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Festivals & Events

Special events and festivals add to the quality of life that we enjoy in Barrie, enhancing and celebrating our culture, showcasing our beautiful waterfront and downtown, encouraging recreation and tourism, and providing economic benefits to local businesses, tourism operators, and community organizations.

Annual Independent Events

In addition to municipally run events, Barrie is home to a variety of events managed independently. For more information, download the Barrie Events & Culture Guide or use the links to major events below.

EventMonth
Barrie Waterfront FestivalMay
Outdoor Film SeriesJune - August
Barrie Jazz & Blues FestivalJune
Kids Fishing DayJune
Promenade DaysJune/July (Canada Day weekend)
Craft Beer & BBQ FestivalJuly
KempenfestAugust (Civic holiday weekend)
Barrie Dragon Boat FestivalAugust
​Barrie Fair (Essa Agriplex)​August
Troubadour Festival​September
Barrie Film FestivalOctober​
Tree Lighting CelebrationNovember
Santa Claus ParadeNovember

Meridian Place & Memorial Square

Since its grand opening in 2018, Meridian Place has drawn thousands of visitors and is quickly becoming one of the most exciting outdoor event spaces in the city. Meridian Place is the new home of Promenade Days and Canada Day celebrations, the Downtown Barrie Craft Beer & BBQ Festival, and Lawnchair Luminata Outdoor Movie Series. For a complete monthly events schedule, visit downtownbarrie.ca/events. Events wishing to use Meridian Place must submit a request or proposal to the Special Events Office and from there all requests will be screened by the Meridian Place Working Group, which includes members of the Downtown Barrie BIA, Creative Economy, Parks, and Enforcement Services. Events are approved on a case-by-case basis dependent on the approval of the Working Group and completion of all permit requirements. 

Special Event Permits​

All public events held on municipal property are required to have a Special Event Permit and meet City requirements to ensure a safe and successful event for all involved. Anyone who would like to plan a public event must first contact the City's Special Events Office at 705-739-4285 or events@barrie.ca. Staff are happy to provide information about the permit process and what may be required to host an event on municipal property. Events are vetted by Barrie's Event Action Team (BEAT) which includes members of the Barrie Police Service, Enforcement Services, and Parks. Events are considered on a case-by-case basis and are permitted if approved by BEAT and completion of all permit requirements.​

Event Application Timelines

Due to the complex nature of Special Events and Festivals, new Event Applications require set processing times in order to ensure all permit requirements can be met and that events using municipal property are both high-quality and safe for all. Events that anticipate large crowds, road or parking lot closures, or a multiple day event require a significant amount of time to process. Major new events such as these will require a proposal submission to the Special Events Office at least seven (7) months in advance of the event date. Minor new events will require a proposal submission to the Special Events Office at least three (3) months in advance of the event date.

Tents and Stages

Events requiring tents and/or stages (“Major" events) will need to submit a building permit application through the City of Barrie's Building Services Department. Guidelines on this process and online application portal can be found on the Temporary Structures page of the City's website.​

Filming

Barrie has been the backdrop of many filming projects, from feature films to television shows, commercials, music videos, and student projects. Anyone planning to film in Barrie should first contact the City's Special Events Office at 705-739-4285 or events@barrie.ca. Staff are happy to provide more information about potential locations, permits, and other requirements for your project.​



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