Nine Mile Portage Heritage Festival seeking re-enactors

David J. Brunelle, Heritage Co-ordinator for the Nine Mile Portage Heritage Festival in Barrie, Ontario, has announced that the festival is seeking re-enactors, artisans and entertainers for this year's festival which will take place September 21-22, 2007.

David J. Brunelle writes:

Nine Mile Portage Heritage Festival
September 21st & 22nd/2007

On September 21st & 22nd, 2007, the City of Barrie, the Township of Springwater and the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority will once again be celebrating the significance of the historic Nine Mile Portage and Fort Willow Depot by retracing the steps of our forefathers in the development of our communities and to the history of Canada.

The Nine Mile Portage, an ancient native trail, once formed a land bridge between Kempenfelt Bay and the Nottawasaga River enabling a continuous trade and transportation route from Lake Ontario through to Georgian Bay for many centuries. During the War of 1812, the British military improved the route for the transport of supplies and personnel as the lower lakes were occupied by the Americans. Following the War, the route remained active and, what was known as "the portage landing", grew into the community we know as Barrie. Today, you can follow the portage route by starting at Heritage Park in downtown Barrie to its terminus at the resurrected British supply depot, Fort Willow, located in Springwater Township. The City of Barrie and The Township of Springwater have partnered to develop an annual fall event, which will celebrate the significance of the historic Nine Mile Portage in the development of our two communities and to the history of Canada.

We are looking for re-enactors to partake in this two day event at Heritage Park in downtown Barrie, various locations along the Nine-Mile Portage trail and Fort Willow Depot. We are specifically looking for the following:

  • Fife and Drum Groups
  • Period Musicians, Performers and Singers
  • Period Demonstrators, Artisans, Entertainers and Merchants
  • Native, Voyageur, Buckskinner Units, Individuals & Encampments
  • British & American Military Units, Individuals & Encampments
  • Artillery Crews and Cannons/Artillery Encampments
  • Long Boat Crews and Boats with Cannons/Naval Encampments

If you have a special unique 19th century talent not listed above we would also like to here from you!!!

This is a paid event for and all participants and you will be compensated for attending and providing wholesome education and public orientated programming. A reminder that this event is a little different from normal re-enactments as all participants are being compensated for attending and during education and public hours you are required to cater and interact with the public. First person interpretations and historical portrayals are stressed and encouraged as much as possible.

This is a two day event beginning on Friday morning with an education day for local schools to attend, similar to Chatham's Faire at the Forks. There will be hundreds of local students attending on Friday with the day being split into two groups, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Saturday will focus on public programming from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

If you are available to attend the event please submit a proposal with the following information from you or your unit/group:

  1. Name, Address, Postal Code, Phone Number and E-mail address
  2. A description of what you have to offer in regards to talent, demonstrations, exhibits, entertainment, encampments etc.
  3. Any promotional materials, pictures, website addresses, flyers, cd's, etc. promoting yourself or your group
  4. How many performances, interpretations, and presentations you would perform if applicable.
  5. How much it would cost for participating in the two day event.
  6. Please submit your proposals to David J. Brunelle at:
    Email -
    Phone/Fax: 705-549-0463
    Mail - 23 Byrnes Crescent, Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada, L9M 1W4

Please submit proposals as soon as possible as the Nine Mile Portage Heritage Festival Committee will be making decisions on an on going basis as to which proposals we will be accepting for the event. I thank you all in advance for submitting your proposals as you are more than aware that all proposals submitted may not be selected for the event.

We look forward to receiving everyone's proposals and if you have any questions feel free to contact me anytime via or phone at 705-549-0463.

David J. Brunelle
Heritage Co-ordinator
Nine Mile Portage Heritage Festival