Sunday, September 30, 2018

Culture Days are on today in downtown St. Catharines

With all the hype around the annual Niagara Wine Festival and of course, the Grape & Wine Grande Parade held yesterday, it might be easy to overlook some of the other activities on this weekend in and around Niagara.  Today in fact the annual Culture Days at the PAC is underway right now until 4 this afternoon.

All activities are free, family-friendly, and there's even free cake and a community photo at 12 noon today in the Algoma Central Lobby!

Just a few highlights of the activities planned for today include:

Poetry at the PAC with Kevin Hobbs, James Millhaven, Laurie Boese and Kim Van Styger, throughout the day until 4 this afternoon.  If you choose to meet with a poet, you can have them compose a unique poem in calligraphy, which is pretty cool.  You can even read your own poem out loud and presumably ruminate on the meaning contained within.  This is open to kids of all ages, by the way.

Waterwood Theatre presents The Spider and the Fly, a series of collaborative theatrical activities in the Robertson Theatre until 2:30 this afternoon.  For example, you can learn how percussion and sound is used to enhance a performance starting at 12 noon today.  From 1 to 2:30 you can learn about play development as you watch how a play is staged and music added to enhance the production.  You can then watch it all come together in the world premiere of the play The Spider and the Fly in a puppetry performance from 2:40 to 3 pm.

Until 3 pm you can Play with a Pro with The Foster Festival in the Cairns Recital Hall, with new sessions starting every 30 minutes.  Here you can engage with professional actors during a reading of Norm Foster's famous plays, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Artistic Director Patricia Vanstone.  This is open to people 16 years of age and over.

Also until 3 you can visit The Film House for ImaginNATIVE - Journey Through Turtle Island, a collection of 6 short films curated by ImagineNATIVE, the world's largest presenter of Indigenous films.  The films are by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve, Terril Calder, Asinnajaq, Sean Stiller, Asia Youngman and Caroline Monnet, and are open to all ages.

Ongoing until 3 pm you can take in the Two Row Wampum Community Art Project in front of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre as you are invited to take a paint brush and help to paint and learn more about the Two  Row Wampum.  This is also open to all ages and will go ahead weather permitting, which at the moment looks to be okay.

One of the more interesting events is the Instrument Petting Zoo with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra through to 4 pm today in the Algoma Central Lobby.  People of all ages can explore a variety of instruments from boomwhackers and harpsicles to more conventional instruments such as the cello and oboe.  The presentation is in partnership with Long and McQuade, the Niagara Youth Orchestra and the Niagara Elementary Instrumental School Music programme, in conjunction with the NSO, of course.

Of particular interest to local youth with an interest in dance in general and ballet in particular, auditions will be held on the Partridge Hall stage today for The Nutcracker coming up this holiday season.

Culture Days has developed into a full-scale event featuring thousands of free, hands-on interactive activities designed to introduce the public to the world of artists, creators, heritage experts, architects, curators, designers and many other creative professionals in communities throughout the country.

This is a collaborative initiative welcoming public participation, whether you are already passionate about the arts or simply curious and ready to discover something entirely new.

You can learn more about Culture Days in St. Catharines by visiting, and on a larger scale you can learn about events in other communities by going to

Don't let the weather deter you today; get out and see what local artists and musicians have to offer today right in the heart of downtown St. Catharines!

September 30th, 2018.

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