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Giants poised to take over downtown Barrie this weekend

Talk Is Free Theatre’s end-of-summer performance festival will take root in some 'non-traditional locations'

Look up. Look way up!

Downtown Barrie is set to be overtaken by giants this weekend as part of Talk Is Free Theatre’s (TIFT) newest performance festival called Giants in the Sky.

“It’s a mixture of music, musical theatre, comedy and a few other little things, like a puppet performer for the little ones,” said  Michael Torontow, artistic director for the Barrie-based theatre company.

The event, which is slated to run Friday to Sunday as well as Sept. 16-18, will include a combination of local artists as well as several top Canadian artists the organization has worked with in the past, Torontow said, adding the end-of-summer performance festival is designed to be something visitors to the downtown can simply stumble upon, or plan to attend. 

“None of them really overlap, or if you just happen to be in the downtown Barrie area, you will likely just happen to stumble upon them anyway," he added. 

Performances are being done in various “non-traditional locations,” Torontow noted, including the balcony at Samson's Salon & Spa, the patio at Hooligans Restaurant, as well as on the lakeshore side of Bohemia and along several fire escapes and balconies in the area.

“You will get to see a bunch of really great talent. Everyone is winding up their summer and this is probably one of the last times people will likely be having a nice time enjoying the outdoor weather and be able to lounge around on the weekend," he added. "And what better way to do that than with some live music and performances that is sort of providing a soundtrack for your life.”

This is the first time TIFT has hosted this type of event in the city, said Torontow, adding although all events are free, there are a few that require tickets, including one scheduled for The Reading Garden at the Barrie Public Library, as well as one at the Sandbox Centre, simply due to capacity limitations.

“The idea came about basically as a response for us looking for opportunities during the pandemic to get some live performances out there — not just for the sake of the audiences, but for the artists as well. We did have a couple of festivals… we did a performance of Into The Woods actually in the woods… and plays in people’s backyards and on porches, and we decided to expand that this year and make it a little more public."

As TIFT finishes up its 20th year, this upcoming event also serves as a bit of a gift to the public, Torontow added.

“We were just nominated for 20 DORA Awards.. So this is sort of a YAY us event and a thank you to not just the locals who support us, but also to any tourists who want to come and check us out," he said.