Barrie residents encouraged to celebrate Black History Month

Numerous events and programs will be taking place throughout February

February is Black History Month, and the City of Barrie is proud to promote events and programming that bring awareness to the significant contributions that Black Canadians have made and continue to make to the cultural landscape of our country and our community. The City of Barrie and the City of Barrie Anti-Racism Task Force encourage the community to recognize Black History Month as an opportunity to embrace diversity and foster a sense of belonging and inclusion. A list of events and programming happening in the community follows. 

Programming hosted or supported by the City of Barrie:

  • Wednesday, February 1 – Flag Raising; 12 p.m. at the City Hall courtyard (70 Collier Street).  Raising of the Pan-African Flag at City Hall and Proclamation of Black History Month in the City of Barrie.
  • Saturday, February 25 – Black Mosaic: The Afro-Caribbean Canadian Experience, hosted from 2 to 4 p.m. at the MacLaren Art Centre (37 Mulcaster Street). Attend an engaging presentation on Canadian Black history, Afro-Canadian Caribbean culture and diversity changes happening in Simcoe County. A steel pan performance will follow, with an opportunity for young audiences to try the steel pan for themselves, as well as make a working version in a fun hands-on workshop. This event is meant to give background on the beginnings of Caribbean culture to Ontario, provide a sense of the struggles and show how we can all be allies in welcoming diverse cultures in our communities. This event is organized by Making Change and sponsored by the MacLaren Art Centre and the City of Barrie.
  • Saturday, February 25 – A Tribute to Bob Marley and the Wailers, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Five Points Theatre (1 Dunlop Street West). The Afro-Caribbean Multi-Cultural Association presents A Tribute to Bob Marley and the Wailers. Ticket information available via This event is sponsored by the City of Barrie. 

Programming hosted by Barrie Public Library:

  • Ongoing – Black History 365. Resources, readings, interviews and presentations that allow you to learn about Black history, all year round. Hosted by the Barrie Public Library in collaboration with UPlift Black. Access online; details via
  • Thursday, February 9 –Thursday Night at the Movies (Respect), from 6 to 8:35 p.m. at the Barrie Public Library’s Downtown Branch (60 Worsley Street). Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career, from a child singing in her father’s church choir to her international superstardom, it’s the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.
  • Tuesday, February 14 – Storytime: Celebrating Black History Month, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. at the Barrie Public Library’s Painswick Branch (48 Dean Avenue). A long time ago, African people told a lot of stories that later became their culture. Join Modupe as she shares some of those stories.
  • Thursday, February 23 –Thursday Night at the Movies (Harriett), from 6 to 8:35 p.m. at the Barrie Public Library’s Downtown Branch (60 Worsley Street). From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told.

Programming hosted by the MacLaren Art Centre:

  • Thursday, February 16 – Lunch and Learn: Starting the Conversation (If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes), from 12 to 1 p.m. at the MacLaren Art Centre (37 Mulcaster Street). In partnership with Making Change, Debbie Opoku-Mulder will focus her talk around diversity and inclusion. Through sharing her lived experiences as a Black woman, Opoku-Mulder brings a conversation about how building inclusion is a lifelong journey. She will discuss Black Lives Matter and reflect on why Making Change was launched and detail their community work.
  • Sunday, February 26 –Family Sunday: Caribbean Paper Masks, from 1 to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the MacLaren Art Centre (37 Mulcaster Street). The cost is $5 per child, or free for MacLaren Art Centre members. Led by regional artist Angela Francis, families will learn more about Caribbean carnival culture and the artistry and purpose of mask-making as a part of masquerade performance. Using the art of collage and a variety of coloured and textured papers, participants will create their own vibrant mask.
  • Ongoing throughout the month –National Film Board Short Films. Available online; access via

Additional programming:

  • Friday, February 3 –Yao (Presented by La Clé), starting at 8 p.m. at the Lion’s Gate Banquet Centre (386 Blake Street). Poetic, groovy, funk at times and soul as a whole, Yao, with his deep voice, manages to charm with the warm universe of his sweet poetry and his artistic audacity. Purchase tickets online; details via
  • Monday, February 20 – Family Day: Celebration of Diversity, from 12 to 3:30 p.m. at Shak’s World Community Centre (59 Maple Avenue). Led by regional artist Shanique Brown, families will be engaged in a creative painting and embroidery project, followed by musical entertainment. This event is free to attend and all are welcome. This event is hosted by the MacLaren Art Centre in partnership with Shak’s World.
  • Ongoing throughout the month – The Afro Caribbean Business Network (ACBN) and the Social Economy for Social Inclusion (SETSI) leadership series. The program is more than 20 virtual panel discussions, starting February 1 and ending February 28, 2023. Ticket information and more details available via

Visit for additional details on programs. To learn more about the Barrie Anti-Racism Task Force, visit