Deeper Roots Series

Deeper Roots series is a curated series of talks, panel discussions, presentations, receptions and artist talkbacks, across the whole season, each of them tailored to complement some of the themes and ideas springing out of the shows themselves.  There are even a few happening pre-season in the surrounding community.

Altogether, in addition to the regular artist talkbacks across the season, Deeper Roots will allow at least 19 more chances to delve into the subjects and inspirations fueling the work onstage. What better way to celebrate our 45th Season?

Among the line-up are discussions on Contemporary Circus Arts, cake decorating workshops, panels on Farm Succession and the erasure of the labour of women in farm histories, a group of current and graduating students from the University of Guelph Agricultural College will talk about their perspectives on the future of farming, we’re convening a panel of rural LGBTQ entrepreneurs to talk about their challenges in building businesses in small towns, and we’re pulling together artists who work in Palliative Care to talk about the Healing Power of Art.

Most of them are FREE – Everyone is welcome

Get ready for the Blyth Festival Cake Parade and Bake-Off.


Are your cakes airy and light? Your icing smooth and buttery? The combined taste something that’s truly blissful?

We here at the Blyth Festival challenge you to prove it. We throw down the gauntlet in our quest for the best cake in all the land. If you want to pick up what we’re throwing down, then get ready to enter the Blyth Festival Cake Parade and Bake-Off.

As part of our 45th Season, we are hosting a cake-baking contest complete with a cake parade on opening night of Cakewalk on Friday, June 28, 2019. It’s all in the name of fun, with prizes awarded in professional, amateur, people’s choice and kids’ choice categories. There might even be prizes awarded for the best Cakewalk-themed costumes.

We’re looking for the best homemade cake prepared by either an individual or a team, with contestants invited to submit one or more entries. All will be judged on taste and appearance. Also, we’re going to keep the identities of the judges under wraps so that you can’t butter them up ahead of time.

All submissions will become property of the Blyth Festival, with slices available to patrons that night.

Complete contest details and entry application are posted here.

An Evening with Canadian author Lawrence Hill will highlight this series.

The award-winning author of The Book of Negroes and The Illegal will speak from the theatre’s main stage about his passionate views on elder care and assisted dying in Canada, providing his perspective on the journey to death for his extraordinary mother, Donna Mae Hill.

At 90 years old, after a remarkable life, much of it spent fighting for civil rights in Canada, Donna Mae Hill traveled to Switzerland for an assisted death because Canada’s laws prohibited it. Lawrence Hill and his niece were present at her end of life.

Select books written by Lawrence Hill will be available for sale and signing.




  • Thursday, March 14 at 7 pm | Panel Discussion: The Fascination with Jumbo | Huron County Museum, 110 North St., Goderich
  • Thursday, May 16 at 2 pm | Panel Discussion: The Making of Jumbo | Elgin County Museum, St. Thomas
  • Wednesday, June 12 at 7 pm | Jumbo Exhibit | Lower Hall
  • Saturday, June 15 at 4:30 pm | Panel Discussion: Contemporary Circus | Lower Hall
  • Friday, June 28 at 7:15 pm | Cake Parade and Bake Off |Main Street & Lower Hall.
  • Wednesday, July 3 at 7 pm | Jumbo Exhibit | Lower Hall
  • Saturday, July 13 at 7 pm | Jumbo Exhibit | Lower Hall
  • Thursday, July 25 at 1 pm | Cupcake Decorating with Nicole | Lower Hall | $10 pp
  • Thursday, August 1 at 7 pm| Panel Discussion: The Making of In the Wake of Wettlaufer | Huron County Museum, Goderich
  • Tuesday, August 13 at 4:30 pm | Panel Discussion: When Do You Leave the Farm? | Lower Hall
  • Thursday, August 15 at 4:30 pm | Panel Discussion: The Healing Power of Art | Lower Hall
  • Wednesday, August 21 at 4:30 pm | Panel Discussion: Historical Erasure of the Female Farmer | Lower Hall
  • Sunday, August 25 at Noon | Panel Discussion: The Future of Farming from Graduates’ Perspective | Lower Hall
  • Wednesday, August 28 at 7 pm | An Evening With Lawrence Hill | Main Stage. Tickets: $10 Members; $15 Non-members
  • Thursday, August 29 at Noon | Panel Discussion: What is a Good Death? | Lower Hall. Pre-ordered lunch available for purchase
  • Saturday, September 14 at 4:30 pm | Panel Discussion: LGBTQ Community as Entrepreneurs
  • Wednesday, September 18 at 4:30 pm | Live Interview with Playwright Mark Crawford and Performer Paul Dunn | Lower Hall

We’ve got some great ideas like cupcake decorating and cake baking classes, but the fine details aren’t confirmed yet. Watch our website for further events.