Season Pass

Interpreter on group tour at Sainte-Marie

Plan Your Visit

Waterway Demonstration at Sainte-Marie

Special Events

Aboriginal Presenter at Sainte-Marie

School Visits

Education Students Arriving at Sainte-Marie

Group Visits

Group at main entrance to Sainte-Marie

First Light 2018



Evenings November 22-24, November 29 to December 1 and December 6-8, 2018 - 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm  

Admission at the door $10.00 per person. Donation of a non-perishable item appreciated. Kids 5 and under are FREE! 


Now in its 19th year, Sainte-Marie’s “First Light” is a must-see event with a great line-up of family activities and performers, all amidst the spectacular glow of over 5,000 candles.

The magic begins when visitors approach the candlelit historic site, as a beautiful amber glow illuminates the famous 17th-century mission.  Visitors can stroll the candlelit paths which lead to a variety of fun family activities around the site, all the way to Martyr's Shrine.

“First Light” has strong ties to community groups, and many will be involved in this year’s celebration, offering special “hands-on” children’s crafts and historic demonstrations. An abundance of music will also fill the air, including Native drumming and singing, lively Franco-Ontarian folksongs, and delightful community and school choirs performing seasonal music on Thursday and Friday nights.


Choirs 3rd week


Don't miss the Fireworks on Friday November 30 and Saturday December 8!

Parking is limited. A free shuttle bus will run on a loop from:

- Walmart parking lot to Sainte-Marie, between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm, every evening. 

- Downtown Midland to Sainte-Marie from 5:30 pm to 10 pm. Buses arriving every 1/2 hour at the Midland Public Library & 509 Bay Street Parking Lot.

For some early holiday shopping, 50 exceptional artisans and vendors will welcome you in MUSEUM and the new BRÉBEUF EVENT CENTRE. The themed Sainte-Marie gift shop will be open each night.


First Light Vendors 2018

Special First Light Event Packages!
Illuminating History!

Take advantage of the First Light package which includes a souvenir lantern, entry to the event, food voucher for dinner at a local restaurant and an overnight stay and breakfast at the Comfort Inn 705-526-2090.

Reserve your Dinner Package at Restaurant Sainte-Marie! Dinner & Admission is only $34.95 per person, including tax & service. Call Nick Boudouris or Meaghan Moyratidis at 705-527-4162 or email

Please be advised that with the exception of service animals, pets are not allowed on the historic site for this event.

Proud Sponsors of First Light:

First Light 2018 Sponsors


Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

Ontario’s first European Community, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was the headquarters for the French Jesuit Mission to the Huron Wendat people. In 1639, the Jesuits, along with French lay workers, began construction of a fenced community that included barracks, a church, workshops, residences, and a sheltered area for Native visitors.


By 1648, Sainte-Marie was a wilderness home to 66 French men, representing one-fifth of the entire population of New France. Sainte-Marie's brief history ended in 1649, when members of the mission community were forced to abandon and burn their home of nearly ten years.


  After extensive archaeological and historical research, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is now recreated on its original site, where the mission’s compelling story is brought to life.


  Located near Midland in the beautiful Southern Georgian Bay area, this world-renowned reconstruction illustrates the interaction of the French and Wendat nations. Visitors get a unique opportunity to see the earliest Canadian pioneer life, through guided or self-guided visits, school group tours, interactive education programs, special events, and corporate functions.


  Visit our Interpretive Museum and themed gift shop, and complete your stay with a delicious meal in Restaurant Sainte-Marie.


  Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is operated by Huronia Historical Parks, and is an Attraction of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  Another Reason to Visit Simcoe County