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Welcome!

Welcome to the Facer European Festival!

 

The Facer District Merchants & Residents Association are pleased and excited to host our Third Annual Facer European Festival this Civic Holiday Monday, August 6, 2018 on Facer Street (between Currie Street and Cosby Avenue) from Noon to 9:00 PM, in the historic Facer District of the City of St. Catharines, Ontario.  We are a family friendly event with admission completely free of charge!!

This year’s festival will commence with an interfaith blessing, two stages featuring live entertainment from many talented dance groups, singers and musicians, including Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostanek, John Gora, Polanie, Tuscany and the Klezmer Orchestra.  There will be a children’s activity zone by Zippy Zoom, crafters selling their wares and neighbourhood walking tours led by guides familiar with the rich history of the area throughout the historic Facer District.  New this year are the children’s chalk mural sidewalk drawing and the Italian Cultural Entertainment Area.

Proceeds from the festival will be reinvested into the “Beautify the Facer District” initiative which will be a long lasting one.  Our organization plans to create a safe family-like environment starting with the mounting of an arch on Facer Street, identifying the Facer District with signs that this historic area was established in 1854, and highlighting its designation by upgrading the infrastructure, e.g. installing electric wiring underground, paving the street with cobblestone, installing decorative street lighting, music fixtures, international flags, benches and planting greenery.  This investment in our community, combined with our rich and multicultural heritage, will make the Facer District a one of a kind tourist destination.

We thank you for your visit to our festival this year and hope to see you again next year!  We welcome your opinion.  For more information please visit us at www.facereuropeanfestival.com.

Henry Ostaszewicz

Festival Chair

Your TV - Facer Street Festival 2018

https://www.yourtv.tv/node/110016

 

St. Catharines Standard - "Old Friends Reacquainted on Facer Street"

https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/8803017-old-friends-reacquainted-on-facer-street/

 

Civic Holiday - Monday

August 6, 2018 – Noon – 9:00 PM

On Facer Street, St. Catharines, Ontario

Rain or Shine – Admission is Free

Bring a lawn chair and umbrella for your comfort!

 

LOUD & PROUD ON FACER

 

Food Vendors

Various European foods and classic festival foods

Two Stages of Entertainment

Polka Stage, Multicultural Stage,

Walter Ostanek – (Grammy Winner)

John Gora – (Grammy Nomniee)

Polanie, Tuscany, Klezmer Orchestra

 

Various Artists, Musicians, Dancers

 

Historical Walking Tour

Walk the neighborhood and learn its history

 

Special Attractions

Kids Zone, Chalk Drawing, Face Painting

All attractions’ subject to change without notice

 

www.facereuropeanfestival.com

 

Festival opens at 11:30 am

 

Performance times and Artist’s for the 2018 Facer European Festival

 

St. Joseph Bakery, - 53 Facer Street

 

11:30 am till 12:15 pm - Nolan Jodes - Folk Rock

 

12:15 pm till 1:15 pm – Nigel and The Jets - Alternative

 

1:15 pm till 2:15 pm – Niagara Button Boxers – Polka/Waltzes

 

2:15 pm till 2:45 pm - Mary Mariah – Pianst/Vocalist

 

2:45 pm till 3:30 pm – 2nd Annual Pierogi Eating Contest

 

3:30 pm till 4:45 pm – Whiskey Sunset – Country

 

4:45 pm till 6:15 pm - Polka Legend - Walter Ostanek - Three-time Grammy Winner

 

6:15 pm till 9:00 pm – The Ambassador of Polkas – John Gora – Grammy Nominated

 

 

Canadian Polish Society, - 43 Facer Street

 

11:30 am till 12:00 pm – Tuscany - Nico Tripod & Sophia Deluca

 

12:00 pm till 1:15pm +/- Interfaith Blessing and Opening Ceremonies

(12:00 pm till 12:30 pm +/- Interfaith Blessing)

(12:30 pm till 1:15 pm +/- Dignitary presentations)

1:15 pm till 1:30 pm +/- Walk to unveiling sites see separate list

1:30 pm Unveiling of NEW Historic District signs and New Street Name signs

 

1:15 pm till 2:15pm - Klezmer Orchestra 

 

2:30 pm till 3:00 pm - Ukrainian Dunai Dancers 

 

3:00 pm till 3:30pm ... Niagara Music Conservatory

 

4:00 pm till 5:30 pm - Polanie Band

 

5:30 pm till 6:00 pm - Tuscany - Nico Tripodi & Sophia Deluca

 

6:00 pm till 8:30 pm - Polanie Band

 

Roberto’s Pizza Passion – Italian Cultural Entertainment Area

 

12:00 pm till 9:00 pm - Continuously throughout the day Bocce Tournament, Scopa Card games, Foosball games.  Public participation welcome.  Various musical entertainment.

 

Unveiling of Street Signs and Historic District Signs for the Facer District.

Monday August 6, 2018 1:30 PM as part of the Facer European Festival

 

There will be six points where signs will be unveiled.

The intent is to have on large unveiling at the same time with community involvement.

 

The locations and persons unveiling these signs is as follows;

 

2 Facer Street, Boys and Girls Club, Historic Sign

Councillor Sal Sorrento and Irene Newton and friends

 

Facer Street and Currie Street, Historic Street Name Signs

Region of Niagara Chair Alan Caslin and Roberto Vergalito Family, Friends

 

Facer Street and Concord Avenue, Historic Street Sign

MP Chris Bittle and Mary Turczyniak, Members od the Canadian Polish Society

 

Facer Street and St. George Street Historic District Sign

Facer Street and Ormonde Avenue, Historic Street Name Sign – Simultaneously

Mayor Walter Sendzik and Derek Kedzierski Family, Friends

 

Facer Street and Augusta Avenue, Historic Street Name Sign

Councillor Mike Briton, Tanya Orban, Greg Taras and Friends

 

Facer Street and Grantham Avenue, Historic District Sign

MPP Jennie Stevens and Tom Skrzeszewski Family, Friends

Henry Ostaszewicz gives signal with a horn blast yo begin the unveiling

 

 

 

 

LOUD & PROUD ON FACER

The theme for the 2018 Facer European Festival is Loud & Proud on Facer.  This theme is meant to identify ourselves as a community filled with pride, honour and respect for the community that we were, born, raised and developed in.

The festival is but just one way that we can return to the neighbourhood and pay homage to an era gone by and at the same time display support for the residents and merchants of today and maintain and continue the legacy of our forefathers, which is demonstrated by the merchants who have had their shops on Facer Street and surrounding area for multiple generations.  The faith community continues to reside and remain strong in the Facer District alongside the civic groups who have stood strong in the historic Facer District.

We continue to revitalize the Facer District by each and every effort that we put forward yesterday and tomorrow.  The articles on the Facer District with reference to Facer Street in all media forms is welcome.  This grows the interest in the Facer District from near and wide, even crossing the border into the United States of America.  We are a community that has been recognized for varying reasons, but most importantly, one of them is good old fashion hospitality when visiting our merchants, civic clubs, churches or family.

To further document and reflect on our heritage in the Facer District we have collected pictures from the past and created a calendar called “Faces and Phases of Facer”.  This calendar was produced by our Director, Tom Skrzeszewski, with permission of the various people depicted.  This historic calendar is available at the festival this year or you can order it on line by e-mailing us at director@facerdistrict.com. A donation of $12.00 is required, shipping charges will be extra.

We will continue to celebrate or heritage this year with an “Octoberfest Party” on October 27, 2018 at the home of the Canadian Polish Society, 43 Facer Street, St. Catharines, ON

In 2019 you can look forward to a spring fling as we honour our merchants and residents at a dinner banquet and if you are a golfer you can join us on June 16, 2019.

Details will be available soon for the upcoming events on our web site, www.facerdistrict.com or www.facereuropeanfestival.com.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to sing LOUDLY & PROUDLY ON FACER!

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History

Friends,

 

One of the greatest gifts we can give the young people of today is a deep knowledge of their ethnic heritage.  Without this historical awareness, our children will not develop a full appreciation for the richness and diversity that is their cultural legacy.

 

The Third Annual Facer European Festival is a way to celebrate and showcase the multicultural diversity of a neighborhood rich with cultural heritage from our forefathers.  In the early 1900’s, immigrants from Europe began to settle in and around the Facer District (also referred to as “Foreign Quarter, Little Europe” or the “Immigrant Quarter”) raising children who became very distinguished members of society.  To identify all who are successful from the community would take an eternity. Suffice to say, pick a field and we can share a success story from meager beginnings.

 

In the spring of 2014, children of the community gathered as adults to garner memories from years gone by.  This time together created some very memorable moments of reflection and the next steps were taken to form a group comprising of merchants and resident’s past and present.  In the spring of 2016, this group and some new faces decided to renew the cultural experiences of their heritage and time growing up in the Facer District.

 

This group named itself the Facer District Merchants and Residents Association electing its first executive in March of 2016.  Elected were Mr. Roberto Vergalito (President), Mr. Boguslaw Chudyk (Vice President), Mr. Derek Kedzierski (Treasurer) and Ms. Tanya Orban (Secretary).  Members met regularly and in April of 2016 asked Henry Ostaszewicz to be its first festival chairman to assist in this event for the 2016 inaugural year.  On November 25, 2016, the group received their Articles of Incorporation.  In November of 2017 the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of Directors and Officers took place for this newly incorporated group.

 

The vision for the Facer District that this talented group of merchants and residents see is a very vibrant one.  The Facer European Festival is a way for the vision to take root in the community.  During this festival, the cultural heritage is showcased and shared with the community at large.

 

The request for Facer Street to be closed off from vehicular traffic was a major event for our community.  Never in the history of Facer Street had the street been closed for residents and guests to celebrate their history.  In 2016 there were three stages showcasing various artists, musicians (Grammy Winner Walter Ostanek and Grammy Nominee John Gora) and ethnic dancers taking part.  There are walking tours and many vendors filled Facer Street from Currie Street to Cosby Avenue allowing guests to mix and mingle freely in the street.

 

Mayor Walter Sendzik and Councilors for the City of St. Catharines supported the vision for the Facer District’s “Little Europe” and the Facer European Festival.  In 2017 Mayor and Council approved $10,000.00 for a conceptual study for Facer Street in the Facer District. This study was presented to Council and received for review by several council committees.  In September Council established the Facer District Revitalization Partnership Fund, this annual fund has a limit of $10,000.00 and is a dollar for dollar match with restrictions on how it may be obtained for community use.

 

Support from visitors in preceding years has exceeded our expectations!  Thank You!

Future

Mission Statement:

We, the Facer District Merchants and Residents Association, are committed to recognizing and promoting our vibrant and diverse multicultural community, the revitalization and beautification of the Facer District.

 

Facer District:

The Facer District is bound by the both sides of the following streets and former railroad right of way.  Niagara Street and Vine Street to the West, Carlton Street to the North, Neilson Avenue and the Old Railroad right of way to the East and QEW/Dieppe Road to the South.

 

Location of the Archway:

The archway is to be placed on Niagara Street between Queen Elizabeth Highway ramps and the intersection of Niagara Street, Vine Street and Facer Street. An alternative location is on Facer Street in the Facer District.

 

Purpose of the Archway:

To showcase the entrance into the historic district of Facer where immigrants from Europe settled. To reflect, recognize and revitalize today’s community.

 

District Perimeter Identification:

The Facer District perimeter will be identified by the placement of specially designed plaques.

These identity plaques will create a pride of belonging to this community of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

Unique Local Street Name Signs:

All streets within the Facer District are to receive updated street name signs to further identify the pride, honor and respect for the immigrants of yesteryear, and the residents/merchants of today.

 

Unique Identity by displaying Flags of Country and Nationality:

All merchants and residents are asked to make the Facer District unique displaying the Canadian flag and the flag of their heritage in front of their business and or residents from June 15, 2018 until August15, 2018 or longer if so desired.  This will exhibit the pride for our country and heritage also identify the uniqueness of the Facer District.

 

Holiday (Christmas) Lighting:

All merchants and residents are asked to celebrate the holiday (Christmas) season by displaying holiday lighting of their choice in front of their business and or residents from November 15, 2018 until January 15, 2018 or for a period of their choice.  This will display the true uniqueness and diversity of the Facer District.

Donate Now

The Facer District Merchants and Residents Association is a volunteer group working towards beautifying the Facer District area. If you would like to make a donation to the organization you may do so via PayPal below, or by sending a cheque to:

The Facer District Merchant and Residents Association

22 Facer St, St Catharines, ON L2M5H3

67240