Photos courtesy of the STC Public Library.

The Day in the Life Series is presented by OLG. Check them out on social @OLGToday or visit their website here.


Welcome to St. Catharines!

Meet Karissa Fast, Communications Specialist at the St. Catharines Public Library and part of the Ontario Culture Days team in St. Catharines putting on a smorgasbord of fun Virtual Experiences Hub and in-person events to enjoy. Check out their website or the St. Catharines Public Libraries Event Hub for a comprehensive listing of all that is on offer before the festival ends on October 24.

Craft supplies. Photo courtesy of STC Public Library.

There are four St Catharines Public Library branches in the city, and the Central Branch is located downtown in the heart of the arts community. Some of the important pillars of the library’s work centres on inclusion, change, and community. Karissa describes the gratitude and pride they feel being a community hub, and how important it is to create spaces that uplift voices and creating meaningful connections that builds diverse community.

With that spirit in mind, take a look at the Black and Indigenous PRIDE Concert or the Music Performance at Silver Spire United Church. Of course, no Ontario Culture Days festival would be complete without Carousel Players. Check out the Giant Puppet Digital Workshop to make your own giant puppet for the Puppet Party! St Catharines is bustling with activity, so be sure to also check out the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre Event Hub.

Songs from the Willow, St. Catharines Arts Awards. Photo credit: Flashbox Photography

Karissa shared some of her favourite places to visit when she’s not hard at work in her community:

  • Beechwood Donuts is Niagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop.
  • Mahtay Cafe has been an important fixture in the St. Catharines Arts Scene for many years. Besides slinging some of the city’s best coffee and espresso, Mahtay has always been a meeting place and a performance space for artists of all kinds. The cafe has a gallery-vibe, with local art displayed, and events like poetry readings, drag brunch, and concerts on a regular basis. Check out the beautiful Pride crosswalk right outside their doors, and enjoy an iced latte on their street patio.
  • St. Catharines Farmers Market– Directly across the street from the library and always buzzing with community, the St. Catharines Farmers Market is a must-see. Whether you’re looking for Niagara peaches and berries, a good cup of coffee, fine cheeses, a sweet treat, beautiful flowers, or live music, the market has it all. On Saturdays, make sure you stop by in the morning so you don’t miss it.
  • Ma Chinese Cuisine is an authentic Chinese restaurant featuring age-old recipes.
  • Someday Books is a favourite among locals to browse and find your next read.