Published July 18, 2022

Pick Up A New Skill This Summer: 5 Classes In Downtown Barrie

Classes in Downtown Barrie

This Barrie 360 content is brought to you by Downtown Barrie BIA

Are you looking to learn something new this summer? Or a way to connect with people who share similar interests?

Downtown Barrie is full of amazing businesses that offer a range of classes for all age groups. Here are just some of the many opportunities for you to explore …

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1. Art 

Art classes like drawing, painting and sculpture are a great way to ignite creativity and help you relax. While you can always do art at home, group classes and private lessons have some added benefits. They’re a great way to develop new skills and give you a chance to socialize with people who share your interests. 

If you’re looking for a studio space to do your art, be sure to visit Spare Room. This business offers a safe and inclusive space for Barrie artists to express their creativity. 

Downtown Barrie also has several different organizations that provide art classes. Two popular locations are the Drawing House and MacLaren Art Centre.

Downtown Barrie has several different organizations that provide art classes. Two popular locations are the Drawing House and MacLaren Art Centre.

Drawing House

Drawing House is an art supply store as well as art school. They have classes for youth and adults as well as camps and workshops. There are also opportunities to take private classes with one of their instructors. 

They offer classes on a variety of subjects and mediums, including but not limited to: 

  • Life drawing 
  • Anime
  • Illustrating
  • Sculpting
  • Painting 
  • Digital drawing 

MacLaren Art Centre

MacLaren Art Centre is the regional public art gallery in Simcoe County. They have a permanent collection on display as well as rotating exhibits, events and activities. 

Adults can take part in talks, tours and conversations with artists. MacLaren also has summer art programs for adults covering a wide range of topics. This includes watercolour painting, wearable art, abstract painting and portraiture. 

There are also tons of great programs and classes for youth using different paints, mixed media, printing and more. 

2. Theatre & Performance Art

The Five Points Theatre in Downtown Barrie regularly hosts fun classes and programs. These programs are run by outside organizations including Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT) and Theater By The Bay

Over the summer, TIFT focuses on Summer camp for children and youth 6 to 14 years old. These camps improve expression, creativity and self-confidence. This is done through improvisation, scene study, crafts and more. 

Earlier this year, Theatre By The Bay hosted the Simcoe County Theater Festival at Five Points Theatre. This event included workshops for aspiring writers, producers and performers.  

Other past workshops include dancing through Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and Youth Arts Drop-Ins organized by The City of Barrie. 

To find out if there are any exciting programs happening at Five Points Theatre, check in with local organizations. 

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3. Music 

If you’re a lover of music, Downtown Barrie is the place to be. 

Downtown has a thriving music scene with concerts and music events hosted every year at Meridian Place, Maverick’s Music Hall and other businesses. It’s also home to the Troubadour Festival, The Barrie Jazz & Blues Festival and other musical celebrations. You can even find an outdoor piano to play at the top of Meridian Place along Dunlop Street. 

If you’re new to music or looking to expand your skills, Downtown Barrie has a couple of different options for music classes. 

Mojo Music Studio

Mojo Music Studio’s inviting environment is a great place to learn to play the songs you love. The family-owned business teaches their students dedication, determination and discipline. With classes for children and adults, Mojo specializes in stringed instruments, including: 

  • Acoustic guitar
  • Electric guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo 
  • Ukulele

Music Lessons Barrie 

Music Lessons Barrie has a variety of music classes, including piano, drum, guitar and vocals. 

With students from 6 to 70+, Music Lessons Barrie teaches effective techniques and methods for improving your musical skills. This includes conservatory prep as well as lessons in jazz, folk, funk, rock, pop and classical. 

Community Choir With Brett Caswell

Every Tuesday at 7 pm, Brett Caswell hosts a drop-in community choir at Donaleigh’s Irish Public House in Downtown Barrie. While the event is not a class in the traditional sense, participants get the opportunity to strengthen their skills and learn from each other and Brett. 

This event draws individuals from in and around Barrie, with attendance ranging from a couple of dozen to 50+ singers.

4. Spiritual & Alternative Healing 

Downtown Barrie has several businesses that offer classes on spirituality and alternative healing. These are great opportunities to learn about different cultures and practices. They’re also a good opportunity to discover new ways to improve physical and mental well-being. 

Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly is a Reiki master, intuitive counsellor and psychic medium. She helps heal others and also provides education and training. 

One of Madame Butterfly’s most popular classes is Psychic Development. The other is Reiki Training. Reiki is an energy healing technique that uses gentle touch to help improve relaxation and reduce stress. 

Jampa Ling Kadampa Buddhist Centre

Jampa Ling Kadampa Buddhist Centre was established in 2011 and has a meditation room, shared community space and shop.

Many people in the community are experienced in Dharma. But people who are new to Buddhism and interested in learning are always welcome. 

The centre provides guided meditation programs for youth, families and adults, as well as picnics and meditation in the park. You can also enjoy practical lessons on Buddha’s teachings. 

5. Health & Fitness

Downtown Barrie is full of opportunities to enjoy health and fitness activities. If you want to enjoy self-guided fitness training and exercise, you can use the outdoor fitness equipment. This equipment is located all along the shoreline, starting at Heritage Park in Downtown Barrie. 

You can also rent kayaks and paddle boards close to Downtown, or try out the water obstacle course. 

If you’re looking for guided classes, here are just some of the many organizations that offer healthy activities.

Barrie Futsal Club

Futsal is an indoor football-based game. It’s like soccer but uses a smaller, harder ball that is low bounce. Futsal can help soccer players develop their skills and helps improve health. 

The Barrie Futsal Club has programs and leagues for youth 5 to 16+, as well as a men’s league. 

Chic Boxing

Chic Boxing is a kick boxing organization with fitness classes for women. They provide a friendly, non-competitive program to help improve physical and mental well-being. 

During classes and training, you will learn:

  • Fitness kickboxing techniques 
  • Air attack and combat 
  • Core sculpting 
  • Stretching and relaxation 

Nook Yoga

Starting in September, Nook Yoga will be offering a variety of yoga classes in Downtown Barrie. Currently, the schedule is expected to include: 

  • Classic Yoga –  Inspired by traditional hatha yoga, classic yoga will teach and explore different poses. The class is designed with all abilities in mind and teaches sustainable yoga practices. 
  • Flow Yoga – Inspired by vinyasa yoga, this class will explore movement patterns by infusing traditional yoga with modern movements. 
  • Flow Yoga II – Also inspired by vinyasa yoga, this advanced flow class will focus on more challenging transitions, as well as inspiring peak poses. While the class goes at the same pace as others, there will be less explanation provided. 
  • Calm – Inspired by meditation, restorative and yin, this class combines stillness with gentle movements, holds and meditation. The majority of this class is done in silence to help instill calm.  
  • Yoga Babies – Teaches you how to return to or discover yoga in a safe way while having your baby by your side. 
  • Yoga Crawlers – Once your baby starts to crawl, you can take classes that introduce more challenging poses. During the class, babies can roam and make new friends in a safe environment. 
  • Stroller Strides – These classes take you and your young ones at any age ot stage to the waterfront. Participants will walk, socialize, and take in the fresh air. 

Nook will also be offering handstand practice and Pilates, as well as core recovery, sensory play, prenatal yoga and pre/post pregnancy support for parents. 

Honourable Mention: Paddling & Rowing 

While not located in the Downtown core, there are great opportunities to enjoy paddle sports just a short walk away. This incudes:

  • Rowing 
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Stand up paddleboarding (SUP)

Paddling sports are a great way to improve your stamina and fitness. They also have a meditative effect that can help improve your mental health. While you can do some paddling activities solo, others are better with a team. This makes them a great way to socialize as well. There are also many exciting tours and day trips you can take with local groups once you have developed the right skills. 

There are two clubs that offer paddle and rowing classes in Downtown Barrie.

Barrie Rowing Club

The first organization is the Barrie Rowing Club. Rowing differs from other similar sports in a few different ways. 

  1. Rowers use oars and not paddles. 
  2. The oars are connected to the row boat with oarlocks. 
  3. Paddlers propel the boat backwards instead of forwards. 
  4. Rowing is generally done on flat waters – not white water.

If you’re interested in rowing lessons, the Barrie Rowing Club has many different classes. This includes an introduction course for 12 to 15 year olds, as well as youth 16 and over. There are also programs for adults who want to start rowing or develop their rowing skills. This includes dry rowing programs and programs for competitive rowers. 

Barrie Canoe And Kayak Club

If you’re interested in a paddle sport like canoeing, kayaking or SUP, then you want to head to the Barrie Canoe and Kayak Club. The club has over 350 paddlers and offers several classes. 

Beginner classes are available for youth and adults over 14. These courses are specifically targeted at paddlers with little to know experience. During your classes, you will learn how to paddle in calm conditions, including all the basics: 

  • Launching and docking 
  • Boarding and disembarking 
  • Paddle strokes 
  • Stopping 
  • Turning 
  • Balance 
  • Safety 

For those who have experience with a canoe, kayak or SUP, there are more advanced classes. The club also offers refresher clinics combined with day trips, paddle nights and other events. 

Both clubs are located on the South Shore and are a short walk/drive from Downtown Barrie on the Waterfront Trail or Lakeshore Dr.

If paddling is not what you're looking for but you want to get on the water, check out the Barrie Yacht Club. The Yacht Club has sailing classes for Youth and Adults can be accessed by trail if you take the Barrie North Shore Trail east of Downtown.

Summer Classes In Downtown Barrie 

This list is a perfect way to get started with summer classes in Downtown Barrie, but it's only a start. Downtown Barrie is full of independently owned specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants – many of which deliver great programs all year round. 

So, next time you're visiting downtown, be sure to stop by your favourite establishments and find out what is happening. You're sure to find tons of great activities and events to enjoy.

RELATED: Read about Downtown Barrie BIA's award winning rebrand ...

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