By Contributor | St. Catherines Standard
Have you had lunch yet at a food truck before viewing one of the Shaw Festival Theatre Saturday films?
Or if you’re single and looking for a date to take along to the film series maybe you’d be interested in Singles Mingle, a “playful and lively” event to bring all kinds of people together for fun, food—and maybe a connection, held on the last Tuesday the month.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is considered to be one of the best places to live, says Lauren O’Malley Norris, so it was with some trepidation that she decided to start Gathering Niagara, with the aim of making the town even better, focusing on community, food, wine and culture.
The LunchMarket at the Shaw Festival is an example: Every Saturday throughout the film series, food trucks and chefs serve lunch at the theatre. Locals have been arriving hours early to the series for years, in order to reserve good seats (using their coats or scarves) and mingle with their friends and neighbours, says O’Malley Norris. “Now they can eat gourmet food with their wine and chat.”
Trucks such as the renowned El Gastronomo Vagabundo, Frittersons and Curbside Crepes; and chef Kim McLean of Lovin’ From the Oven serve affordable offerings from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Gathering Niagara has other events on the go, including the monthly Singles Mingle.
Smaller groups include the SoMe Kaffeeklatsches where social media topics are discussed; and Coworking NOTL, “where independently- and self-employed people, freelancers and other workers-from-home can convene—while working—to check in, revive, ask for tips, network and make connections.”
Both of these take place weekly at Balzac’s Café on King Street.
Gathering Niagara has plans to present a weekly supper market this summer, but more about that later when plans are firmed up, says O’Malley Norris.
There’s more in the works for Gathering Niagara: a lunch series; an underground market; a literary series featuring food and wine with authors, poets and storytellers at a local winery; a cookbook, and a community oven.
To follow Gathering Niagara’s events and activities, visit www.gatheringniagara.com.
This Saturday, Feb. 9, Anna Karenina will be shown at the Shaw Festival Theatre at 3 p.m. For information about upcoming films visit shawfest.com/films or call 905-468-2172.