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Celebrating Cultural Success: The Coming of the Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines

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What’s a little rain when you’re celebrating the coming of a stunning new Performing Arts Centre for downtown St. Catharines?

On September 21, 2011 a bit of a downpour certainly did nothing to dampen the spirits – or the voices – of the Niagara Chorus, who were on hand to recreate their YouTube flashmob rendition of “The Hallelujah Chorus*”, followed by the Niagara Symphony Quartet and internationally known rocker, Ron Sexsmith.  After all, the cause being celebrated was well worth it!

Also on site was international touring ensemble “Theatre Beyond Words“. They do plays in various physical theatre styles, including commedia dell’arte, theatrical clown and our very own live animation mask series, “Potato People”.

Performers on site were Katharine Dubois and Carlene MacMenamin, who are Brock Department of Dramatic Arts graduates and David Langlois, an Artistic Director of Metaphysical Theatre.

The news delivered was exciting – the plans will spur an enormous revitalization for downtown St. Catharines and the region as a whole.

Featuring an 800-seat concert hall, a 150-seat dance and theatre hall, a 180-seat film theatre and a 250-seat recital hall, the $54-million Performing Arts Centre, in partnership with Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Performing Arts to be built next to it, will give the entire Niagara region a fantastic shot in the cultural arm.

On hand to welcome the enthusiastic crowd were Steve Solski, the executive director of the PAC, and Gary McCluskie, of Diamond and Schmitt Architects.  Their message?  To make this important new Performain Arts Centre the best it can be, local residents need to share their suggestions, input and ideas.

What do you think?

Visit here to find the conceptual drawing and plans.   The initial design is expected to be finalized in six weeks, with final details and modifications to follow.  Have a look, then post your thoughts.  Your opinion is valued.

(*more than 34 million viewers have seen the original Niagara Chorus flashmob, but if you haven’t, watch the video)

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The Author

Liz Fleming, Managing Editor of NaturallyinNiagara.ca, is an award-winning journalist who writes a weekly travel gear column for The Toronto Star as well as regular travel features for The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Cruise and Travel Lifestyles Magazine and CAA Travel. She’s currently a featured commentator on the Astral Media radio stations in southern Ontario, providing daily travel ‘minutes’ and is the editor of WO, the White Oaks Magazine.

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