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Don’t Miss “Culture Grows Here”!

City of Barrie ONTARIO Winter Festival Award Winner ✮✮✮✮✮ Barrie Winterfest and Festival of Ice The City of Barrie received a 5 star rating in the Over 50,000 population category of the 2009-2010 WinterLights Celebrations program. The annual awards ceremony was held in the City of Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island on March 6th. WinterLights Celebrations is the winter edition of the popular Communities in Bloom program and encourages all Canadians to join in their local community events and activities, and to experience the beauty and thrill of winter. For photos and information about the program, visit www.winterlights.ca. In the meantime, Barrie residents can get ready for the Communities in Bloom summer program. Visit www.barrie.ca and watch for details.

Have you ever felt chills of inspiration while listening to a performer sing? Maybe you are a business owner striving to attract new customers? Then don’t miss out on what may be the greatest arts and culture networking event yet. This May 5 and 6, Barrie hosts the Culture Grows Here Conference for enthusiasts, professionals, and leaders nation-wide to experience and discuss the powerful beneficial effect of culture on our communities and to inspire change. “We have invited cultural managers, architects, business owners, developers, builders, municipal staff, arts organizations from across the nation to participate and learn about building the arts within their municipalities,” says Onalee Groves, City of Barrie’s Cultural Development Officer. Groves emphasizes that the conference is open to everyone. “There is a lot to learn from the workshop presenters and there will be wonderful opportunities to see the Gibson Centre, enjoy the play “Tales of an Urban Indian”, watch the Orange Peel Morris Dancers, enjoy delicious food, chances to network, and there will be a few surprises!” Participants will have plenty of chances to network, share their stories, and learn how breathing air into a new growing cultural economy can open doors for both communities and individuals. For travelers, accommodations have been arranged at the Georgian College Summer Suites. Day 1 focuses on local delights, beginning at the McLaren Art Centre for afternoon entertainment and drinks, followed by a condensed version of Talk Is Free Theatre’s production of “Tales of an Urban Indian” during the drive to Alliston’s Gibson Centre. At the Centre, participants will be guided through this “factory turned fabulous!”, enjoy a 4 course meal and an exhilarating performance from the Orange Peel Morris Dancers. On Day 2, participants will be inspired by arts and culture professionals who lead the way in cultural economy development. They can choose from a series of workshops by various presenters such as, but not limited to: • Mr. Eddie Friel, former CAO of the Greater Glasgow Tourist Board that made Glasgow Scotland a cultural capital of Europe; • Janis Barlow, the project lead on the redevelopment of the Wintergarden and Elgin Theatre project in Toronto; • Kelly Hill, owner/operator of Hill Strategies Research, the leader in Canada on Research for the arts. While the conference aims to reunite like-minded individuals to share and learn from one and another, it also presents a great opportunity for Barrie to showcase its amazing community and cultural accomplishments. Since introducing a cultural plan in 2006, Barrie’s Department of Culture launched many new initiatives such as, annual grants to artists and art organizations; an annual arts awards program; an Arts Advisory Council; a permit process for street performers; purchasing a bank and renovating it into a 138 seat theatre, then acquiring funding to renovate it into a new 200 seats space; and many workshops that support artists of all ages. “This is really important now as communities have realized they have to work smarter, using their knowledge to drive their economy,” says Groves. Culture as an economic engine is one of Barrie’s top 10 strategic priorities and a crucial component to the revitalization of our downtown core. The Conference is also a great opportunity for sponsors who want to tie their business name to this exceptional nation-wide cultural event. Interested vendors are asked to contact the Department of Culture before all opportunities are gone. Don’t miss out on this great event. To find more details and attend the Culture Grows Here Conference or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, go to www.barrie.ca and click on the Culture Grows Here icon.

New Accessibility Standards for Customer Service What it Means for Your Business Find out about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the standards that impact what businesses and organizations must do to break down and prevent barriers. Wednesday March 24, 2010 7:45 – 9:00 a.m. Southshore Community Centre 205 Lakeshore Drive Light refreshments will be served TO REGISTER: Contact the Economic Development Department at (705) 728-9850 or email invest@barrie.ca

Facebook • Twitter • Flickr • Blogs Wednesday, March 31 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Angus Ross Room This FREE programme is for adults who want to find out about Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other Social Networking websites. Do you want to know about Wikis, Blogs, tweets and how to share photos on Flickr? Are you thinking about setting up an account? This session will help you get a good idea of how adults and kids are using the Internet to communicate in a whole new way. No registration required. Limited to 50 people. Demonstration only, no hands on. For further information call 728-1010 x7020

Filing Income Tax Online Tuesday, March 23rd from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This session will include software options, access codes, file formats etc. to meet the Canada Revenue Agency requirements. This session is free drop-in session. All attendees are eligible to win free QuickTax software, courtesy of Grand & Toy.

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City Page - March 18, 2010