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Illuminate Barrie Festival

The Illuminate Barrie Festival was an unforgettable experience, igniting passion for our country at this one-of-a-kind Canada 150 celebration along Barrie’s waterfront on Labour Day weekend.

This family-friendly event featured live entertainment, distinctly Canadian foods and activities, a local producers and vendor market, a heritage village, and breathtaking Canada 150 themed fireworks choreographed to music.


Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3
Allandale Station Park
Heritage Village presented by Busch Systems | noon–8pm each day

Take a journey back in time to explore life in the 19th century. You will be amazed!

  • Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada encampment
  • British Royal Navy encampment & displays
  • Civilian encampment & cooking demonstrations
  • Blacksmithing demonstrations
  • Sutler Cyrus Travelling Merchant
  • War of 1812 displays, weapons, & book author Richard Feltoe
  • Voyageur displays
  • Mast Derrick demonstrations
  • Cannon firing - at noon and every half hour until 7:30pm
  • Dr. Quimby's Medicine Show - 12:15pm, 2:15pm, 4:15pm, 6:15pm, 7:15pm
  • Musket firing & drill demonstration - 12:45pm, 2:45pm, 4:45pm, 6:45pm, 7:45pm

Supported by:

Family Fun Zone presented by Bell | noon–8pm each day

Bounce around in a body zorb, take a spin on the twinspin, and scale to new heights on a 25 foot rock climbing wall.

Supported by:

Sciensational Sssnakes | noon–8pm each day

Learn all about Ontario reptiles and amphibians, their ecology, and conservation with Sciensational Sssnakes! Get up close and personal with frogs, geckos, turtles, and may even get to touch a snake!

Speaking of Wildlife | noon–8pm each day

Speaking of Wildlife will introduce you to their Canadian wildlife ambassadors. Learn about our wild friends, including a skunk, porcupine, hawk, and more.

Science North | noon–7pm each day

One of Ontario's most popular family attractions will bring their traveling crew of Bluecoat Scientists to Barrie! Build It Up explores hands-on stations that will get you excited about architecture and the different types of structures in the world around us.

Vendor Village & Innovation Alley | noon–7pm each day

Browse talented creatives and innovators doing amazing work locally, featuring:

Axe Throwing | noon–8pm each day

Try your hand at being a Canadian lumberjack by learning to throw an axe with the experts from Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL).

Craft Beer & Cider Garden | noon–10pm each day

Exciting things are brewing! Celebrate Barrie's brewers and cidery at Illuminate featuring Barnstormer Brewing Company, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Heritage Estate Cidery, and Redline Brewhouse. Check out some of their unique tastes and try a special collaborative brew created especially for Illuminate!

Medieval Swordplay Canada | noon–8pm each day
Travel to a time of Medieval Knights, Men- and Women-at-Arms, and Vikings! Learn all about medieval history, touch some armour, and experience the excitement of a sword fight.
Community Displays & Activities | noon–8pm each day

Take part in fun activities and learn all about these great organizations doing amazing things in our community!

  • Barrie Native Friendship Centre (Saturday only)
    Join the Barrie Native Friendship Centre for cultural demonstrations and arts and crafts for kids and parents alike. Bring along a non-perishable food donation to support Hunger to Hope!
  • Barrie Curling Club
    Try your hand at curling with a mini rink fit for families.
  • Barrie Public Library
    Get creative as BPL takes its Tinker Lab on the road to Barrie's waterfront.
  • Barrie Scouts
    Learn about the Scout life and the outdoor adventure life!
  • Golf Ontario
    Learn all about golf with experts from the Future Links Mobile Golf Clinic.
  • Interac Nail Bar
    Stop by the Interac Nail Bar for a touch-up.
  • Kiwanis Club of Barrie
    Learn about the work that the Kiwanis Club does in our community and get your face painted.
  • MacLaren Art Centre (Sunday only)
    Get creative with the MacLaren Art Centre and tell The Story of I.
Food Vendors | noon–9pm each day

Bring your appetite! Explore a variety of delicious tastes from classic Canadian poutine to melt-in-your-mouth churros, including:

Summer Watersports Show | Saturday only, showtimes 12:45pm, 2:30pm, 4:15pm

A Muskoka tradition, SWS has been performing water sport shows since the 70s and they will be here in Barrie for the first time during Illuminate! Enjoy their thrilling show featuring water skiing and stunts to excite audiences of all ages. Catch them off the south shore of Kempenfelt Bay at 12:45pm, 2:30pm, and 4:15pm on Saturday. 

Yoga | 2pm & 4pm each day

Get your zen on with free yoga classes hosted by the instructors of BLiSS Yoga Studio. Classes take place daily from 2–3pm and 4–5pm daily.

  • Kids Yoga, Vinyasa, and Happy Hips drop-in classes within the festival grounds (capped at 30 people)
  • For SUP Yoga, please meet up at the lakeside entrance of the BLiSS Studio - 119 Dunlop St. E. (capped at 9 participants)
Fireside Programming | times vary

Meet up around the Illuminate fires for a variety of interactive programming - from yoga to painting, singing to storytelling.

Firepit #1 hosted by the Barrie Scouts
Want to chat with people who are driving innovation? Join Fireside Conference from 2-5pm Saturday and 1-5pm Sunday to connect with thought leaders and community members. Explore how innovation is creating opportunities, changing communities, and sparking new creative industries.

Firepit #2 hosted by Medieval Swordplay Canada
Witness dramatic battles between Knights and Vikings throughout the day, as well as Bliss Yoga for Kids at 2pm and 4pm.

Firepit #3 hosted by the Heritage Village

  • 1-4pm Barrie Art Club Painters
  • 2pm Kids Story Time with the Barrie Public Library (Saturday only)
  • 4-7pm Barrie Folk Society featuring:

    • Saturday: 
    4pm Cameron Austin
    5pm KC Patterson
    6pm Stephen Keohan & Daniel Jacklin

    • Sunday:
    4pm Ed Winacott
    5pm Ian Chaplin
    6pm Wayne Nichols
    6:30pm Cassandra Rutherford
Fireworks & VIP Experience | 9pm each day

Experience the magic of stunning fireworks set to your favourite Canadian tunes! Shows will take place at 9pm on Saturday and Sunday night, and will feature a different sound track each night. Bring your blanket and watch the show from anywhere along Barrie's waterfront or enjoy a premium VIP viewing experience available near the Southshore Centre. To listen along from wherever you're catching the show, tune in to Rock 95 on Saturday night and 107.5 Kool FM on Sunday night!

Do you want the VIP experience? You will have access to premium viewing of the spectacular fireworks displays and you'll also have access to a special seating area in the craft beer & cider garden with a great view of the main stage and VIP toilets. There are also a limited number of family packages (for up to 2 adults and 3 kids) that include your own parking space at the Southshore Centre! To purchase your tickets, click to the City's online box office, call 705-739-4228, or visit the Centre Box Office in person at 1 Dunlop Street West.


Bring your lawn chair or grab a seat in the craft beer & cider garden to catch some great music by talented local and Canadian artists. Saturday evening's show features indie rock bands Dear Rouge and Hollerado, while Sunday evening features rising country stars Dani Strong and Andrew Hyatt. The main stage is located near the Southshore Centre overlooking Barrie's beautiful waterfront.

Saturday, September 2
Allandale Station Park
12:30pm Welcome Kick-off Illuminate Barrie with a welcome address from Mayor Lehman, the Town Crier, and local dignitaries.
1:15pm Cudbear Youth Battle of the Bands winners
2:15pm Luke Austin Luke found his way to the stage by way of a love of music and a desire to express himself. Backed by longtime friends Kennedy Pollard, Bryan Swartz and Mike Ferguson, the singer/songwriter's alternative sound is highlighted by hints of classic rock reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen and Kings of Leon. The first song from his latest project, 'Long Road Home', was inspired by a cross-Canada train trip. 
3:30pm  The Nate Douglas Band
Nate Douglas performs and tours professionally across North America with many different folk, Irish and celtic bands. His debut album 'Take Me With You' is a blend of folk, rock, and pop music. The album features his closest friends and hearing it live is truly a feel-good experience. The Nate Douglas Band is dynamic, soulful, and has infectious onstage energy.
4:45pm  The Noolands  A rock & roll band from Barrie, The Noolands write and record songs for their best friends and have earned a reputation for mixing things up.
5:45pm Dear Rouge Dear Rouge is a Vancouver-based electronic rock band formed in 2012 by Drew and Danielle McTaggart. In 2016 they won the Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year and have released hits such as I Heard I Had, Black to Gold, and Tongues.
7:15pm Hollerado Hollerado is an indie rock band that hails from our nation's capital. Their debut album, Record in a Bag, came out in 2009 and right away they were nominated for Best New Artist at the Juno Awards. Since then, they have toured extensively, released several albums, and have had hit songs including Americanarama, Juliette, Got to Lose, and So It Goes. They recently released a new album with up-beat single Born Yesterday an indication of the fun they're having playing music together. Hollerado will put on a show not to be missed!
Performance times subject to change.
Sunday, September 3
Allandale Station Park
12:30pm White Pine Dancers Kick-off the day at Illuminate Barrie with an experience from this award winning dance troupe that you will feel deep in your soul. Vibrant colour, flowing movement, live voices with the gift of song, Ojibway storytelling, and thundering drums!
2:15pm, 3:30pm Brett Caswell Brett's songwriting coupled with the energy of his live performances have earned him a large regional following. He recently released his first new song in 7 years, 'Beautiful People', through the local label Atrial Records, which means an EP is soon to follow. Brett is also involved in The Songwriter Series and Just Sing!, Barrie's pop-up choir.
4:45pm Therapy Seekers Therapy Seekers will rock the stage with tunes that everyone enjoys from country to rock 'n roll. This Uxbridge based band says "It's in our genes, it's in our bones, it's good for the soul".
6:00pm Dani Strong Dani is a local singer/songwriter and a powerful vocalist with dynamic stage presence. Her debut album, Time to Breathe, debuted at #1 on the iTunes country charts and she has played with the likes of The Road Hammers and James Barker Band. She just performed at Boots & Hearts and will be playing the Magna Hoedown with Tom Cochrane in September.
7:30pm Andrew Hyatt Andrew hails from Sudbury, ON and is known as the man with "nickel bones and a Nashville soul". From songwriting to touring, he's making a name for himself with songs such as She Ain't You. He just performed at Boots & Hearts and his love of performing live really shows. You won't want to miss this rising star!
Performance times subject to change.

Getting Around

  • There's plenty of waterfront parking available within walking distance of the Illuminate Barrie Festival.
  • Accessible parking for the event will be available at Tiffin Boat Launch and Southshore Centre with a valid accessible parking permit on a first come first served basis.
  • The Tiffin Boat Launch will be closed to boaters from Friday September 1 to Monday September 4 - if you wish to launch your boat during this time, please access the boat launch at the Barrie Marina (55 Lakeshore Drive).
  • Take Barrie Transit - avoid finding parking and be kind to the environment! For schedules, maps, and service notices, visit

Generously funded by | Généreusement financé par:


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