Project Description

Barrie, Ontario, 2000

Janis Barlow and Rebecca Cann were hired by the City of Barrie to analyze community user needs, and the rehabilitation requirements of two theatres: the W.A. Fisher Auditorium (1000 seats) in Barrie Central Collegiate High School, and the Georgian College Theatre (427 – 697 seats) in Georgian College.

The purpose of the study was to determine whether one of the facilities would best suit the future needs of the arts community in Barrie, or whether the City should spearhead the development of a new performing arts facility.

About one hour north of Toronto, Barrie has a population of 80,000 and is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities.

The study concluded that a multiple venue performing arts centre would provide the best economies of scale and critical mass of activities, and would provide Barrie with the optimum scenario for their performing arts activity. It was recommended that the facility should include an incubator space (with 399 to 600 seats), a presenting space (1,200 to 1,500 seats) rehearsal space and support facilities. Since the feasibility study was completed in 2000, Barrie has constructed the Mady Centre for the Performing Arts.