Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Culture Days


The City of Barrie is proud to celebrate Culture Days, a Canada-wide celebration designed to catalyze and inspire public participation in arts and culture from September 27 to 29, 2019.

Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Everyone has a part to play in Culture Days whether you’re already passionate about the arts or interested in discovering something new. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the initiative, and to celebrate, a theme around “Health and Wellness” has been adopted for 2019.

Annually, Barrie Culture Days offer a behind-the-scenes look at the arts through a variety of activities and programs. These initiatives promise to bring you a weekend of amazing cultural activities that will be sure to teach you something new, pique your creative interest, and expand your perception of the arts forever.

Please note this list includes programming organized by program partners at the Barrie Public Library and the MacLaren Art Centre, amongst others.

Friday, September 27

Culture Days Flag Raising
11am-11:30am | City Hall
Join us at City Hall as we dedicate the weekend to Culture Days! Our Culture Days flag has been generously donated by Flags Unlimited.
Lunchtime Piano Performance at Meridian
12pm-1pm | Meridian Place
Enjoy a piano serenade at Meridian Place’s own public piano during your lunch break!
Art for Lunch with Derek Sullivan
12:15pm-1:00pm | MacLaren Art Centre - Rotary Education Centre
In conjunction with his solo exhibition Bookworks, Toronto artist Derek Sullivan discusses his practice of engaging with different facets of book construction. Sullivan is a graduate from York University (BFA, 1998) and the University of Guelph (MFA, 2002). His recent solo exhibitions include those at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, Montreal; Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; Dunlop Gallery, Regina; Oakville Galleries; Modern Fuel, Kingston; and Galerie Emmanuel Hervé, Paris. His work is held in the collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Getty Museum Archives and Library, Los Angeles; and the Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others.
MacLaren Exhibition Tours
2pm-2:45 pm | MacLaren Art Centre - Main Lobby
Visitors are invited to join MacLaren staff for tours of the current exhibitions, beginning in the Main Lobby. For more information on MacLaren tours, visit
Mexican Indigenous Culture & Beliefs Seminar
1pm-2pm | Art in House
Join Paola Silk from SHILANGO as she leads you through a seminar about the most powerful Indigenous Mexican tribes, what a protective bracelet is and the traditional beliefs of wearing it, followed by a Q&A. The first 30 people to arrive will go home with their own protective bracelet.
Drummin up Ubuntu with Drums Etal
7pm-9pm | Meridian Place
Join Drums Etal for an interactive drumming circle at Meridian Place stage! Ubuntu is an African philosophy that expresses our humanity and interconnectedness. Drumming is an activity that brings people, groups, or communities together. When these two mesh, what we get is a musical gathering depicting our link to one another. This is an interactive program that brings together impromptu musicians playing unique beats on the drums and other percussion instruments, creating rhythmic harmony and celebrating humanity.

Saturday, September 28

Barrie Farmers’ Market
8 am-noon | Collier and Mulcaster Streets outside City Hall
Presented in conjunction with Culture Days On September 28th, listen to live local music, catch a performance by Cairo's Jewels Bellydance troupe and an appearance from the Bhangra Crew while you enjoy the bounty from the dozens of growers, farmers, producers, chefs, and artisans of the Barrie Farmers’ Market. Bring your sturdiest shopping bags, lots of enthusiasm, and prepare to make the most of the season.
Yoga and Meditation
9am-10am | Meridian Place
Spend Saturday morning unwinding with a free yoga and meditation class led by the teachers at Namaste North. Limited mats will be provided, so we encourage you to BYOM and water bottle.
Ridin’ Along, Singin’ A Song
10am–1pm | Barrie Transit Buses & Bus Stops
Join local singers, musicians, and songwriters from the Barrie Folk Society while they perform on City Transit buses and at the transit terminal. Catch them performing on bus routes 100A, 100B, 6A, 6B and 8A RVH Northbound.
Storytime en Español
10am-10:30am | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Come enjoy a dual language story in English and Spanish shared by staff from the Barrie Latin Resource Centre. Learn some basic Spanish phrases and discover the Latin culture together.
ArtCentral Studio Pop-Up
10am-2pm | Downtown Library - Helen Saso Room
Make space for art by joining ArtCentral artist members explore “unmaking” as a creative act. All materials will be provided.
Latin Folk Dance
10:30am-11am | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Join the Barrie Latin Resource Centre for a fun-filled dance presentation, learn about the culture of Latin America and how to move to the Latin beat.
Wooden Earring Demo with SHILANGO
10:30am-11am | Downtown Library - Collaboratory
Join Paola and discover the inspiration behind her newest earring wooden collection featuring the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Participate in this Mexican cultural and history event.
MacLaren Exhibition Tours
11am–11:45am, MacLaren Art Centre
Visitors are invited to join MacLaren staff for tours of the current exhibitions, beginning in the Main Lobby. For more information on MacLaren tours, visit
Barrie’s Buskers
11am–4pm | Public Spaces in Downtown Barrie
Enjoy the sweet strains of singer-songwriters from Barrie’s own Emerging Musicians program. Learn more about the program and its artists at
Emerging Musicians Culture Days schedule 2019.jpg 
Culture and Community Hub
11am-4pm | Five Points Theatre
Get a taste of some of Barrie’s best cultural activities at our culture hub! A variety of creatives and cultural groups will be set up at the Five Points Theatre hosting drop-in activities. These include:
-Turban Tying with the Bhangra Crew
-Indigenous Beading with Christina from Nishi Kwewag
-Sewing Bee with Boomerang Bags
-Theatre themed photo booth with Kempenfelt Community Players
-Barn quilt painting with Camphill Communities
Youth Spoken Word Performances
12pm–1pm | MacLaren Art Centre - The Carnegie Room
​ The MacLaren Art Centre invites youth, adults and families to gather and enjoy spoken word performances by youth from Barrie and the region. Performances will reflect this year’s theme, Book Club, and explore the joys of reading.
Lunchtime Piano Performance at Meridian
12pm-1pm | Meridian Place
Enjoy a piano serenade at Meridian Place’s own public piano during your lunch break!
Walking Tour with Barrie’s Town Crier - Victorian Barrie’s Heroes Heroines Rogues and Scoundrels!
1pm–2pm | Meeting at Meridian Place
Join us on this tour of Downtown Barrie featuring stories of colourful characters from Barrie’s past. Comfortable footwear recommended. Brought to you by Heritage Barrie.
Poetry Reading by Leonarda Carranza
1pm–2pm | MacLaren Art Centre - The Carnegie Room
Join us for a reading by Brampton-based writer Leonarda Carranza. Carranza currently resides in the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. Her writing has been published in Room, The New Quarterly, Briarpatch magazine, Invisiblog, carte blanche’s à la carte blog, and Best Canadian Essays 2017 (Tightrope Books). Her piece “The McGill Experiments” won Briarpatch magazine’s 2018 nonfiction contest.
Around the World - Peru
1pm-1:30pm | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Join Nina Donayre, President of the Barrie Latin Resource Centre for a cultural exploration of Peru.
Chalk Pastel Drawing Demo
1pm-3:00pm | Downtown Library - Collaboratory
Discover chalk pastel with local art instructor Jenny Chen of Art Wonderfull Creative Center. A sailboat drawing will be featured. Limited class spaces. Reserved seats for spectators.
Around the World - Jamaica
1:30pm-2pm | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Join Karl Daly for a cultural exploration of Jamaica.
Culture Days Open House
2–4pm | MacLaren Art Centre, Rotary Education Centre
Join us for our Culture Days Open House and a reception for the exhibition Ex Libris featuring work by artists who teach art classes at the MacLaren, in the community and in the schools. Meet the artists and participate in a fun exhibition-based activity for families.
Cultural Expectations with Author Zalika Reid-Benta
2pm-3pm | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Discover the tensions between first and second generation Canadians and their cultural expectations in readings from the author's debut novel "Frying Plantain".
Waubgeshig Rice - Author Reading
2:30pm-3:30pm | Painswick Library - Massie Room
Join author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation, for a reading and presentation.
Raizes Portuguese Folklore Dancers
3pm-3:30pm | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Watch the traditional dances of Portugal and learn the story of the culture.
Art Crawl - hosted by the Barrie Arts Committee
7pm-10pm | Lakeshore Mews
Come down to the Lakeshore Mews and see it transformed into an artistic landscape. Businesses will become gallery spaces to showcase local artists, live music will fill the strip, and interactive installations will be set up as well.

Sunday, September 29

Yoga and Meditation
9am-10am | Meridian Place
Spend Sunday morning unwinding with a free yoga and meditation class led by the teachers at Ann Green Yoga. Limited mats will be provided, so we encourage you to BYOM and water bottle.
Latin Rhythms and Beat
12pm-2:00pm | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Listen to the performance of local musician David Whyne as he shares music from Latin America.
Drag Brunch
12:30pm–1:30pm | Lazy Tulip Cafe
Join us for brunch at the Lazy Tulip Cafe where drag queens Justine D'as & Enya Dreams will be performing a few numbers.
Readings from the Owl Pen
12:30-1pm | MacLaren Art Centre - Main Lobby
A special reading of The Owl Pen (1947), a heartfelt memoir written by Kenneth Wells and illustrated by artist Lucille Oille chronicling their life on a rustic farm in Oro-Medonte. Drawn from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection, a selection of Oille’s engraved prints is presented in Lucille Oille: Uninterrupted Eden.
NFB Film Screenings
1pm-1:30pm | MacLaren Art Centre - Rotary Education Centre
Enjoy free film screenings from the National Film Board of Canada: The Girl Who Hated Books by Jo Meuris, 2006, 7:22 min. This animated short about literacy introduces us to Meena, a young girl who hates books even though her parents love to read. Books are everywhere in Meena’s house and when her cat Max accidentally knocks down a huge stack, pandemonium ensues and nothing is ever the same again. Vistas: Little Thunder by Nance Ackerman & Alan Syliboy, 2009, 3:10 min. This animated short, inspired by the Mi’kmaq legend “The Stone Canoe” explores Indigenous humour. Follow Little Thunder as he reluctantly leaves his family and sets out on a cross-country canoe trip to become a man. The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin by Janet Perlman, 1981, 10:01 min. This Oscar® nominated short animation is a zany version of the classic fairy tale, with the leading role played by a mistreated, romantic penguin, with hilarious results. The Dingles by Les Drew, 1988, 7:51 min. Based on the book The Dingles by Helen Levchuk, this animated short features Doris Dingle and her family of three cats who endure an unexpected wind that disrupts the family’s idyllic life.
Walking Tour with Barrie’s Town Crier – Victorian Pioneers who made our City of Barrie Great!
1pm–2pm | Union Cemetery - 338 Sunnidale Road
Enjoy a historical walking tour of the cemetery, led by Barrie’s Town Crier, exploring what life was like for Barrie’s citizens in ages past. This is not a ghost tour, but a respectful historic tour of the graves of some of the most prominent pioneers of our historic city of Barrie. Comfortable footwear recommended. Brought to you by Heritage Barrie.
Star Struck Art Show and Appreciation Event
1pm-7pm | South Shore Centre
Star Struck Art Show is a free admission event with over 20 talented and diverse artists displaying their works including painters, photography, glassworks, jewelry artists and more! Come in and browse while you listen to live music. Enjoy free appetizers. Hourly door prizes will be awarded starting at 2:00 p.m. A great way to spend time in the afternoon with family and friends! Hosted by Brentwood Marine.
Medicine Walk and Forest Bathing
1pm-2:30pm | Sunnidale Park Arboretum
Join Indigenous guide Jeff Monague and Nature and Forest Therapy guide Beth Foster for a Medicine Walk and Forest Bathing experience. Learn about how our forests provide natural medicines and of our spiritual connection to Mother Earth while rejuvenating in the calm forests of Sunnidale Park. This event is free but space is limited. Email to reserve your spot.
Carnegie Days Family Workshop
1:30–2:30pm, MacLaren Art Centre, Rotary Education Centre
In celebration of Carnegie Days, join regional artist Heather Riley in a workshop that celebrates reading and sharing books with loved ones! Families will use drawing and stamping techniques to create personalized book plates that can be pasted onto book covers or given as gifts. This workshop is ideal for children ages 3 to 8. Materials provided.
Eating in Season with Urban Pantry
2pm-4pm | Dorian Parker Centre, Sunnidale Park
Looking for some inspiration in the kitchen? Urban Pantry Barrie will be hosting a live cooking demonstration at Barrie's Culture Days. Stop by their booth to watch the demo and sample a dish made with locally-grown produce. Recipes will be available for anyone wanting to try the recipe at home.
Drag Queen Story Time
2pm-2:30pm | Downtown Library - Gathering Place
Barrie’s resident Drag Queen, Justine D’as will share a favourite children’s story and family friendly activities for everyone to enjoy.
Come Out and Conduct Us
2:30-5pm | Collier Street United Church
The Huronia Symphony (HSO) invites guests to come and conduct the orchestra on Sunday September 29th, 2019 at 2:30-5:00 pm. Come and meet our conductor Oliver Balaburski, and our musicians.
Stories We Share: Performances by Simcoe Contemporary Dancers
2:30pm-3:30 pm | MacLaren Art Centre - The Carnegie Room
Simcoe Contemporary Dancers presents a programme of choreography exploring and sharing collective experiences through the physical exploration of narrative. Join us as we present an afternoon of dance exploring fate, poetry, shared experiences and shared stories.

Thank you to our Sponsors

1029fm_lgo_H[4].jpgNEW LOGO-Allegra-MPM.jpg 

Looks like your screen is a bit too small

The page you are attempting to view is not currently compatible with the dimensions of your device. Please visit this page on a larger screen.