If you’re looking for something to do in St. Catharines in the upcoming weeks, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre should be one of the first places you scope out. You may be familiar with the array of lesser-known films the Film House has to offer, but the Performing Arts Centre offers so much more than just that. It’s a hub for all things arts and culture in this city, bringing in some of the most interesting and unique films, musicians and theatrical performances, among other things. These upcoming months at the Performing Arts Centre are packed with enough art and creativity to cater to just about everyone’s interests.
This month and the next will see a wealth of musical talent. On October 18, the Performing Arts Centre will host a tribute to Gord Downie, featuring a number of musicians performing both Downie’s solo music and that of the Tragically Hip. Downie’s message of truth and reconciliation will be recognized as proceeds from the concert will go directly to the Downie/Wenjack Fund, whose goal is to improve the lives of First Nations People across Canada. Some of the proceeds of the event will also be used for the construction of a Downie/Wenjack Legacy Space at the Performing Arts Centre.
The Performing Arts Centre is honouring many beloved artists in the upcoming weeks. On Oct. 20, they will be presenting Ones, a multimedia show packed with 30 of The Beatles’ number one songs. November 4 brings in Rumours, a Fleetwood Mac tribute and on November 17, Classic Albums Live will be performing Supertramp’s 1974 album Crime of the Century.
For country fans, two time CCMA Awards Male Artist of the Year Brett Kissel will be taking to the stage on Oct. 22, with newcomer Dan Davidson accompanying him as a guest. On Nov. 1, Dean Brody will bring his Dirt Road Stories Acoustic Tour to the Centre with special guest Andrew Hyatt in tow.
Shad, a need-to-know rapper and one of Canada’s current critical favourites will be performing at the Centre on Nov. 9. For those unfamiliar with the artist who once nabbed Best Rap Record over Drake, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with him. Electronic group A Tribe Called Red will make their appearance on Nov. 23 as part of the Celebration of Nations featured programming. Offering a unique blend of First Nations music with hip hop, reggae and dance, this is another opportunity to see talents unique to Canada that shouldn’t be missed.
As previously mentioned, a number of theatrical performances are put on in association with the Performing Arts Centre as well. Much of it showcases the local talent of St. Catharines as opposed to all of Canada. Brock University’s very own Department of Dramatic Arts are putting on Sophocles’ classic Greek Tragedy Antigone at the end of next week, with a run going from Oct. 26 — Nov. 3. From Nov. 1 -—3, Twitches & Itches Theatre are premiering September Songs to the world. Set in a university, September Songs is meant to be a discussion of contradictory purposes of higher education.
The Performing Arts Centre also continues their dedication to bringing the stories and talents of Indigenous peoples to St. Catharines with multiple performances taking place in mid-November. From Nov. 15 — 17, you can treat yourself to Anishinaabe playwright Drew Hayden Taylor’s Cottagers & Indians, a comedic yet sincere view of conflicts between First Nations people and cottage owners over water usage. On Nov. 21, Red Sky Performance, a leading company of Indigenous performance, will present Trace, a “genre-defying” dance and music performance that explores cosmology, ancestral origins, and the Indigenous connection to all of it.
All of these upcoming performances are only bits and pieces of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s packed schedule for the next couple of months. If none of these match your interest, their schedule — including comedy, orchestras and circus arts performances scattered among an even bigger variety — is definitely worth a look. Regardless of what it is you’re looking for in terms of entertainment, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.