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Art and History in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, the First Capital of Upper Canada

"As well as being noted for its many beautiful homes, Niagara-on-the-Lake is steeped in history, a place with more firsts to its credit than any other community of its size in the province. Some twenty historical plaques erected in various places testify to this, as they commemorate important events in the town's past. It was here at Niagara that in 1792 the first census in Upper Canada was taken. That year, Upper Canada's first parliament assembled here for its first of five sessions, and the province's first grist-mill began grinding flour for the settlers. Soon after a Masonic Lodge, the first in Upper Canada was opened at Niagara and the first Agricultural Society was formed by its inhabitants. A printing press brought to the settlement produced the province's first newspaper, "The Upper Canada Gazette". What is considered to be the first brick building in Upper Canada, was erected at Niagara as early as 1795 and in 1800 the first library was established here."

Niagara-on-the-Lake The Old Historical Town, by Nick and Helma Mika, with Nancy Butler and Joy Ormsby

Niagara-on-the-Lake - Home of the Shaw Festival Theatre

In 1962, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Brian Doherty of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Calvin C Rand of Buffalo, both passionate about the work and art of  George Bernard Shaw, had the visionary idea of creating a summer theatre festival. That year, eight performances of Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell and Candida were produced and played in the Court House Theatre, in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This is how the Shaw Festival Theatre was born. Each year the theatre has grown into one of the greatest theatre company in Canada and North America.

Each year, 10, or some years even more plays are carefully prepared and performed with outstanding talent and dedication by an amazing theatre ensemble, in four venues, in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Shaw Festival has become a cultural symbol of Niagara-on-the-Lake, locals being extremely proud to share the town with. Over 250,000 patrons are in the Shaw Festival's audience each and every year. 

Read more about the history of the Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake.