Cultural Development Fund

Niagara Falls Cultural Development Fund 2021

Funding Guidelines

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 2021, 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, 2020
  • Information Sessions:   6pm Monday November 9, 2020 5810 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls History Museum
  • Application Deadline:   December 7, 2020 at 11:59pm.
  • Announcement of Successful Applicants: It is anticipated that successful applicants will be notified byMArch 2021. 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 2021 and February 2022.
  • 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.

To Apply

  • Email Kim Van Stygeren, Cultural Program Assistant for the application and criteria materials or call 905-356-7521, extension 5912.


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)


Feed Me

Manuel Trujillo

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.


Opera Niagara

Opera Niagara

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.



Andrea Letourneau

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

Ayo Adewumi

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

David Green

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

Antoine Gaber

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



Rick Rose              

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



Andrea   Letourneau          

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               

Torena Gardner-Durdle     

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


MADD Camp        

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    

Livestock Niagara

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        

Aaron Berger       

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.

Laura-Lee Burey

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.

Marinko Jareb

“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.

Shelley Glica

Porchfest is a celebration of music and art in the community. Front porches act as stages to showcase the diverse talent in Niagara Falls.

Rafik Guirguis

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.

Rafik Guirguis

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.

Shelley Glica

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. 

Marinko Jareb

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. 

C.D. Onofrio

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.