The Foster Festival is deeply committed to the City of St. Catharines’ CompassionateSTC initiative. We believe that everyone deserves to have access to the arts. Our programming, with its focus on “Humour with Heart in the heart of Niagara” can help lighten the load of Niagara’s most vulnerable citizens.
Originally funded by a seed grant from the Wise Guys Charity Fund in 2017, The Foster Festival was able to provide complimentary tickets to any Foster Festival performance to members of our community who may not be able to attend otherwise due to social or economic disadvantage.
In summer 2018, The Foster Festival continued this program through the support we received through the City of St. Catharines SCCIP Culture Builds Community grant.
With the support from our incredible community partners, The Foster Festival has provided complimentary tickets clients of Bethlehem Housing and Support Services, the Walker Family Cancer Centre and the Ozanam Centre.
We have designed and offer tailor-made extracurricular arts enrichment experiences in partnership with other Not-for-Profits across Niagara.
The Drama Club initiatives reached a wide assortment of children and youth. With the Family Advocate at the The Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre and volunteers from various partner agencies, the Festival’s then Artistic Director 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 through our partnerships with The Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre.
The Foster Festival has also been able to double programming to meet the demands for arts enrichment at The Niagara Children’s Centre through the generosity of The Rotary Club of St. Catharines. The Foster Festival Drama Club now provides almost 100 hours of free arts enrichment throughout the year to Niagara’s most vulnerable children and youth and contracts more than 20 regional artists in the delivery of top-notch drama enrichment programming.