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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

The Mush Hole

On Tuesday March 22 at 7PM, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) is honoured to present acclaimed Indigenous dance company Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) and the production of The Mush Hole in downtown St. Catharines.

This is a theatrical dance performance about the truths of Canada’s first Indian residential school – The Mohawk Institute. From 1828-1970, State and Church attempted to forcefully assimilate children from Six Nations and surrounding First Nations into Euro-Christian society and sever the continuity of culture from parent to child. The Mush Hole weaves through the traumatic memories of two generations of Survivors.

Visceral performances by an all-Indigenous cast, cinematic imagery and musical score catapult audiences into the bricks and mortar of the school. Created by KDT founder and artistic director Santee Smith from Survivor testimonials, it is a story about hope and finding light in dark places.

For those who have never seen a Santee Smith creation before, you are in for a life-changing experience. Not only is the subject matter of The Mush Hole essential and deeply relevant viewing for all of us today, but Santee Smith’s signature blend of music, sound, projections and movement come together in a deeply impactful way. The Mush Hole won five Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 2020 including Outstanding Direction, Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, Outstanding Production and Outstanding Projection Design.

“The residential school legacy and ongoing institutionalized erasure of Indigenous lives and culture is an issue that affects all Canadians. Through specificity we find universality. The Mush Hole is a story about hope and finding light in dark places. As much as it speaks to intergenerational trauma it screams resilience.” – Santee Smith

We also invite you to stay for a post-show panel after The Mush Hole performance ends, hosted by Karl Dockstader of the Niagara Regional Native Centre and the One Dish One Mic radio show, with Santee Smith and guests.


For groups of 10 or more $20 each
Use promo code MUSHHOLEGROUP when ordering online or contact Box Office at 905-688-9722 to book.

All tickets are subject to HST.

RSVP to the Facebook Event:

Recommended for ages 11+.
This is a dance and multimedia show with no spoken dialogue.
Use of herbal cigarettes, representation of alcohol consumption, mature and potentially triggering scenes involving residential schools, and representations of sexual and physical abuse.
We recommend you review the information about the show contained in the study guide to understand its creation, themes and ancestral teachings, and the history of the Mohawk Residential School: The Mush Hole Study Guide (online):

This performance is part of our ongoing Celebration of Nations featured programming and is generously sponsored by Durward Jones Barkwell, funded in part by the Ontario Arts Council, and supported by the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.

As of Mon 14 March all FirstOntario PAC live and film programming will transition to 100% occupancy and proof of vaccination will no longer be required. In addition, masks will be required to be worn at all times within the PAC except while eating and drinking.
Click here for more details about our health and safety protocols:

Date & Time:
March 22, 2022 7:00 pm


FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines



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