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Groups granted nearly $600K for local events, festivals

Reconnect program developed to help organizers adapt to new public health measures
Shelby Hunter, of Massie, Ont., photographs her friends on a carnival ride at the Boots and Hearts Music Festival in this 2018 file photo at Burl's Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, north of Barrie. Kevin Lamb for BarrieToday

Five local festival and event organizations are getting a cut of $43 million in festival grants to help them deliver innovative and safe experiences that allow people to safely reconnect with their communities.

The Barrie-area recipients are:

— The annual Barrie Film Festival, which presents unique films year-round, is getting $23,500;

— The Bees in the Bush Festival Barrie, presented by Talk is Free Theatre, is getting $95,000. It features 12 productions from Aug. 3 to Oct. 3 at outdoor locations;

— Hello Winter Barrie was launched instead of Winterfest and features a series of Family Day activities. It was awarded $120,000;

— The Back To Burl's Creek Summer Concert Series, presented by Boots and Hearts festival which kicks into gear this weekend, has been granted $250,000;

— Dinner a La Art, presented by Talk Is Free Theatre, gets $95,000 for its pairing of online readings with dinner at a participating local restaurant.

The one-time funding through the Reconnect program was developed to help festival and event organizers adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-thru and other safe offerings.

Across Ontario, more than 400 festivals and events are receiving provincial government support.

Elsewhere in Simcoe County, grant were also awarded to: 

— 74th annual Winterama, Penetanguishene, $21,500;

— Carrot Fest, Bradford West Gwillimbury, $5,000;

— Creative Collingwood – Unusual Passageways, Collingwood, $88,750;

— Mariposa Satellite Concerts, Orillia, $50,000.

For a full list of grant recipients, click here