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News Release:

The MacLaren Art Centre Recognizes OTF Resilient Communities Grant

For Immediate Release
March 31, 2023

[BARRIE, ON] On Friday morning, the team at the MacLaren Art Centre invited MPP Andrea Khanjin and MPP Doug Downey to hear how a $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has made an impact since receiving it in 2022, and revealed a sneak peek of the Centre’s new website.

“The MacLaren Art Centre has been a staple of our community for many years. Like all institutions, the MacLaren Art Centre has been forced to adapt to these changing times, and to meet the needs of both artists and art lovers in new and innovative ways,” says Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte. “This investment in the MacLaren will allow patrons to experience and connect with art in new and exciting ways that continue to share these important works that reflect upon our society, or culture and our very lives.”

In May 2022, the MacLaren received its $150,000 OTF grant to support several projects aimed at rebuilding and recovering from the impacts of pandemic restrictions. This funding has allowed it to develop new strategic plans for fundraising, marketing, and communications, including a new website which will be launching soon and to commission architectural drawings for a re-design of the Centre’s administration and front reception spaces.

“It is such great news that the MacLaren Art Centre and the City of Barrie will benefit from the financial support of the Provincial Government and the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” says Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “Investments in art and culture boosts our local economy and allows our communities to flourish and become more connected. Growing up in Barrie, visiting the MacLaren art gallery was always a highlight for me, and I am now looking forward to bringing my son when he is a little older. I am pleased to see that this will open new avenues of learning and connection through enhanced communication and engagement. There are so many in our community who will benefit from this promotion of arts and culture.”

The funds have also increased the technology capacity of the gallery, adding two cameras, flush mounted ceiling speakers, wireless microphones, a hearing assist system, and an interactive and integrated display system to the roster – enabling the MacLaren Art Centre to seamlessly present in-person, virtual, and hybrid programming separately or simultaneously.

“To meet the demands of a rapidly growing world, the MacLaren must expand its technologic and revenue capabilities for resiliency in times of unexpected change,” says Executive Director Lisa Daniels. “The Ontario Trillium Foundation has kindly awarded $150,000 to help us develop new approaches to digital communication and presentation strategies that support artistic visions for the future. It’s time to celebrate that.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Since 2020, OTF has supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit to learn more.

Contact Information


Lisa Daniels​
Executive Director / Curator (she/her)
705-720-1044 ext 260