Musician on stage

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Festival of the Summer!

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Celebrating 52 Years of Kempenfest

Kempenfest is Barrie’s signature festival, celebrating 52 years August 2 to 5, 2024, located across two kilometers of beautiful waterfront.

This annual event is one of Ontario’s largest festivals, featuring over 300 arts and crafts vendors, a midway, kid’s village, antiques, face painters, buskers, great food, and two stages of live music.

In 2023, Kempenfest was recognized as one of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario by Festivals and Events Ontario.

FEO Top 100
Kempenfest Days of Music

Days of Music

Kempenfest Days of Art

Days of Art

Kempenfest KMs of Waterfront

KMs of Waterfront

Kempenfest Kids Village

Kids Village


Celebrating 52 Years of Kempenfest

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On the Civic holiday in August 1971, a handful of artists gathered in Barrie at the Formosa Springs Brewery to display their art on snow fencing, hoping to sell a few pieces. This was the moment that birthed what was to become Kempenfest.

That first “original art only” event was juried and open to both members and non-members alike, and its success was due entirely to the efforts of Raymond Marshall and a handful of Barrie Art Club members.

As both a Barrie Art Club member and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Barrie, Marshall was eager to produce a quality art show. With an entourage, Marshall attended events across the country, collecting information from show organizers. He then coordinated all aspects of the event, and art club volunteers assisted with advertising, promotion, and creation of an application form.


Today, Kempenfest is one of the largest outdoor arts, crafts, and music festivals in North America. Quotes


By 1975, the show had outgrown its original home. The City of Barrie invited the event to move to Centennial Beach, and the entire waterfront became its present location. The Kiwanis Club joined as co-sponsor of the event, adding food to the venue. The two clubs then invited crafters to show and sell their wares. Recognizing the fundraising opportunities, other community service clubs were quick to join. Food booths, entertainment, midway, beverage gardens, and other facilities were added, and soon the show was bursting at the seams.

While each sub-group was responsible for their separate venue, they shared a common goal – to ensure the event’s success! A board was then formed to include a hands-on representative from each club. They named this governing body, Kempenfest.

Today, Kempenfest is one of the largest outdoor arts, crafts, and music festivals in North America. Featuring over 300 juried artisans and crafters, 4 days of live music on two stages, a midway, over 15 different food vendors, juried artisans, antiques, and so much fun you will want to attend every day.

Since its inception over 52 years ago, Kempenfest has given back over $10 million to our community!

Located along 2km of Barrie’s beautiful waterfront, Kempenfest is for all people of all ages. 2024 is our 52nd edition and it is shaping up to be a fantastic celebration of reconnecting with our community of art and music lovers. Make Kempenfest a part of your summer tradition.


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One of the main attractions to Kempenfest are the arts & crafts exhibitors. Featuring nearly 300 jury-selected artisans.

Kempenfest arts


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One of the biggest draws to Kempenfest – the annual antique show – attracting exhibitors from all over Ontario.

Bring your Kids!

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Make sure you spend time in the Kids Village. Fun for all ages. Enjoy live music, interactive games, face painting, create art, and have fun!

Bring your kids