Economic & Creative Development DepartmentInvestBarrie.ca70 Collier StreetBarrie, ON L4M 4T5Phone: (705) 728-9850Fax: (705) firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2021 Status Update: PAC Task Force (memo)
June 2021 Status Update: Performing Art Centre Task Force (memo)
On March 22, 2021, Barrie City Council approved a motion that included the establishment of a Performing Arts Centre Task Force.
The key mandate of the Task Force was to develop a plan to construct a modern performing arts facility in the city's core to replace Georgian Theatre and Fisher Auditorium. The Task Force's final report was presented to Council on January 24, 2022. On January 31, 2022 Council approved a motion to support the continued development of a Performing Arts Centre in Downtown Barrie.
The task force is comprised of members representing a variety of stakeholders in the arts and culture sector and includes representation from industry members, sector champions and influencers. Other organizations/stakeholders may be brought in on an ad-hoc basis as advisory stakeholder partners.
In addition to Councillor J. Harris, Councillor Thomson and Councillor Riepma, the following list of people have graciously agreed to volunteer their time and expertise to be regular members of the PAC Task Force.
The 900+ seat W.A. Fisher Auditorium was located within the former Barrie Central Collegiate, the oldest school in Simcoe County, founded in 1843. The school was closed at the end of the 2016/2017 academic year, with the auditorium closing following its final concert on May 11, 2016.
From 2017 to 2020, research to develop a business case for a Performing Arts Centre solidified the need through user and public consultations and provided preliminary design concepts based on retaining the foundation of the original Fisher Auditorium. It has since been determined that demolishing the existing Fisher Auditorium will allow for the best use of the site.
The vision for a theatre/performing arts centre within the downtown has been longstanding. The City’s 2006 Cultural Master Plan document recommends the downtown as a logical, creative and natural home for the arts. A performing arts centre will help develop the arts & culture sector, contribute to tourism and build a complete community. It is a key component of building a creative corridor in the downtown, with a theatre/performing art centre as a western anchor, the Five Points Theatre and Meridian Place in between, and the MacLaren Art Centre on the eastern end of downtown.
The proposed site is the former Fisher Auditorium site at 125 Dunlop Street West.
It was identified that incorporating the existing structure into a new performing arts centre would not allow for an effective use of space that would meet the community’s needs.
The preliminary costs will be determined once the scope of work has been completed.
The design and construction of the facility will be tendered through the City’s procurement process.
The City of Barrie will own and operate the facility.
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