A reminder that music is back at an iconic Muskoka venue…but not for long

The Kee to Bala focuses on attracting music lovers before the summer is over.


A famous cottage country landmark is back and urging concert goers to return before the summer is over.

Following a two-year hiatus, the barn-like 1200-capacity Muskoka music venue, The Kee to Bala is reopening its doors. To celebrate, it’s turning instruments into recognizable signs of the season, like the neck of a guitar replacing a dock or a microphone held like a melting ice cream cone.

Ads more specific to specific headliners like Glorious Sons and the Sam Roberts Band use their more wistful lyrics.

Other ads take the form of more straightforward countdown to the end of summer.

The Kee to Bala is also giving away tickets to leading concerts this season, inviting fans who spot a “KEEtar” floaty around Lake Muskoka to snap a photo and tag @TheKeeToBala on Instagram for a chance to win..

The Kee to Bala partnered with strategic creative agency Elemental, part of the shop’s annual pro-bono initiative to provide its services to organizations and businesses in need of support. The message is meant to be a rallying cry for music lovers, according to Elemental’s VP of client services, Justin Haberman.

This campaign is a different approach to traditional venue contesting, having a little experiential footprint for locals to come see and turn heads, says Mike Strong, Kee’s owner.


The messaging is around the summer being so short in Ontario. “Time is precious so we kinda latched onto that and stuck with the message of making every day count,” Strong says. “Our message is really getting back to live, remembering some of those awesome moments people have had to put on hold due to COVID.”

It’s also a way of diversifying and connecting with people on a different level, Strong says. “We’ve always had a good spread, with radio, local, GTA, central Ontario and the opportunity to work with friends and colleagues at Elemental came up,” he explains.


Strong tells strategy it’s not typically worked with an agency to this degree, but has been integrated indirectly into other campaigns, like from local tourism boards.

“The past two years have been tough for live music and music venues. This year more than ever, we wanted to make a big push with one of our best lineups to date and give people something to talk about for years to come,” Strong says.

The demographic is fairly broad, he says, from cottagers to devoted fans travelling to see their favorite bands.