8 Festivals to Hit This May in Kingston

By Jordan Whitehouse

May marks the start of prime festival season in Kingston, and it’s kicking off with lots of art, live music and, of course, Victoria Day fireworks. Here are the details on eight fests to check out this month.

Juvenis Festival

The Juvenis Festival

May 1 – 11, 2019

One of only two youth arts festivals in Canada, The Juvenis Festival celebrates the artistic talents of those under 30 in this city. From theatre pieces and musicals to modern dance and multimedia art, the lineup is always eclectic and never boring. There are workshops and masterclasses for young people, too, as well as an always popular battle of the bands and an art gallery in an empty storefront.

Prices vary

Kingston Potters' Guide Spring Show and Sale

Kingston Potters’ Guild Spring Show and Sale

May 2 – 5, 2019
The Tett Centre

The Kingston Potters’ Guild has been around for over 50 years, making it one of the oldest in Ontario, and this showcase is a great way to see and support the talents of the culturally-diverse group. These sales only come around twice a year, by the way, so if you’re in the market for one-of-a-kind cookery or a new teapot or an original decorative piece, don’t miss out.


Janes Walk

Jane’s Walk

May 3 – 5, 2019

This annual festival of free, citizen-led walking conversations takes place in hundreds of cities around the world. Inspired by the late urbanist-activist Jane Jacobs, it’s all about sharing, discovering and connecting with one’s community. In Kingston, that means guided walks, bike trips and podcast tours of the Tett Centre, Barriefield Village, Portsmouth, Inner Harbour and other historic parks, venues and neighbourhoods throughout the city.


HomeGrown Live Music Festival

Homegrown Live Music Festival

May 4, 2019

Every year, Homegrown Live hosts about 90 local acts on a dozen downtown stages. Each venue typically features a specific genre such as folk, alternative or jazz. All proceeds go to The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library, which has received over $100,000 from the festival over the past decade.

All-access pass: $10

Success By 6

Success By 6 Week

May 6 – 12, 2019
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington

Organized by the United Way, this week-long fest offers up a variety of free activities for young children across the region. From movies and swims to celebrity story-time readings and moms-and-tots yoga, each day features something different. Activities are split up into five categories: Drop-ins and Playgroups, Physical Activities, Learning Activities, Fun Activities, and Environment.


Kingston Science Rendezvous

Science Rendezvous

May 11, 2019
Leon’s Centre

Have a burgeoning Einstein in the family? Then head to Leon’s Centre, which will transform into a giant pop-up science centre for the day. Meet and talk to scientists, try an experiment, learn about the possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math. Over 50 presenters will be there, including groups from Queen’s, RMC and St. Lawrence College, as well as the Canadian Space Agency and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The first 2,000 families will receive a take-home booklet filled with experiments that can be done at home, plus a free tote bag filled with surprises.


Victoria Day Celebrations

Victoria Day Celebrations

May 19, 2019
Lake Ontario Park

One of the best family-friendly places to kick off the unofficial start of summer is Lake Ontario Park, where you’ll find inflatable activities, an obstacle course, food trucks, a splash pad, face painting and way more. There are also scheduled activities throughout the day like bubble shows and K-9 demonstrations, plus an evening lineup with a few local bands. Then at 9:30 pm get ready for what the City says will be a “jaw-dropping” fireworks show.


Spring Art After Dark

Spring Art After Dark

May 24, 2019
There are dozens of art galleries in the downtown core, and this bi-annual nighttime fest is a great way to check some of them out. Usually around 20 galleries open their doors between 7 pm and 10 pm, some with special events and light refreshments. All of them will offer a chance to win a $500 art shopping spree from Downtown Kingston.


There’s so much going on in Kingston this May

Clear your schedule for 10 can’t-miss concerts.