The Muskoka Foundry will be a destination like no other when all is said and done.
The best in local music? Check. Brewpub? Check. Live acrobatics? Check. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as the facility is eventually set to house a coffee roastery, Three Guys and a Stove, Simply Cottage, The Griffin Gastropub, Hunter’s Bay Radio, Theatre Arcturus, Totem Juice Co., Ray Woodey’s Craft Chippery and Buster’s Sea Cove.
Construction at the building, which is the current home of Simply Cottage, is set for next month but the organizers plan to party before they get down to work.
“We’re creating an event that captures all the senses – it’s going to be visual, tasting the food, listening to great music, dancing,” says Audrey van Petegem, Muskoka Foundry’s chief marketing officer, of the Sept. 24 pre-construction party at the Foundry.
The future event space, with its 54 feet high ceilings, will be transformed into a backdrop for food, drink, music, performances and celebration, joining the Muskoka Foundry’s chefs, musicians and artists. Many musical acts with perform on stage and a dance floor will be set up beside the main stage.
Van Petegem says they hope to accomplish a number of different goals by hosting the party.
“We want to continue the interest and dispel any of the rumours that nothing is happening,” she says. “Things are happening but people can’t really see it because a lot of it is background stuff. We want to share with everyone the vision for the space moving forward.”
The event will also feature a dose of history, as local historian Ken Veitch will be on hand to discuss the foundry’s notable heritage.
“We want to share the historical importance of this building and why we feel so strongly that we need to keep the integrity of the structure and the history alive,” says Petegem. “It was an integral part of Bracebridge and Muskoka. It’s had many different uses and it’s employed many people.”
The party is also a chance to introduce Muskoka to the long list of vendors who plan to call the Foundry home. Many of them will highlight their wears, with the Griffin, 3 Guys, Busters, and the Craft Chippery all cooking up their specialities.
“Arctus will do some live entertainment and performances,” says van Petegem. “They have a few surprises but I don’t want to share those just yet. It should add to the spirit of the evening.”
When the party’s over, it’s time to get down to work. Although van Petegem doesn’t have a concrete timeline for when the project will be completed, she’s optimistic that the work appears to be fairly straightforward.
Van Petegem also indicates that a well-known local bakery might find a home at the Foundry when all is said and done, and they’re currently in the process of finalizing a deal. She sees the event centre as more of cooperative than a group of competing businesses, and says the strength of the overall project can be found in the strength of its partners.
“That’s a big part of why we’ve been selectively choosing businesses. We’re all invested in this and we all want to see everyone succeed,” she says.