Help Build Our Artist Collective & Studio

I am Angela Francis and I'm an artist who has finally started using my passion to do art to create a space for others to learn what I and other local artists have to offer.

I attended Georgian College  Fine Arts Program over 17 years ago, went on to the Art Institute of Toronto, and completed my Visual Arts degree in 2008 at the University of the West Indies. Over the years I have always found upgrading courses to do because we never stop learning. Due to the upgrading I have a certificate in Marketing and Art Education. How ever much I have a passion in the arts, it has been next to impossible to find a job in which I can do art freely and be absolutely happy until now!

Someone once told me if you can not find the job you want, then create it! I am always working really hard, but I just need a hand up. My dad once said "asking for help is not asking for a HAND OUT... it's asking for a Hand UP!".. because he knows me, and knows I am determined to get things done, I  try to do everything myself and never ever ask for help which is what I am trying to get past. He always did say that he admires my determination to reach my goals. That when I set my mind to something I get it done!

Everyone who knows me knows I am thrifty, trying to save every penny I can and I haven't been irresponsible.. My student loan is the only thing that has made it almost impossible to get a business loan from the bank (credit score) even though I have proven responsible with credit cards, car payments and all my other bills; always paid back on time! I invite you to get to know me and the vision I share with a few other local upcoming artists.

Who are we and what do we do?
Since Angela Francis first opened AFFA Studio in 2014, we have offered art classes and have developed a sense of community to hundreds of adults. But now, our future is uncertain. Our new studio space is going to cost us funds we do not yet have. We need your help to reopen so that our 200+ students and artists can once again have a space to create art.

Our people may be aspiring or accomplished artists and come to us from all over the Southern Ontario, and we have had visiting artists from as far as France and Trinidad. Some have even gone on to become professional artists.

Many consider AFFA studio their personal art studio and an unparalleled resource — a place to get hands dirty, meet interesting people and share the magic of turning everyday things into multifunctional objects and blank canvases into something they can be proud of. 

What happened?
In early 2016, we learned that our space would not be able to contain us beyond 2017. Our growing number of artists needed a bigger space and we had plans to expand. After 2 years thriving in our space, we are forced to grow.

A half year later we started negotiations on a rustic, unused former ambulance garage that would have been perfect. It was sitting empty for over 2 years. Though it would take a great deal of work, there is enough room to add a second classroom plus individual and outdoor workspaces and it is just a short walk from our first studio space location. It had the most perfect environment with a viewof the trains coming in from the lawn which was intended to be our sculpture garden. We felt we had come full circle in a very good way.

In early November 2016, we were about to sign a lease with a January 1, 2017 start date and launched plans to transform the space into a functioning art studio. The intention was to transition from our old location with no significant down time, move in over our short holiday closure in December 2016, and reopen early in January 2017 with new exciting classes!

Angela liquidated her personal savings to pay for our deposit – of $2400 and other start up costs. But still... we have that money... but why?

Well, In mid-November 2016, the owners of the property we had in mind, finally got their approval from the city and decided they were not going to go ahead with the lease because they want to tear the building down to develop the property and it was too much work all round to do for just a few months.

We have put virtually all our resources into this venture. Our expenses are going to exceed $10,000 and will continue to climb, and that is only for startup. We are looking at snow and garbage removal, landscaping our sculpture garden, adding lighting, buying easels, paints in bulk, brushes, office equipment, chairs and tables. Most of what we have sourced is the lowest price possible and have even been promised some free items. We have a few from the previous space but we need more. We also want to be able to sponsor or find sponsorship for artists that would like to participate but can't afford it. Also would like to find businesses that would like to sponsor artists from other countries to do a residency with us. This year one of our students sponsored a young woman from the GTA to join us at our first weekend art retreat in Penetanguishene and I am hoping that can be done for each one following.

All we want  right now is to open our art studio, start teaching again and get our brushes back into the paint, this has been greatly needed and appreciated in this city — but to do this we need your help! We are a team of female key creatives who are passionate about great art, representation, and diversity in the arts.

Your gift of $25 to $1000 or more will go a long way toward helping our studio.

What do I get out of it?
By donating, you’re participating in changing the landscape in arts and creating opportunities for yourself or men and women that you care about.

We’re not just a fly-by-night team. We are bursting at the seams with great ideas. Supporting AFFA Studio will help prove that we’re a team worth supporting, and that will make it easier for traditional companies and galleries to take a chance on us in the future. With your support, we can bring better, more engaging art with imaginative, fun worlds to the city for you and your family to enjoy.

Our vision is to to be an art studio with social value providing Simcoe region with a creative option for affordable alternative entertainment, that is accessible to YOU.

What happens if we get more than we need?
We’re ambitious people, and we think you are too. If we get more than we need to cover the costs of making this happen, we will first pay all the wonderful people who have put in their time and expertise to these project at deferred costs. Any remaining money will go into developing future projects, concepts for marketing purposes, and/or potential growth and advancement in future.

As a team, we remain committed to our vision of social arts and better representation of diverse voices in the arts here in Barrie. Hence, regardless of the project, we will continue to involve talented key creatives both in front and behind the scenes of this studio.

For more updates, like our Facebook page

To find out more about us, please check our website: ... And you can find us on instagram pinterest and twitter!

  • Angela Francis 
    • $500 (Offline)
    • 49 mos
  • Anne-Marie Couture 
    • $150 (Offline)
    • 53 mos
  • Amanda Bosland 
    • $200 (Offline)
    • 53 mos
  • Natasha Roberts-Wong 
    • $75 (Offline)
    • 53 mos
  • Madelyn Thyme 
    • $25 
    • 53 mos
See all


Angela Francis 
Barrie, ON
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