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The First Floor Gallery

The First Floor Gallery, created to profile the incredible work of local artists, opened in January 2015. The space is located at City Hall, between the Service Barrie and Court and Legislative Services counters, and is curated by Culture Branch staff with the assistance of local visual artists.

Guiding Principles
Application Process

A call to artists will be advertised annually to encourage local artists to apply to have their work considered for exhibition. The call notes that each exhibition will be installed for 2 months at a time.

The submission deadline for 2017 was Friday, November 25th. Successful applicants have been notified and exhibits will begin in January 2017. 2018 exhibit submissions will begin in the fall of 2017.

Applicants are asked to submit:

  • a letter of interest,
  • a CV or resume and
  • a series of 10–12 images of their work on a dvd or usb key.
  • A list of works should be attached that includes title, year of completion, medium and the dimensions.
  • the name of the exhibit and a brief artist statement (2–3 paragraphs) that can be used in promotional materials.

Please note in your submission any special requirements for your exhibit. For the purposes of exhibition, any works on paper will need to be framed. Works on canvas or panels must be wired to enable hanging. We encourage artists working in a variety of mediums to submit to the process and we will work with them to accommodate exhibiting their works (e.g. fibre arts, mixed media, sculpture). 

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of local arts individuals: artists or have experience in or are employed in the field of visual arts. The committee will be comprised of 3–5 individuals with arts expertise, plus the City's Culture Officer responsible for Development and Public Art. These (3–5) individuals will be appointed by the Culture Branch and will act as a jury panel to determine the successful candidates. The jury panel will create a schedule for the artists, in conjunction with the Culture Officer, in order to present a variety of work from different arts mediums.

Exhibit Length

Each exhibit will be on display for a period of two months. Artists will be asked to install their work on the first business day of the month and remove on the last business day of the relevant month. The installation date will be open to negotiations depending upon when the previous exhibit is being taken down. Every effort will be made to ensure continuity in the exhibit space. Please note that City Hall is not open on Sundays and the gallery is may be inaccessible on Saturdays due to the Barrie Farmers' Market.

Artists will be asked to leave their exhibit in place for the entire two months. Artists will be asked to sign a basic agreement/contract that will demonstrate the artist’s commitment and confirm the exhibition dates.

Sale of Art

City by-laws prohibit the sale of artworks in City Hall (with the exception of the Barrie Farmers' Market) so artists cannot display prices on their work. They can however put their name and contact information on or near their work, or include it in their artist statements. Should an artist sell a work in the exhibit, they are required to leave it in place until the end of the exhibit.

Group Exhibits

Multiple artists are welcome to apply to exhibit together. If this is the case, it is important that the application includes all names of artists, title of their works, dates and dimensions.


The Culture Branch will be pleased to promote the exhibitions in the First Floor Gallery on this webpage and through social media where possible. The department will also be happy to promote openings of exhibits dependent upon budget approval.

Current Exhibit 

Canadian Stories

By Angela Aujla

This exhibit is on display in the First Floor Gallery at City Hall throughout July and August. Please feel free to drop in anytime between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.

This series of digitally altered photos, digital collage and mixed media pieces is in recognition of Canada’s Sesquicentennial, also known as Canada 150. The purpose of the exhibit is to highlight the history of multiculturalism in Canada. In particular, featuring images of individuals from various cultural groups who have been underrepresented in discourse on Canadian history and identity. The series raises questions of who qualifies as ‘real Canadians’ versus who do we see as ‘perpetual foreigners’? The recognition of the longstanding presence and contributions of various cultural groups to the building of Canadian culture and the Canadian nation state is crucial to a truly equitable and inclusive society.

Angela Aujla is an emerging artist working in the areas of line drawing, collage, and mixed media. She is also a professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies, and a mother. In much of her work, she seeks to emphasize the resilience and dignity of South Asian women, particularly as it is the women who have traditionally had the difficult task of being the keepers and transmitters of culture, language and tradition, a task made particularly challenging in diasporic contexts. Angela’s work has been part of a number of recent group exhibitions in Toronto, Berkely (CA), Barrie, Innisfil, Midland, Anten Mills, Brampton, and Orillia. She has sold her artwork both internationally and domestically to private collections in Amsterdam, New Jersey, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Lake Cowichan, Port Credit, Barrie, Oro Station, Innisfil, and Midland.

Featured image: Homesick, Vancouver Circa 1910


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