The District is well known for the strength of its Gore Musical Theatre group. Each year, they put on the main show and a theatre restaurant-style show. Their hub is the SBS St James Theatre, an independent cinema as well as a 450-seat live show venue with fly tower. The New Zealand International Film Festival is screened there in August.
Touring live shows stop at Gore throughout the year, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. The Gore Repertory Society generally puts on one show per year at The Little Theatre, just near the Gore Bridge, which seats 100 people. Occasional live gigs are held there.
The District has a wealth of opportunities for people to produce art. Anyone can enter the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards for amateur designers. Annual week-long art exhibitions where artists can exhibit and sell their work are held at Waimumu, Waikaka and nearby Riversdale.
Join one of the numerous artistic clubs available and keep an eye out for workshops held throughout the year. The Southern Institute of Technology also offers art classes.
The District has numerous dance and music teachers, a strong Gore Musical Theatre group as well as tuition. Performances and other musical tours include Gore in their itinerary. The Gore Country Music Club is strong, with opportunities to perform at club nights throughout the year. It also organises the annual NZ Gore Gold Guitar Awards, held at Queens Birthday weekend.
The Gore-based NZ Songwriters Trust encourages original songwriting with events throughout the year and a workshop during country music festivities at Queens Birthday weekend. It also plays host to and organises the NZ Country Music Awards. The Hokonui Culture Feast held mid-Winter features local music and dance performances.
The Eastern Southland Gallery has permanent collections as well as two gallery spaces for touring exhibitions and the occasional live performance.
Across the road on Hokonui Drive is the Fire Station Gallery with art for sale and in Mandeville is the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre where there are temporary exhibitions in the foyer.