Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Brock U. Prof’s Art Featured on Canadian Music Giant Diana Krall’s Latest Tour

“She (Diana Krall) has been so great to work with, you could almost forget her status in the music world.” – Brock Fine Arts assistant professor Amy Friend

News from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted November 6th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – When the e-mail popped into Amy Friend’s inbox, she was certain it couldn’t be real.

But a feeling inside prompted the Brock Fine Arts assistant professor to respond to the inquiry, which asked about her artwork and whether she’d consider collaborating with renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

It was soon after that Friend found herself on the phone with the Grammy Award winner discussing possibilities for her upcoming tour.

The artwork of Brock Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend, a sample of which is flashed across the stage here, is being featured on the international tour of renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

 Friend’s experimental photography has since helped Krall to set the scene on stage, acting as her backdrop as she captivates crowds in venues across North America and Europe. Friend’s work has been featured on the jazz singer’s international tour since June and the partnership is expected to continue through to the summer. Continue reading


Calling All Hip Fans! … to the Grand Old North Park Theatre in Buffalo New York

THE TRAGICALLY HIP: LONG TIME RUNNING Finally Comes to the U.S. for One Week Only! – November 3rd thru November 9th, 9:30 p.m. each night (or a little after)

A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper, publisher, Niagara At Large

Posted November 3rd, 2017

The tickets for the week-long run of this moving documentary on last year’s Farewell Tour of Gord Downie and The Tragicaally Hip have been selling out rapidly, with only a limted number left for the week nights next week, according to one of the North Park Theatre’s managers. Continue reading

A Few Belated Words on the Heartbreaking Loss of Rock Legend Tom Petty

By Doug Draper

Posted October 30th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

“I won’t back down. No, I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.” – Tom Petty, from his 1989 anthem of defiance, ‘I Won’t Back Down’.

I was up on the roof of a shed in my backyard, laying shingles this past October 2nd, when I first heard the news blaring from a radio I had on below – ‘Tom Petty found dead, apparently from a massive cardiac arrest, at age 66.

That was four weeks ago and Tom Petty would have turned 67 had he lived to celebrate his birthday this October 20th, and as much as I am reminded of the reality of what happened with a cover of a recent Rolling Stone magazine sitting on my desk, with a picture of him staring back at me under the dates 1950 to 2017, I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that one of my all-time favourite recording artists going back to the time when Petty and I – about the same age and sitting in our separate family homes, his in Gainesville, Florida and mine in Welland, Ontario – first saw The Beatles performing live, on a television show in North America. Continue reading

One of the Pioneering Giants of Rock & Roll Is Gone – Fats Domino 1928-2017

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted October 25th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Along with Jerry Lee Lewis and  Little Richard, he was one of the last bonifide pioneers of the music that became known around the world as Rock & Roll, until we got the news this Wednesday, October 25th.

The piano playing singer and songwriter from New Orleans, who became legendary for such 1950s hits as Blueberry Hill, Ain’t That A Shame, I’m Ready, Whole Lotta Lovin’ I’m Walkin and so many others, was 89 and passed away just months after another founding giant of the music, Chuck Berry, died in his 90th year.

For those who may be way too young to remember Fats Domino in his prime and the impact he had on the world of music, you just need to know one thing. Without him and Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard and Elvis Presley and a handful of others who broke out in the mid-1950s, there would have been  no Beatles, no Rolling Stones, no Bruce Springsteen, no Tom Petty, no Clash and no Gord Downie and Tragically Hip. Continue reading

2017 Trillium Awards Honour ‘Green Thumbs’ in City of St. Catharines

News from the City of St. Catharines

 Posted October 20th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario  – The City of St. Catharines recognized 13 properties with real curb appeal at the 2017 Trillium Awards.   During a special reception at City Hall on Monday, Oct. 16, Mayor Walter Sendzik and members of City Council congratulated this year’s Trillium Award recipients.

Mayor Beautification Award – 125 Vansickle Rd. Photo courtesy of City of St. Catharines

“Thank you to all of the nominees who work hard caring for their gardens and properties to make our city a more beautiful place to be,” said Mayor Sendzik. “St. Catharines residents take great pride in our reputation as the Garden City which contributes to making St. Catharines a more green and sustainable place to live.”   Continue reading

A Canadian Giant has fallen with the Passing of Gord Downie

A Few Words of Tribute from Niagara, Ontario resident and long-time public servant and Tragically Hip fan Patrick Robson

Posted October 20th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Gord Downie, during a Tragically Hip concert at Artpark in Lewiston, New York in 2009, File Photo courtesy  of Kelly Robson

Canadians from coast to coast, Canadian ex-pats across the globe, and music fans everywhere  who were fortunate enough to be touched by the poetry and passion of the Tragically Hip, were collectively and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the band’s frontman, Gord Downie.

Privately, his family has our thoughts and prayers as they deal with their profound sense of loss. Canada’s  Prime Minister, expressing the sentiment felt by millions, wept openly and unashamedly.

Gord was a giant in Canadian music, to be sure. But far more than that, he was a giant as a Canadian citizen. Continue reading

Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip walks the Secret Path

        1964-2017 –

A Brief One from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted October 19th, 2017

When news broke, this Wednesday, 2017th of the death of Canadian  musician, poet and activist Gord Downie at age 53, Niagara at Large posted a short piece in tribute that you can visit by clicking on – .

On the front pages of a few major Canadian newspapers this October 19th,  there was an image of an illustration by artist Jeff Lemire, who worked on the drawings and animation for Gord Downie on a project the Tragically Hip frontman completed last year called Secret Path, recounting the tragic story of a young Indigenous boy , Channie Wenjack, who in October of 1966, died of cold and hunger as he tried walking hundreds of miles along railroad tracks to get home to his family from a residential school where he was taken and kept like a concentration camp prisoner.

Jeff Lemire took the image he had drawn of the young  boy on the tracks for the Secret Path project and replaced  him with Gord Downie walking away from  us, as one way of  honouring him following his death. This moving image has been posted by the artist on Facebook, and  if you are a fan of Gord Downie and have not yet seen it, I am reposting it here.

Further to that, Gord Downie was a vocal advocate for environmental protection and a long-time supporter  who also sat on the board of  the b-inational citizens group Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

This October 18th, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, a sister group of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, posted the following words –

All of us at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper are saddened by the loss of Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip. Gord was not only a beloved artist here in Western New York, but also served as a Trustee for our partners at Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. On October 3, 2013, Gord headlined a night of acoustic performance and poetry to benefit our organization’s mission. We will never forget that amazing evening, nor the artistry of this talented and passionate human being. Thank you, Gord, for sharing your life and art with the world. You will be greatly missed.’

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders