Niagara Falls Cultural Development Fund 2022
Are you a Niagara Falls based artist, organization or collective? The NFCDF is an annual fund for local projects to take place between March and February of each year. Project proposals can range from exhibitions to events, walking tours, workshops, panel discussions, lectures, public programs, art installations, project or concept development, heritage-related ideas, community celebrations, interactive experiences and performances. We encourage participatory and co-created projects, and collaborative partnerships between organizations, collectives and individuals.
What the Fund Supports
We aim to support innovative and inspired cultural programming that is:
- Niagara Falls-based
- Inclusive (accessible, available to the public)
- Collaborative (features shared costs and enhanced partnerships)
- Accountable (has measurable impact and sustainability)
The funds offer funding to Niagara Falls-based individuals, groups, collectives and organizations for the creation, production, presentation and distribution of culture and cultural services.
Innovative projects have the potential to engage the local community with cultural and heritage related ideas and activities. They can also be used for the advancement of community knowledge through culture or they can advance the arts community’s abilities through education, activities and dialogue. It is also the intention of this fund to provide groups (both formal and informal) with the ability to research and explore new directions for culture in Niagara Falls. This program also supports projects that use arts and culture in innovative ways to tackle issues such as social inclusion and marginalization.
- Allocate funding to new projects that engage the local community with arts, cultural and heritage-related ideas and activities
- Build capacity in Niagara Falls’ culture sector
- Increase access to culture for residents and visitors in Niagara Falls
- Promote cultural partnerships between public, private and governmental
- Celebrate Niagara Falls’ history, people, and identity
Level of Funding
In 2022, the maximum level of funding that will be allocated to one project may be up to $10,000. Microgrants are up to $1,000.
- Applications Available: October 20, 2021
- Information Sessions: 6pm Monday November 9, 2021 5810 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls History Museum
- Application Deadline: December 7, 2021 at 11:59pm.
- Announcement of Successful Applicants: It is anticipated that successful applicants will be notified by MArch 2022. This is also contingent on City of Niagara Falls Council Budget Approval.
Note: Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to seek feedback from the committee to strengthen any future applications that they may submit.
- Project Dates: Projects must occur between March 2022 and February 2023.
- Final Reports Due: Within one month of the project completion. The final installment will be paid once all reporting requirements are satisfied.
Full details of the fund and criteria are available in the application package.
As of October 20th Email Kim Van Stygeren, Cultural Development Coordinator for the application and criteria materials or call 905-356-7521, extension 5912.
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.
Be Resurrected Tonight
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.
Funding Level: $1000
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.
Funding Level: $1000
Niagara Juneteenth Festival
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.
Funding Level: $1000
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.
Funding Level: $1000
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.
Funding Level: $1000
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.
Funding Level: $1000
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.
Funding Level: $1000
Create the Summer Series
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.
Funding Level: $1000
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.
Funding Level: $1000
Niagara Falls History Mural
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2020 Fund Recipients
Porchfest / Sundays on the Porch
A weekly summer event where storytellers are hosted on the front porch of our home and a monthly event hosting music on a front porch. The audience engages from the front lawn, via social media livestreams and YouTube content.
Student of A.N. Myer S.S. Exhibition
The exhibition of artworks by the students of A.N. Myer secondary school, this will introduce young artists to the art world, they will get a behind the scenes look the art world, putting on an exhibition including curating a show, hanging, and insight into what is required of an artist to gain exposure.
Vision 2020: Women’s Work
An exhibition that includes 25 artists, 5 speakers/workshop presenters to honour the women artists working to advance the visual arts in Niagara Falls. The exhibition will open on December 6. One student from each of the city’s five high schools, will be invited to participate. In addition to the exhibition, the virtual opening will include scheduled talks that will focus on: the work women do to build community and support other women, the art women make to effect change, the need to continue addressing the issue of safety in women’s work, and the role of the arts in our community moving forward. The Niagara Falls Art Gallery will host this exhibition from December, 2020 until March 2021.
Express Your Stress: Creations in Quarantine
10 artists will create 10 separate art pieces that express the artist’s feelings and mindset during the COVID-19 pandemic. The artistic mediums that featured are photography, visual arts, film, and other creative multimedia projects. The online exhibition will take place over 10 weeks starting in September and will feature one artist per week to promote their work and engage a Niagara-based online community to explore the ways art and artistic expression can help us navigate the mental, social, and cultural impacts of the current pandemic. The artist commissions will also be digitally exhibited on a Niagara Mental Health Fair website.
Niagara Falls Art Gallery/Niagara Children’s Museum: Website Upgrades and Modification
Project Summary: Upgrade and update Niagara Falls Art Gallery existing websites to add increase accessibility to our programming and collections as well as to develop and generate new interactive content.
2019 Fund Recipients
Alley and Laneway Project
Celebrate Out Downtown
This pilot would be designed to engage Niagara artists to design alley and laneway spaces in Downtown as entertainment hubs, photo experiences, downtown beautification, legacy pieces and assist in bring our community to life. Five launches are planned for June 17, June 23, June 27, June 28 & July 1.
Day of 1000 Musicians
A unique music event bringing a diverse group of a 1,000 amateur and professional musicians to perform music together … a positive, organic experience! At the Gale Centre on July 20,2019 (rain date July 21,2019)
This project is a creative, playful and interactive exhibit depicting the complexity of our inter-dependent external and internal ecosystem in an easy to digest way. By using simple concepts like the food chain, recycling and the water cycle, people can participate in altering and nourishing the environments. Locations will include the Canada Day Parade and the Niagara Falls Night of Art Sept 19, amongst others.
Funk-tional Art Installation
Third Space Cafe
“Funk-tional Art” features local artists May, June, July and August in a unique gallery in the Third Space Café, and encourages community engagement through workshops and an Open House showing the completed art pieces.
Mock Archeological Dig
Niagara Falls Art Gallery and Children's Museum
To create a mock Archeological Dig program to provide opportunities for students grade 3 – 8 to participate in learning experiences related to math, science, history, archeology and visual arts.
NF Writers Festival
Niagara Falls Writer’s Festival (Writer’s Festival Group)
A series of literary workshops, readings and lectures spanning across Niagara Falls featuring local and national authors. October 12, 2019, NF public libraries.
Niagara’s Gift Shop
Permanent Vacation (Art Collective)
Permanent Vacation is partnering with NFHM, NFAG, NAC to create a series of innovative souvenir themed art-objects to be exhibited at various Niagara Falls venues. Multiple venues, premieres at Niagara Falls Night of Art on September 19.
Producing two full operatic productions for the Niagara region. Now in our 3rd season, Opera Niagara is Niagara’s only operatic company. Bellini’s La Sonnambula, April 26 & 27, and Massenet’s Manon in autumn 2019.
Pollinator Trail Native Species Sculpture Installation
Heartland Forest Nature Experience
With this grant we will host an artist competition to create a sculpture for our new pollinator trail. The outdoor sculpture will have both visual and tactile components and be environmentally and kid friendly.
An exhibition combining Photography, See Through Canvas and Dance! This show will be a zoom-in lens on how Letourneau Art appropriates the movements of dance she captures on the camera to the see through canvas. September 26th at the QUBE Escape Rooms.
The Boy from Niagara
A documentary film about an international artiste, Big John ‘T-Bone’ Little, and his city, Niagara Falls. Niagara screenings in November and December at the Seneca Theatre, NF Museums, City Library and the BME Church.
The Harder They Fall
A 4 part episodic comedy series centered around the trials and tribulations of a comic trying to make it big while living in Niagara Falls. In collaboration with numerous local comics, actors, musicians and dancers with support of local business and organizations. This will submitted to the Canadian Comedy Awards and to online streaming sites Crave TV, Crackle and Hulu.
Water for Life Children and Adolescent Art Workshops
Art Workshops engaging 120-240 kids/adolescents through art sensitize the importance of clean drinking water in our lives today and to protect it in the future. Artworks will be displayed to the public at the Niagara Falls Art Gallery and NF Library. Selected Artworks from 10 - 12 participants approved by an Art Committee will represent NF in itinerant art exhibitions in prestigious spaces in Florence, Italy in November 2019 as part of the United Nations’ III edition of the World Day for the Rights of Children.
2018 Fund Recipients
15th Anniversary of Summertime Blues in the Park
Stamford Centre Volunteer Firemen’s Association Bluesfest 2018
Free Family Concerts every Thursday from June to September at Firemen’s Park
4680 Q is an innovative broadcast platform to celebrate arts, heritage and culture interactive using live interviews, podcasts, streaming to build capacity within every medium of Niagara’s growing talent.
Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival Expansion
Niagara Arts Showcase
To grow the festival to include interactive and educational artistic and cultural experiences with an eye to strategic planning for future re-branding
This exhibition is not your typical gallery showing. The audience can "plug-in", connect via headphones and mobile / tablet and watch the creation unfold
Niagara Falls Elvis Festival 2018
Greg Frewin Theatre
The Project addresses financial and physical barriers hindering population segments from accessing Arts & Culture in Niagara Falls; it generates financial stimulus, reduces seniors’ social isolation, and strengthens community ties.
Fairy Heart Forest
Create a Fairy Village in a special section of the trail at Heartland Forest for enjoyment of the community at an accessible level for all
NF Art Gallery
A collaborative partnership between two not-for-profit organizations: the Niagara Falls Art Gallery and The Firehall Theatre, and one private business Ring Productions to present a summer Music, Art, Dance and Drama camp for children ages 7 – 16.
Market Niagara is a multi-displinary music, artisan, food and vendor market held in downtown Niagara Falls on Queen St. and throughout Valley Way.
The Great Canadian Historical Songbook
A collection of original songs and narratives bringing Niagara history with performance and podcasts - stories of saints, sinners, heroes, inventors and neighbours.
2017 Fund Recipients
Niagara Falls Art Gallery
Celebrating Canada 150 through Animation
A collaborative project between Heartland Forest and the Gallery to provide 2 weeks of summer programming at the Heartland Forest Celebrating Canada 150 incorporating digital animation with nature.
Share Peace, Discover Niagara River
The Niagara River is the backdrop of a walking circuit with street art, music, and talks focusing on peace through local culture.
“Niagara Falls Sunset Market”
Weekly family friendly pop-up market combining art, music, vendors and food trucks, with a focus on local culture.
Niagara Arts Showcase
Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival
A 3-day Art & Musical Festival featuring local artisans & musicians in a fun, family atmosphere of exploration, learning & enterprise.
Planet 3 Communications Ltd
INDIGENOUS 150+ is an indigenous film series dedicated to showcasing Indigenous films and artists, using story-telling and cinema as a vehicle for reconciliation.
Porchfest is a celebration of music and art in the community. Front porches act as stages to showcase the diverse talent in Niagara Falls.
Livestock Niagara Music & Arts Festival 2017
Project Summary: Livestock Niagara is a multi-disciplinary community event hosting 40 bands, 20 visual artists, 8 artisan vendors over a 14-hour day. Free to the public.
2016 Fund Recipients
Niagara Falls Art Gallery
Seniors Teaching Seniors
The purpose of this project is to continue to pilot a program of providing in resident seniors art programs.
Livestock Music Festival
Livestock Niagara Music Festival will host 45 bands (4 stages, 13 craft-art vendors, over a 14-hour day. Non-profit. Community event. Free to the public.
Niagara Falls Military Museum
WWI Escape from Niagara Falls Internment Barracks
Participants will experience the live scenario of being under military discipline for being drunk and disorderly on duty during WWI at Camp Niagara and will attempt to escape.
Porchfest Niagara Falls is a celebration of music in the community. Porches in the downtown residential area will host musicians on July 24th from 1-4pm.
Niagara Falls Arts Walk
A public art project consisting of murals by various artists on accessible outdoor space at 5400 Robinson Street in Niagara Falls with designated signage.
Perpetual Peace Project’s Culture Jam
The Culture Jam will be a 1 week long musical exploration of synergy and creativity with a focus on creating a hospitable and welcoming environment for artists and audience to partake in the jam or simply listen and be.