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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. 

Celebrate​ the Holidays with the City of Barrie! 

We're offering new and unique ways to help residents enjoy the season, create special memories with family, ​and celebrate safely throughout the holidays. ​G​et the details.

​Annual Independent E​vents

In addition to municipally-run events detailed on this website, Barrie is home to a variety of events operated by other organizers. For more information, download the Barrie Events & Culture Guide or use the links to major independent events:​

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 one of the most exciting outdoor event spaces in the city. Meridian Place is the home of Promenade Days and Canada Day celebrations, the Downtown Barrie Craft Beer & BBQ Festival, and Lawnchair Luminata Outdoor Movie Series. The Horn and The Heart, a public art project honouring Bob Hunter, was unveiled in September 2020.

Organizers who would like to host an event at Meridian Place must submit a proposal to the Special Events Office and go through the Special Event Permit process (see 'Special Event Permits' below). Requests to use the space will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be reviewed by the Meridian Place Working Group, including staff from Parks, Recreation & Culture Services, Enforcement Services, and Economic & Creative Development.

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. Organizers 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.

Event proposals are vetted by Barrie's Event Action Team (BEAT), which includes members of Recreation & Culture Services, Operations (Parks & Roads), Enforcement Services, and the Barrie Police Service. Events are considered on a case-by-case basis and are permitted upon approval from BEAT and completion of all permit requirements.​

Event Application Timelines

Due to the complex nature of Special Events and Festivals, new events require a minimum of three (3) months to process in order to ensure all permit requirements can be met and that events using municipal property are both high-quality and safe for all. Major events that anticipate large crowds, road or parking lot closures, licensed areas, or take place over multiple days may take longer to review, approve, and process and could require approval from the City's Executive Management Team or Council. Organizers are asked to factor this in to their timelines in order to plan a safe and successful event and meet all permit requirements. New major events must submit a detailed proposal to the Special Events Office a minimim of seven (7) months in advance of the event date.

Tents and Stages

Events with tents and/or stages (temporary structures) will require a Building Permit and must submit an 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 film 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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