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The Sound Waterfront Festival and Canada Day Celebrations Kick off Friday, June 28 

Owen Sound will celebrate Canada Day on July 1 as part of The Sound Waterfront Festival at Kelso Beach at Nawash Park. This four-day, free cultural festival occurs from Friday, June 28, through Monday, July 1. It features entertainers, live music, vendors, food trucks, family activities, fireworks, and a focus on the area’s rich history. 

The Saugeen Ojibway Nation Joint Chief’s flag will be raised at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 28 at the Gichi-Name Wiikwedong Reconciliation Garden to acknowledge the Anishinaabe people who called this land home before colonization. The flag will fly permanently as a reminder and thanks for their stewardship of this land, their traditional territory.  

Starting at 7 p.m. The Rock of Fame concert, a Tribute to Canadian music, will be held in the Amphitheatre at Kelso Beach at Nawash Park, featuring local and talented musicians in partnership with Chris Scerri Presents. Musicians include Tara and Trevor Mackenzie, Pete Devlin, John Hume, Terry Martell, Drew McIvor, Jaret Koop, Holly Sled, Fred Dawson and Chris Scerri. The event is free, although there is the option to donate. The gate opens at 6 p.m. with food and craft vendors on site. In the case of inclement weather, this event will be held at The Harmony Centre in Owen Sound. Please bring a lawn chair. 

Saturday, June 29, is Youth Day at Kelso Beach at Nawash Park from 12 p.m.- 9 p.m. will include interactive juggling, dog shows, pony rides, Scouts cub car building and racing, family-friendly yoga, and frisbee golf. The Amphitheatre will feature youth musicians and entertainers, including Banditfest, Dickie Bird, Charlie Taylor-Gillespie, Owen Sound Dance Academy, SLV Band, Kenzy and Olivia, The Roxy Young Company, and Grace McCrae’s musicians, followed by a youth dance party to close the night. Many youth organizations will be on-site, along with food and craft vendors.

Sunday, June 30, is Waterfront Day, which includes park activities, food trucks, vendors, tours, and entertainment. The beachfront at Kelso Beach at Nawash Park will include The Big Canoe offering tours along the shoreline throughout the day; The Owen Sound Rowing Club will provide demos between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. or come try out a stand-up paddle board with ISUP Saugeen launching from the beach between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. with free beginner and intermediate lesson options. The Owen Sound Water Rescue team will be on the water showcasing their equipment throughout the day.   

The West Side Boat Launch will include The Grey Bruce Dragon Boat Club, which will be offering trials for those wishing to know more about the club and paddling. Want to get out on an adventure of your own but don’t have the equipment? Kayak rentals are available at The Launch Adventure Rentals at the West Side boat launch. All activities are on first come basis - refer to the website for details, times, and items required to participate.  

Musicians Paige Warner, Gracie Jet, Amber Mitchell and Kailey Jane Hawkins will play beach tunes all afternoon by the shoreline. The Good Cheer Splash Pad will be open with games and activities for kids on the beach all day. 60’s Revisited will take to the Amphitheatre stage at 6 p.m. so you can dance the night away to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Lovin Spoonful, the Monkees, as well as songs from Woodstock, Joe Cocker Santana, and The Who. 

Canada Day festivities start at noon on Monday, July 1, packed with children’s activities, dog shows, juggling and circus performers, pony rides, music and entertainment, plus food trucks and vendors. Opening ceremonies will begin at 4 p.m. in the Amphitheatre with the Rubbily Ubdugs, a kid's favourite. The Mike McCarthy Band, followed later by a message from City of Owen Sound’s Mayor Boddy to kick off the evening headliner CMT’s Woman of Country Sacha. The evening will conclude with spectacular fireworks over the Owen Sound Harbour at 10 p.m.   

Window flags for storefronts and homes can be picked up at Owen Sound City Hall, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Harrison Park Campground, Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library, and The Ginger Press.  

Owen Sound’s Canada Day Celebrations are sponsored by The Government of Canada, Stage sponsor Bayshore Broadcasting Radio stations, Presenting sponsors The Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, The City of Owen Sound, and Barry’s Construction. Entertainment sponsor Northridge Properties with event sponsors Owen Sound Honda, Giant Tiger, Flato Developments Inc., Tom Hall Refrigeration, Owen Sound Subaru, Bounce Radio, Kelso Villa Retirement Living, Peninsula Sheds & Lawn Furniture, Walker Construction, Bellwyck Packaging Solutions, Coca-Cola, Miller Waste Systems, Rogers TV and Grey Bruce Business Service. 

Join the City of Owen Sound Events Crew and volunteer! More than 100 volunteers make The Waterfront Festival happen. Year after year, thousands of people descend on Kelso Beach at Nawash Park for a weekend of family fun, and it’s all thanks to our amazing volunteers.  

All event details are posted at The Sound Waterfront Festival or on the Tourism, Events, and Attractions Facebook Page.    

Please contact Jennifer Wright, Events and Activation Coordinator at 519-376-4440 ext. 1237 or for more information.   

Quick Facts: 

  • The Sound Waterfront Festival takes place June 28 – July 1 

  • Spectators on land and in boats must remain a minimum of 175 metres clear of the pier in the Owen Sound Harbour during the fireworks display.   

  • Our pathway on Canada Day 2024 shines a light on Canadian diversity, inclusion, and youth. Wherever you are, participate in July 1 activities and celebrate what makes you proud!   

  • Kelso Beach at Nawash Park is a designated Smoke and Vape site.  

  • The event will be featured on Rogers TV. 

  • All water activities are weather-dependent and may be cancelled if inclement weather occurs.  



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