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Marketing the Arts

As part of its ongoing efforts to take a leadership role in the development of our local arts sector, the City of Barrie through its Department of Culture (now Creative Economy Department), identified a need for better understanding of the local arts market.  Previous studies, although valuable within a limited scope, had not collected data with adequate detail regarding the nature of the Barrie and regional arts community and its audience.  The Department of Culture sought to have greater knowledge of the level of arts participation, the key participants, which events or performances were well attended, how many local residents participated in music lessons, dance lessons, visual arts classes and other arts displays.  In a quest to acquire this valuable information, the Department of Culture through the City’s procurement process, hired the Resource Management Group to create a market study that would include collection of specific useful data.

The market study entitled “Created in Barrie, Understanding Barrie’s Arts and Culture Markets” was completed early in 2010 by the Resource Management Group.  The results of this study can also be found in the Created In Barrie, Executive Summary.  The study identified participation rates and arts behaviour of the local and regional communities.  It also identified areas of opportunity for growth in the market for Barrie arts and culture products.  This study, very detailed and informative, was the first step in the creation of a marketing plan to identify market opportunities and suggest marketing strategies for the Barrie arts sector.

In the fall of 2010, the Resource Management Group was once again hired to create a plan that would serve as an overall framework for marketing Barrie’s arts and culture products.  The Resource Management Group has worked diligently to research marketing initiatives and current strategies and has now completed Creating Cultural Connections, a Strategic Marketing Plan.  The completed document and its Executive Summary, identify market opportunities and suggest actions for Barrie’s cultural sector.

Implementing the plan will benefit:

  1. Barrie’s Residents through increased participation in Barrie’s arts and cultural offerings, cultural enrichment and increased community pride,
  2. Barrie’s Arts and Culture Community by increasing audiences and support, developing a more cohesive community and providing new opportunities for more offerings, and
  3. The City of Barrie by creating a cultural community identity, enhancing the overall quality of life in the community and encouraging the role of culture as an economic driver.

If you have any questions in respect to the current marketing initiatives, please contact the Economic & Creative Development Department at (705) 728-9850 or

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