All Events

September 21, 2017 - 6:00 pm
Tickets: $180 per person (includes $100 tax donation receipt)

2017 MacLaren Legacy Dinner

Thursday, September 21

The 2017 Legacy Award honours Gerry Pilon, a powerful advocate and champion not only for the MacLaren, but also for a thriving, creative city of Barrie.

Special guest speaker Michael Redhill is an award- winning fiction writer, playwright and poet whose work includes the novel Martin Sloane and the young adult book Saving Houdini. His novel Bellevue Square will be published in September 2017.

Cocktail reception 6:00 pm
Guest speaker and dinner 7:00 pm
Legacy Award presentation 8:30 pm

Tickets: $180 (includes $100 donation receipt)

To book, or for sponsorship opportunities, contact Sue-Ellen Boyes at 705-720-1044...

September 23, 2017 - 10:00 am

Dates:               Saturday, September 23, 2017
Times:              10 am to 11 am
Location:          Magazine area, Barrie Public Library, downtown branch
Fee:                  Admission free

Join MacLaren Education Officer Christina Mancuso and learn how comics and independent graphic novels have moved beyond the archetypical superhero to embrace...

MacLaren Art Centre TV BINGO on Rogers, Barrie Ontario
September 26, 2017 - 8:00 pm
$5.00 for a 5-pack

MacLaren TV Bingo on ROGERS
Tuesdays, 8:00

MacLaren Art Centre TV Bingo is a LIVE hour of fun and excitement, brought to you exclusively by Rogers TV. Every Tuesday at 8:00 pm, host Stu Andrews calls the action with 5 chances to win great cash prizes. The final game of the night has a grand prize jackpot of $1,200 EVERY week. All proceeds goes directly to the MacLaren Art Centre's VanGo programme, which offers unique opportunities for Simcoe County students to work with professional artists in the classroom! Tune in each week to win cash prizes with Rogers TV's coverage of MacLaren Art Centre TV Bingo.

MacLaren TV Bingo Game Cards are available at the following locations...

September 28, 2017 - 10:00 am

A festival of art and language | September 28 to October 1
Organized by the MacLaren Art Centre
In partnership with the Barrie Film Festival, Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and the Barrie Public Library
Presented for Culture Days

Carnegie Days draws on the origins of the MacLaren Art Centre’s building as a 1917 Carnegie public library in Barrie and celebrates the legacy of Scottish-born American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who built over 2,500 public libraries in the English speaking world. This annual arts festival offers great events for visitors of all ages that explore the role language plays in contemporary art. Special exhibitions,...

September 28, 2017 - 7:30 pm

Live Musical Performance by Ray Dillard
MacLaren Art Centre | The Carnegie Room
7:30 to 8:30 pm, Doors open at 7 pm | Admission free

Musician Ray Dillard will give a live percussive performance in response to the artwork on view in current exhibition Act Naturally by Jaime Angelopoulos. Inspired by the visual contrasts in Powers and Hypnos, Ray will create two original compositions that sonically play on the vibrant colours, lines, textures and emotions in these two drawings. A question and answer period will follow the performance. Texas-born, Toronto/Barrie-based producer/percussionist Ray Dillard received his Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from West Texas State University. For several years, he...

September 29, 2017 - 12:15 pm
Admission free

Collecting Photography with John Hartman
Friday, September 29, 12:15 to 1 pm
Rotary Education Centre at the MacLaren
Admission free

Regional artist John Hartman will offer an insider perspective on his private collection of historic photographs, which includes over 500 objects dating from 1858 to the present.

John Hartman was born in 1950 in Midland Ontario, and studied Fine Art at McMaster University. He has been the subject of several national and international exhibitions including Big North (1999-2002) and Cities (2007-2009). Photographs of the landscape and preparatory sketches are central to Hartman’s artistic practice, which is attentive to landscape and the ways in which human...

September 29, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Sculpture Garden Dedication
MacLaren Art Centre | Main Lobby
1:30 to 2:30 pm | Admission free

Join us for the public launch and dedication of the MacLaren’s revitalized sculpture garden, a Canada 150 legacy project marking this important national milestone and the centennial of the 1917 Carnegie Library. Made possible by an Ontario150 grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation with support from the City of Barrie’s Public Art Committee and The Sarjeant Company. The MacLaren will also honour the 30th anniversary of the installation of the Spirit Catcher at Barrie’s waterfront and the generous bequest from the Estate of Charles McCrea Peacock for its long-term care.

September 29, 2017 - 7:00 pm
Admission free

Film Screening: Seraphine, Seraphine
By Krista Belle Stewart
Two-Channel Video Work, 39 Minutes, 2014
In Partnership with the Barrie Film Festival
Uptown Theatre, 55 Dunlop Street West, Barrie
Friday, September 29, 2017, 7:00 pm
Admission: Free

For more information please visit

In Seraphine, Seraphine, Vancouver-based artist Krista Belle Stewart layers archival footage with current footage of her subject, her mother Seraphine Stewart, the first Indigenous Public Health nurse in British Columbia. In this two-channel video work, Stewart sheds light on the complexities of the historical representation of Indigenous peoples.  Seraphine,...

September 30, 2017 - 10:00 am

Carnegie Days Storytime: Celebrate Being Canadian!
Barrie Public Library, Downtown Branch, 60 Worsley St., Barrie
10:00 to 10:45 am | Admission free | No registration required

Learn and celebrate what makes Canada special! In this story-time for families, children will enjoy picture books by Canadian authors that explore the idea of family and being Canadian. At this library program, children will have fun making a related craft after the stories, rhymes and songs. Free. No registration required.

September 30, 2017 - 1:00 pm

The Journals of Mary O’Brien: Readings by Joy Thompson
MacLaren Art Centre | Gallery 3
1:00 to 2:00 pm | Admission free

Join us for entertaining and insightful readings by Barrie actor Joy Thompson from the journals of Mary O’Brien, the mother of Shanty-Bay artist Lucius O’Brien (1832-1899). Lucius O’Brien was a painter of the Canadian landscape, a passionate, early advocate of the Canadian arts scene and a significant figure in the region. Joy Thompson has graced the stages on Broadway, the “Old Vic” in England, The Kennedy Centre, Sony Centre and major theatres across Canada. She performed in three productions at the Royal Alexandra, two seasons at Stratford and The Charlottetown Festivals, two...

September 30, 2017 - 2:00 pm
Culture Days Open House
September 30, 2 to 4 pm
Meet the artists who teach our art classes and VanGo programmes. Participate in a hands-on activity for families in the Rotary Education Centre! Culture Days highlights free, cultural attractions in downtown Barrie.
October 1, 2017 - 12:30 pm

NFB Film Screenings
MacLaren Art Centre | Rotary Education Centre
12:30 to 12:45 pm |Admission free

From Far Away by Shira Avni & Serene El-haj Daoud (Animation, 2000, 6 minutes)

This short animation tells the story of Saoussan, a young girl struggling to adjust to life in Canada after being uprooted from her war torn homeland. She has come to seek a quieter and safer life, although memories of war and death linger, memories that are awakened when the children at her new school prepare for a scary Halloween. From Far Away speaks to the power within us all to adapt like Saoussan and to welcome a newcomer.

Asthma Tech by Johnathan Ng...

October 1, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Mail Art: Carnegie Days Family Workshop
MacLaren Art Centre | Rotary Education Centre
1:30 to 2:30 pm | Admission free

In celebration of Carnegie Days, join regional artist Sean George for a workshop focusing on all forms of mail art. Families will have fun working at three different “mail art stations” creating unique mixed-media postcards, whimsical envelopes and stamps. Just add postage and share your art with family or friends! Materials provided. Sign up at 1 pm. Space is limited to 40 people.

October 1, 2017 - 2:30 pm

Coding and Choreography: Performances by Simcoe Contemporary Dancers
MacLaren Art Centre | The Carnegie Room
2:30 to 3:30 pm | Admission free

How can movements of the body be translated for computers to understand? Simcoe Contemporary Dancers presents a demonstration and interactive workshop on the connections between choreography and coding. Working with you, the audience, they will identify patterns and rules in Sarah Lochhead's piece Dactyl and build a chance-based dance for audiences and the artists to bring to life. The event will include a presentation by the Barrie chapter of Ladies Learning Code on programs and opportunities to continue to explore computer science and code. 

October 12, 2017 - 7:00 pm
Tickets $125 (includes $75 donation receipt)
The MacLaren Speakeasy
Thursday, October 12, 7:00 to 11:00 pm
The Carnegie Room at the MacLaren
What can you expect at our Prohibition-inspired “Night of Fun & Games”? Poker—and bragging rights for the Best Poker Player in Barrie. Blackjack for those who prefer it. Live music. Fedoras, boas, inspired cocktails—care for a Lime Rickey or a Sidecar, anyone? Oh, and prizes you can’t get anywhere else!
Tickets $125 (includes $75 donation receipt).
Tickets are available online (see link below) or at the MacLaren. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Sue-Ellen Boyes at 705-720-1044 ext. 236 or
October 13, 2017 - 12:15 pm
Admission free

Frances Rooney on the Wandering Life of Edith Watson
Friday, October 13, 2017
12:15 to 1:00 pm
Rotary Education Centre at the MacLaren
Admission free

Author Frances Rooney presents on photographer Edith Watson (1861-1943). Watson was a pioneering woman photographer active from the 1890s to the 1930s, best known for photographing scenes of rural and coastal life in Canada.

Frances Rooney is a writer, editor and spiritual director who lives in Toronto. Her books include Working Light: The Wandering Life of Photographer Edith S. Watson (published in Canada, the U.S. and Britain) and Our Lives (finalist for the Lambda Award). Rooney has written two books for the Women’s Hall of Fame Series...

October 27, 2017 - 6:00 pm
Halloween Coffee House
October 27, 6 to 9 pm. Admission $2.
This is an all-ages event! Join us for the Youth Advisory Council’s annual Halloween Coffee House! Dress in your Halloween costumed-best and enjoy music and spoken-word performances by Simcoe County high school students! Youth performers are invited to audition on October 11 from 5 to 7 pm.
Interested in joining our Youth Council? Young people ages 14 to 18 are invited to develop MacLaren youth projects, events and exhibitions with and for their peers.
Contact Christina Mancuso, Education Officer at to sign up!
November 17, 2017 - 7:00 pm
Tickets: $50
Off The Hook
MacLaren Silent Art Auction
Friday, November 17, 7 to 11 pm
Auction Preview: November 11 to 17
Tour of Auction Highlights: November 15, 6 to 7 pm
Off the Hook returns with more than 150 works of art by over 100 regional artists and a wealth of great finds generously donated by local retailers. This annual fundraiser offers everyone the opportunity to bid on and take home original artwork. Tickets are $50 each, and include hors d’oeuvres and desserts by Barrie’s finest
chefs. Cash bar.
Tickets are available at the MacLaren and online at For...
November 24, 2017 - 12:15 pm
Admission free

Meet the Gallery Shop Artisans
Friday, November 24, 12:15 to 1 pm
Rotary Education Centre at the MacLaren
Admission free

Just in time for the holidays, Gallery Shop Manager Megan Stevenato introduces artists behind some of MacLaren’s best-selling collections. Learn about their approaches and get a first look at new pieces of work.

December 7, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Please join us as we celebrate our winter exhibitions!

Thursday, December 7, 2017, 7 to 9 pm
Remarks at 7:15 pm
Exhibition tours at 7:30 pm

Landon Mackenzie
Parallel Journey
December 7, 2017 to March 11, 2018
Janice Laking Gallery and Gallery 3
Curator: Liz Wylie
Organized and Circulated by the Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna
Artist Talk: Wednesday, December 6, 10:30 am, Georgian College Campus Gallery. Admission free

Ernest Conyers Barker
December 2, 2017 to February 25, 2018
The Carnegie Room
Curator: Renée van der Avoird

Margaret Priest
The Workers Monument Suite...

February 23, 2018 - 7:15 pm
Tickets: $60. On sale February 5 at 10:00 am
2017 Battle of the Bands
Friday, February 23
Doors open at 6:30 pm. Live music begins at 7:15 pm
Drawing on the considerable musical talents of members of Barrie’s financial services and medical professions, our annual Battle of the Bands is one of the most celebrated live musical events of the year in Barrie. Proceeds from the event support the MacLaren Art Centre, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and the
Kempenfelt Rotary Club. Tickets $60, available at the MacLaren on February 5.