Books & Brews

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By mixing museum atmosphere with beer tasting and book club excitement, we’re bringing museums into the 21st century. A new kind of book club experience with a museum twist. Mingle, chat about books, learn new things, and experience brews in a whole new way.

Admission includes Tasting Seminars presented by Lock Street Brewing Company, and Podcast Study Guides for an enhanced immersive experience.

The Books

Tuesday, February 20 | 7pm-9pm | “Company Town” by Madeline Ashby


New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.

Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig — making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defence and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa’s front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be — but now, the danger is personal.

Tuesday, April 17 | 7pm-9pm | “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood


Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?

Tuesday, June 19 | 7pm-9pm | “The Break” by Katherena Vermette

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected with the victim tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister, Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.


The Podcast

To help add to our book club conversation, we’ll be producing special podcast study guides that further illuminate shared themes between the books and our city’s history.  You can listen on our blog, on Soundcloud, and on iTunes.

Registration & More Details

This is a 19+ only event. There is a registration cap of a maximum of 15 people per session.

$35.00 / participant / session

Obtaining your copy of the book: once participants register, participants are welcome to come to the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre at 1932 Welland Canals Parkway (Lock 3) to pick up your copy of the book. For those who are attending all three readings, each book will be available by January 22.

Registration: participants may register by email (, by phone (905-984-8880) or online (ePlay: select ‘adult programs’, then ‘special interest’), or in person at the St. Catharines Museum, open daily 9am-5pm, 1932 Welland Canals Parkway, St. Catharines.

Please direct questions and concerns to Museum staff at (subject: Books & Brews) or by phone at 905-984-8880.

Books & Brews Reviews

A few folks have written really nice words about our book club. Check them out and share:

Jack Profijt

Meredith Leonard