St. Catharines Culture Days 2020 tops national rankings

Lead by artist Mathew Vizbulis residents work on a community mural supported by the St. Catharines Downtown Association during the 2020 run of Culture Days. City of St. Catharines photo

City of St. Catharines press release – When it comes to culture, St. Catharines has it in droves.

So much so that when Culture Days — a national celebration that every year sees communities across the country coming together to host cultural events in the fall — announced its rankings for 2020, St. Catharines came out at the top of the list as the number one City in Canada. The move to the top of national rankings is a sizeable jump from the number 10 spot just for mid-sized cities achieved in 2019.

“This really shows how culture has flourished in our city, with investments into performance spaces and venues alongside a growing community of artists, performers and creators St. Catharines has become a cultural beacon on the national map,” said Acting Supervisor of Cultural Services Kathleen Powell, adding, “as a City we’ve made considerable investments in culture, through our ongoing St. Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP), and this shows that our efforts as a City and a community are driving a cultural renaissance here.”

Between Sept. 25 and Oct. 25, a total of 197 events were hosted online and in-person across the city for Culture Days. The total number is more than twice that of the second-ranked City.

The events, many hosted by or in cooperation with the City, or funded through SCCIP micro grants, included:

  • TD Niagara Jazz Festival performances;
  • the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Niagara Performs Series;
  • virtual lecture series and programs with the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre;
  • community murals supported by the St. Catharines Downtown Association;
  • various online workshops, lectures and classes;
  • the St. Catharines Arts Awards;
  • and more.

“The City of St. Catharines pulled out all the stops for Culture Days 2020 celebrations, producing 197 dynamic events and online programs—firmly placing the city at the top of the list for participating communities across Canada. Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story: arts and culture organizers and creatives from a variety of backgrounds presented safe, thoughtful, inspiring, and fun activities and livestreams, providing a connection through the arts when we needed it most. Congratulations to all the artists and organizers in St. Catharines for this wonderful achievement,” said Culture Days National Interim Executive Director Shannon Bowler.

“This was really a community-wide effort,” said Powell, who thanked all the participating artists, partners and supporters for stepping up this year and extending participation in culture to the wider community.

For more information on St. Catharines Culture Days visit www.stcatharines.ca/CultureDays.

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