February 15 , 2018

I have been travelling the last couple of weeks, but I didn't want anyone to miss some great upcoming events. Hope you don't mind getting the list at a few odd times instead of the usual Thursday publication day.


CURRENTLY at the Barrie Art Club Studios: February 28 to March 26: "A Portrait of You"

New shows are opening at the MacLaren, including a great new show of the works of Ted Fullerton. See

Check out for a great new programme at the MacLaren . Family Sundays run to Mar 25. Pre-registration is necessary.

"After 150 - Photography, Landscape and Identity" is an exhibition that combines art and writing. Artists include Carol-Ann Ryan, Andre Beneteau, Emily McKibbon, Greg Ivany and Sean George. At "Art in House" a hidden-away gallery in the Lakeshore Mews. From February 10th to March 3

The Georgian College Campus Gallery has announced its next series of shows and artists' talks. First up, Catherine Heard "…interrogates the histories of science, medicine and the museum" in her striking sculptures. The exhibit runs from February 17th to March 11th. The official opening and artist talk will be on February 28th from 7 to 9 pm.


Thursday February 15th:
The Barrie Film Festival presents "Back to Burgundy", the story of a wine-country family reunited on learning of their father's imminent death. As the seasons go by and they work to save the vineyard, they'll have to learn to trust each other again and reinvent their relationship. At Cinema One Downtown. 4 and 7 pm. You can buy tickets online at

Now to February 18th:
Ending Soon!! Barrie's own Kempenfelt Community Players hits the stage again. This time, one of Barrie's and KCP's favourites "Oliver" will be presented. Performances at 2pm and 8pm at the Georgian Theatre. Info and tickets at
Worth a short trip down the road to Orillia. Iain Moggach, whose day job is the administrator of Theatre by the Bay (a tough enough job in itself) has decided to use his considerable directorial talents to present "All My Sons". This moving drama by Arthur Miller centres around two neighbouring families, and how their intertwined lives are forever changed by decisions made during WWII. Iain has done some wonderful work with TBTB. This show will be worth the drive. Tickets at

Now to February 25th:
John Buchan's spy thriller is "set on it's ear" by director Candy Pryce's version of the "39 Steps". At the South Simcoe Theatre. Check out

Thursday Feb 15 to the 24th:
Talk is Free Theatre's second show of this season is the hugely popular play (made at one time into a movie) "Amadeus". A highly fictionalized account of the lives of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it. Arkady always guarantees a stunning production and outstanding cast. Check out the details for this show and for the rest of the season at

Friday February 16th:
"Inside the Music" presents a special show at Mavrick's Music Hall. A special local artist, Nate Douglas will join Prince Edward Island's Juno Award Winning "The East Pointers". Folk music with a special spin. For details and tickets, see You can also check out some of the upcoming shows for early March that this group has arranged for Barrie and area.

Theatre by the Bay will preview their 2018 season with a special Season Launch event. Come out to the new Drors-Centro Event space at 78 Dunlop St. West, have a drink, meet some of the TBTB people, partake in some draws, and learn about the exciting upcoming season for Barrie's great summer theatre organization. Totally free, just come on down. Starts at 7 pm.

Sunday February 18th:
The Simcoe County Jazz Society brings one of Canada's great jazz bands to Barrie. The Climax Jazz Band has entertained audiences sine 1983. The band has "performed for the Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet, Toronto Symphony, major political parties, company functions and festivals across Canada and abroad. Their particular brand of traditional jazz includes marches, blues, ragtime, spirituals and popular dance tunes from the shows". From 2 to 5 pm at Sticky Fingers Bar and Grill on Dunlop West. Non-members pay a mere $10.

Monday February 19th:
It's Family Day! The Simcoe County Museum has a variety of events for you to enjoy with the kids or grandkids. Check out the Museum Skating Trail, a snowshoe clad scavenger hunt and a toboggan run. All of these events take place at the museum. Check out the details, and some other great upcoming events and exhibits at

Tuesday February 20th:
A new venue (to me, anyway) "the Gathering Place" at 274 Hurst Drive in Tollendale is the site for the next Barrie Concert Band performance. Conductor Brian Voisey has put together a programme of some of the best from the movies and Broadway. From Henry Mancini to Michel LeGrand, and Mary Poppins to Les Miserables. 7:15. More details about this and other upcoming concerts at

Wednesday February 21st:
"Music at St. Andrews" presents a one hour classical music concert featuring organist Konrad Harley. At the church beginning at noon. $10 admission. Sponsored by the Barrie Concerts Assn.

Thursday February 22nd:
Kudos to the City of Barrie for its role in promoting the business of culture. At the Arch and Helen Brown Centre at Georgian College, the City will initiate its 2018 version of "CENO" (Creative Entrepreneur Night Out). Gary Laughlin, graphic designer, will be keynote speaker, and joined by a number of instructors to help those in creative fields learn how to put their passion to work. Starts at 6 pm. Full details at

It's a busy night at the Campus Gallery at the college, since on that same night, artist Melanie Rocan will give her artist's talk at the Gallery. " Winnipeg based artist Melanie Rocan's work evokes dream states and inner worlds, symbolic and revelatory. Her ability to create images of psychological power and emotional resonance are highly acclaimed…"
Black History Month will be celebrated in Barrie by a special talk by Governor General Award winner Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost. Dr. Smardz Frost will present the story of Cecilia Reynolds who escaped slavery in the U.S. to a life in Toronto and her reconnection with her roots in slavery, and reunification with her Kentucky family and former slave owners. Presented by the Simcoe County and Barrie Historical Associations. In the Rotunda of Barrie City Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Friday February 23rd
THEY'RE BACK!! The battle will start again as the 2018 version of the "Battle of the Bands" will fill the Ranch. Bliss 60, Sonic Coalition, Code Blue, The Bailouts, Bunker, and Table 9 will fill the room with musical weaponry. This event, which supports the MacLaren, the RVH and the Kempenfelt Rotary Club always sells out. Tickets go on sale on Feb 5. Details at

Saturday February 24th
"Purim" is a celebratory Jewish festival. This year, Am Shalom Synagogue will celebrate with a geat evening of music (the Mitch Beube Orchestra), dance, great food and a silent art auction. Proceeds will be shared with Gilda's Club - so you can feel good and do good. For tickets, contact the synagogue at 705-792-3949.

Wednesday, February 28th:
Raven Kanetakta and ShoShona Kish, the Barrie based Juno Award winning indigenous music group known as Digging Roots are back in Barrie after performing as far away as Australia and Norway. Their music spans the electronic to the traditional. For this show they will be joined with jazz favourites Dione Taylor and the Backsliderz. Information about this event, and tickets available now at

Tuesday March 6th:
"Inside the Music" presents Canadian guitarist Joey Landreth. A Juno Award winning musicial as part of the "Bros. Landreth", Joey has won accolades from such notables as Bonnie Raitt. At Donaleigh's Temple Lounge. See for details of this and other "Inside the Music" presentations.
Friday March 9th
Talk is Free Theatre kicks off its annual International Comedy Festival with Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers. This forever-loved Newfoundland comedy group makes another trip to Barrie. This is their 35th year of making music, creating fun, making people laugh. Tickets on sale now. Check out

And Mark Your Calendars:

Thursday April 5
Now here's a deal. For $1 per day you can take home a beautiful piece of art, hang it on your wall for a year, have a delicious fun evening, support Barrie's great art gallery, and get a tax receipt. It's the MacLaren Art Centre's 14th annual "Benefactor Art Exchange". Check out all the details at It truly is one of Barrie's fun evenings. [My apologies for the wrong date originally reported for this. However you now have more time to join!]

April 28th
Book ahead for what will be a great fundraiser for a very worthwhile facility. The Seasons Centre for Grieving Children will present a salute to "Rock and Roll Royalty". Great food, auctions, and music by "Dirty Little Swing Thing". More details will be forthcoming.
NOTE REVISED DATES: Keep tuned for the rest of this year's Illuminating Conversations series which includes my friend Michael Sweeney - award winning CBC filmographer, favourite camera handler of a dozen documentary producers, including Dr. David Suzuki (April 30, 2018). Full details of these outstanding speakers, as well as Kate Lines (April 16), distinguished retired OPP superintendent and Barrie native Andrea Curtis (May 14), historian and community activist are at

Saturday April 21st
Still a ways away, but The Barrie Folk Society will present "The LYNNeS" (Lynn Miles and Lynne Hanson, in concert at the Barrie Public Library. You can check out their new album at:

Tuesday April 24th
WOW - Lou Grant is coming to Barrie!. Ed Asner, the beloved actor/comedian who starred next to Mary Tyler Moore in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and in his own show, Lou Grant, has written and stars in a one-man comedy, and makes his only Canadian performance IN BARRIE! It's a tribute to aging, perhaps not so gracefully. Talk is Free Theatre brings "A Man and his Prostate" to the Georgian Theatre. Tickets go on sale on February 6th. Call Talk is Free at 705-792-1949.

Saturday April 28th and the 29th:
Barrie Spring Art Tour is celebrating 10 years exploring original fine art and sophisticated crafts created by local artists and artisans. It is a unique opportunity to mingle with artists in their studios and galleries throughout Barrie and the surrounding area. A self-guided map, list of participating artists and details are available at

Tuesday May 8th
AND - Talk is Free Theatre is bringing Rick Mercer (just about to retire from his CBC show) to Barrie. Canada's "Unofficial Opposition" will be at the Georgian Theatre for one show only. More details will follow, but if you want to be sure of tickets, call 705-792-1949

Monday May 14th:
Larissa Mair, Theatre by the Bay founder, and original producer of the "Stars Come Out Concert" returns this year to make this annual show the best ever. We'll keep you advised as Larissa lines up the acts. Here are just a few of the acts that have been lined up so far:
· Tyler Check - from "the Million Dollar Quartet"
· Susan Dunstan - from the "Lion King" and "Priscilla Queen of the Desert"
· Graham Scott Fleming - star of "Kinky Boots"
· The Asian Riffing Trio - a vocal group like none you have ever seen
· Citadel + Compagnie - this dance troupe got a standing ovation at our show two years ago
More Stars will be announced right here as they are booked. BUT - tickets are already selling out. This year the VIP "experience" will be all new and will be an experience. Of the 100 available tickets, only 30 remain. You can book those by calling the TBTB office at 705-735-9243.
The tickets are available on line now and available at Don't be disappointed. Book now.

If you are part of an organization that is running an event that has an arts and culture component, please let me know the details by e-mailing me at this address