Issued By: Will Foran                                     Wed June 6, 2018                                                        For Immediate Release



Wed June 6, 2018/ St. Catharines, Ont.: What started as an idea to celebrate our community history two years ago has finally come to fruition. The hard work of the St. Catharines Kiwanis Club, the Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee and the Port Dalhousie Business Association has resulted in the Lakeside Commons; an outdoor theatre that is free for the city to use however they wish. There is also plans to feature four horse sculptures at the theatre, to honour and remember their sacrifice in the operation of the old Welland Canal when it was first built in 1845. To celebrate this achievement, there will be a Grand Opening event on Father’s Day weekend June 16 from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. and June 17 from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.

To get the project off the ground, thousands of dollars needed to be raised. The Save Lock One initiative was selected by the charitable National Trust for Canada, This Place Matters in a crowdfunding competition and offered a $40,000 prize. With the help of the community, the clubs raised more than double that amount to get what was needed, and still more donations are being collected to erect the statues of the tow-horses; of which hundreds were sacrificed in the operation of the original canal. Len Bates says, it’s not only about giving back to the community but also honouring our Canadian heritage in Port Dalhousie.

“Lakeside Commons gives the people of St. Catharines a new way to share and enjoy the arts, but it also allows us to preserve an important piece of Niagara history,” says Bates, “I’m hopeful that this space will not only give the community a place to gather, but a place to reflect on our history as well.”

On Saturday Mayor Sendzik and Councilor Garcia will be present with the Kiwanis Club to unveil this new outdoor theatre with an official ribbon cutting Sat. at 2 p.m. The grand opening event will run concurrently with the annual Kiwanis Duck Race charity event, where more than $10,000 in prizes are available to be won. Each year the Kiwanis club raises thousands of dollars through the event that is given back to the community through various initiatives.

This new theatre will be open for the community to use however they please and the club anticipates frequent entertainment, education, personal and company events. As knowledge of the Lakeside Commons grows there could be possibilities for music, dinner theatre, fashion shows and more. All of the clubs involved are excited to see what the community brings to the Lakeside Commons for years to come.

For more information about Lakeside Commons, interviews, or event details please contact:

Len Bates

About the St. Catharines Kiwanis Club

The St. Catharines Kiwanis Club has been serving the community since 1935. Kiwanis club members believe in service. They care about children. They’re interested in the community around them—because the community matters to them. Kiwanis is a positive influence in locations worldwide with a dream that all children will wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive.



Save Lock One Initiative Results in a new Outdoor Theatre for the Community

WHO: Kiwanis Club of St. Catharines, Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee, Port Dalhousie Business Association   

WHEN: The Grand Opening will be Father’s Day weekend June 16 from 1p.m. until 9 p.m. and June 17 from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.  We are planning on having the winners of the Kiwanis Music Festival perform at 1 p.m. Sat. as well as a presentation at 2 p.m. Sat. with local dignitaries such as Mayor Sendzik and Councilor Garcia for a ribbon cutting.

WHERE:  57 Lakeport Rd, Port Dalhousie, Ont. L2N 4P5 Near the Royal Canadian Legion

WHY: The Kiwanis Club of St. Catharines along with the Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee and Port Dalhousie Business Association have planned a ceremony to celebrate the hard work that went into creating a new outdoor theatre for the community called Lakeside Commons. The organizations have jointly focused their efforts over the last 2 years to “repurpose” the first lock of the second Welland Canal at the entrance to the business section of Port Dalhousie. The lock is being transformed into an outdoor theatre with a stage, seating area and entrance areas that will support over 200 spectators. This weekend is also host to the annual Kiwanis Duck Race fundraiser which raises thousands of dollars that directly benefit the St. Catharines community.

The club will also be raising funds towards memorial statues of the tow horses that would operate the old canal, as a reminder of their sacrifice and a new historical landmark in our community. Unfortunately, the site of the old lock had become an eyesore for years. This effort will add a new landmark locale in beautiful Port Dalhousie and allow the community to have a space that can be utilized free of charge for performances of all kinds.  

HOW:      For interviews or additional information please contact:

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Mayor and dignitaries will be present with Kiwanis members to cut the ribbon at the new Lakeside Commons site, and performances are planned.  Sunday is the annual Duck Race event where rubber ducks will be released into the water and local participants will be selected to win cash prizes.

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