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Grassroots Lifeline for Downtown Barrie!

Join everyone in the nationwide grass roots movement to shop local!  Throw a lifeline to our City’s downtown businesses by purchasing an E Gift Card!

Barrie’s Downtown B.I.A. (Business Improvement Area) is working in partnership with Meridian Credit Union to assist business owners in our historical downtown area.

Ways to Shop Local!

By purchasing an E-Gift Card through the B.I.A. website – your financial support will go directly to the business you desire.

To add some intrigue to supporting local, the BIA has expanded their Lifeline E-Gift card program to include a little mystery.  To include even more excitement, they’ve turned this into a fun contest!  Each purchase enters you into a contest to win DOUBLE YOUR ORDER!  One winner each week, so come on and #supportLocal!


There’s even a mystery option. So check it out and GET IN THE GAME!

Barrie’s historical downtown is a beautiful vibrant community of small business owners who work diligently to create a wonderful resident/tourist atmosphere.

We all miss our leisurely lakeside visits to the wonderful variety of shops and dining establishments in the downtown area!

Shop Local - Shop Local - Shop Local

The B.I.A. wants the residents of Barrie to know that while some businesses have been required to close due to COVID protocols, the gift card dollars will go directly to the business owner and that shopping will resume as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Shopping Local keeps area families employed.  It also keeps dollars spent here in the community as well, helping to support those families still able to work.

Please visit the B.I.A. website for more information on purchasing the cards.

Our B.I.A.

Kelly McKenna Executive Director
Kristen Eatch Project Manager

The B.I.A. in Barrie was formed in partnership with the City of Barrie to retain and promote the lovely charm of this lakeside section of the city.  They have done a remarkable job making the area more pedestrian friendly, added a variety of art installations and just a wonderful place to visit. 

The B.I.A. also promotes the area constantly with festivals, street fair and events in order to encourage visits by residents and tourists alike.

So good residents of Barrie….while we must endure the safety protocols of COVID – there are still ways of joining the grassroots movement of Shop Local!  Check it out today – and help keep business strong in Barrie!

Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credits: Stephen Elliott

Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know! We can help get you Uncovered!

Mayors Bring Their ‘Eh Game!

Canada’s Top Mayor Award has teamed up with Canadian Comedian Adam Growe of Cash Cab to present #BringYourEhGameQuizShow to local viewers nationwide!

Introducing Dawn!

Show creator Dawn Mucci, a local resident, who we know from past articles on our Barrie Uncovered website, explains:

“I was inspired by Mayors like Bonnie Crombie and Naheed Nenshi who were already doing great work in their municipalities to support their local food banks.  I wanted to amplify that effort by collaborating with Mayors and all Canadians to Bring their Eh Game on a national level to help those struggling with food insecurity.  Not only is the show fun and entertaining, but we also get to learn more about Mayors and their community’s best attributes as well as the people, places, and things that make their cities and towns special.”

Keep the Date!

The virtual web series will be live streamed weekly on social media and Rogers community TV stations across Canada.  The premier episode will be live on Facebook @CTMAWARD, March 7th at 7pm.

And the Mayors Are:

This very fun food challenge will feature Canada’s Top Mayor Award nominees from St. John’s NF, Mississauga ON, Halifax NS, Yellowknife NWT, Orillia ON, Drumheller AB, Innisfil ON, Brampton ON, Barrie ON, and many more!

The Mayors will have their trivia skills tested for sure…and what a great cause!  Even before COVID, food banks across Canada were seeing over one million visits each month.  Now with donations decreasing, grocery bills increasing and reduced volunteers, continuing financial support is very necessary.

As Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says:

“I always love some good-spirited mayoral rivalry, and this was such a fun way to showcase the best our cities have to offer.  But above all, this is about supporting those most in need.  Now, more than ever, our Food Banks need our help to ensure our most vulnerable residents don’t go hungry.”

And Our Host...

On that note, Host Adam Growe tells us:

“In addition to an entertaining and fun show, viewers can play along interactively with me and challenge the mayors during the show to win great prizes.

All the Details

Details will be available on the broadcasts and here.  Future episodes are being planned to continue the fundraising efforts and feel-good vibes.  Mayors and community partners are invited to join the effort here or donate directly here.

All in all, we can look forward to an excellent view of other cities across Canada as well as having a bit of fun, don’t cha’ think?

Listen to the full interview with Dawn & Adam

Written by: Jane Laker

Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know!  We can help get you Uncovered!

‘Developing Your Creativity’ – AFFA Studio

Spending time chatting with Angela Francis of AFFA Studio (Angela Francis Fine Art) today, I found a glimmer of hope!  She tells me she’s great at ‘Developing Your Creativity!’

You see I have always dreamed of being able to draw, sculpt or paint; however my hand-eye coordination seems to limit those abilities to zero!  I can and do make art with words – That’s my forte!

During my time spent with Angela – the owner of AFFA, I heard the phrase “even if you don’t think you can”, “I will guide you” and “even beginners are amazed!”  This leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe – there’s hope!

AFFA Studio at 119 Sophia St. W. creates an escape from daily like for everyone.  When we’re not in “Shutdown” it’s a place to gather, make friends and begin exploring your creative side.  Right now you can still learn and create via Zoom.

Art Via Zoom!

Even on Zoom, Angela makes you feel comfortable learning.  There are kits available for purchase for those of us that are completely new to painting.  All we need to do is register in advance; Angela will have your kit delivered right to your doorstep!

When lockdown is over and the studio open, Angela invites you back to share space and make friends.  There are a variety of experiences to enjoy.

AFFA Studio offers:

Paint Nights

A Fall Retreat

The Secret Garden Art Show

Bracelet Making

Blackberry Jam Sessions

and more

Everyone is also invited to join the AFFA Collective.  It’s the opportunity to have access to low cost space, discounts on workshops, Gallery showings and more!

Create Your Own Amazing Art!

It’s really a great chance to take a night off, relax and explore your artistic side with an instructor to guide you through the creation of your own amazing piece.

Angela, along with her Collective Artists even host Children’s parties, Staff parties, Birthday Parties, Ladies/Couples nights and Baby Showers!

I have come to realize that the AFFA Studio team really are masters of “Converting coffee conversation into Customer Satisfaction”!

During these cold winter nights – allow yourself to warm up your creative self and register for a class!

Visit the AFFA Studio website to check it out.

You’ll be so glad that you did!

Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credits: Stephen Elliott

Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us Know!  We can help to get you Uncovered!

Sharing Comfort Food With Alliance Billiards


Georgia Makrygiannis of Alliance Billiards took time out to share a recipe with us.  Knowing that this time of year is all about comfort food, Georgia has given us Shepherd’s Pie.  Not only is this comfort food, but it’s inexpensive and great for using up leftovers.

Georgia has been feeding people for many years, leaving very happy tummies along the way.  So if she says it’s good – then it’s good!

Being of Greek heritage, Georgia tells us that “Comfort food should be a way of life, a taste of home and fill your soul with memories.”

In Greek culture that might be Moussaka (Eggplant with ground beef casserole), Pastitsio (Greek lasagna) or Fasolada (Bean soup).

As Canadians our choices of comfort food vary as much as our heritage does.  What do you think of as comfort food?  I think of hearty soups, a filling stew or lasagna – all served with fresh, hot crusty bread!

The best part of Georgia’s kitchen at Alliance Billiards is that alongside the usual “Pub Grub”, she offers family sized trays of incredibly good comfort food!

On that menu we find trays of Cabbage Rolls, Stuffed Peppers, Greek Meatballs, Lemon Chicken with potatoes and more.

It’s the perfect time right now to order a tray or two!  Call and order one for dinner and one for the freezer. What could be easier? I’ll tell you what could be easier – the prices at Alliance Billiards are extremely good – and…they offer free delivery!



Mashed Potato Topping


2 lbs. potatoes cubed

4 tbsp. butter

¼ cup sour cream

¼ to ½ c. milk

Salt and pepper

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Cook until for tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Drain well then return to the hot pot to rest one minute allowing any remaining liquid to evaporate.
  3. Add butter, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes and then stir until all ingredients are well combined.

Meat Filling

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 small onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

2 cups frozen peas, carrots and corn medley

2 tbsp. flour

½ cup beef broth

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. rosemary

½ tsp. thyme

1 bay leaf

  1. Sauté chopped onion in large frying pan with oil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add herbs and seasonings. Stir well.  Cook 6-8 minutes until meat is browned stirring occasionally.
  4. Add Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic. Stir to combine.  Cook one minute.
  5. Add the flour and tomato paste, stir until well incorporated. Add broth and stir gently to combine.
  6. Add frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove Bay leaf.
  8. Set mixture aside.


Assemble the Casserole


  1. Pour the meat mixture into a 9” x 9” baking dish. Spread it out evenly.  Spoon the mashed potato mixture on top of the meat filling.  Carefully spread evenly.
  2. If the baking dish looks very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet to prevent oven clean up. Bake uncovered 25 – 30 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving


Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know!  We can get you Uncovered!



Calling all Barrie Residents!  The City has been invaded by mega sized snow people!  I have been receiving pictures of snowmen that have popped up all over the place.

Finding myself in a humorous mood I decided to ask “Siri” how to build a snowman!  What fun that was.  I was directed to a couple of sights that were quite informative.

Building a Snowman

  1. Check for snow that’s moist and packable
  2. Find a flat section of lawn
  3. Build the snowman in the shadiest spot possible to last longer
  4. Lift the middle section onto the bottom section
  5. Make a one foot snowball for the head
  6. Pack snow between the sections to act as glue
  7. Decorate your snowman; carrot for nose, buttons, pebbles or charcoal for eyes, pebbles or charcoal for mouth
  8. Add two sticks for the snowman’s arms
  9. Top off the snowman with a hat and scarf.
  10. Add a tie, sunglasses or any other accessories to make the snowman stand out from the rest.

Now these wonderful families certainly went far beyond “Siri’s” instructions!  Some of these “snowpeople” are massive!

Take a look!  If you are out for essentials and happen to pass by one, give a good honk to let them know how they’ve brightened your day!

I’ve seen them on Lawry Court and Frost Trail.  If you see more that are picture worthy let us know here at Barrie Uncovered!