The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) aims to provide meaningful opportunities to bring our community together in a place of mutual understanding, empathy, and respect through the arts. Through exceptional live arts experiences, film screenings and community engagement events, we enrich the lives of citizens of St. Catharines and the Niagara region, while providing a world class venue for local, national and international artists and community arts organizations to flourish.
As a convenor of arts, culture, and creativity, we are stewards of the beautiful multi-venue facility that is the FirstOntario Performing Arts centre, and uphold a mandate which encompasses the following three pillars:
• To advance the development of, and access to, arts and culture as a proud and sustainable developer, presenter, supporter and incubator of talent, creativity, and knowledge building for our diverse community.
• To provide infrastructure, support, growth and innovation opportunities for local and regional artists, arts workers, and community organizations.
• To contribute to the enhancement of a vibrant, healthy, and creative downtown St Catharines.
We are home to Celebration of Nations (CofN), an annual gathering of Indigenous Arts, Culture and Heritage curated by Artistic Director Michele-Elise Burnett (Métis) and Artistic Producer Tim Johnson (Mohawk), with support of the Celebration of Nations Advisory Committee and FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre staff. Part of our year-round programming, Celebration of Nations reaches a crescendo on the weekend after Labour Day annually with a three-day gathering that showcases a wide variety of Indigenous arts, artists, and leaders ranging from traditional and contemporary music and dance, visual arts to film screenings, creative workshops, eye-opening teachings, and hands-on activities.
The PAC is located in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario at the corner of St. Paul and Carlisle Streets on the shared traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Neutral Peoples and many other Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. We offer our sincere gratitude and respect to the original and continued stewards of this land. We also acknowledge Indigenous, Black, People of Colour and 2SLGBTQQAI+ People that have been marginalized for centuries and more - and our collective responsibility to take action for a better world free from oppression, discrimination and racism.