The Roselawn Centre was originally built in 1860 as a stately three-story home of Upper Canada Victorian architecture, changing hands in early 1870s and 1900s, and eventually became The Port Colborne Club in 1957. After 10 years of operating as an arts and cultural centre, Roselawn continues to be a focal point of recognition of tourism, arts and culture.

The City of Port Colborne assumed the operations to sustain this heritage-filed facility, expand special events, and encourage public access to the Centre. Amongst the many community activities happening within Roselawn Centre, we are proud of our partnership with Showboat Festival Theatre run by Lighthouse Theatre.

The City of Port Colborne continues to enrich culture-based creative experiences, which are central to the way we have developed our identity as a community. Roselawn Centre continues to offer residents and visitors, a truly unique, vibrant, and well-balanced cultural experience. 

Conference & Meeting Rooms

Dating back to the 1860's, the Roselawn Centre is rich in history and elegance. Located in the heart of Port Colborne, Roselawn offers comfort and beauty for everyone to enjoy. The exquisite facility provides space suitable for conferences, business meetings, training, lunches, wedding receptions, and a wide variety of functions.

The Double Parlour

This room boasts a decorative plaster ceiling, two beautiful bay windows, an Italian marble fireplace, and hard wood flooring. Spacious enough for groups up to 35 people for dining, bridal showers, business meetings and more.


The Presidents Room

Surrounded by windows, this room overlooks the picturesque gardens of Roselawn. This room is suitable for dining, meetings, weddings and more. This room is spacious enough for 80 people.

The Sun Room

This bright and charming room is a favorite of guests; it features two beloved stained glass windows, depicting Port Colborne's Lakeshore. Room enough for up to 20 people; it is ideal for private gatherings, business breakfast meetings, luncheons or any small function.


Friends of Roselawn Centre

The Friends of Roselawn Centre is a not-for-profit volunteer advisory board whose mission is to resurrect the Roselawn Centre, a civic center in a magnificent historic mansion currently sustained by the municipality. By using the Roselawn Centre, the Friends of Roselawn Centre hopes to create a permanent, sustainable community arts center that stimulates and helps co-ordinate the development of the visual, literacy, performing and heritage arts within the local community and beyond.

This group of energetic community members have a passion for art & culture, and a love for the beloved Victorian Mansion.

The Friends of Roselawn Centre has established two mandates:

  1. To help facilitate the offerings of art & culture events in both the community at large and at the Roselawn Centre
  2. Through a partnership with the City, help restore and maintain the Roselawn Centre and the beautiful Victorian Mansion

We hope you will consider becoming a member of the Friends of Roselawn Centre as a way to show support of these goals and become a part of the future of art & culture in this wonderful community!

Our mission: “Creating a home for the arts and entertainment at Roselawn to ensure a vibrant cultural life for our community”.


The Roselawn Centre is housed in what has been a landmark in this area since it was built by Levi Cornwall in 1860. At the time of the erection the stately three-story home of Upper Canada Victorian architecture was in the centre of what was then a large farm. Early settlers came from miles around to admire it. In the early 1870s the residence was purchased by Lewis C Carter. Mr. Carter came to Canada as a child in 1834 from New Jersey. He became a prominent local businessman running a successful mercantile business as well as serving as Postmaster and Justice of the Peace. The marble found around the fireplace in the residence's parlour was brought from Italy by Mr. Carter on one of his business trips. Mr. Carter died in 1896. The house was sold in 1902 to Mr. Carter's nephew, Charles E. Steele, along with six acres of adjoining property. C.E. Steele was a descendent of William Steele, a United Empire Loyalist who came to Humberstone (now Port Colborne) in the 1780s. “Roselawn” became the home of the six Steele children. The home remained in the family until 1957. After Mr. Steele's death in 1948, it was leased to the Canadian Government and became Regimental Headquarters for the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, “B” Company. In 1957 it was sold to a group of local businessmen and became the Port Colborne Club.

During its existence the Club hosted government dignitaries and business leaders while earning a reputation for fine cuisine. In the early 1990s declining membership and increasing costs encouraged the membership to transfer the property to a community group for the purpose of establishing a home for Showboat Festival Theatre. The Roselawn Centre for Arts Education and Business was established in 1991. In 1996 the City of Port Colborne became owner of the property. In a unique partnership between the City, the provincial government and the federal government, and the Port Colborne – Wainfleet Community Development corporation, a flexible 270-seat theatre auditorium has been built. The Centre is now home to Showboat Festival Theatre, Friends of Roselawn. The facility provides accommodation for meeting rooms and special events.


Showboat Festival Theatre

Showboat Festival Theatre is committed to presenting live professional theatre in Port Colborne every summer.

With passion, dedication and inclusion Showboat will strive to create an affordable, welcoming and entertaining environment for all who enjoy live professional theatre.

We have the lights, we have the shows, we have the stars, now all we need is you!

Call Showboat Theatre at 905-834-0833 right now and book your seats to what will be an unforgettable season.

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 centre 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 Projects. 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 centred 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 was to renovate an existing historically and architecturally significant building and grounds into a cross-use community centre 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. Interesting in becoming a volunteer at Roselawn? Fill out a Volunteer Application Form and set up an appointment by email.