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Culture Grows Here Conference

On May 13 and 14, 2015 the City of Barrie partnered with the County of Simcoe to present its third bi-annual Culture Grows Here conference. The conference was an enormous success boasting more that 100 participants over the 2 days.

Highlights of the conference included a keynote speech by Bruce Poon Tip, author and found of G Adventures, the world’s largest adventure travel company.  Participants were treated to a copy of Bruce’s book Looptail, as well as an engaging presentation on how he built his company. G Adventures currently employs over 1,500 people in over 150 countries on all 7 continents.

Day two of the conference featured a keynote about how food trends drives the economy by David Sax, author of Tastemakers. There were several panel presentations on May 14th -  one on developing culture in rural communities with limited resources, and another on Festivals and Events, created with municipal support and without.

The conference offered three exciting study tours to its attendees:

  • Royal Victoria Hospitals Visual Arts Program – a unique program as the hospital has hired a curator and they have created an amazing collection of art for both patients and families to enjoy
  • Barrie Film Festival – Director of BFF, Claudine Benoit engaged the participants at the Uptown Theatre with trailers of upcoming films, while speaking out how the BFF has garnered both audience and financial support
  • Historic Cemetery Tour with Steve Travers, Barrie’s Town Crier was a huge hit, as Steve talked about vibrant characters from Barrie’s past.

The conference was interspersed with performances by Jazz Mandu, the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers, LS (Shane Dennis, hip hop artist) and James Harrison, Barrie’s own pickpocket magician. 

Watch for Barrie’s next Culture Grows Here conference in the spring of 2017!


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