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The History of Roselawn
Located in the heart of the City of Port Colborne, just minutes from the shores of Lake Erie and the famous Welland Canal, the Roselawn Centre for the Living Arts is a unique business, education and arts complex.
"Roselawn" was originally built back in 1860 as the home of a local merchant and council member, Levi Cornwall. Today, this historic three-story mansion has blossomed into a sprawling business and arts complex that seats up to 85 for formal dining, and also features a professional kitchen, a 265 seat theatre and several conference rooms.
A building with rich history, Roselawn is home to several creative endeavors including Showboat Festival Theatre, The Canadian Authors Series, and the Roselawn Art Committee. The complex also hosts a vast array of workshops, courses and cultural events on a year-round basis.
At Roselawn, we offer a wide variety of activities for Port Colborne and the Niagara Region to enjoy. We invite you to join us in respecting the past, owning the present, and creating the future. Come and share the experience!
The Roselawn Centre for the Living Arts is a statement by the City of Port Colborne that it cares about its history, is appreciative of the role the arts plays in the creation of community and is taking practical steps to create a vibrant present and a prosperous future.
The facility contains a flexible space theatre auditorium, home to Showboat Festival Theatre's summer season of theatre in the round, with seating for 220 to 300 based on configuration. In addition there are the Heritage Dining Rooms: the Double Parlour and the President's Room, (which can be booked as a banquet facility as well) the VQA wine bar, the lobby bar, and meeting rooms capable of accommodating up to 250.
The essential purpose of this centre is to act as a cultural centre for the development and enhancement for the Arts, Education, in the broadest possible sense. A year round program of activities in the visual arts, theatre, music, a varied speakers program, publishing and youth activities are being planned. The facility is also available for social events, catered banquets and business meetings.
The Vision of Roselawn
The vision of Roselawn goes well beyond the creation of a unique theatre complex. The project found its life from literally hundreds of community volunteers who wanted to create a cultural and arts center that made a lasting contribution to the economic well-being of their community and the region of Niagara.
In terms of economic impact, The Roselawn Centre is one of the most important developments in the city of Port Colborne since the completion of the Sugarloaf Harbour Project. Both projects focused efforts on contributing to the economic transformation of Port Colborne from an old, heavy industrial town to a new and vibrant community with a strong and prosperous tourism base.
Up to the early 1990's, tourism in Niagara was centered in Niagara Falls. To develop a tourism industry in Port Colborne, a year-round attraction combined with seasonal events became a key objective of both the city and the various community-minded groups that were involved in the economy.
The project goal was to renovate an existing historically and architecturally significant building and grounds into a cross-use community center for arts, education, and community economic development. These three components and their interaction not only make the center financially viable, but also attractive to the whole community.
The Roselawn Centre is managed by the City of Port Colborne.
If you have any further questions about Roselawn, please give us a call at (905) 834-7572