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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

FirstOntario PAC to safely welcome the community back to the downtown core with outdoor films and music

The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) stands with our downtown neighbours and local businesses as we support local and stand together in Ontario’s Phase 2 of recovery.

The FirstOntario PAC was heartened by the City of St. Catharines’ decision to close St. Paul Street to vehicular traffic between William and Carlisle Streets for a pedestrian walkway, encouraging all businesses to animate their sidewalks in efforts to create a safe and welcoming zone. In doing our part to contribute to the downtown efforts, the FirstOntario PAC has designed a series of safe, outdoor activities on weekends to coincide with street closures.

The PAC team has taken great care to create our new “Safety Lives Here” COVID-19 health and safety plan protecting staff, artists and the public while on our property. This plan, developed in consultation with the Niagara Public Health Authority, is an ever evolving set of policies and procedures that responds to changes within local and provincial jurisdictions.

Starting this Friday 3 July, the community will be safely welcomed to the Mann Raceway Plaza, our backyard outdoor space located directly behind the PAC, for a series of free socially distanced events; free film screenings on Friday evenings at dusk and free music on Saturday evenings at 7pm.

“The hope is that our backyard, complete with social distancing circles, will be a welcome resting spot for those ordering take out from our neighbouring restaurants, or even an opportunity for those who are waiting for a spot on a sunny patio,” said Executive Director, Colleen Smith. “We look forward to joining our fellow businesses of St. Catharines in the weeks to come.”

The FirstOntario PAC is located at 250 St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario. All events are free to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets for seating. Accessible ramp access to the Mann Raceway Plaza is located at the corner of Carlisle and Race Streets.

Upon arrival to events in the Mann Raceway Plaza, community members will be required to do a COVID-19 self-screening assessment. Social distancing circles will be in place along with hand-sanitizing stations. The PAC is encouraging all in attendance to wear masks. There will be no public access to the building.

In keeping with the onsite weekend theme, on Sunday 5 July the PAC will also host our first live stream from Partridge Hall stage as part of the ongoing #NiagaraPerforms online concert + event series featuring local musicians and arts organizations.

Upcoming FREE programming schedule:

THE FOSTER FESTIVAL 2 JULY
Thurs 2 July at 7pm
THE FOSTER FESTIVAL
(#NiagaraPerforms online event)
Streaming online at www.FirstOntarioPAC.ca, Facebook and YouTube
The PAC’s core summer resident and partner, The Foster Festival was established in the fall of 2015 and is the only Canadian theatre festival to celebrate the work of a living playwright. Join The Foster Festival online for a live reading of the Norm Foster favourite “Here on the Flight Path” performed by Melanie Janzen and Jamie Williams. The performance will be followed by a Q&A session with the actors and Norm Foster!

THE LOST BOYS - OUTDOOR SCREENING
Fri 3 July at dusk
THE LOST BOYS
(Outdoor Film Screening)
In the Mann Raceway Plaza, directly behind the FirstOntario PAC
Even though it has everything you want from a typical ‘80s movie (big hair, motorcycles, teen idols, great soundtrack, Corey Feldman) The Lost Boys has always stood out as being something more. Its stylish look at adolescence and friendship as family still stands the test of time, like a vampire.
USA, 1987. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Comedy, horror. 1hr37mins. R.

MARK LALAMA TRIO - OUTDOOR EVENT
Sat 4 July at 7pm
THE MARK LALAMA TRIO
(Outdoor Concert)
In the Mann Raceway Plaza, directly behind the FirstOntario PAC
How could we not kick-off our new backyard concert series with our house band! The multi-talented and charismatic trio of Mark Lalama, Richard Moore and Davide DiRenzo have been providing their high level musicianship and spontaneity to recreate magic every month at our consistently sold out Hear! Here! Niagara Music Series events.

CULTURE REJECT SUN 5 JULY
Sun 5 July at 7pm
CULTURE REJECT
(#NiagaraPerforms online event)
Streaming LIVE from Partridge Hall at www.FirstOntarioPAC.ca, Facebook and YouTube
The music of Culture Reject draws comparisons to Broken Social Scene, Andy Shauf, Talking Heads and the “real soundtrack to a Wes Anderson film” – yet remains a truly original offering of Lo-Fi Soul delight. Niagara-raised Michael O’Connell and crew – Karri North, Carlie Howell (Beverley Glenn Copeland) and local dynamo Marshall Bureau (Great Lakes Swimmers) – create a live show filled with sophisticated arrangements of simple and complex pop songs, subdued harmonies, big hooks, nuanced highlights and…. an audience that doesn’t want to be anywhere else.

THE GALLERY PLAYERS OF NIAGARA THURS 9 JULY
Thurs 9 July at 7pm
THE GALLERY PLAYERS
(#NiagaraPerforms online event)
Streaming online at www.FirstOntarioPAC.ca, Facebook and YouTube
Doug Miller (flute) and Tim Phelan (guitar), perform a sunny selection of music from Brazil, Argentina, alongside iconic movie themes and other gems. Designed to lift your spirits, TANGOS & TREASURES will feature music by Piazzolla, Jobim, Machado, Morricone and more.

BEST IN SHOW - OUTDOOR SCREENING
Fri 10 July at dusk
BEST IN SHOW
(Outdoor Film Screening)
In the Mann Raceway Plaza, directly behind the FirstOntario PAC
The hilarious classic “mockumentary” of the highly competitive and cut-throat world of dog shows by director Christopher Guest (Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind). Chock-full of ridiculous jokes and improvised comedy gold by Eugene Levy, Catharine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Parker Posey, Michael McKean and lots of prize-winning canines.
USA, 2000. Directed by Christopher Guest. Comedy. 1hr30mins. PG-13.

THE FIGURE FOUR - OUTDOOR EVENT
Sat 11 July at 7pm
THE FIGURE FOUR
(Outdoor Concert)
In the Mann Raceway Plaza, directly behind the FirstOntario PAC
“Niagara’s favourite party band” (Niagara This Week) and winners of The Standard’s “Best Local Band” Reader’s Choice award, The Figure Four have been spreading joy from St. Catharines to Thorold and all points in between for twenty years with their interactive all-request live performances.

KATEY GATTA SUN 12 JULY
Sun 12 July at 7pm
KATEY GATTA
(#NiagaraPerforms online event)
Streaming LIVE from Partridge Hall at www.FirstOntarioPAC.ca, Facebook and YouTube
Niagara songstress Katey Gatta weaves melodies that leave you feeling like you’re caught in the crosswind of a gentle breeze and a wailing gale. Sometimes her sweet, sultry voice has been described as reminiscent of Norah Jones or Joni Mitchell, and well, sometimes it is. She pairs her tongue in cheek lyricism with intricately picked chords that’ll ring in your ears like peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH OUR HOT TICKET SEASON WRAP-UP VIDEO

CLICK HERE FOR THE #NIAGARAPERFORMS FREE ONLINE CONCERT + EVENT SERIES

CLICK HERE FOR THE FILM HOUSE AT HOME VIRTUAL SCREENINGS