William (Bill) Smeaton - Arts and Culture Wall of Fame
Bill was born in Toronto in 1943, and came to Niagara Falls at a young age. He graduated from Stamford Collegiate and continued his college education in Buffalo.
Bill was always interested in the Performing Arts. He was a boy soprano soloist singing with the Optimist Club Boys Choir and St. Martin’s Anglican Church Choir. He studied with some of the finest male choristers when he was invited to attend Camp Wal-i-ro in Ohio.
He had many successes as boy soprano and a young baritone, winning many Kiwanis Music Festivals trophies and scholarships to study under former Metropolitan Opera singer, Vincent Matina in Buffalo, New York. This led him to a love of acting and performing with the Niagara Falls Music Theater and many other venues through the 60’s and 70’s.
Bill was a guest soloist for many concert bands in the Niagara Region, including the Fred Willett Concert Band where he performed during Summers at Queenston Heights, the Jimmy Miranda Band with Bob Wybrow conducting and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Band.
Bill was elected as the Mayor of Niagara Falls in 1984 and became an advocate for the Arts. He was concerned that there was only a Recreation Commission to promote and honour athletes in the city and decided to establish through City Council an “Arts & Culture Commission” for those who deserved recognition in the field of the Arts. His efforts led to many meetings with various Arts & Culture advocates from Niagara Falls and ultimately achieved his goal.
He was the first recipient of the “Barbara Frum Award” for the promotion of arts and culture in this city. Bill continues to support and promote arts and culture throughout all of Niagara both politically and personally.