occupied military site.
“Spanning more than 300 years and site
of several significant battles, the fort brings
history to life with year-round programming for groups,” he said.
Inspiring, too, are tours of the permanent
Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad
of Greater Niagara exhibit at the Castellani
Art Museum of Niagara University.
The Rapids Theatre in downtown Niagara
Falls is a restored 1929 theater now offering
multipurpose space for up to 1,600 people.
In nearby North Tonawanda, the Riviera
Theatre & Performing Arts Center is a revitalized 1926 silent movie house featuring a
mighty Wurlitzer organ and similarly hosting intimate and large-scale events.
“These unique places also provide the
opportunity to host meetings and events
in a setting certain to excite and intrigue
attendees,” said Percy. “You will run out of
time before you run out of things to do!”
NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO
An expanding cultural canvas awaits
groups across the border in Canada, where
Scotiabank Convention Centre offers
288,000 square feet of useable space within
walking distance of the world-famous
Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
a diverse arts and
culture community, live
entertainment, and a
flourishing wine and culi-
nary scene,” says Jody Larose,
executive director for the Tourism
Partnership of Niagara. “With venues
such as the internationally recognized Shaw
Festival Theatre enriching our community
and the visitor experience, continuing invest-
ment in well-appointed facilities reaffirms
Niagara’s commitment to fostering arts and
culture across the region.”
Located in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake,
the preeminent Shaw Festival, running from
April to October, celebrates its 55th anniversa-
ry this year with a custom adaptation of Alice
in Wonderland. Unique group options include
behind-the-scenes tours, pre- and post- show
discussions with theater ensembles, work-
shops and dining options at local wineries.
Other significant cultural coordinates
include the FirstOntario Performing Arts
Centre. Opened last fall in downtown St.
Catharines, this 95,000-square-foot academic
and cultural complex features four state-of-the-art, event-capable performance venues,
including 781-seat Partridge Hall and Robertson Theatre, with 108 telescopic seats.
Also in St. Catharines, the multipurpose
Meridian Centre is Niagara’s largest entertainment venue. Opened in 2014, the 5,300-
seat venue, with flexible space for more, can
accommodate groups from 20 to 1,000 for a
wide range of meetings and events.
What is the significance of this milestone year in the restoration of Frank Lloyd
Wright’s Martin House Complex?
In a city of architectural treasures, the Darwin D. Martin House Complex ranks as one of
Frank Lloyd Wright’s finest residential designs. Consisting of the main Martin House, smaller Barton House, gardener’s cottage, carriage house, and spectacular glass-roofed conservatory linked to the main house by a 100-foot pergola, this singular composition is complemented by Wright’s extensive furnishings, art glass, landscape and decorative elements.
After 15 years, restoration of the estate will be completed late this summer. In 2017, the
150th anniversary of Wright’s birth, the tremendous breadth and scope of his legacy here in
New York and across America will be the subject of a national celebration. The associated
tours, programs, events, educational exhibitions and conferences will raise the profile of the
Buffalo region as an American epicenter of architecture and design.
Wright has esteemed company in Buffalo—what makes the city so architecturally
In the early 1900s, when Buffalo was one of the wealthiest cities in America, the masterworks created here represented a new, distinctly American form of architecture and
influenced design throughout the world. Boasting significant buildings by Louis Sullivan,
Henry Hobson Richardson, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and Daniel Burnham, plus landscape
design by Frederick Law Olmsted, the city is an outdoor museum of world-class architecture. Adding to the region’s multiple Wright designs, we also have the Arts & Crafts legacy
of Elbert Hubbard and the Roycroft Campus in nearby East Aurora.
How do these treasures enhance the Buffalo experience for visiting groups?
Welcoming, accessible, affordable, walkable, bikeable and hip, Buffalo is an unexpected
joy for first-time visitors. As the city’s proud tradition of investing in architecture continues
to this day, Wright remains an international “brand-name” and magnet for tourism. For
the first time in generations, The Martin House is open to the public, with the new visitor’s
center, and Barton House and gardener’s cottage, available for groups. Along with his architectural fellows, Wright’s legacy continues to serve the city well.
Q&A with with Mary Roberts, Executive Director,
Martin House Restoration Corp. //
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RIVIERA THEATRE & PERFORMING ARTS CENTER,
PHOTO BY VAUGHN RIDLEY