Artists celebrating all-night long

Susan Doolan - Special to the Examiner
j.t. mcveigh The Barrie Examiner   Alana Sproule, of Awkward Stage, left, Meaghan Anderson, of Le Petit Chapeau, and Jill Price of Jill Price Art strike a pose as they get ready for this weekends Art Ce Soir, a 24-hour exhibition of art and culture at the Mulcaster Mews.

j.t. mcveigh The Barrie Examiner Alana Sproule, of Awkward Stage, left, Meaghan Anderson, of Le Petit Chapeau, and Jill Price of Jill Price Art strike a pose as they get ready for this weekends Art Ce Soir, a 24-hour exhibition of art and culture at the Mulcaster Mews.

Downtown Barrie marks its first all-night celebration of art, music, words and dance this weekend.

Modelled after Toronto's Nuit Blanche event which also takes place this weekend, Barrie's version is on a smaller scale. Still, some 15 live performances and 17 art events and installations, many interactive, are slated to unfold between the hours of 7 p.m Saturday and 7 a.m. on Sunday.

All are local to Barrie.

The tiny street known as Lakeshore Mews, opposite Heritage Park, becomes the setting for the free event.

"The BIA (Downtown Barrie Business Association) approached us to do an art night event because (managing director Craig Stevens) wants to help change the perception that the downtown is dangerous at night," said Jill Price, one of three local artists who are organizing the event. "We thought there was so much artistic talent in Barrie; let's try and do one (a version of Nuit Blanche) here".

Barrie's event is called Art ce Soir and it is also part of the city's Culture Days celebration, which runs throughout the city until Oct. 2.

As many Culture Days activities take place during the day hours, Art ce Soir organizers wanted to hold their event at night so that the arts people working with Culture Days will be able to attend. Organizers are also open to artists and performers dropping by to join in.

"It's fine with us. It just adds to the event," Price said.

There are many interactive activities for people to participate in - from recording a song to writing the night away with the Writers Community of Simcoe County. There's also a 5,000-piece St. Peter's Basilica puzzle challenge, a community art project with Claudia Mandler McKnight and more.

There are 28 individual artists and groups participating either outside in the parking lot, indoors at several venues or at site specific spots along the street such as the little 2x10 foot garden in front of Price's studio. She is doing an installation of soft sculpture that documents her artistic growth, made from recycled paintings and previous part projects.

She also plans to set up a table with a sketchbook so people can draw their own design for the space.

Inside her studio is the aforementioned puzzle challenge while Alana Sproule is knitting her art, My Memory is Growing Mushrooms, in the adjacent vault space.

Sproule is one of the event organizers.

Her Awkward Stage Gallery space has an exhibition of photographs by Alek Sorotschynski, retired Georgian College teacher, who is also well known for his sculptures.

During the Art ce Soir event, visitors will also find Matt Haskill's interactive recording project, Messy Bedroom AV Club. Everyone is encouraged to join in, sing, create rhythm or bring your own instrument.

The event's third organizer, Meaghan Armstrong, is manning the reception tent while her shop, Le Petit Chapeau, becomes home to collection of surreal creatures made from polymer clay; creator Gavy Swan-Mansfield calls it 'Under the Looking-Glass'.

Live performances also go through the 12-hour period. The city's culture director, Rudi Quammie Williams, is taking the midnight slot for percussion.

"He's challenging Barrie to come out and dance to his beats," Price said. "So it's going to be a dance and drum off at midnight."

Art ce Soir includes all-night art events and installations, interactive events, performances and music starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 through to

7 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 at Mulcaster Mews in downtown Barrie. Admission is free.



Artistic Growth by Jill Price. Location: The garden in front of Jill Price Studios

The Outcropping: Back Alley Fortification by Grant Wilson and Sarah Leonard. Location: The nook behind Robert Stephens store.

Mind Garbage by Et and Ampersand (Pixie M. Finnie and Cory VDV). Location: The nook beside Le Petit Chapeau

An installation (with a top secret outcome) by Lois Green. Location: Parking lot

Under the Looking-Glass by Gavy Swan. Location: Le Petit Chapeau

My Memory is Growing Mushrooms by Alana Sproule. Location: The Vault at Jill Price Studios

Light, Squared by Lisa Brunetta. Location: The ivy beside Awkward Stage, the staircase at Bohemia, the fire escape beside Le Petit Chapeau

Swan Crossing by Julie Clemmer and Steve Fitzpatrick. Location: Lakeshore Mews entrance at Mulcaster Street

Photos: A Decade of Digital Exploration by Alek Sorotschynski. Location: The gallery at Awkward Stage 10. Yarnbomb by Sarah Covert. Location: Tree in front of Awkward Stage at the edge of Simcoe Street


United Light Consciousness with Stone People. Location: The nook beside Awkward Stage

Write the Night Away with Writers Community of Simcoe County. Location: Parking lot

Kindness and Sharing with Shailie Dubois. Location: Parking lot

St. Peter's Basilica Challenge with Jill Price. Location: Jill Price Studios

Messy Bedroom AV Club with Matt Haskill of Four Star Daydream. Location: The gallery at Awkward Stage

Landscape of Sweet Dreams with Claudia Mandler McKnight. Location: Parking lot

Junk-o-Types with Jenn Guerin and Max Lupo. Location: Information tent in front of Le Petit Chapeau from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.


7 p.m. - Todd Crowley. Location: Near the brewery

7:30 p.m. - The Tiny Knives. Location: Near the brewery

8 p.m. - Mose Stephenson. Location: Near the brewery

8:30 p.m. - Cathy Charlebois Nahanee. Location: Near the brewery

9 p.m. - Soda Records presents: High Road Pilots. Location: Near the brewery

10 p.m. - Soda Records presents: Swaying Tuesdays. Location: Near the brewery

11 p.m. - The Morals. Location: Near the brewery

11:30 p.m. - Poetry in Motion Dance Group. Location: Parking lot

12 a.m. - Quammie Williams Percussion. Location: Near the brewery

12:30 a.m. - Readings from The Writers Community of Simcoe County. Location: The balcony at Bohemia.

1 a.m. - Soda Records presents: For The Birds. Location: Near the brewery.

2 a.m. - "Two Peas in a Pod" sing along with Four Star Daydream. Location: The gallery at Awkward Stage

4 a.m. - 4' x 4' @ 4 by Sarah Lochhead. Location: The changeroom at Awkward Stage.

5 a.m. - Live performance by Lois Green. Location: Parking lot

7 a.m. - Sunrise by Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. Location: Parking lot.

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