Haliburton is a county of Ontario, Canada, known as a tourist and cottage area in Central Ontario for its scenery and its resident artists. Haliburton County was established in 1983, but had existed as the Provisional County of Haliburton since 1874. Haliburton County and the village of Haliburton are named after Thomas Chandler Haliburton, author, statesman, and the first chairman of the Canadian Land and Emigration Company. The county borders Algonquin Park on the north.
Haliburton County is dubbed the “Haliburton Highlands”. This is in part attributed to its similarity to the Scottish Highlands, and the Scottish ancestry of the founding population. The Haliburton Highlands region is also one of the higher points on the Canadian Shield ranging from 1,066 feet (325 m) at the Haliburton/Stanhope Municipal Airport to 1,450 feet (440 m) above sea level at Sir Sam’s Ski Resort in Eagle Lake. The Haliburton Highlands is home to a thriving arts community. The county is dotted by galleries, both public and private, offering events, programs and workshops to the public. Artists’ studios can be found in almost every community, many offering public demonstrations, small galleries, and classes. There are murals and public sculptures in the downtowns of most communities, as well as in park settings. The county is home to the renowned Haliburton Sculpture Forest, a unique outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and international artists.The Highlands are also home to the renowned Haliburton School of The Arts(HSTA) of Fleming College. Students come from across Canada as well as internationally to immerse themselves in the unique art offerings of the Haliburton Campus. There are art certificates in Glassblowing,Photo Arts, Artist Blacksmithing, Painting and Drawing, Digital Image Design, Jewellery Essentials, Fibre Arts, Sculpture, Ceramics as well as the Visual and Creative Arts Diploma. HSTA also offers over 300 courses in the Spring-Summer program which attracts nearly 3000 students of all ages to the area during the busy tourism season. Many local artists are involved in the school as part-time faculty. The Haliburton Campus also offers a post-graduate certificate in Expressive Arts. The Campus also has an emphasis on eco-friendly education and offers certificates in Sustainable Building and Construction, and Sustainable Renovation. The Sustainable Building and Construction program was the first of its kind in Canada and its success has had a positive impact locally, as the programs have built the R.D. Lawrence Place at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre, the 4Cs Thrift Store in Haliburton, the Kinark Outdoor Centre in Minden and, in the Summer of 2013, the new Library in Wilberforce. The Renovation program revitalized the Haliburton Highlands Museum. Heritage is also a focus in the county, with established museums in Carnarvon, Dorset, Haliburton, Minden, and Wilberforce, as well as many fledgling museums emerging in some of the smaller communities. Many buildings throughout the county are designated heritage sites by the province, and many others undergoing preservation through the interests of the public. The performing arts also receive much attention. Haliburton Highlands Secondary School has strong drama and music programs, showcasing their talents throughout the year to the public. As well, the Highlands Summer Festival presents a wide array of theatre offerings throughout the summer, showcasing the talents of local and seasonally local actors and musicians. Numerous indie bands perform throughout the county, with open mic events being held at a number of establishments.