Muskoka Chautauqua

Creativity and Renewal

Muskoka has always had a reputation for renewal of body, mind and spirit, alongside creativity and restoration.

From the stresses of the industrial revolution to today’s constant connection to communications and information, people come to Muskoka to ‘take the cure’ as they used to say in the days when Muskoka used to be prescribed by doctors for everything from tuberculosis to mental health.

Muskoka has always been a place of rest, restoration and renewal with friends and family, face to face conversations or personal retreat.

Muskoka as a place of inspiration and connection with nature which makes it so attractive to artists and creative pursuits.  Even when the first ‘visitors’ came to Muskoka under the guise of hunting and fishing, they were inspired to create skits, and write and paint while they ‘camped out’.

One hundred years ago, Muskoka was known as Canada’s Literary Summer Capital as writers came to Chautauqua from across Canada and beyond.  Muskoka Chautauqua did for literary arts what the Group of Seven did for visual arts in defining Canadian culture.  Many of the Group of Seven were also inspired by Muskoka’s majesty and magic as are so many artists today.

Muskoka Chautauqua continues the tradition of creativity and innovation as so many are drawn to this place for retreat and re-creation whether they abide here year-round, seasonally or come for a visit.

A century ago Muskoka Chautauqua provided arts and culture experiences to augment programming at resorts such as Windermere House and Elgin House and ultimately found a home on Tobins Island, Lake Rosseau.

Today Muskoka Chautauqua continues to draw on the area’s artistic resources as well as other creative and innovative professionals nationally and internationally in designing and delivering unique experiences for a variety of venues throughout Muskoka.

True to its roots, Muskoka Chautauqua continues to offer experiences such as Artists in Residence, Art Parties and workshops at resorts such as Clevelands House and the Rosseau JW Marriott Resort and Spa, where professional artists lead daily watercolour journaling, writing, painting, print making, music and movement workshops and weekly art/paint parties.

In addition to resorts, venues include theatres, churches, galleries, and other more intimate spaces and true to its roots in performing arts Muskoka Chautauqua experiences including opera and harp masterclasses.

Other activities that continue year round are coffee houses with musicians from near and far and programs in the schools that celebrate and showcase community engagement and embrace health and well-being.

Muskoka Chautauqua is part of the North American Chautauqua Trail and will be hosting the 34th Annual General Meeting of members in October.  This is the first time the AGM has been held in Canada.  What more appropriate timing as we celebrate 100 years since the first Chautauqua experiences were offered in Muskoka, not to mention Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Meet Muskoka Chautauqua at the 17th annual Flavours of Muskoka Chautauqua fundraiser which showcases local foods and culinary artistry and supports so many of these life-long learning programs in schools and communities.

Arts abound in Muskoka!

Take the Cure – Muskoka Chautauqua.