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For Immediate Release
March 10, 2021

Niagara Falls 2021 Cultural Development Fund Recipients

NIAGARA FALLS, ON - The City of Niagara Falls Culture Committee has selected 18 new cultural initiatives, innovative programs and projects to receive funding from the 2021 Niagara Falls Cultural Development Fund, which was created in 2016.  These initiatives, programs and projects will engage the community with high-quality, accessible, cultural and heritage-related ideas and activities that celebrate Niagara Falls’ history, people and identity. They will be delivered throughout the year at various locations and events throughout the City, observing strict Covid safety policies in place at the time.  This year new $1000 “micro grants” were established, offering a simplified and introductory possibility for individuals or groups looking to complete smaller projects.
 

2021 Recipients:

Micro grants

$1000 was awarded to each Application.
 

Be Resurrected Tonight                

Adam Buller
A professional recording & corresponding animated music video of THUNDERCLAP’s song: BE RESURRECTED TONIGHT. The song in question encapsulates the weird and colourful life of now deceased Niagara Falls artist Hugh Macdonald.
 

Emotional Robots

Joe Cleary
I am looking to create a large scale [6’+] humanoid robotic sculpture out of found objects. The project would require the sourcing and finding of parts from the Niagara region. The goal would be to create a definitive “Emotional Robot” to flagship the many smaller sculptures I have created over the past few years. I currently have a number of robots built and have always wanted to do an installation. Having a six foot tall sculpture to be the centre point of the installation would be the icing on the cake and the focal point of the collection, with the intention to exhibit locally.
 

Niagara Juneteenth Festival 

Sherri Darlene
The goal of this event is to expose the Niagara community to the history of this glorious date & the culture of their Black residents. Funds will be used for the design and set up of the Juneteenth “Speaker Corner” Website, and include paying administration and technology staff and support payments to invited speakers, marketing and research. The Juneteenth Festival will hold open educational discussion along with information on the history of the unique and direct connection Niagara has to June 19th. The Juneteenth Festival website will allow Justice4BlackLives the platform to continue to expose not just residents, but anyone interested, in learning Black history of our community.
 

Quizine!

David Green
A comedy cooking gameshow filmed in Niagara featuring and showcasing numerous Niagara Falls restaurants and tourist destinations and having local entertainers as guests. Quizine is exactly as it sounds! Part Quiz Show, Part Cooking Show. Hosted by award winning comedian and host David Green and featuring local restaurant GM Rob Dorinzi, with local celebrity guests each episode. The shows will be filmed live in Niagara Falls and released online as a recurring series. Featuring 3 rounds of 7 questions the contestants must answer their questions to earn extra ingredients for their meals. The tastiest meal at the end wins. Food is cooked by comedian/restauranteur Rob Dorinzi and judged by local Niagara personalities.
 

Niagara Falls Guide

Caroline Meyer and Matthew Hughes
A video journalist and cameraman team up to showcase the real Niagara, the people, places, culture and history. A glimpse of the city beyond the neon. We plan to make a series of 5 minute videos for YouTube that highlight the lesser-known attractions that Niagara has to offer. Our goal is to show the visitor and local alike, what treasures lie in our city.
 

Fallon Falon Falynn

Falon Rose Shaw
This will be a one woman show, set at the Niagara Falls History Museum which according to current health regulations may or may not be online to start. The show will be a combination of comedy and real life experiences which centres around the struggles of mental health, growing up in Niagara Falls and being a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The show will discuss
marginalization, education, oppression and overcoming obstacles but will be presented with a  modern, comedic and honest view while bringing to light these issues. The goal of the show is to touch people’s hearts and start important conversations within our community while also being entertaining. It will be a thought provoking experience.
 

In Lieu of Dog

Sarah Lou Stuart
In Lieu of Dog is a stripped down ground acrobatics production by doom ensemble Harmonic Shadow Circus. It features acrobat Sara Lou in handmade fox costume, whose short performances will incorporate strength tricks, flexibility tricks, balance tricks, some jarring movements, and some playful trickery such as following a person’s shadow. It will be performed in the round to a mostly pedestrian audience. 1-2 musicians, also in costume, will accompany her with spooky lullabies. The performance is designed to fit in where there may be both tourists and locals, and to mesh with what is already going on, events such as Hallow-Queen and Niagara Falls Night of Art, in various populated areas around town. It can start and stop seamlessly, which is a strength. The performance complies with Covid-19 regulations by design: it is small, easy to pack up and go, physically distant, and safety is incorporated in our costumes.
We intend to seriously blur the boundaries between life and art; to make performance art both free and accessible to walking audiences; to make folks smile; and to engage their sense of play through mischievous and gentle movements. Our goal is to display what contemporary circus looks like in Niagara in 2021, to celebrate Niagara’s circus history, Niagara’s culture, and Niagara’s identity as a town harbouring the Eternal Circus.  Lastly, I will celebrate the wildlife who share our communities through this performance, namely the rarely seen red fox.
 

Create the Summer Series

Jim Vaylin
A series of arts-based challenges and competitions, which encourage and celebrate creativity through storytelling and visual arts, that’s held in the summer of 2021. The “CREATE the Summer” series will provide ongoing, accessible opportunities for all members of the public to be active participants in DIY community art making. This project will consist of weekly non-competitive art challenges and four 48-hour arts competitions, released digitally from June to September 2021. Art challenges will be free, open to the public, and fully accessible online. The 48-hr competitions will run every third weekend. Each competition will showcase a different artistic medium, including short film, short story/poetry, fine art and music. These events aim to reduce traditional barriers to entry in the arts by offering free challenges, low entry fees for competitions, no required past experience, and free online access. Our online platforms will also provide a space for community building and networking.
We will encourage participants to continue to develop their creative talents by celebrating their work and partnering with local organizations with creative resources.

 

Annie Edson’s Taylor’s Barrel of Laughs

Katie Webb and Brie Watson
A stand-up comedy series at Camp Cataract, one Friday per month over four months, featuring women and LGBTQ+ folks from the Niagara Region. Currently, the comedy community in Niagara struggles with a lack of underrepresented voices. This show’s goal will be to elevate the voices of Niagara women and LGBTQ+ folks at a professional level of performance, where they can showcase as well as build their talent in a safe, supportive environment.
Each show will also feature a professional headliner who will serve two functions: to entertain the audience and from whom the other comics can learn technique.
 

NFCDF

Niagara Falls History Mural

Emily Andrews
An 8’x12’ collage-style mural, created using photographs and ephemera of Niagara Falls history that will exhibit at various cultural events in Niagara throughout 2021.
For this project, I will create a hand-cut photo collage using historical images and ephemera sourced from the Niagara Falls Public Library’s digital database. This collage will be fun and surrealistic in nature and will feature significant elements and events of Niagara Falls History. It will be printed on three 4’x8’ sheets of weather-proof vinyl-coated aluminum and will be exhibited at various cultural events in Niagara including the Niagara Night of Art, the Art Walk on Queen Street, and an exhibition at the Rosberg Gallery. In between exhibitions at said events, the mural will be installed on the construction hoarding surrounding the site of Niagara Falls Exchange so as to gain more exposure and beautify the area throughout the year. After touring around to these local events, the mural will be permanently installed on a building on Queen Street where it will continue to be enjoyed by locals and tourists for years to come. The goal of this project is to contribute to the expanding arts and culture scene in Niagara Falls while at the same time celebrating and exhibiting key aspects of the history of Niagara Falls. The mural will add to the vibrancy of the downtown area and serve as a permanent attraction for both tourists and residents of Niagara.
Funding Level:  $4,460

 

VR Art Gallery of Niagara

Egan Henderson
The goal of this project is to create a VR art gallery comprised of art pieces by artists from the Niagara region. This gallery will be available freely online to make the project as accessible as possible. The project will allow people to use a VR headset to explore a virtual art gallery. This VR headset allows the user to move their body around the gallery using a controller and to move their head around using the headset. This means the users can get up close and personal to view art pieces without needing the artist to display their work in a physical gallery.
By having the gallery be digital, people do not need to travel to a gallery and are able to experience the art from their own homes. Within the project, each art piece will include an artist statement and a link to their website or social media page. This allows viewers of the gallery to inquire further into any art they are interested in. Depending on regulations on social gatherings, the VR headset used in the project will be brought to different locations to allow those who do not have a VR headset to get the full experience of the gallery. For those who do not have a VR headset and cannot attend any events, a non-VR version will be available.
Funding Level: $ 5,580
 

Growth Through Planted Soil

Andrea Letourneau
We are creating a virtual livestream show to promote the arts, plants and sustainable living. We would like to highlight and support locals from artists to gardeners to whom may have had a tough time during this pandemic. We understand the impact and want to promote growth (metaphorically and literally). Natalie Caruso, owner of Root Related and Letourneau Art are collaborating: plants and art together. We will sell a set of plants with an art piece throughout the show. (50%) of the proceeds with be donated to Resource Association for Teens (RAFT) which ‘operates a resource centre, emergency shelter and provides community outreach and development activities to youth in the Niagara Region’. Especially during these times, homelessness is at an all-time high and we want to contribute during the pandemic. 
Funding Level: $1,705
 

Youth Pride/Rainbow Day Niagara 2021

Angela Menotti
Youth Pride/Rainbow Day Niagara 2021 will be a day to celebrate diversity in Niagara Falls. It will include live and/or virtual events and activities for all locals. Pride/Rainbow Day will create a sense of community and inclusion for our 2LSGBTQ+ youth, which they feel has been lacking in their own city. All events will adhere to Covid restrictions and be amended as necessary.
Funding Level: $10,000
 

Outdoor Classic and Family Film Festival

Niagara Falls Art Gallery
NFAG will develop an outdoor art film series to be delivered during the summer of 2021 held both at the Niagara Falls Art Gallery and in partner locations Heartland Forest and City Hall. The films will be classic films, art house films and family friendly films (specifically for the Heartland Forest screenings).
Funding level: $10,000
 

Jam in Perpetuity

C.D. Onofrio
The project is to be a livestream of a Niagara music marathon over five days. It will draw on the shift work ethic of factories as a model of how to construct the marathon. The Jam aims to:
  • Employ between 6-12 professional quality musicians in exploring and decorating time and
    streaming the performances for a public audience.
  • To create a sense of community in working towards a common goal (marathon) and a larger goal of a Jam in Perpetuity (longer marathon)
  • Experiment in the livestream/channel experience
  • Draw on Niagara’s manufacturing industry heritage
  • Highlight Niagara musicians both in a local market and a larger market
  • Relate the continuous musical “flow” to the identity of Niagara as place of rivers, water, electrical current (flow), and persistence
  • Inspire musicians and public alike with high quality craftsmanship, common purpose and identity, and culture of cooperation
  • Provide an opportunity to continue the musical marathon through crowdsourcing
  • Provide musicians/ audience with a positive outlet at the end of what looks to be a difficult winter
  • Provide an alternative site for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which are customarily a high water mark for both musicians and audiences alike.
Funding Level: $5305 
 

The Pianist from Niagara

Irmina Somers
A documentary about the life and work of Niagara Falls pianist Harold Bradley combined with a mini live concert of Chopin's music. The documentary will delve into the life and work of a famous Canadian pianist born in Niagara Falls. Mr. Bradley was a virtuoso pianist, Isidor Philipp's student. Isidor Philipp studied piano under the eye of Georges Mathias (a pupil of Frédéric Chopin). It is therefore safe to say that our pianist had a Chopin’s "anointing".
The pianist has contributed to the development of innovative music education for young children. His Institute of Music was based in Paris and Niagara Falls. I would like to introduce a somewhat innovative method of making a documentary because, firstly, I would like to combine a documentary show with a mini live concert of Chopin's music and, secondly, a documentary about the artist's life would be intertwined with a kind of scientific research and checking whether Mr. Bradley's methods of exercising the left hand still work today.
As a pianist, I think we have an extraordinary story to tell that is connected with the history of our city, which will make our city famous also in the world of classical music.
Funding Level: $10,000
 

Celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day – Downtown Niagara Falls

Andrew Wunderink
Celebrating indigenous people within the Niagara Falls community through an art installation in
downtown Niagara Falls, and launching the piece on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st, 2021.
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, Third Space Café will utilize the NFCDF funds to pay for an Indigenous artist to design and develop a piece of art that is 8 feet by 12 feet to hang above the Third Space Café, across from City Hall, along with installation from a professional company. The piece will be permanent in nature, and the landlord is providing the space free of charge. A maintenance MOU will be created with the local BIA. To celebrate the revealing of the piece, the BIA will hold a June 21st National Indigenous Persons Day event. June is National Indigenous History Month - a time for all Canadians - Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers - to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people.
Funding Level: $3,950

 

Heart Sculpture (In the Arms of Love)

905 Intergalactic Artist Collective
As a new artist collective, formed over Covid, as we have been adapting to the changes, working in smaller trusted groups, sharing ideas. We will research, design and create a 6 to 8 foot metal sculpture in a heart shape made out of found upcycled objects of metal, with new metal components for structural integrity. We plan to showcase this work at the Niagara Falls Night of Art, Heart Niagara as well as showing it and the collective's work at the Hub Art Gallery on Queen Street. We are lighting it and are currently discussing showcasing it at the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights. We would love to see it all over Niagara Falls being enjoyed.
Funding Level: $10,000
 

“The City of Niagara Falls Cultural Development Fund offers funding to individuals, groups, collectives and organizations for the creation, production, presentation and distribution of culture and cultural services,” said Clark Bernat, City of Niagara Falls Culture & Museums Manager. “The pandemic has highlighted our need to create and come to an understanding of who we are.  We are extremely excited about the first round of microgrants and our ability to support more artists, creators and promoters to provide interesting and unique experiences for the people of Niagara Falls.”

For more information, contact:

Clark Bernat
City of Niagara Falls
Phone: 905-358-5082
Email: cbernat@niagarafalls.ca
 

 

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