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The First Floor Gallery

The First Floor Gallery, created to profile the incredible work of local artists, opened in January 2015. This exhibition space is located at City Hall, between the Service Barrie and Court and Legislative Services counters, and is curated by Culture Branch staff with the assistance of local visual artists.

Call for Artists

Do you want to see your work displayed at City Hall’s First Floor Gallery? Submissions are now being accepted for two-month exhibits in the gallery during 2019. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of artists to select which exhibits can be accommodated. Please submit a letter of interest, CV, list of works, and photos of 10-12 pieces to:, or 

In person to the Creative Economy Department at 56 Mulcaster Street, or

By mail to City of Barrie Creative Economy Deparment, PO Box 400, Barrie, ON L4M 4T5  

Submission deadline is Friday, November 30th at 4:30 PM.

Guiding Principles
Application Process

The submission deadline for 2019 is Friday, November 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm. Each exhibition will be installed for 2 months at a time. Successful applicants will be notified in December and exhibits will begin in January 2019.

Applicants are asked to submit:

  • a letter of interest,
  • a CV or resume and
  • a series of 10–12 images of their work on a dvd or usb key.
  • A list of works should be attached that includes title, year of completion, medium and the dimensions.
  • the name of the exhibit and a brief artist statement (2–3 paragraphs) that can be used in promotional materials.

Please note in your submission any special requirements for your exhibit. For the purposes of exhibition, any works on paper will need to be framed. Works on canvas or panels must be wired to enable hanging. We encourage artists working in a variety of mediums to submit to the process and we will work with them to accommodate exhibiting their works (e.g. fibre arts, mixed media, sculpture). 

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of local arts individuals: artists or have experience in or are employed in the field of visual arts. The committee will be comprised of 3–5 individuals with arts expertise, plus the City's Culture Officer responsible for Development and Public Art. These individuals will act as a jury panel to determine the successful candidates. The jury panel will create a schedule for the artists, in conjunction with the Culture Officer, in order to present a variety of work from different arts mediums.

Exhibit Length

Each exhibit will be on display for a period of two months. Artists will be asked to install their work on the first business day of the month and remove on the last business day of the relevant month. The installation date will be open to negotiations depending upon when the previous exhibit is being taken down. Every effort will be made to ensure continuity in the exhibit space. Please note that City Hall is not open on Sundays and the gallery is may be inaccessible on Saturdays due to the Barrie Farmers' Market.

Artists will be asked to leave their exhibit in place for the entire two months. Artists will be asked to sign a basic agreement/contract that will demonstrate the artist’s commitment and confirm the exhibition dates.

Sale of Art

City by-laws prohibit the sale of artworks in City Hall (with the exception of the Barrie Farmers' Market) so artists cannot display prices on their work. They can however put their name and contact information on or near their work, or include it in their artist statements. Should an artist sell a work in the exhibit, they are required to leave it in place until the end of the exhibit.

Group Exhibits

Multiple artists are welcome to apply to exhibit together. If this is the case, it is important that the application includes all names of artists, title of their works, dates and dimensions.


The Culture Branch will be pleased to promote the exhibitions in the First Floor Gallery on this webpage and through social media where possible. The department will also be happy to promote openings of exhibits dependent upon budget approval.

Current Exhibit 

Touched by Nature - Barbara Stofast and Nikki Sto

This exhibit is on display in the First Floor Gallery at City Hall throughout November and December. Please feel free to drop in anytime between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

Time spent in the natural world is an anchor. The soul is renewed and refreshed by interaction with the world not directed by human intuition, but outside of us, larger than us, with a power and beauty that is beyond us. We collect experiences of nature and replay them like music when we need solace and stillness, or inspiration and motivation.

Barbara Stofast’s artwork explores and pushes the boundaries of acrylics, often incorporating found materials from nature. The resulting semi-abstract paintings engage the eye and make your fingers itch to explore the highly textured surfaces. Aside from a general direction and feeling, she usually follows no planned and executed itinerary as she move from a blank canvas to the completed painting. Rather than creating a literal depiction, she is interested in capturing the emotional response or connection to a place or moment in time. With each creation she embarks on a journey of exploration and archaeology as each canvas evolves to completion. She is often excited and surprised by what unfolds as each piece follows a cycle of creating and responding, making and uncovering, discovery and invention.

Nikki Sto has been using her art to evoke the feelings you get on a blissful rainy day; the serenity of raindrops running down a windowpane mixed with an appreciative awe for the beauty found in nature.


Featured images: Ancient Ground by Barbara Stofast and Peacock by Nikki Sto
Ancient Ground Barbara Stofast.jpgPeacock Nikki Sto.jpg





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