JANUARY 11, 2018


CURRENTLY :at the Barrie Art Club Studios. Doug McDonald and Lisa Harpell are the featured artists. The gallery is at 304 Dunlop St. W unit 17. These shows run to January 29th. Full details at

Four shows are now on exhibit at the MacLaren Art Centre. Included will be a display and remembrance of the works of one of Barrie's favourite "art elders" - Conyers Barker. Check out details of all of the shows at

The MacLaren has also been the recipient of a major coup in becoming the first Ontario gallery to host Governor General award-winning artist Landon Mackenzie. Details at

For a not-too-far road trip, the Orillila Museum of Art and History now has on display an exhibit that looks to disprove an old adage. The exhibit is entitled "Those who do…teach". The works include those of some very talented and popular current and past art teachers from Georgian College. The list of great talent includes many who are well known to the Barrie arts community including John Hartman, Sue Oxley, Marlene Hilton Moore, Ted Fullerton, Tim Laurin, Frances Thomas, Stu Oxley, Gary Evans, Joanna McEwan…the list goes on and please forgive me if I have missed one of your favourites. The show runs to Feb 2.

The Georgian Campus Gallery features a new exhibit by Joel Fullerton. "Sometimes Still Life" is a multi media exploration of material and process. The exhibit runs from January 11 to February 11.

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


Saturday January 13th:\
Artist Rod Prouse will conduct a Master Class in Watercolour at the MacLaren Art Centre. Course runs from 10 am to 3 pm and you need to pre-register. Check out

Wednesday January 17th
The Music at St. Andrews Series picks up again with organist Christoper Dawes. Noon to 1 pm. For information 705-726-1181.

Thursday January 18th:
Tartan Terrors: Drums, guitars, pipes and fiddles. A mash-up of great Celtic styles. At the Georgian Theatre. Check out
This Thursday and the third Thursday of each month, Barrie's great "Skyliners Big Band" lets their sound fill the Barrie Legion on St. Vincent St. Eight to ten pm.
And, the third Thursday is also special for the Barrie Film Festival. This week, In Search of Fellini. A " nostalgic coming-of-age drama that finds its own modest niche while capturing the spirit of the legendary Italian filmmaker." 4 and 7 pm. Details at

Friday January 19th
My friend and wonderful artist/teacher Claudia Mandler McKnight will conduct an "Art for Lunch" event at the MacLaren. Her topic: "Art Theraphy and the Alchemy of the Creative Process". 12:15 to 1 pm at the MacLaren. Bring lunch or pick up something at the Radio Café. Details at

Saturday January 20th
The Barrie Concerts Series picks up again featuring 28 year old pianist Sheng Cai. Music centres on "The 12 transcendental Etudes - Liszt's Greatest Acheivement". Information and tickets at

Sunday January 21st
The Simcoe County Jazz Society presents the Dixieland styles of Dinny and the Allstars. Rags, stomps ,marches, swing, blues, standards, - it is the "music you listen to, through your feet"! Two to five pm at Sticky Fingers Bar and Grill.

Thursday January 25th:
The Barrie Folk Society continues its monthly "open stage". Bring your instrument and your talent to the Barrie Downtown Public Library. From 7 to 8:30. Details on their website

Friday January 26th:
THIS IS BIG: Thank you to Barrie Ford and Barrie Chrysler for bringing us this HUGE tribute to Gord Downie in support of his legacy Wenjack Fund. Danny Michel, Sam Cash, Adriana Gillis, Andrew Cash. Jim Bryson, Carleigh Aikens….many more all backed by Brett Caswell and his all-star band, and even our mayor Jeff Lehman and Sonic Coalition. At Mavrick's Music Hall on Dunlop Street. Details and tickets at

Thursday February 1st to the 4th:
A host of wonderful entertainers, multiple venues across Simcoe County - it must mean the Robin Munro has launched 2018's February Blues Festival. This is one of the tCounty's GREAT musical events. Not to be missed. The list of venues and performers is still assembling. You can keep updated at There is even a performance at the RVH cafeteria!!

Saturday February 3rd;
The Barrie Folk Society brings back Valdy, the perennial favourite, for what will be another great performance. Valdy is Canadian folk music royalty. 8 pm at the MacLaren. For tickets and more info check out

Sunday Feb 4th
The Huronia Symphony Orchestra presents "Tales of the Imagination: A Family Concert". 3:30 pm. Details at

Wednesday Feb 7th and the 8th:
The Barrie Film Festival Screen One Series picks up with "Le Sens de la Fete". A wedding planner's last event has a host of unpredictable turns. "This is an expertly assembled, tartly played and hugely enjoyable romp …" - the Hollywood Reporter". At the Uptown Theatre, 4 and 7 pm. See

Thursday Feb 8th:
Ariana Gillis is a great singer/songwriter. Having graduated from the "Songwriters Series" and opening for Irish Mayhem, she brings her own band to the Temple Lounge at Donaleighs. Tickets available at

Thursday February 8th to the 18th:
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

And Mark Your Calendars:

Those who love to sing for no particular reason will be able to join others when "Just Sing" picks up again in January. Keep posted - details to follow. Have a look at this Youtube video to see what this event is all about, and the fun that is shared by all:

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

Saturday February 24th
"Purim" is a celebratory Jewish festival. This year, Am Shalom Synagogue will celebrate with a great 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:
Watch for Raven Kanetakta and ShoShona Kish, the Barrie based Juno Award winning indigenous music group known as Digging Roots when they will be joined in a great show together with jazz favourites Dione Taylor and the Backsliderz. Information about this event, and tickets available now at

Friday 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

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