Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Ontario’s Niagara Parks celebrates  80th Anniversary of Oakes Garden Theatre

Rededication event celebrates the extensive rehabilitation work undertaken at Oakes Garden Theatre

80th Anniversary celebrations include special Canadian citizenship ceremony

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted September 19th on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, OntarioIn a ceremony held today, The Niagara Parks Commission was pleased to rededicate the awe-inspiring amphitheatre, Oakes Garden Theatre, in celebration of the venue’s 80th anniversary.

Oakes Garden Theatre near the Falls. Photos courtesy of Niagara Parks

Oakes Garden Theatre and its associated Rainbow Gardens are outstanding examples of design and architecture created to specifically act as a dramatic gateway to Canada. Influenced by the City Beautiful architectural movement of the mid-20th century, the venue was first opened to the public with an original dedication ceremony held on September 18, 1937. Continue reading


Take Heart Niagara, We had Buffy here for the Celebration of Nations!

A nod to something REALLY GOOD that happened in Niagara this past week

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted September 15th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

With all of the crap that rained down on our heads this past week around the God-awful Niagara Peninsula Development Authority (or was that once the Conservation Authority?) and regional council, it does one’ body and soul well to recall that we had legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, in our midst, if only for a few precious days.

Buffy Sainte-Marie injected some welcome words of wisdom, strength and inspiration into the Niagara scene this last September 8-10 weekend, and we sure needed them.

Here all the way from her haven of a home in Hawaii, Buffy was at Niagara’s FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines this past September 8th and 9th for the weekend-long ‘Celebration of Nations’ with friends and neighbours from this great continent’s Indigenous communities.

On the opening night of the Celebration, the Juno, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning artist performed in concern at the Arts Centre and the following afternoon she joined a panel discussion with Canadian dancer Santee Smith,   Allison Fisher, executive director of Ottawa’s Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, and artist Denise Bolduc, recipient of the 2017 Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Award, in a ‘Moccasins Talk’ on activism, resistance and resilience. Continue reading

Hat’s Off to Lighthouse’s co-founder and spiritual leader Skip Prokop – Thanks for all of the ‘Sunny Days’

Hamilton, Ontario native was one of Canada’s musical treasures

A Few Words of Tribute from a fan, Doug Draper

Posted September 10th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

For many people coming of age in the late 1960s and 1970s, one of the must see bands of the times was ‘Lighthouse’ – especially if you were a young Canadian in a country that seemed to be coming of age itself in the afterglow of centennial celebrations that saw the whole world coming to one of the greatest parties of the century, Expo 67.

Skip Prokop laying down the beat for the Canadian rock ensemble Lighthouse. The Hamilton native who earned international acclaim and recoded with such legends as Janis Joplin and Carlos Santana has left us at the age 73.

This Canadian saw Lighthouse in concert more than half a dozen – almost as many times as I saw The Guess Who, another band that rose to the same level of a musical institution in Canada during those years . Continue reading

  Angry CBC Radio listeners demand fewer mindless personal-story programs

‘Hundreds of people said they no longer listen to Radio One, while other said they turn the radio off as soon as they hear one of the selfie-like programs.’

A Commentary by  Nick Fillmore

Posted September 7th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Hmmm … then why are people turning it off ?

(A Brief Foreword Note from Nick – Because I worked with CBC for more than 25 years and have great loyalty to quality public broadcasting, I regret that I need to take CBC Radio One management to task in an aggressive manner. But when considerable damage is being done to the network and managers refuse to answer basic questions, I feel I have no alternative.)

Long-time CBC Radio One listeners upset over summer programming that featured a dozen shows about personal concerns and peoples’ problems will be listening carefully this fall to see how many of those kinds of programs are in the line-up. Continue reading

  Get Ready for Celebration of Nations in Niagara Ontario – September 8th to 10th at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines

Let’s gather to learn about and celebrate our shared history, and future. 

An Invite to All from Niagara’s FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Posted September 6th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – “We’re thrilled to partner with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,” said Kakekalanicks president and Artistic Director Michele-Elise Burnett (Métis).

Legendary singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie among Celebration of Nations event headliners

“The great Métis leader Louis Riel once said, ‘My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.’

Through the Celebrations of Nations programming delivered at this state-of-the-art venue, we’re doing our best to make that vision come true.”   Celebration of Nations will showcase a variety of Indigenous arts and artists, ranging from traditional and contemporary music, dance and visual arts to film screenings, creative workshops, teaching, and hands-on activities for both children and adults. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Introduces New Literary Speaker Series

  • Laura Secord Homestead to host new literary speaker series, beginning on September 7th

  • Series will highlight outstanding Canadian female authors and their contributions to Canadian literature

  • Wine and cheese events will feature lectures, passage readings and open discussion

Laura Secord Homestead

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

September 6th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Queenston in Niagara, Ontario  – The Niagara Parks Commission is pleased to announce a new four-part literary speaker series, Coast to Coast: Canada’s Literary Women, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and the multitude of unique and extraordinarily talented, female literary voices found within this country. Continue reading

Suzanne Rochon-Burnett’s Contribution To Indigenous Arts Honoured In New Exhibit at Brock U.

An Invite to All from Brock University in St. Catharines

Posted September 6th on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Before Suzanne Rochon-Burnett passed away, she asked that her daughter Michele-Elise take over where she had left off.

Suzanne Rochon-Burnett. Photo courtesy of Brock University

“She gave me instructions for her art,” said Michele-Elise Burnett. “She said, ‘you’ve been fortunate to see and know this art, but it will be your responsibility to continue to share the knowledge, the teachings and the messages that are being told through our people’s art.’” Continue reading