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Culture Grows Here


MAY 24 & 25, 2017

Bi-Annual Culture Conference

Tourism Simcoe County in partnership with the City of Barrie presents a day and a half of workshops, roundtables, panel discussions, and presentations to emphasize and enhance the role that culture plays in engaging communities. Don't miss this opportunity to learn how the arts and cultural development can be used to enhance and grow economies in municipalities of all sizes.

This year's conference will be hosted at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons at 16164, Highway 12 East, Midland, Ontario L4R 4K8 and the Midland Cultural Centre at 333 King St, Midland, ON L4R 4K4.

 FULL Conference Registration

 Culture Grows Here Registration Form

Click on the"Submit" link below to email your registration. A confirmation email will be sent upon receipt. If you have any questions please email  


  • FULL Conference (May 24 & 25) $200.00/pp+tax
  • May 24 Public Art Session ONLY No charge
  • May 24 Sainte-Marie among the Hurons Tour No charge
  • May 24 Opening Reception/Dinner ONLY $60.00/pp +tax (Includes: Dinner/Hap Wilson Keynote speaker/Entertainment)
  • May 25 Conference ONLY $140.00/pp+tax


$80.00 per person, per night. (Specify you are attending the 'Culture Grows Here' Conference)


980 King St., Midland, ON, L4R 4K3
(705) 526-2090



Schedule at a Glance - Click below Agenda tiles for full details.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons

Ontario Public Art Roundtable                           1:00-4:00pm

Facilitated by Helena Grdadolnik of WORKSHOP architecture inc

Living History Tour                                               4:30-5:30pm

Guided living history tour of Sainte Marie Among the Hurons

Dinner & Entertainment                                     6:30-8:30pm

Traditional dinner featuring entertainment by Ariko at Restaurant Sainte-Marie
Keynote speaker

Hap Wilson takes a deeper look at the various faces and facades of the new brands of tourism, including cultural tourism, as it pertains to Canada's disappearing wilderness. How do we fix our misguided interpretations?

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Midland Cultural Centre
Opening keynote                                                9:15-10:15am

Museum Hack, coming straight from the Big Apple discuss how they engage millennial audiences in a shifting cultural climate through their unconventional tours, events & programming in the city that never sleeps

Session                                                                10:35-11:20am

The City of Kingston presents their tourism strategy, which focuses on culture being positioned as a unique selling point for tourism

Experiential Panel Discussion                     11:20am-12:00pm

RTO 7Tourism Simcoe County and local tourism operators talk about experiential tourism from the perspective of funders, programmers and promoters

LUNCH                                                                   12:00-1:00pm

Lunch & Breaks provided by

Study Tours                                                             1:00-2:15pm

Choose from:

  • The KAIROS Blanket Exercise: A Workshop in Reconciliation -The exercise uses blankets to represent the lands of what is now called Canada, and the distinct cultures and nations which live on those lands to this day. Participants represent the First Peoples; when they move onto the blankets, they are taken back in time to the arrival of the Europeans. The Narrator and facilitators will work with the participants to read a script while the exercise goes through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance that resulted in the nation we today call Canada
  • Everyone has a Role to Play: Learn some of the tricks and techniques of live theatre from Death by Design Director and Huronia Players member Christine Killing. She will pick from a menu of acting, lighting, sound, and construction to let you know how it all works. Not only can you learn about theatre, but you can try your hand at part of the process
  • Storytelling through Song: Deeply rooted in the local communities of Midland and Penetanguishene, Nonnie and John bring the sights and sounds of Georgian Bay to life through expert technical instruction and emotive choice of lyrics. Through this workshop you will learn how to reframe the stories of an area into a new artistic medium that may reach new audiences and give context to a visitor's experience in a region
Closing Keynote                                                      2:35-3:35pmUncertain Places: Sans façon talk candidly about their past and current work (both successful and less so) to explore questions around contemporary public art that affect all of us involved in the creation and facilitation of work in the public realm. Through the session Sans façon will share how they translate ambitious visions into realizable projects, and their take on the ingredients that need to come together for successful site specific and contextual projects


 Keynote Speakers:

May 24th, 2017 

Hap Wilson  - ECOTOURISM

"What we know is how much we don't know."

A term coined in the 1970's that was embraced by administrators, politicians and environmentalists, ecotourism has been grossly misunderstood, misinterpreted and falsely marketed at the expense of cultural integrity. This keynote takes a deeper look at the various faces and facades of the new brands of tourism, including cultural tourism, as it pertains to Canada's disappearing wilderness. How do we fix our misguided interpretations?


May 25th, 2017

Museum Hack

All the way from New York City, New York, our VIP guide will discuss how Museum hack approaches the challenges of engaging a millennial audience in a shifting cultural climate, and describe and model examples of tools and methods used during their unconventional tours, events and programming in the city that never sleeps.


Sans façon

Sans façon is an art practice that responds to the relationship between people and place. Working internationally, their approach renews awareness and tempts interaction with the surroundings, and is often realized through networks of communities, organizations and individuals. With projects ranging from ephemeral performances to permanent works, Sans façon see the role of the artist and of art as a catalyst in a process of raising questions and inviting one to look and think differently. Sans façon is based out of Calgary, Alberta. 


Thank - you to our print sponsor!

Barrie KKP Design, Print and More