The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre is a charitable not-for-profit organization incorporated as the Folk Arts Council of St. Catharines in 1970, having the mandate to support and assist the ethnocultural and newcomer community in Niagara through a broad range of programs and services. We have been active in facilitating and supporting the successful settlement and integration of newcomers since the 1960s. Our clients come from all parts of the world and include Landed Immigrants, Canadian Citizens, Convention Refugees and Refugee Claimants.
A full range of programming is offered by our 30 full-time staff and over 100 volunteers. English Language Instruction has been offered since 1976 and a Job Search Workshop Program was introduced in 1998. A Community Connections Program began in 1996 to facilitate friendships between newcomers and Canadians and to introduce families to community volunteer opportunities. A Youth Program was successfully added to Community Connections in 2008. All clients are supported by a professional team of Settlement Counselors and a Childminding Program for infants and toddlers.
Services are currently offered at our main Centre in downtown St. Catharines as well as an office in Niagara Falls and itinerant locations in Welland. They are funded from various sources including Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, District School Board of Niagara, Niagara Region Prosperity Initiative and the United Way.
FACES (Folk Arts Council Entertainment Services), the fundraising arm of the Niagara Folk Arts, assists established ethnocultural groups in our community to organize and undertake cultural activities, including the annual Niagara Folk Arts Festival. Robertson Hall Banquet Facilities, located behind our Centre at 85 Church Street, has two halls and a full kitchen available for rent. It is also a popular meeting place for local arts and cultural groups and a base for social enterprise.
The Niagara Folk Arts is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by a membership of over 50 ethnocultural associations, community groups and individuals. Operations are overseen by a CEO/Executive Director.