Opinion Column

Barrie's MacLaren Art Centre honours Peacock with legacy award

By Carolyn Bell Farrell

Barry Peacock, middle, was honoured recently at a legacy dinner at the MacLaren Art Centre in downtown Barrie. Paying tribute were longtime friends Bill Leslie and Donna Douglas. SANDIE DRURY/PHOTO

Barry Peacock, middle, was honoured recently at a legacy dinner at the MacLaren Art Centre in downtown Barrie. Paying tribute were longtime friends Bill Leslie and Donna Douglas. SANDIE DRURY/PHOTO

Each September, the MacLaren Art Centre and its supporters pay tribute to a community leader for his or her outstanding contribution to Barrie and to the MacLaren.

During the first Legacy Dinner in 2009, we honoured our namesake, Maurice MacLaren, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his bequest, which provided a permanent home for a public gallery in Barrie.

The recipients of our Legacy Award have since included Jamie Massie, Scott Elliott, Janice Laking, Tom McBride, the Pratt Family and Graham Knight.

On Sept. 29, we paid tribute to Barry Peacock with the 2016 Legacy Award in recognition of his lifelong commitment to our community.

Over the years, Barry has spearheaded countless initiatives that continue to enhance the quality of our lives. His generous commitment to fostering arts and culture, education, recreation and social services in Barrie truly inspires us.

Barry’s impact on the community has been far-reaching.

In addition to growing Kempenfelt Graphics into a dominant company in the Ontario print industry, he was a co-founder of the Barrie Huronia Balloon Association, which hosted the 1984 Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championships and 1985 North American Hot Air Balloon Championships.

In Midhurst, to help build the Barrie Community Sports Complex, Barry brought community leaders together to raise the needed funds. The facility opened in 2002 and the street through the sport park is now named Bruce Peacock Way.

At the Barrie waterfront, Barry and his friends Coos Uylenbroek and Ray Sriubiscus created

Kids Fishing Day, an event hosted by the Kempenfelt Rotary Club. This past June marked its 12th year.

Barry counts his appointment in 2011 as an honorary colonel to the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre as one of his greatest honours.

Two years ago, Barry, Jamie Massie and Jim Williams, as honorary colonels at Base Borden, began planning a new entrance memorial at the base. This grew to be a much larger undertaking involving artist Marlene Hilton Moore as the designer of the Borden Legacy Monumen; many of our region’s community leaders; a pilgrimage to the Vimy Memorial in France; and the unveiling of the memorial on June 9 of this year.

Barry has continued to generously support many local organizations and initiatives, including the MacLaren Art Centre, Talk Is Free Theatre, Barrie Film Festival, Theatre by the Bay, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Operation Hero Scholarship Fund, Barrie Public Library, the Children’s Aid Foundation, the YMCA, Christmas Cheer, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Look Good Feel Better.

The MacLaren Art Centre is proud to name Barry Alan Peacock therecipient of the 2016 Legacy Award.

Carolyn Bell Farrell is the executive director at the MacLaren Art Centre in downtown Barrie.



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