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Published September 9, 2022

Giants in the Sky in downtown Barrie

Giants in the Sky was born out of the pandemic

For the next two weekends, if you are going to be in downtown Barrie, you will need to look up.

Talk is Free Theatre's (TIFT) newest performance festival, Giants in the Sky is taking over the core.

From Sept. 9-11 and 16-18, theatrical performances will take place on rooftops, balconies and fire escapes.

"If you are walking downtown during the weekend then you are going to stumble across a bunch of these different performances," says TIFT artistic director Michael Torontow. "Audience members will actually be watching from the ground. For example, we have a performance on the Hooligans patio up top and audience members will be down below or just across the street because the performers will be singing out towards the park."

Giants in the Sky was born out of the pandemic.

"During the course of the pandemic we were doing our best to be able to find ways for performers to still perform, and the only way that people were able to really actually legally do that was outside," explains Torontow. "We had a couple of smaller festivals that we put in backyards and on porches, that sort of thing."

Since Torontow became artistic director last year, he wanted to do something similar to that during his tenure.

PODCAST: Listen to our conversation with Michael Torontow about Giants in the Sky (and more local news)

"But then the idea grew," he says. "So it just made sense for us to reach out to a lot of artists that we normally work with and find some new friends as well, and we've ended up putting together this larger extravaganza."

All performances are free, but some are ticketed.

"If you go to the TIFT website there are three performances that are clearly marked which ones would actually need tickets," says Torontow.

He says the shows that are on balconies and rooftops are more musical or a series of songs.

"Many of them are about half an hour to 45 minutes, and once that performance wraps up, maybe 15 to 20 minutes later, three doors down there's going to be somebody else. You can take in as much or as little as you want."

Unless the weather becomes dangerous, the performances take place rain or shine.


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