JULY 12, 2018

Please support these hard working arts and culture organizations.

Something for everyone in the upcoming weeks


Now to Sunday July 22nd:
The Simcoe County Museum presents a unique travelling exhibition: Using artifacts, images, audiovisual presentations, and art, Echoes in the Ice: Finding Franklin's Ship examines Arctic exploration past and present, profiles the explorers involved in the search for the Northwest Passage, and decodes the mysteries of the Franklin Expedition of 1845, when an entire crew vanished in the Arctic during an ill-fated search. 10 am to 6 pm.

Now to August 27th, the Barrie Art Club is featuring a new show from members on the theme of "Summer Pursuits". At the Gallery, 11 King St. The Art Club also has a set of workshops you can join. Check out

Now to October 14th: The building now housing the MacLaren Art Centre was Barrie's first public library. In recognition of this, artist bookworks have become a collecting priority for the Gallery. This current exhibit presentation, A Kind of Library: Artist Portfolios and Bookworks highlights these objects that are normally very hard to display. Going back as far as sketchbooks by Canadian surrealist Michael Forster (1907-2002) and including high-end print portfolios by Henry Moore (1898-1986), the exhibition moves through the mid and late-20th century with books by Sorel Etrog (1933-2014) and regional artist Walter Bachinski. Other contemporary works will be added in throughout the exhibit.

"This Was There Then" is a very interesting art exhibition focussing on the changes in downtown Barrie. In fact, this is part of a new venture by a new arts group - "Focus on Simcoe" which has matched award winning local photographers with local businesses to create exhibitions across the County. I got to see the opening of this new venture, which is being brought to our County by new resident Allen Rothwell. Allen was the inspiration behind a similar venture in Peterborough. The "This Was There Then" exhibit now in the lower level of the Five Points Theatre contains amazing historic pictures of Downtown and around Barrie - a couple with some interesting "updates". That exhibit is open 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday. But the show expands with the contest winners exhibiting at 6 different Barrie locations. Details about the organization and other exhibits can be found at

The Maclaren Art Centre has a wonderful series of summer camps for kids this summer. To see the entire list, go to

And if the youngster in your life has a dramatic flair, check out the summer camps offered by Talk is Free Theatre. Musical theatre, improv and comedy and more. Check all the offerings at


Now to Sunday July 22nd:
Barrie-licious' summer version returns. Some 45 local restaurants will offer prix fixe full course meals from $15-30. You can "fine dine" at such restaurants as "the North", Michael and Marions or Painters' Hall (three of my favourites), take a cultural tour at such eateries as Akira (Japanese), 147 (Italian), KyoHang House (Korean), Quesada (Mexican) and many many more. Not to mention burger joints (Kensington) and Brewhouses like Barnstormer and Flying Monkeys. I received a sneak peek at the North's Barrielicious menu. It is fantastic! And the price stays at $30 for three courses.
Check out the whole list at

Thursday July 12th:
The Choir of Christ's College Cambridge brings their Canada wide tour Trinity Anglican Church. The choir sings a selection of music from English and European choral traditions from the 16th to 20th century. The choir has a broad concert repertoire. This tour they are singing a wide range of music: Parry's Songs of Farewell, Howell's Requiem and more.
Tickets at the door $25, $20 students. Free parking in the evening in the parking garage opposite and on the street. There is limited handicap parking beside the church's main entrance on the hill. Show starts at 7:30 pm

Have you been to the Unity Café? This eclectic facility has great vegetarian foods, a wonderful collection of art by young local artists, and on this and many other Thursdays, feature "Word Up". This Thursday author Daniel Perry reads from his book Nobody Looks That Young Here. Writers, poets, and spoken word performers are welcome at the open mic that follows. From 7-9pm at Unity Market, 25 Toronto Street, Barrie. If you can't make this evening, do drop by and have a look at this ecletic little café.

Sunday July 15th:
Great local jazz artist Joe Huron continues his Sunday Jazz series at Sticky Fingers Bar and Grill on Dunlop St W. Joe is terrific on his own, but he always features great guests alongside. 2pm.

Wednesday, July 18:
At Noon - Music at St. Andrew's - Organist Marty Smyth - Director of Music at Forest Grove United Church in Toronto - St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 47 Owen St., Barrie - 705-726-1181 - Adults $10, Students free
Lawn Chair Luminata and the Barrie Film Festival team up again. This Wednesday "Paddington 2" is presented at Meridian Place. Time start around 9 pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday July 18 to the 28th:
THIS WILL BE A "MUST SEE": Theatre by the Bay is still celebrating its totally sold out performances of "Mary of Shanty Bay". Well, here is the outstanding follow up. "Northern Lights" is another TBTB original - researched and written by members of the TBTB company. It will tell the comedic story of one of North America's largest ever grow ups - in the Barrie Molson manufacturing plant!! A "comedy of mistaken identities, keystone cops and cannabis-fuelled fantasy sequences". And all those in our little city. Presented at the Five Points Theatre. There were lots of disappointed theatre-goers who couldn't get tickets for "Mary". You can purchase your Northern Lights tickets now by going to

Thursday July 19th:
The Barrie Film Festival presents their usual third Thursday cinema event. This month a dark comedy/satire depicting the frantic infighting that followed the death of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin. The "Death of Stalin" combines "… palace intrigue with rapid-fire farce; this audacious comedy is a bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction performed to the hilt by a sparkling ensemble cast." Winner of 11 film awards. Shows at 7 and 9 pm at the Uptown Theatre.
For a different type of evening, and to help children in need, try the "Night Market" at the Drors Centre, 98 Dunlop West in support of the Seasons Centre. Local musicians, local vendors, champagne and appetizers and a live auction. Tickets available at

Wednesday July 25th:
It's Wednesday and it's summer. Once again, Lawn Chair Luminata and the Barrie Film Festival offer family films under the stars at Meridian Place. This week, "Elf". Start time at about 9 pm. Admission is free.

Thursday July 26th:
Last Thursday of the month, so it is the Barrie Folk Society's open stage. Be at the Barrie Public Library downtown at 6:30 to register. Music starts at 7.

Sunday July 29:
Another episode of the Simcoe County Museum's lessons in "Old Fashioned Cooking". Take the family and show them how to cook in a wood-burning oven. 1-4:30 pm. See a list of all of the "Sundays from the Past" at the Museum including "smithing" and classic trades, as well as the special Simcoe Day events for August 6th, by clicking on

Tuesday July 31st:
Ever wonder how those iconic symbols like the CBC logo, or CN or Roots came to be? The Barrie Film Festival presents "Design Canada", the story of how these great Canadian marketing symbols were developed. This is being presented by the Registered Graphic Design Association. There is special pricing for members, but even non-members only pay $10 for the advance tickets. Check out the details and get tickets at

Wednesday, August 1st and the 2nd:
The Screen One series of the Barrie Film Festival continues with "Hearts Beat Loud". Nick Offerman stars in this multi-award winning father-daughter film. "Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, Frank urges Sam to turn their weekly "jam sesh" into a father-daughter live act. After their first song becomes an Internet breakout, the two embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery." Shows at 4 and 7 at the Uptown Theatre.
Wednesday, August 1:
Midday Music with Shigeru presents Pianist Vlad Soloviev performing the Waldstein Sonata by Beethoven, Bach-Busoni Chaconne BWV 1004 and Debussy Les Estampes. At noon at the Hiway Pentecostal Church, 50 Anne St. N., Barrie - 705-726-1181 - Adults $10, Students free.

Another outdoor family fun film at Meridian Place courtesy of the Barrie Film Festival. This week, two adventuresome mice rescue an orphaned girl in this cartoon feature "The Rescuers". Starts at sundown, approximately 8:30 pm.

Friday August 3 to the 6th
The lakeshore construction is (almost) over which means that Kempenfest 2018 will return to its former size and impact. Now more than 400 exhibitors, a second stage and beer garden in Centennial Park, great musical entertainment (Dwayne Gretzky, Big Sugar, JoJo Mason, a show of Oldies and a "45 Revue" plus a separate "Indie Stage" and MUCH more), beautiful arts and crafts and antiques and lots of events for the kids. There is even extended parking. All of this on our beautiful waterfront. For full details and link to tickets (some of the music events are ticketed, many are free) check out

Tuesday August 7th:
As part of a cultural exchange with Barrie's twin city of Harrogate, England, the City's International Relations Committee is hosting the Tewit Youth Band from that city from 31 July to 9 August. While they are here, they will be putting on six concerts in southern Ontario, and two of them are in Barrie. You can see them at Kempenfest on August 5th, but a better close up look will be at Westside Lutheran Evangelical Church. It is located at 510 Ferndale Drive North, near the corner of Ferndale and Livingston St. West. You can find out more about this band, sponsored by the Arts Council of England, at

Wednesday, August 8, 2018:
Another Seniors Serenade. This week features Pianist Ainsley McNaught performing an eclectic programme of Miles Davis, Oscar Petersen, Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Chopin, Liszt. At Bethel Community Church, 128 St. Vincent St., Barrie - 705-726-1181 - Free to all. Start time 2:30 pm
This week's outdoor Barrie Film Festival film is "Wonder" is the true story of a family's struggle to help their son, born with facial differences gain mainstream acceptance. Admission free at Meridian Place. Start time approx. 8:15.

Wednesday August 15th :
Music at St. Andrew's - Organist Simon Walker (Director of Music and Organist, St Jude's Anglican Church, Oakville) performs at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 47 Owen St., Barrie - 705-726-1181 - At noon. Adults $10, Students free
And in the evening, "Coco" is presented by the Barrie Film Festival at Meridian Place. This Disney cartoon adventure centres around the tale of a young musician searching out his musical ancestors. AND - The Barrie firefighters will be on scene to show off their equipment. Admission free. Starts about 8 pm.

Monday August 20:
Barrie native Andrea Curtis will bring a summer "Illuminating Conversation" to Barrie. Andrea, is a critically acclaimed author, historian and community activist, who has written on a wide variety of current social issues such as women's health, neighbourhood change and food insecurity. She will bring her message of community involvement to the Five Points Theatre. Info about this event and the whole 2018-19 season, and tickets at

Wednesday August 22:
The Barrie Film Festival's outdoor film series at Meridian Place ends with Spiderman: The Homecoming. Do we really have to tell you what it's about? Starts about 8 pm. Admission is free.

Thursday August 30th:
Last of the "Last Thursday Open Stages" for the summer, presented by Barrie Folk Society. As usual, sign-up at 6:30 and music at 7pm. At the Downtown Barrie Public Library. Feel free to sing along.

And here's is something special: Iain Moggach, the administrator of Theatre by the Bay is also a producer, director and actor. For six performances only (ending with a matinee on September 8th), he and a cast of local actors will present Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream, in his backyard!! There are only 30 tickets per show. This is a testament to how actors love to act. Full details about the show and tickets (only $25 each) available at

Talk is Free Theatre has announced its new season. Five new shows and four new "Illuminating Conversations" will be featured in the 2018-19 season. All of this starts in November. Check out

If you want evidence that food can be a "cultural experience", check out the new supermarket "Centra" now filling the old Winners space in the Bayfield Mall. Barrie has arrived. Beautiful fruits and vegetables, some that I had never seen before. A huge fish section with whole fish on ice waiting for the fishmonger to scale and fillet for you. Black chicken. Every seafood you could imagine. Ethnic foods from every ethnic group - just like the cultural snapshot of the customers.