top of page

Niagara antique power show a reminder of our collective past

By Luke Edwards

The old machine, having stalled out, caught Louie Stinellis’ attention. The young boy gave it a heave to try to get it restarted. It rumbled slightly but stalled again.

Stinelli gave it a little oil and tried again. His grandfather, Mark Kirton, came over to see what was going on. With that magic grandfatherly touch, a couple tweaks later and the engine was running again, rumbling away.

“All this stuff got us to where we are today,” said Kirton, a Welland resident who’s been collecting antique engines and tractors for about 50 years. He was at the annual Niagara Antique Power Association’s power show, held over the Canada Day long weekend at Learn Heritage Farm in Port Colborne.

Kirton had some help at the show, with his wife and grandchildren making sure everything kept running.

He first got into antique farm equipment in much the same way his grandkids are now taking an interest in it.

“I was taken to a show when I was his age,” Kirton said.

The annual show got off to a slow start, with Saturday being washed out with rain. The ground was still sloppy and wet on Sunday, but organizers were able to go ahead with the show. That pent-up anticipation resulted in strong crowds as the weather cleared on Sunday.

“Spirits are bright and people are happy,” said NAPA president Derek Fretz shortly after a brief opening ceremony on Sunday.

Visitors were eager to check out all the different sections of the show, from the antique equipment, to the animals, the trading post to the food section.

Andrew Bath brought his son, also Andrew, from Stevensville to check out the show. Nephew Alex Remollino joined them.

“We try to come every year,” said the elder Bath.

“I’ve been coming since I was a kid. It’s the history of it, letting the kids see what life was like.”

The two children had just tried their hand at hand grinding corn, and both said they enjoyed it.

Fretz joked that the favourite part of the weekend depended on what part of him he listened to.

“My stomach says the food, but my heart says the kids,” he said.

Fretz said the festival was generating interest in people getting more involved with preserving this kind of history. Many were asking how to become members and volunteers, others were interested in the NAPA merch that some volunteers were wearing.

“It’s great that in this hustle and bustle world where everyone’s busy, people are coming here to slow down and get back to tradition,” he said.

It won’t be long until volunteers begin looking towards next year’s show. But in the meantime visit for more information.


bottom of page