Books & Brews


Books and Brews Fall 2017 Logo

Books & Brews 150

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. It’s all happening at your favourite place on earth: the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.

Includes Tasting Seminars presented by Mahtay Cafe and Lounge, and Podcast Study Guides for an enhanced immersive experience.

NEW! for Books & Brews 150 

We’re very excited to present two sessions of the book club to accommodate all you avid readers who would like to join. One session will begin at 6pm with discussion, both sessions will meet at 7pm for our new Renegade Tours of the Museum, and then the later group will continue on with discussion at 8pm.

Check out the registration details below.

Curator Kathleen Powell gives a guided tour of the First World War exhibit “Doing Our Bit” before discussion of “Three Day Road” in July of 2016.

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The Details 

Our Autumn session of Books & Brews will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation by focusing on the stories of Canada from voices we don’t usually hear from in the country’s mainstream narratives: Indigenous peoples, women, and Francophones. In addition to some best sellers, this diverse group of authors encapsulates audiences in some proud and some uncomfortable narratives.

Tuesday, September 19 | 6pm & 7pm

Book: “Green Grass, Running Water” by Thomas King
featuring a Renegade Tour and Book Discussion led by Public Programmer Sara Nixon,
with local brews supplied by Mahtay Cafe & Lounge
and Podcast Study Guide Special Guest

Tuesday, October 24 | 6pm & 7pm

Book: “The Diviners” by Margaret Lawrence
featuring a Renegade Tour and Book Discussion led by Visitor Services Coordinator Adrian Petry,
with local brews supplied by Mahtay Cafe & Lounge
and Podcast Study Guide Special Guest

Tuesday, November 21 | 6pm & 7pm

Book: “Volkswagen Blues”  by Jacques Poulin
featuring a Renegade Tour and Book Discussion led by Museum Curator/Supervisor of Historical Services Kathleen Powell,
with local brews supplied by Mahtay Cafe & Lounge
and Podcast Study Guide Special Guest

The Renegade Tour

Expect the unexpected. It’s a tour that is unpredictable and shares some of the juiciest stories in our history. Available only to Books & Brews participants.

The Discussion

Read the book and bring an open mind ready to discuss some comfortable and some uncomfortable topics that may question our identity and ideas of our history.

The Podcast

To help add to our book club conversation, we’ve partnered with Brock University’s History Department to put together a podcast for each selection providing a more in-depth look at the historical themes presented in the novel.  You can listen on our blog, on Soundcloud, and on iTunes

Registration & More Details

Session Dates: September 19, October 24, and November 21

Session Times: Session 1 begins at 6pm and continues to 8pm; Session 2 begins at 7pm and continues 9pm.

This is a 19+ only event. There is a registration cap of a maximum of 20 people per event.

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 August 1. Remember to leave yourself plenty of reading time!

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.Mahtay-logo (2).png

The Partner

We are so excited to have  our good friends at Mahtay Cafe & Lounge  as our food and drink partners. They’re going to ‘bring the local’ with some great brews (tea, coffee and beer) and tasty snacks.

Books & Brews Reviews

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

Jack Profijt

Meredith Leonard


Books & Brews participants discuss “Emancipation Day” in August 2016. Books & Brews sets up ‘camp’ in the heart of the museum galleries.