart that the Highlands Summer Festival will postpone our 2021 season. The decision was made amid growing uncertainty about the Covid-19 restrictions that could continue in July and August. “The health and safety of our patrons, talented actors and volunteers has always been our utmost priority, and we want to ensure that when the community is next able to gather for the quality productions we’re known for, it is with confidence and celebration”, Artistic Director Scot Denton stated.

“It is with reluctance that we make this announcement,” said President Brian Kipping. “This is not where we wanted to be following last season’s closure. Our first concern, however, is for the safety of our patrons and staff,” he reiterated. Kipping noted that the lack of predictability of the restrictions on public gatherings leaves the organization with little choice.

However, the shuttering of the traditional season does not mean the popular Haliburton theatre company will be inactive in the coming months.

“We are exploring the possibility of hosting our Early Stages program, if conditions allow,” Scot Denton indicated. “Watch for announcements as we get closer to the summer.” Early Stages in a highly popular four-week intensive theatre education program for young people aged 10 to 14.

Denton said there are also plans in the works for more virtual presentations. “Following on the heels of our very popular ‘Memories’ video, we have several initiatives in the works that we’ll release on our website.” (www.highlandssummerfestival.on.ca)

“Patrons who have left their tickets with us will have them honoured for the 2022 season,” Kipping stated. “We will respect that commitment when we are allowed to step back into the theatre and onto the stage.”

Kipping also paid tribute to the many people in the community who responded to the company’s donation request a month ago. (see details below)  “Even though there have been no performances, we have ongoing expenses, and these donations help to keep the Highlands Summer Festival alive and ready to go when conditions allow. Thank you for your support.”

 Bridging the Gap

As we attempt to make a plan for the 2021 Highlands Summer Festival season, we can’t help but look back on this past summer and the moments missed in the darkened theatre by restrictions imposed by the pandemic. But planning continues and we are moving forward with caution – hopeful that we can bring live theatre to you once again, when it is safe to do so.

As the fall began, we were forced to take a closer look at the financial situation of the company. When the season was cancelled, Highlands Summer Festival was blessed with the generosity of our loyal patrons. Some chose to donate the value of the season passes and tickets they had purchased, others decided to simply move their 2020 passes to next season on our promise they would be valid in 2021. Both of these actions helped the company function through a dark period and we are so grateful to all. As we examine our projected costs to gear up for next summer against the potential revenue, we see a shortfall of $16,718. We have researched various grant opportunities for a company such as ours, however many are not a match for Highlands Summer Festival.

We need your help to bridge the gap. We know how important Highlands Summer Festival is to our community, and so we are turning to our fellow theatre lovers for support. As a registered charity, all donations are tax deductible for the year in which they are given. If you are able, there are several way you can donate: on-line at our secure website at highlandssummerfestival.on.ca/season-pass/ (click on the button below); by calling the box office at 705-457-9933 or toll free 1-888-457-9933; or you can mail your cheque to Box 938, Haliburton, Ontario, K0M 1S0. We hope you can assist us as we keep ourselves in a position to bring live theatre and music to the Haliburton Highlands once we can keep you safe as we gather together again.

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support and we are all looking forward to seeing you at the theatre next summer.



Brian Kipping

PS:  Be sure to view our “Memories” video below, celebrating 20 years of the Highlands Summer Festival. I know you’ll enjoy seeing some of the people who were part of our community theatre company.

20 Years of

Highlands Summer Festival


At the Highlands Summer Festival we have been making memories for 20 years. We are looking forward to making them for many more seasons to come. We invite you to have a look back at some of our favourite moments – we hope this brings back memories of your favourite shows.

We’re looking forward to creating many more memories for you as soon as we can. Until then, please share this with someone who might enjoy it. And let us know about your favourites.

Highlands Summer Festival Photo Contest Continues

Visit our Backstage Pass Blog for the latest contest. https://www.highlandssummerfestival.on.ca/backstage-pass/



TD Waterhouse 2018 Curtain Talks

Once again this year, the Highlands Summer Festival was pleased to present “Curtain Talks”, sponsored by TD Waterhouse.  After selected performances, the audience was invited to stay to talk to the cast and crew of the production. We will be offering TD Waterhouse Curtain Talks during the 2018 season. See the Calendar on the Tickets Page for the schedule and view the ones already recorded below.

Romeo & Juliet

July 8: https://vimeo.com/279747935

Not Quite Sherlock with Chris Gibbs




Weimar to Vaudeville


The Dining Room


TD Curtain Talks From Past Seasons

Please click here to enjoy the Curtain Talks from our past seasons as recorded by Sticks and Stones Media.



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Front of Line service when you make a donation

When purchasing your tickets, please consider making a donation to the Highlands Summer Festival one of the most vibrant community theatre companies in Ontario. As a not-for-profit registered charity, we will provide you with a receipt which you can use for income tax purposes. The more than 150 artists and volunteers who make the annual Highlands Summer Festival season happen are heartened by endorsement of their efforts through the purchase of season passes. However, additional funds are needed to ensure the continued viability of the company.

Your donation has additional benefits for you, including front of line ticket ordering priority, recognition on our website and in the program and the satisfaction of supporting one of Ontario’s outstanding summer theatre companies. Note: donations are receipted for the tax year in which they are received.

See you at the theatre

Brian Kipping





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