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Kingston, Ontario

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Kingston in Ontario.

 

Kingston, Ontario is a city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario.

Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many historic buildings built from the local limestone.

Culture

Kingston hosts several festivals during the year, including the Limestone City Blues Festival, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Fanfayr, the Kingston Buskers' Rendezvous, Kingston Jazz Festival, Reelout Film Festival, Feb Fest and the Wolfe Island Music Festival.

Kingston is home to many artists who work in visual arts, media arts, literature, and a growing number who work in other time-based disciplines such as performance art. The contemporary arts scene in particular has two long standing professional non-profit venues in the downtown area, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (founded 1957), and Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre (founded 1977). Local artists often participate in the exhibition programming of each organization, while each also presents the work of artists from across Canada and around the world - inkeeping with their educational mandates. Alternative venues for the presentation of exhibition programs in Kingston include The Union Gallery (Queen's University's student art gallery), Verb Gallery, Open Studio 22, the Kingston Arts Council gallery, and The Artel: Arts Accommodations and Venue.

The Kingston WritersFest occurs annually. Literary events also happen throughout the year at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library and local bookstores. Writers who are or have been residents of Kingston include Steven Heighton, Bronwen Wallace, Helen Humphreys, Michael Ondaatje, Joanne Page, Diane Schoemperlen, Eric Folsom, Michael Crummey, Melanie Dugan, Mark Sinnett, Mary Alice Downie, Robertson Davies, Douglas Fetherling, Wayne Grady, Merilyn Simonds, Ellen Stafford, Alec Ross, Jamie Swift, Carolyn Smart and Alexander Scala.

Music and theatre venues include The Grand Theatre, and The Wellington Street Theatre, which host performances from international, national, and local groups like Domino Theatre, Theatre Kingston, The Vagabond Repertory Theatre Company, Hope Theatre Projects, Bottle Tree Productions, and other small groups that dot the downtown area. The Kingston Symphony performs at The Grand Theatre, as do several amateur and semi-professional theatre groups. The K-Rock Centre, a 5800-seat entertainment venue and ice rink, opened in February 2008.

The city has spawned several musicians and musical groups, most of whom are known mainly within Canada, but a few of whom have achieved international success. These include John Kay, lead singer, harmonica player, and occasional guitarist of the heavy metal late 60s/early 70s band Steppenwolf, members of The Tragically Hip, The Mahones, jazz singer Andy Poole, Bedouin Soundclash, Sarah Harmer, The Arrogant Worms, The Headstones, The Inbreds, and David Usher, formerly of Moist.

Kingston is also the birth place of Bryan Adams. The first winner of the television series Canadian Idol was Kingston native Ryan Malcolm.

Poet Michael Andre was raised in Kingston. Zal Yanovsky of The Lovin' Spoonful lived in Kingston until his death in 2002.

Comedian and actor Dan Aykroyd has a residence just north of Kingston and is a frequent face in town. He owned a restaurant called Aykroyd's Ghetto House Café on upper Princess Street during the 1990s which prominently featured a Blues Brothers' car projecting out from the second story wall.

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