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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. The 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.

The submission deadline for 2018 has now passed. Submissions for 2019 will be accepted from January 15th to October 31, 2018.

Guiding Principles
Application Process

A call to artists will be advertised annually to encourage local artists to apply to have their work considered for exhibition. The call notes that each exhibition will be installed for 2 months at a time.

The submission deadline for 2019 is Wednesday, October 31 at 4:30 pm. Successful applicants will be notified in November 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 (3–5) individuals will be appointed by the Culture Branch and 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 

Stirring Up Fond Memories of Life and Home
by Carrie Paquette

by Carrie Paquette

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

Carrie Paquette is a local visual artist who graduated with honours from Georgian College, Design Arts/Graphic Design here in Barrie. Her original paintings including pet portraiture, homes, wildlife and nature are popular sellers on her Etsy store. In May of 2016, she entered a juried exhibition titled Lyrical (Art Inspired by Music) at The Mad and Noisy Gallery in Creemore and received the Third Place Award. There were 52 Artists entered and over 200 paintings submitted. Paquette has painted miniature paintings as small as 2"x2" and others as large as 24"x30".

From the artist:

“I want people to feel and experience something when they look at my paintings. There has to be more added to the overall presence of my artwork. I work with contrasting colours and strong lights and darks to create and achieve a desired atmosphere”.

To view more of Carrie’s work, visit

Featured image: "Keeping Watch" (Gray Jay Bird) 12"x12" Acrylic




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