Art, dancing and more to take over downtown Barrie to celebrate start of Culture Days

Barrie, Ont. Jeremy Cohn / Barrie

Friday marks the official start of Culture Days in the city of Barrie, with celebrations and demonstrations planned over the next three weeks to celebrate Barrie’s diverse arts scene.

Culture Days is a national event aiming to promote arts and culture with events in person and online throughout the country.

The events and activities will take place from Sept. 23 through Oct. 16.

“I think especially as everyone’s sort of getting back to the new normal or whatever we want to call it, it’s just it’s been so wonderful to see our arts community step up and try out new things and explore different ways to reach audiences and to be able to bring the audiences to them in creative ways just means so much to the city,” said Amanda Dyke, cultural development officer with the City of Barrie.

Dyke said this is Barrie’s 14th year participating in the event, with the city’s official kick-off happening on Saturday at Meridian Place in the city’s downtown core.

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Among the many activities taking place over the next three weeks will be a variety of music performances, dance workshops, poetry readings, public art shows and heritage walking tours.

On Saturday, a local Métis artist will also be running an interactive mural painting workshop at Meridian Place.

The Barrie Public Library will also be hosting Comic Fest on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., where children and adults can dress up and enjoy a showcase of local artists and retro video and board games.

There will also be special programs from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30 focused on celebrating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“Art is really for everyone, of course, it’s all subjective, and we all have our different opinions on what we like and don’t like, but truly art is something that can be therapeutic, it’s something that can bring communities together, and ultimately it’s something that anyone can take part in and participate in,” Dyke said.

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The MacLaren Art Centre is also offering several classes, giving people the opportunity to learn about different types of art.

“Our big focus this year was celebrating the multicultural and diversity of all the artists and of our community in Barrie. So our programming reflects those aspects in different ways,” said Christina Mancuso, education officer at the MacLaren Art Centre.

“It’s really a way to just experience either art, performance, dance, music, everything that the community has to offer and really experience the creative voices in our community and to learn about different experiences and different points of view, but to appreciate culture in its many forms.”

A complete list of all the events happening through the city and art centre is available on their websites.


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