Barrie-Allandale Model Railway Association

The Barrie-Allandale Model Railway Association has been around since 1963 evolving several times along the way to find themselves where they are today.  When the club was originally founded it was call the Lake Simcoe Railway Modellers, the name of the club was changed in the early 1990’s to more accurately reflect the fact the club was in Barrie.

Model Railroad - Barrie-Allendale Model Railway Association The Barrie-Allandale Model Railway members meet every Tuesday from 6:30-9:30pm.  Possible new members are always welcome with only two restrictions.  Possible new members must be at least 18 years of age and you must supply and maintain a National Model Railroad Association membership.

The club’s current layout is a 16x20 foot, 3 loop layout.  The layout is made out of modular sections that are 2 feet by 4 feet, allowing each member of the club to work on their own section at home, on their own time.  The modularity of the layout also allows the club to disassemble the loop for easy transport to shows and events.

Each year the Barrie-Allandale Model Railway Association host their annual model train show held at Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery.  The show attracts a large number of vendors, selling everything from books, and slot cars, to high end model train equipment and everything in between.  There are also a number of model train clubs and associations on had with their layouts up and running for all to see.  If you get a chance to experience the show I would highly recommend it, children’s eyes just light up when they see the trains going around.

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Barrie Swordplay Association

I think at some point in everyone's life there is a time when they have dreamed about Knights.  Whether the dream is to become a Knight or to be rescued by your Knight in shining armour.  Since we don't live in  the fourteenth century, the Barrie Swordplay Association just maybe the place for you to live your dream.

Barrie Sword Play Association KnightEstablished in 2007 the Barrie Swordplay Association holds classes every Monday night at the Bayfield Mall across the hall from Sir Games A Lot.  Classes cost $10 each and run from 6-9pm.  Safety is the number one concern of the group.  Without the proper training someone could be seriously hurt, quickly and easily.  That is why each class consist of a warm-up, drills that focus on proper footwork and sword techniques, and free time at the end of each class to spar or continue to practice.  The group focuses training on three main styles of combat: English Backswording, Italian Long Sword, and Viking/Medieval Sword and Shield.

The Barrie Swordplay Association has performed for thousands of fascinated spectators at events such as Casa Loma's Renaissance Fair and Celebrate Barrie.  Their Performances have earned the Barrie Swordplay Association the title of Honourary Knights of Casa Loma.

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If you would like to learn more about the Barrie Swordplay Association please visit the links below.

Barrie Swordplay Association on Facebook Barrie Swordplay Association Website Barrie Swordplay Association on YouTube Casa Loma

Getting Fresh!

Farmers Markets may be best know for their fresh seasonal produce, but that is not all you can get. In many markets you can find a diverse range of goods. One vendor may be selling their hand made crafts, and the next vendor that you come to is selling fresh bread. Some booths house a wide variety of choices, and yet other have one specific product. There is one thing that you can be certain of when you visit a Farmers' Market, you will be buying fresh. Farmers Market Vendor Table

There are at least eight Farmers' Markets currently operating across Simcoe County. The oldest market is held every Saturday from 7:30am to 12:30pm in Orillia, since 1845. A close second is the Barrie Farmers Market that was established one year later in 1846. While other markets have been established only recently, such as the one held in Penetanguishene which has only been in operation since 2009.

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If you haven't visited your local Farmers' Market get out there, help support local farmers and artisans.  You never know you might save a little bit of money and discover something new.

The Spirit Catcher

The year was 1986 and Canada was a buzz with Expo fever. The theme of Expo '86 was Transportation and Communication, and was held in Vancouver. As part of the planning for the Expo nine artisans were asked to submit their ideas, of the nine, two artists were commissioned to create their sculptures. Ron Bairdwas one of the artist that were chosen to make his vision become a reality. Ron used the theme of communication and the influence of west coast First Nation mythology as inspiration for his creation. Spirit Catcher

The centre piece of Barrie's water front is the sculpture Ron created, named “Spirit Catcher”. Spirit Catcher stands a mighty 65ft high, by 70ft wide, and weighs in at 20 tons. The Spirit Catcher was actually created from a special type of steel known as COR-TEN, that actually creates a layer of oxidation on the steel that helps to protect the sculptures structural integrity. As opposed to regular steel which consumes itself with oxidation.

After the close of Expo '86 the sculpture was sold to the Helen McCrea Peacock Foundation for $230,000. The Foundation then donated the Spirit Catcher to the Barrie Gallery Project, which later became the MacLaren Art Centre. The Spirit Cather was dedicated September 12, 1987 at which time the site where the Spirit Catcher now stands was blessed by burning sweet grass and a Native Drum performance by Rama First Nation.

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Please support Ron Baird by visiting his website and checking out his work which can be found in many places around central and southern Ontario. Also, please help support the MacLaren Art Centre, which can be visited at 37 Mulcaster St. in Barrie.