Foster Festival in the Community

While our primary function is to deliver top-notch theatre to audiences in Niagara and beyond, we are deeply invested in our community here in St Catharines. Find out more about the Foster Festival community outreach program "The Drama Club" below.


Boys and Girls Club of Niagara, Foster Festival Outreach

Niagara Children's Centre


Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre, Niagara



Ontario Trillium Foundation

Meridian Credit Union


Rodman Hall Art Gallery, Brock University

Wise Guys Charity Fund, Sponsor, Norm Foster Comedy Festival

Why Outreach is Important to The Foster Festival Family

Emily and Trish grew up in small towns where opportunities to experience the arts and arts enrichment were sparse. We were lucky to have parents who could offer us each opportunities to attend live theatre. We were lucky to have had teachers who dedicated untold extracurricular hours to music and drama clubs.

These were lifelines in the development of our artistic lives.

Local Hero Program

Through the support of our Lead Local Hero Sponsor, the Wise Guys Charity Fund, The Foster Festival is able to provide complimentary tickets to any 2017 Foster Festival performance and a post-performance coffee & dessert for members of our community who may not be able to attend otherwise due to social or economic disadvantage. The Foster Festival is currently working with Bethlehem House and the YWCA Niagara to provide this opportunity to families in the Niagara Region that have experienced some form of trauma in their lives and are now transitioning back into the community through the support of regional housing programs.

The Evolution of The Drama Club

We decided our outreach program would be called The Drama Club. We would focus on extracurricular arts enrichment in partnership with other Not-for-Profits working with children and youth in transition.

Generously funded by a Seed Grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation and dedicated sponsorship from Meridian Credit Union, Our Drama Club initiatives reached a wide assortment of children and youth in St Catharines and Niagara region.

In 2016, The Foster Festival Drama Club provided over 50 hours of free arts enrichment throughout the year and contracted more than 20 regional artists in the delivery of top-notch drama enrichment programming.

It is deeply gratifying to have made an impact on young lives through this initiative and we will continue to seek out partnerships that will allow The Foster Festival to develop programming and activities for other youth organizations, for families in transition across the region, and for veterans and first responders who are experiencing PTSD.

  • What the creative group has done for me was provide me with a night every week to look forward to. I met a new (good) friend, and heard the voices of many other people that have experienced similar things as me. I’ve discovered how to cope with my feelings through creative outlets that have helped me as well.
    - Hailey H, 2017 Drama Club Participant


In 2016, we partnered with 3 organizations to deliver free arts enrichment programs to their young clients using highly qualified instructors from Niagara region: Boys & Girls Club of NiagaraThe Niagara Children’s Centre, and The Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre.

Through the Boys & Girls Club of Niagara, we delivered three 8-10 week after school arts enrichment camps across the region in St. Catharines, Niagara-On-The-Lake and Niagara Falls. We designed a 6 – week workshop in partnership with the Niagara Children’s Centre that delighted the families of the young participants with a final presentation in June last year.  


For interested adults in the region we are partnering with Rodman Hall Art Centre to deliver a monthly evening series aimed at exploring theatre “From Page to Stage.”

PHOTO GALLERY | Click on a link to view larger images

Looking Forward to the 2017 Season

We are currently planning a 2017 workshop with the Niagara Children's Centre. With the Family Advocate at the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre and volunteers from various partner agencies, Patricia Vanstone co-authored a 12-week workshop that explored healthy living and healing through self-expression in the arts.

This pilot project for young clients who have experienced violence in their lives was so successful that we will be developing further opportunities in other centres in the region.

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Thank You To Our Generous Foster Festival Sponsors

  • Meridian Credit Union | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • NewsTalk 610 CKTB | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • Vineland Estate Winery | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • Smarter Websites | The Foster Festival Sponsor

  • Ferguson Neudorf | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • Sullivan Mahoney Lawyers | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • Cogeco TV | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • ez ROCK 105.7 | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • Alexanian Carpet & Flooring | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • Howick Apartments | The Foster Festival Sponsor, St. Catharines

  • Government of Ontario, Sponsor, Norm Foster Comedy Festival
  • Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Government Sponsor, Norm Foster Comedy Festival
  • City of St Catharines, Government Sponsor, Norm Foster Comedy Festival
  • Smithcom, Season Sponsor, Norm Foster Comedy Festival