Public lecture to highlight Garden City Arena oral history project

The Brock community is invited to an online lecture about efforts to preserve the legacy of St. Catharines’ iconic Garden City Arena.

On Thursday, April 27, Elizabeth Vlossak, Associate Professor in the Department of History, will discuss an oral history project intended to collect residents’ memories of the local landmark.

The Garden City Arena opened its doors in 1938 and served as a sport, entertainment and recreation hub for 85 years. Before the facility was decommissioned in 2022, Vlossak and students from her HIST/CANA 4F00 (Voices from the Past: Oral History) class recorded people’s stories and photographed or scanned physical objects to curate online exhibits about the arena. Students also worked with Brock University’s Archives and Special Collections and the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre on the project.

Vlossak will be joined by Paige Groot to discuss her use of Historical GIS to map the neighbourhood around the arena. Groot, who is completing a Master of Arts in History at Brock, created an interactive map that illustrates the arena’s history as well as its social and economic impact on the area.

The Garden City Arena Collection is available online through Brock’s Sport and Oral History Archive.

Hosted by the Historical Society of St. Catharines, “If this barn could talk: An oral history of the Garden City Arena” takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 27. Attendees can access the event on Zoom.

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