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Invest Barrie

This portfolio brings together several departments to provide a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to investment in the city.

Creative Economy Department

The Creative Economy blends arts and culture programs with innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, with a focus on driving community prosperity and economic diversification. The Department leads programs and events designed to create more opportunities for artists and innovators to interact, collaborate and pursue new ideas.  The department also spearheads open innovation programs for the municipality and businesses with the goal of fostering a culture of innovation across the community.

Business Development Department

The Business Development department has four primary service areas to contribute to the Economic Development Strategy for Invest Barrie: 

  • Attraction and facilitation of new business investment, helping employers access the business opportunities of Central Ontario’s economic engine
  • Site selection for new land development opportunities
  • Support for the retention, growth and expansion of the City’s existing businesses 
  • Encourage and promote the creation of new Barrie-based enterprises, including start-ups and small business services, by supporting entrepreneurs with services such as the The Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County & Orillia and the Barrie Entrepreneurs Connect portal. 

Department of Culture

The Department of Culture is responsible for stewarding the City’s investment in the Cultural Sector. The department serves the Economic Development Strategy of Invest Barrie and contributes to the vibrancy of our community by implementing a number of initiatives including:

Development of the Arts and Culture / Creative Sector

The DOC supports the region’s artists in a number of ways including: providing financial support to arts organizations through a granting program; offering training and educational opportunities to individual artists and not-for-profit arts organizations; by measurement, data collection and analysis of arts and culture activity; and advocating for artists, organizations and creative sector participants.

Infrastructure Management

By managing the Georgian Theatre (600+ seats) and the Five Points Theatre, Presented by Pratt Homes & Development (200+ seats) and continually seeking opportunities for new infrastructure growth to support the artistic community, the DOC leverages arts infrastructure to create opportunities for quality citizen engagement and to serve the City’s greater interest in attracting talent and businesses.

Presentation and Production

The DOC produces and presents programming to meet the needs of the local residents and to attract tourists and potential new residents, further cementing the role that the culture sector plays as an economic driver for the City of Barrie. Our productions and presentations include the award-winning Winterfest, the Downtown Countdown, Rhythmfest, Choralfest, Celebrate Barrie, Culture Days, the Street Performers Program that encourages local artists to enhance the public’s experience in the city centre, and the many theatre shows presented by Theatres@Barrie.


The DOC endeavours to market widely, the rich cultural and creative experiences that are available in Barrie. In doing this, the department will positively affect Barrie’s brand and help to create a perception of Barrie as a destination for cultural and other attractions, as the epicenter of quality living, and as a great place to live, work and play in perfect balance.

Lake Simcoe Regional Airport

The Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) is one of the newest and best positioned regional airport facilities in Canada.  With its modern airport facilities, the LSRA is able to serve a wide variety of aircraft.  Fully serviced by the Canada Border Service Agency, the airport maintains a Commercial Port-Of-Entry status, which allows the airport to accommodate both international passengers and freight.  The LSRA property is situated on 240 hectares and offers 58 hectares (142 acres) of serviced and un-serviced land available for airside commercial development opportunities and a further 24 hectares (60 acres) available for non-aviation development.

Downtown City Centre

Creating a vibrant and healthy city centre is a priority for Invest Barrie, a place that will greatly enhance the quality of life of residents and contribute to the economic development of the community. The vision for the downtown is a creative hub that drives prosperity, a place where arts, entertainment and business connect through innovation.   

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