Experience Sault Ste. Marie’s Cultural Side

Learn about the city's diverse culture including art, theatre, history and music.

Algoma Country’s largest community, Sault Ste. Marie is a hub of activity: major sporting events, concerts from world-famous musical acts, unique attractions, year-round festivals and events, lots of great shopping and home to a variety of international cuisine and fun local eateries. The city is a gateway to wilderness adventure for day trips to Lake Superior or Lake Huron, to do some hiking or short road trips.

But Sault Ste. Marie is also a cultural hub. For those looking for theatre and music, a stroll through a gallery or museum, check out the list below.

1. Art Galleries and Exhibit Spaces

Art Gallery of Algoma 
Situated on the city’s waterfront, the Art Gallery of Algoma is one of Northern Ontario’s visual art institutes. Their Permanent Collection includes works by members of the Group of Seven and Ken Danby. Exhibits rotate with fresh themes and travelling exhibits. Take a self-guided tour of the gallery, or book a guided tour. There are regular workshops hosted at the art gallery, and the Gallery Shop sells pieces by local artists and artisans.

The Art Hub on Spring 
This exhibition space located downtown hosts artists and artisans, art sales, live music, workshops and sessions, and film year round. Follow on Facebook for updates on events.

2. Music

Sault Symphony Orchestra 
The Sault Symphony Orchestra is a Canadian/American orchestra that offers a variety of programs that often include internationally recognized soloists throughout the year. The orchestra’s performances are held at the Kiwanis Community Theatre, the Central United Church (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) and St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral and the Soo Theatre (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan).

Algoma Conservatory of Music 
The Algoma Conservatory of Music is one of the largest music schools in Ontario. Housed at the beautifully renovated General building at Mill Square, the Conservatory provides a wide range of music classes. The Conservatory hosts many special events featuring Canadian and international singers and musicians. 

Northland Chorus 
If you like barbershop music, you’ll enjoy performances by this group of gentlemen. From September to June, the Chorus performs for community events, fundraisers, charitable organizations, and churches as well as holds an annual show.

Sault Ste. Marie Blues Society 
This group of Blues fans and musicians work to keep the Blues happening in Sault Ste. Marie and area. They promote performances and their own events. Check out their website for an event, or follow them on social media.

Many local hotspots and pubs feature musical acts all year long. 

3. Theatre

Sault Community Theatre Centre 
The KCTA hosts many musical and theatre performances throughout the year from local groups like the Sault Symphony Orchestra, the Sault Theatre Workshop, the Musical Comedy Guild, Algoma Fall Festival and touring musicians, comedians and theatre groups. 

The Musical Comedy Guild  
The Musical Comedy Guild has produced more than 100 musicals and a series of cabaret-style shows. The guild also takes pride in having been the first, and the only, company in Northern Ontario to fly actors during productions: in the 1996 production of Peter Pan and in the 2010 production of The Wizard of Oz. 

Sault Theatre Workshop 
The Sault Theatre Workshop has been providing theatre productions since 1948 in Sault Ste. Marie. Learn more about upcoming performances and where to purchase tickets at their website.

4. Film

Algoma International Film Association  
Watch new and interesting Canadian and International films in Sault Ste. Marie. Hosted by the Algoma International Film Association, screenings take place at Galaxy Cinemas on Wednesdays.

5. History and Cultural Experiences

Sault Ste. Marie Museum 
Housed in the historic Post Office building on the corner of Queen and East Streets, the Sault Ste. Marie Museum offers visitors a look at the history of Sault Ste. Marie and area. The galleries offer an insight into the city’s early life, military services, marine history, a children’s area, rotating exhibits, a sports hall of fame and more.

Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site 
The buildings make up this site: the Ermatinger Old Stone House, the Clergue Blockhouse and the Discovery Centre. The site consists of the two oldest stone buildings northwest of Toronto. Learn about fur trader Charles Oakes Ermatinger, industrialist Francis H. Clergue, the War of 1812, and more.

Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre 
The Bushplane Museum is a hands-on, interactive museum that houses retired aircraft from bush planes to a water bomber, exhibits about forest fire protection, artifacts from Roberta Bondar’s space voyage and so much more.

Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada 
Once the world’s largest lock and the first to operate with electrical power, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal was the last link in the navigation system that exists from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior. The site is made up of historic sandstone buildings, beautiful grounds, and access to nearby Whitefish Island.

Thrive Tours 
Thrive Tours offers authentic Indigenous land-based experiences in Sault Ste. Marie and area year-round. Tour experiences allow you to reconnect with nature experiences and adventure through guided canoeing, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, and year-round camping. Thrive Tours adopts a zero-footprint objective.

Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig 
The SKG Teaching Lodge is an Anishinaabe post-secondary institute that preserves the integrity of Anishinaabe knowledge and understanding. Events, seminars and workshops are hosted year round. 

6. Festivals and Events

Algoma Fall Festival 
This annual festival includes music, theatre, dance and visual arts, hosting many famous Canadian and world-famous International performers. The festival is held every October.

Where to Stay

Sault Ste. Marie has many great places to choose from when planning your visit to the city, perfect for any budget and with the amenities you're looking for. You'll find brand-name hotels, motels, campgrounds, and cottages.

About Algoma Staff Writer

Algoma Country is a spectacular 4-season vacation destination for outdoor and urban adventures. The region borders Lake Superior and Lake Huron and is rich in old-growth forests, and countless waterways.