Winterfest showcases Barrie Native Friendship Centre

The City is partnering with the Barrie Native Friendship Centre for this year’s Winterfest, Saturday and Sunday.
The centre will be celebrating their 31st anniversary. It works to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities together to promote culture and community in the City of Barrie. Winterfest 2019 will highlight and celebrate the local Indigenous community through a number of events and programming, including ice and snow sculptures, speakers, hoop dancing and cultural sharing.
Winterfest takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Heritage Park and Meridian Place, with most activities being free. There are also drop-in activities and events at indoor venues throughout the community all weekend.
Outdoor fun
• Ice and snow sculptures highlighting Clans of the local Indigenous community
• Battle of the Chainsaws (Saturday at 1 p.m.)
• Lumberjack shows
• Toronto Maple Leafs Mobile Fan Zone
• Winter sport demonstrations – snowshoeing and snowboarding
• Helicopter rides (for a fee)
• Snow Valley’s mini tube slide
• Walking tour with Barrie’s Town Crier
• Skating at the Heritage Park pond, City Hall, or Centennial Park
• Polar Bear Dip – free to participate and no pre-registration required
• Maple taffy samples
• Learn about the history of making maple syrup with the Barrie Native Friendship Centre
• Family entertainment with Team T & J
Drop-in activities
• Barrie Native Friendship Centre – Knowledge Keeper: Clan System and Clan Governance; Learn to Hoop Dance
• Barrie Public Library – Indigenous Speaker Series: Jennifer Podemski and Nookmis Learning Circle
• MacLaren Art Centre – Storytime, NFB film screenings, Family Workshop, and performance by the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers
• Grey & Simcoe Foresters’ Regimental Museum Tour
• Toonie skates and swims at East Bayfield Community Centre, Allandale Recreation Centre, and Holly Community Centre
Community events   
• Winterfest Pancake Breakfast – hosted by the Lion’s Club of Barrie on Saturday morning at Collier Street United Church
• February Blues Festival – enjoy Jazz & Blues music in venues throughout the community
• Downtown Barrie’s Hot Cocoa Trail – hot chocolate creations available at downtown cafes and eateries every weekend in February
Free Winterfest shuttle
Winterfest offers a free Park ‘n Ride Shuttle on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shuttle will pick up passengers on Coulter Street behind the Bayfield Mall at Barrie Transit stop #203, stopping on Bayfield Street at the Barrie Native Friendship Centre (stop #64 & #74) to hop on or off, and will drop off at the Downtown Transit Terminal.
Parking and road closure
If you’re driving, there’s plenty of downtown and waterfront parking available within close walking distance, including the Collier Street Parkade – a fully accessible, seven-level parking facility with over 300 spots located on Collier Street between Owen and Clapperton Streets.
Reminder: Barrie residents can park for free in waterfront lots when displaying a Resident Waterfront Parking Pass. Simcoe Street will be closed from Maple Avenue to Dunlop Street from 6 a.m. on February 2 to 6 p.m. on February 3.
For more information, including a full schedule of activities, times and locations, visit