With its wealth of creative people, it's not surprising that Owen Sound is the cultural capital of the region. Art galleries and studios, historic museums and heritage homes, studio tours, theatre, symphony, live concerts and more take place all year long.
The Roxy Theatre brings quality artistic and cultural programming to the region and serves as a favourite local destination and tourism attraction in beautiful downtown Owen Sound. The historic 400-seat venue, owned and operated by the Owen Sound Little Theatre, presents four theatrical productions, a four-part music series and a children's performance series annually. The theatre also houses various community groups and concert promoters for seasonal productions and shows The theatre's foyer doubles as an art gallery, the Griffin Gallery, and hosts exhibits by visual artists year-round.
Tom Thomson Art Gallery
The Tom Thomson Art Gallery exhibits a nationally significant collection of memorabilia and artwork by the celebrated Canadian painter, Tom Thomson, who grew up in Leith, just north of Owen Sound. The TOM’s growing collection of both historical and contemporary Canadian Art, includes a wonderful representation of Thomson's colleagues, the Group of Seven. The Canadian Art Museum Director’s Organization has highlighted the TOM as one of the top five significant art institutions in Canada. Admission by donation.
Georgian Bay Symphony
The symphony presents numerous concerts each year and also supports an award-winning youth orchestra. Founded in 1972, the symphony has grown to over 50 volunteer members with a core group of professionals.
994 3rd Ave E, Owen Sound, ON N4K 2K9
Phone: (519) 372-0212
Galleries & Studios
Downtown art spaces aside from the TOM include Gallery DeBoer, the Santa Fe Gallery and the 40-member Artists’ Co-op, which displays a range of mediums and styles, from pottery and painting to jewellery, weaving and glasswork. Catch Owen Sound’s Art Crawl on Saturday mornings near the Farmer’s Market from spring to fall. To find out more information about what's on, click here for our ongoing events.
Community Waterfront Heritage Centre
The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre preserves and shares the rich history of marine and rail transportation of Owen Sound and area. Located in the historic CN station on the waterfront, it features and extensive collection of exquisite ship models handcrafted by skilled artisans, along with CNR and CPR memorabilia, and temporary special exhibits each season. Be sure to check out the famous Ancaster Tug and CN caboose onsite. The building is wheelchair accessible and has free parking beside the beautifully landscaped walkway along the harbour. The gift shop offers a variety of museum memorabilia to remember your visit. School and group tours can be arranged.
Admission by donation.
1155 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound
Billy Bishop Home & Museum
A late-Victorian brick house near Owen Sound's downtown core preserves the boyhood home and memory of one of Canada's greatest pilots and most decorated serviceman, Billy Bishop as well as our local veterans. Memorabilia and artifacts from peace time and both World Wars are displayed in the exquisitely furnished Victorian home, including pictures of planes, battles, flying suits and a model of the Avro Arrow. Special Exhibits throughout the year include a memorable Victorian Christmas. A gift shop has books, cards, model kits, prints and much more. School tours and group discounts can be arranged.
Bishop House be open until 9pm on Wednesdays and Sundays in July and August.
948 3rd Avenue West, Owen Sound, Ontario
Grey Roots Museum & Archives
Grey Roots Museum & Archives traces Grey County’s history through exhibits, events and interactive programs. Learn about our “Saints and Sinners,” a special exhibit tracing the story of prohibition in Owen Sound. In summer, visit Moreston Heritage Village.
Beginning Thanksgiving Day Weekend
Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Beginning Victoria Day Weekend
Open Seven Days A Week 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
102599 Grey Road 18, RR 4 Owen Sound
Owen Sound's Black History:
The history of Owen Sound is incomplete without mention of its Black settlers, who were part of the community at its inception. Owen Sound was the last terminal of the Underground Railroad, the route slaves fleeing from the Southern states took to Canada. Blacks in Owen Sound were employed in a variety of occupations. According to the 1872 Census, 672 people of African- descent lived in Owen Sound, making up 10% of the City’s population. Today, only a handful of Black families make Owen Sound their home.
A Black History Driving Tour marks many historic places throughout the City where Blacks worked, lived, played, and were buried.
The Freedom Trail Brochure can be downloaded here.