Festival Kick-Off

Festival Kick-Off

Date: Saturday, May 4
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Location: The Robby
85 Church Street, St. Catharines

We welcome you to Canada’s longest continually running heritage festival, a celebration of world culture and transcend cultural barriers through art, music, sport and food. With free admission, the One World Stage artist presentations of music and dance are happening at The Robby (Robertson Hall) at 1pm and 4pm, but there is so much more to explore:

Talk to a Travel Expert (11am-1pm)

If travel plans are in your future why not have a chat with some of the locals, right here. Popular world destinations will be featured by video (Mexico, Cuba, Thailand, China, Turkey, and Philippines) then followed by a chat with a recently arrived Newcomer. Find out THE best places for foods, entertainment and cultural attractions and maybe taxi services, tour destinations and shopping areas, from those with the best knowledge-the locals.

The Language Village (12pm and 2pm)

Here’s your chance to impress at your next Staff Meeting. Learn a few sentences of various languages in Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Italian at the Language Village. Show off your new skills at the water cooler or while on vacation.

What’s your Cultural IQ? (12pm and 2pm)

Test yourself by working your way through a variety of objects and quiz questions with a cultural twist. Familiar objects and trivia familiar to New Canadians will test your cultural knowledge. Have friends join in and make it a real competition.

The Cultural Fashion Show (1pm-2pm)

The Cultural Fashion Show has become a real show stopper, with more elaborate catwalks each year. Beautiful colours, fabrics and traditions are on display, with our models available for closer conversations after their walk down the runway.

The Beauty Booth (2pm-4pm)

The Beauty Booth is a hot spot for activities since you can get your hair, nails, make-up and henna decoration under one roof. Come as you are, leave with a bit of the exotic.

The Mental Health Art Show and Sale (All Day)

The Mental Health Art Show and Sale will once again be exhibited at The Robby. Through a variety of mediums, Sir Winston Churchill art students have created visual interpretations of mental health challenges. All pieces at our last show were sold so don’t miss out.

Storytelling by with Moana (2pm-3pm)

Meet Moana when she pops by between 2pm and 3pm for a story time and maybe a song or two.

The Language of Basketball (12pm-1pm)

With an estimated 850 million fans worldwide, basketball certainly is a universal language. Come test your long range shooting with a 3 point competition. All are welcome to try their luck from a distance.

There’s a battle brewing…

The Niagara School of Arms returns in 2019 with a fencing tournament to display the skills of the Scottish Broadsword and Italian Longsword. Their basic on-site workshop will introduce those brave enough, the basic footwork, guards and strikes. Let’s hope there isn’t a battle between the School of Arms and any of the Star Wars Cosplay characters paying us a visit on May the Fourth! Or maybe you do hope for it?

Brennan Faucher is the founder of the Niagara School of Arms, and the Longsword instructor. He works with medieval Italian sources to bring back the two-handed sword as a modern sport and martial art.

Adam Myrie is a council member of the Historic African Martial Arts Association and studies Modern Tahtib, Mahtreg and other living martial traditions. Seeking to revive the martial arts from Africa with written accounts as well as the living arts.

Abu-Isa Webb is the Scottish Broadsword instructor at the Niagara School of Arms. Using later period manuals on fencing from Scotland and the wider United Kingdom.

Community Art Project – The Textile Mosaic (All Day)

Tell a story with paper and scissors! In this free-form activity, you can create a one-of-a-kind collage that speaks uniquely of you.

Choose from a variety of base papers provided by local artist Azra Momin, and then build your collage with a choice of different elements provided including images of birds and flowers, music sheets, lace, buttons and fabric. Color the images, or leave them as line drawings. Finish up with a motivational phrase or a word of intention that speaks to you, from pre-made quotes provided. The finished piece will be something only you could have made!

This easy but hugely satisfying activity will take anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes and all materials will be provided. The focus will be on intuitive, therapeutic art-making, and gentle guidance will be available if you want it.

12 of the pieces will be selected by a jury to be framed and displayed at various venues around the city. All participants will eventually receive their piece to take home.

Azra Momin is an expressive arts facilitator from Niagara who offers workshops in intuitive art-making and art-journaling using drawing, painting, creative writing, collage and stitching as a means of open-ended, therapeutic expression.

She illustrates childrens’ books and makes textile art, bags and jewelry from reclaimed fabrics. Her guiding belief is that art lives in all of us, and it can connect us in profound ways. Find her work on Instagram @azramomin.

Azra Momin