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St Catharines, Ontario

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St Catharines in Ontario.

 

St. Catharines (2006 population 131,989; metropolitan population 390,317) is the largest city in Canada's Niagara Region and the sixth largest urban area in Ontario, Canada, with 97.11 square kilometres (37.5 sq mi) of land. It lies in Southern Ontario 51 kilometres (32 mi) south of Toronto across Lake Ontario, and is 19 kilometres (12 mi) inland from the international boundary with the United States along the Niagara River. It is the northern entrance of the Welland Canal. Residents of St. Catharines are known as St. Catharinites.

St. Catharines carries the official nickname "The Garden City" due to its 1,000 acres (4 km2) of meticulously groomed parks, gardens and trails.

Art galleries

Rodman Hall runs a diverse program of exhibitions throughout the year, featuring the work of local, national and international artists. It also houses a permanent collection of over 850 works including paintings, photographs, sculptures and outdoor installations. Rodman Hall was a public-run gallery from 1960 to 2003 when financial issues provoked Brock University to purchase the building. Today, it is affiliated with the Brock School of Fine and Performing Arts and continues to serve and welcome the public.

The Niagara Artists' Centre (NAC) is a not-for-profit, charitably registered, collective formed by local community artists and dedicated to serving the working artists and art-enthusiasts of Niagara. It runs a series of diverse exhibitions throughout the year involving abstract paintings, sculptures, new media installations and film screenings. Recently, the Niagara Artists' Centre moved out of its former location on Bond St. to a newly renovated storefront building on St. Paul Street in the city's downtown.

Festivals

The Folk Arts Festival was first presented to the city by representatives from the ethno cultural communities of Niagara over 35 years ago. From that first festival was created the Folk Arts Council of St. Catharines, which continues to run its festival each year throughout the month of May and concludes with "Folk Arts in the Park", which takes place in Montebello Park in the city's downtown.

The Art of Peace Festival is now in its fifth year, the Festival seeks to increase community engagement in art as a tool for reflecting on peace issues. Montebello Park fills with performing arts events, Speak Your Peace! open mic program, community art workshops, an elementary school art exhibition, vendors, and Peace Through Art Stations at which peace groups make information available and offer arts activities. This year we are introducing the Youth Listening Tent. Our goals are to increase connections between artists and the public, increase community engagement in peace issues and increase youth engagement. Presented by St. Catharines and Area Arts Council and Project Ploughshares Niagara. The theme of this year’s Festival is Families and Peace. Spend a day in the park – be in touch with the world!

The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is a non-profit organization that presents three popular wine festivals in St. Catharines and Niagara during the year. The Niagara Icewine Festival (Winter), the Niagara New Vintage Festival (Summer), and the Niagara Wine Festival (Fall), which is the largest of the festivals, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region each year. This event known by most locals simply as "Grape and Wine" attracts young and old varying from partiers to wine connoisseurs.

The SCENE Music Festival is one-day event held in various clubs and pubs downtown. Rock, indie, pop, singer-songwriter, ska, punk, metal, and many other genres are represented by bands such as Alexisonfire, Bedouin Soundclash, Moneen, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Damn 13, Shad, Sick Boys, Raising the Fawn, Supergarage, Sailboats Are White, Revenge of the Egg People, IllScarlett, Silverstein, Bang Theory, Dead and Divine, Teenage Head, Cancer Bats, The New Cities, Lights, Madball, Billy Talent and Down with Webster who have played at the festival, which has been sponsored by Solo Mobile in the past. Traditionally, a compact disc of select performers is included with admission prices — although in recent years the CD has been expanded to a 2-disc compilation — representative of the growth of the festival. SCENE 2008 and SCENE 2009 included a card with a PIN enabling 50 MP3 downloads, instead of CD's.

The International Chicken Chucking Championships takes placed every January in the St.Catharines neighbourhood of Port Dalhousie and attracts hundreds of participants and observers.[21] Chicken Chucking consists of pitching or sliding frozen chickens along the ice covered Martindale Pond similar to curling and shuffleboard. The bird-brained fundraiser began in 2000 by patrons of the Kilt and Clover after realizing that there was not much to do in Port Dalhousie in the middle of winter. The Kilt and Clover hosts the event and the money raised is given to local charities including the food bank.

Museums

The St. Catharines Museum is located at Lock 3 on the Welland Canal, off the Welland Canals Parkway. An elevated viewing platform at the museum allows visitors to get a close-up look at ships from around the world as they climb this major section of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Along with its exhibits dedicated to the city's history and the canals, the museum is home to the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum.

Morningstar Mill, perched atop the Niagara Escarpment, is one of Ontario's oldest mills on an original site, and is fully powered by water. The picturesque park provides a glimpse into the innovative and pioneering spirit of the 19th Century.

The YMCA Discovery Centre (formerly The Children's Discovery Centre of Niagara), located in the former Niagara College Horticulture School, provides children and their families with an educational yet entertaining and stimulating place to visit using hands-on, interactive exhibits and outdoor activities.

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