Peterborough has a vibrant entertainment scene. Live performances of theatre, music, and dance occur regularly at Showplace Performance Centre and Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, as well as in many local bars, clubs, cafes, churches, and other locations.
4th Line Theatre in nearby Millbrook stages outdoor plays in the summer based on local history. Arbor Theatre tours local schools, performing for hundreds of Peterborough's children. Other theatre companies in Peterborough include Mysterious Entity, New Stages Theatre Company, and the Peterborough Theatre Guild.
The Peterborough Symphony Orchestra is led by award-winning conductor Michael Newnham. They are recognized as one of the best community orchestras in Canada. The highly regarded Peterborough Singers, under the direction of Sydney Birrell, performs a diverse musical repertoire from gospel to sacred to pop to oratorio. The Singers regularly introduces rising young soloists to the community and commissions works from Canadian composers.
Local art galleries include the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Artspace, Gallery on the Lake and the Whetung Ojibwa Centre. Each August many Canadian artists gather for the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival. On the last weekend of September local artists open up their studios for tours as part of the Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour.
Peterborough has many artistic opportunities for children. The Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School (TASSS) offers the Integrated Arts Program. This is an arts enrichment program for high school students. Enrollment is free. Children in the Peterborough area can enhance their music skills by joining the Kawartha Youth Orchestra or the Peterborough Children's Chorus.
The Art School of Peterborough offers classes for people of all ages. Courses range from painting to pottery to photography and much more.
Galaxy Cinemas hosts Peterborough’s main movie theatre. The drive-in theatre is a fun destination in the summer months.