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Monday, January 30, 2023
Heritage festival raises $2,000 for NOTL museum

“The Past is Present” Heritage Festival at the NOTL museum raised more than $2,000 for museum programs on Monday.

With free admission, visitors could watch a rug hooking demonstration by members of the St. Catharines Rug Hooking Guild, talk to blacksmith Neil Blythin and learn about antique firearms. Members of the Niagara Woodcarvers Association and Niagara Handweavers and Spinners Guild also were at the festival.

Cassandra Swan and Natalie Pikula of the Niagara Old Tyme Fiddlers Association provided live music.

The museum raised over $2,000 through its bake and treasures sales, and all proceeds will go toward supporting the museum programs.

“It’s just a good way to bring people off Queen Street and come see the museum and bring things outside the museum,” said Amy Klassen, of the Niagara Historical Society & Museum. “A lot of people think museums are just places with old stuff inside so the (festival) brings it alive.”

As St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year, the museum developed a short theatrical performance about the church’s history.

The play, “A Kilt, A Kirk and A Strawberry,” was written and directed by Barbara Worthy with Aaron Berger, Edwin Conroy Jr. and Laurel Minnes starring in it. The funding for the play, $7,875, was received through the regional Niagara Investment in Culture program. 

The first performance of the play was during the heritage festival.

“It’s a big milestone for the community and we wanted to talk about the importance of the church in the community and how churches were used by the communities historically,” Klassen said.

The play will be staged again on Friday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Church. The next shows will be on Wed., Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at the NOTL public library and on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Church.

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