Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

A Journey Back Through a Slice of Niagara’s Maritime History

Public Tours to be held at Downtown St. Catharines, Ontario excavation site of historic Shickluna Shipyard

An Invite from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted July 26th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario – Through thick, heavy mud and clay, the search began last week for remnants of lost local maritime history.

Excavation of the 19th century Shickluna Shipyard got underway Thursday, July 18, with Brock University students getting a taste of life on a dig site.

Instructor Kimberly Monk, Adjunct Professor with Brock’s Department of History, shows student Braeden Corr, left, a digital map of the Shickluna shipyard site, where archaeological excavation began July 18. The public is invited to tour the site and meet the archaeologists Aug. 17 and 18.

 Archaeologist Kimberly Monk, Adjunct Professor with the Department of History, is leading an archaeological field school at the site in downtown St. Catharines for both Brock students and community members.  Continue reading

Garden Walk Buffalo is Back & Celebrating 25 Years

You are Invited to North America’s Largest and Most Popular Urban Gardens Tour, Free and Self-Guided, Running                                                      for Two Beautiful Days                                                – Saturday, July 27th & Sunday, July 28th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From the Organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo

Posted July 22nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

A getaway in a corner of a lush backyard near Buffalo’s Elmwood Village area and Delaware Park. File photo by Doug Draper

Join us for our 25th anniversary! Tour is free and self-guided. No tickets required. Nearly 400 creative urban gardens. NEW in 2019–the Parkside neighborhood is part of Garden Walk Buffalo!

Garden Walk Buffalo celebrates its 25th anniversary as a garden tour this year! It is America’s largest garden tour, attracting garden lovers throughout Western New York, Southern Ontario and beyond.

Held annually on the last weekend of July, Garden Walk has become one of the most anticipated summer events locally — and even nationally. An estimated 65,000 visitors flock to Buffalo to tour more than 400 residential gardens as well as many community and public gardens. Continue reading

Facer Street Multicultural Festival Returns to Niagara this Coming August 5th

An Invite to All from the Facer District Merchants and Residents Association in St. Catharines in Niagara

Posted July 22, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Every summer, residents from throughout Niagara region and beyond descend upon Facer Street to celebrate the neighbourhood’s rich history, and experience fantastic food, drinks, and enchanting entertainment in a family atmosphere.

A peak at a past Facer Street Festival. Come fill the street again for this one. File photo

The Facer District Merchants and Residents Association proudly presents the Facer Festival once again on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The annual celebration, established in 2016, has evolved into Niagara’s largest summer multicultural festival, showcasing the diversity of the unique Facer community.  Continue reading

St. Catharines’ Museum is Ready to Celebrate Christmas in July 

Christmas in July takes place at the Museum on Tuesday, July 23, from 6 to 8 p.m., and will include the vintage automobile on display, as well as other special artifacts photos and more from the movie. Santa will be making an appearance, there will be live music and much more.

Ralphie’s family car from the much-beloved holiday classic film “A Christmas Story” is coming to the St. Catharines Museum this July. See more details below

 Thee vintage car from the cult classic A Christmas Story – the Parker family’s 1937 Oldsmobile F37 – will be rolling into the St. Catharines Museum next week. 

An Invite from the City of St. Catharines and the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre 

Posted July 17th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Niagara, Ontario – The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is issuing a triple-dog dare to the community, with an invitation to join them for a festive celebration marking the halfway point to the holidays. 

The museum will celebrate Christmas in July as part of its Open Late series on Tuesday, July 23, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The family friendly event will include some Christmas movie history, including the vintage car from A Christmas Story – the Parker family’s 1937 Oldsmobile F37 – on display for the evening.  Continue reading

Buffalo’s Award-Winning Philharmonic Orchestra – BPO – Performs at City’s Historic Central Terminal

Saturday, July 13th in Buffalo, New York

Buffalo’s historic Central Terminal under restoration. One of the grand structures from the heyday of rail travel

“Experience the rich history of Buffalo’s East Side as seen through the lens of the cultural and culinary organizations that still thrive there.”

Posted July 11th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

East Side Festival
Buffalo Central Terminal
Saturday, July 13
FREE! No tickets or reservations required

Doors open at 1:30 PM
Music performances begin at 2 PM
Central Terminal tours begin at 2:30 PM
BPO concert at 7:30 PM

The BPO, in collaboration with the BPO Diversity Council, the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation and Senator Timothy Kennedy, is spearheading a daylong cultural festival that celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Central Terminal and the cultural heritage of Buffalo’s East Side.

This FREE one day festival takes place on Saturday, July 13 with a full orchestral concert from your BPO serving as the grand finale of the day! Continue reading

Celebrate the Canada Day Long Weekend at Ontario’s Niagara Parks

Enjoy free concerts in Queen Victoria Park followed by a spectacular Canada Day fireworks display

 Experience the natural beauty of Niagara and take advantage of the numerous cycling, hiking and golf opportunities at Niagara Parks

Travel from Toronto to Niagara Parks on the GO Niagara Seasonal Train Service

An Invite to All from Niagara Parks in Ontario

Posted June 27th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, ON – From the beauty of Niagara Parks’ natural and cultural heritage experiences, to the annual outdoor Canada Day celebration in Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Parks offers a full lineup of events for the whole family throughout the holiday weekend.

Annual Outdoor Celebration at Queen Victoria Park

Niagara Parks’ beloved outdoor Canada Day celebration returns to Queen Victoria Park on Monday, July 1, featuring free live music, family-friendly activities, performers and an outdoor licensed barbeque area on the front lawn of Queen Victoria Place. Continue reading

All He Was Saying Was Give Peace A Chance

A Decade Later, They Shot Him

A Brief Commentary and Memory in Time by Doug Draper

Posted June 1st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

John Lennon, unplugged from The Beatles

In the spring of 1969 – now 50 years ago, believe it or not – John Lennon and his new friend and lover, Yoko (whose ever presence in his life annoyed the hell out of many Beatle fans) were doing what appeared to be some pretty crazy and avant garde things.

One of them was a “bed-in for peace” that they staged and a hotel in Amsterdam in late March of that year. As legend has it, when a journalist asked the couple what they were trying to say or do with the act, John Lennon replied; “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

That answer became the chorus of a song that John Lennon wrote and recorded with an eclectic cast of characters, from beat poet Allan Ginsberg, to comedian Tommy Smothers and pop singer Petula Clark,  50 years ago this June 1st at a second bed-in they stated staged in Canada, in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec.

John and Yoko, doing their bed-in for peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, 50 years ago this spring.

‘Give Peace A Chance’ was released as a single in July of 1969, as demonstrations against the War in Vietnam continued to grow and a generation of young people were getting ready to go to “three days of peace and music” at a festival called Woodstock, and rose up the billboard charts in North America to number 14, which was modest for a single by Beatles standards.

A sign that remains on the door of a room at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel where Give Peace a Chance was recorded.

Nevertheless, the chorus of the song went on to outlive its writer, who was shot to death in in gun happy America on December 8th, 1980 in front of a building where he lived in New York City.

‘Give Peace A Chance’ has lived on to this day as an anti-war chant as iconic as ‘We Shall Overcome’ lives on as a chant for social justice and civil rights.

I end here with what I know has become a tired old question. Why is it almost always the voices for a more peaceful world, in the persons of Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and John Lennon (just to name a few) who get gunned down.

Fifty years after John Lennon recorded ‘Give Peace a Chance’ the world is still looking for some.

I am coming to the conclusion that there is something in the DNA of humans or in the way humans are hardwired that sees us so often making war and killing each other, however honest and noble the sentiment in John Lennon’s song is.

Click on the screen below to hear and view the chaos in a room of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel on June 1st, 1969 as John Lennon was leading a cast of interesting characters in recording ‘Give Peace a Chance’ –

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

 

The More-Cool-Than-You-Think Doris Day Dies at Age 97

One of the Very Last of the Pop Icons Whose Star Rose During the Big Band Era of the 1940s and Continued To Shine for Decades to Come

“Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que será, será
What will be, will be.” 

– Lyrics from what became, for better or worse, Doris Day’s signature song

A Brief One by Doug Draper, Niagara at Large

Posted May 13th, 2019

Before I even begin this one I can just imagine all or most people under the age of 40 who might visit this site saying; “Doris Day? Who the hell is Doris Day, and why would knowing who she is even matter?”

And even people who do know who she is may say; “Hey Doug, I have read the odd tribute you have posted on this site on a rock star, or on a soul or a blues or a jazz artist, but Doris Day? I thought you were a little cooler than that?”

Doris, a little later on, around the time when she was still starring in her own TV show, The Doris Day Show, in the 1970s

Back in the 1960s, when I was still going to school and living at home with the parents, I thought I was at least a little bit cooler than that too. I’d be listening to records by bands like The Rolling Stones, Cream and The Kinks, and my parents would start listening to an old Doris Day song and I would say; “Hey, mom and dad, how un-cool is that?

It wasn’t until later that I found out that Doris Day, who died this May 13th at age 97, had far more gravitas to her than what, in my teenage eyes, that too-squeaky-clean-for-her-own-good image of her portrayed.

One of those entertainers who started out as a big band singer during the late 1930s and 40s (one of her first major hits was a song called “Sentimental Journey” that went over well with young lovers during the Second World War years), and who had enough talent and stage presence to make it in the movies and that then new medium called television, Doris Day emerged as one of the super stars of her generation. Continue reading

Ford Strikes Wrong Chord With More Cuts To The Arts

“This showcases just how out of touch the Ford Conservatives are with how important it is to support the local cultural sectors that contribute so much to our economy.”                                                      – Ontario NDP Culture Critic Jill Andrew

News from Ontario’s NDP/Official Opposition Party

Posted April 25th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from NAL publisher Doug Draper –

It never seems to fail how much the more hardcore right-wingers in Conservative Parties on the Canadian side of the border and the Republican Party in the U.S., show their contempt for the arts – unless, of course, they can personally find a way of making big bucks off of them.

They will poor all kinds of tax money into some phoney ‘war on crime’ or the military, and give no end of tax cuts or subsidies to the upper one or two per cent.

But if you have a program or business that has anything to do with encouraging or promoting or offering up the arts, look out.

So here we are with the following news release from the province’s NDP/Official Opposition Party about more cuts to the arts from Doug Ford’s Conservatives in Ontario.)

QUEEN’S PARK — Jill Andrew, Ontario NDP Culture critic, said it’s shameful for Doug Ford to step up his attack on the arts by cutting the Ontario Music Fund by more than 50 per cent.

Yesterday, Billboard reported that the Ontario Music Fund’s budget has been slashed to $7 million, down from $15 million. The fund is designed to promote the province’s music industry through funding streams that support everything from live music events to music company development. Continue reading

Chorus Niagara Presents Silent Film Masterpiece Peter Pan

 At Partridge Hall, one showing only May 4th, 7;30 p,m. FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, in downtown St.Catharines, Ontario.

News from Chorus Niagara

Posted April 24th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

CHORUS NIAGARA’S SILENT CINEMA is back with the enchanting lavish film fantasy Peter Pan, accompanied by a LIVE choral soundtrack curated by Artistic Director Robert Cooper, C.M.

This is the first-ever film version (1924) of J.M. Barrie’s magical boy who refuses to grow up, with cinematic effects of mermaids, mystical ships, secret hideaways, and the ever-popular flying sequences, that still delights today.

Chorus Niagara and Artistic Director Robert Cooper proudly present this fully restored masterpiece with LIVE soundtrack by the 100 voices of CHORUS NIAGARA and the keyboard artistry of Organist Edward Moroney and Pianist Krista Rhodes.

Artistic Director Robert Cooper says, ‘It was the lavish silent fantasy, the magic of flying children and the wondrous storybook land where kids never grow up, in this 1924 nearly-forgotten classic, that caught my creative fancy. Continue reading

On This Coming Record Store Day, Here Are Some Great Ones to Visit in Our Region

Cool Beat Music and Books in Cheektowaga, New York and Niagara Records in St. Catharines, Ontario

“There is nothing as glamorous to me as a record store.”                Paul McCartney

A Brief Call-Out for Record Stores  from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted April 10th, 2019

This coming Saturday, April 13th is a very special day for those of us who love music and, most importantly, for what are left of the marvellous and magical places in our regions that bring that great music too us.

This Saturday, April 13th marks the 11th annual ‘Record Store Day’ across North America and other parts of the world – a day when those of us who love music and the very special sense of community music inspires when we experience it together can do that coming together at favourite brick and mortar record stores, to support and celebrate t what Paul McCartney rightly calls the glamour and the joy they can bring to our lives.

Cool Beat Music and Books, one of the great stores for records in the greater Niagara region – this one in nearby Cheektowaga, New York

Those of you who regularly visit  Niagara At Large may already know that I like to advocate for supporting what are left of some of the great  independently owned stores in our region, and recently I highlighted three of the best used book stores, including Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books and The Write Bookshop in St. Catharines, Ontario and  Rust Belt Books  in Buffalo, New Year.

This time, on the eve of this year’s Record Store Day, I want to mention at least a couple of the  coolest record stores on either side of the Niagara River.

And I’ll start with one called Cool Beat Music and Books that you can find on the American side of the border, less than a 10 minute drive from downtown Buffalo, New York on 2445 William Street in neighbouring Cheektowaga.

Inside the Cool Beat store with owner Wayne Zaganiaczyk, a veteran record and book seller in the region.

If you are wondering how you are going to find this very cool store, I will include a link for a map you can click on near the bottom of this post. For now, all you need to know is that Cool Beat is a store well worth finding. Continue reading

Brock University Proposal Sees A New Era For The Arts In Downtown St. Catharines

“A vibrant arts culture is crucial to the health and vitality of the entire Niagara region.” – Brock President Gervan Fearon

News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted April 3rd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The historic Rodman Hall art centre in St. Catharines/Niagara

Niagara, Ontario – Brock University is committed to advancing its pledge to help grow vitality and development in downtown St. Catharines.

The University and community partners are therefore exploring a plan to preserve historic Rodman Hall, provide modern space for the Rodman Hall art collection, and help create a new arts and culture hub in downtown St. Catharines.

The plan is based on commitments that would give the local arts community expanded space and long-term stability in modern, climate-controlled facilities that are conducive to storing and showing works of art, this despite the University needing to find more than $15 million in budget savings after the province announced tuition cuts on Jan. 17. Continue reading

If You Like Used Books Stores, You Will Love Rust Belt Books in Buffalo, New York

Visit Rust Belt Books this Coming Monday, April 1st thru Friday, April 5th for its annual ‘Backroom Book Sale’ where you can get a Bag of Books for just Five Bucks

One of the very cool cats you may meet at Rust Belt Books in Buffalo

Another Brief Call-Out for Supporting Great Book and Record Stores from Doug Draper

Posted March 28th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

If you are a regular visitor to Niagara At Large, as we hope you are, then you already know that we are strong supporters of locally owned book and record stores here.

We believe that the best of these great stores are not only good for the local economy, they also add, immeasurably, to heart and soul of any community worth living in.

Rust Belt Books on 415 Grant Street in Buffalo, New York.

That’s why we take a little time out to promote some of these stores for no compensation other than this. … For the sake of our communities, we want these places where people can go to share their passion for books and music to survive and thrive.

And one such place that serves as a great commons for book livers in Rust Belt Books, located right across the border from Niagara, Ontario, on 415 Grant Street in Buffalo, New York .

If you have never had the pleasure of shopping in this store, and meeting its nice owner, this coming Monday, April 1st through Friday, April 5th is a good time to start because the store is hosting its annual “Backroom Book Sale” where for five American bucks you can purchase a whole bag of books. Continue reading

Brock University to Screen Award-Winning Film ‘Moose River Crossing’ – Friday, March 22nd   

Film, produced by Brock Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo, examines Residential School system in Canada. Admission is Free

News from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted March 19th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Brock University Chancellor and Moose River Crossing filmmaker Shirley Cheechoo

A special screening of the award-winning film, Moose River Crossing, by Brock University Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo will take place on campus Friday, March 22.

Cheechoo, who was appointed to a second term in her role with the University last June, will begin the evening by reading a passage from her play about residential schools, and will follow the film screening with a question-and-answer session with the audience. Drummers from the Niagara Women’s Drum Group will also perform.

Moose River Crossing examines the residential school system through the eyes of six fictional former students who meet at a train station to head to a reunion. They flash back to the troubling times they experienced at the residential school and aim to answer the question of whether or not time heals all wounds. Continue reading

Visit Two of Niagara, Ontario’s Great Used Book Stores & Help Keep Great Stores Like Them Alive

 – Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books & The Write Bookshop in St. Catharines –

Both Stores Are Bursting With Books, Now on Sale for 50 Per Cent Off for the Whole Month of March

A call of support for some of the Best Independent Stores in our Greater Niagara Region by Doug Draper

Posted March 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

“Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack –  from Street Haunting, a book of essays by Virginia Woolf

Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books on 71 Queen Street in St. Catharines near Lake Street and Montebello Park

In an age when online shopping threatens the survival of brick and mortar stores, I hope the day never comes when we are sorry that they are all gone.

Call me out of step with the brave new world of eBay and Amazon, if you like, but I think our towns and cities would be pretty deadening places to live in if there were no more brick and mortar stores.

And that would be especially true, in my view, if we lost every last independent book and record store, where a person can go and experience a real sense of community with others who share their passion for good books and music.

In that spirit, I am going to make a habit on Niagara At Large of devoting a little more space to drawing attention to and encouraging all of us to support what are left of the independent book and music stores on both sides of the border in our Niagara and Erie county regions, lest we lose these great places.

The Write Bookshop on 285 St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines

So I begin with two of the very best used book stores in all of Niagara, Ontario, and they are both having store-wide 50 per cent off sales all this month, right through to end of Saturday, March 30th. Continue reading

Niagara Falls to be Illuminated in Green for St. Patrick’s Day – Sunday, March 17th

Niagara Falls Illumination Board to take part in the annual “Global Greening” campaign

An Invite to the Falls from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted March 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – In partnership with Tourism Ireland’s “Global Greening” campaign, the Niagara Falls Illumination Board will once again light up Niagara Falls in green on Sunday, March 17 in celebration of all things Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Photo courtesy of Niagara Parks Commission

Both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls will be bathed with vibrant green light for 15-minute intervals at the top of the hour from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., joining numerous prominent world icons such as the Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the London Eye, the Colosseum in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to name but a few. Continue reading

Make Ontario’s Niagara Parks Your March Break Destination

Visit the Art of Nature exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory

Take part in Birds in Flight photography sessions

Enjoy interactive heritage programming at Table Rock Centre

Niagara Parks goes Green for St. Patrick’s Day with special Falls illumination and Irish-themed menu at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant

Plan a full day and save on Niagara Parks attractions with the Wonder Pass

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted March 5th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Inside Niagara Park’s Butterfly Observatory

Niagara Falls, Ontario  – Niagara Parks will be presenting an exciting lineup of March Break events and activities all along the Niagara River corridor from March 9 through to March 17.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy the majesty of Niagara Falls alongside awe-inspiring natural attractions, special exhibits and programming, as well as locally sourced Feast On certified culinary experiences. Continue reading

Chorus Niagara premieres a new musical work by Niagara composer James Moffett

Saturday, March 2 , 2019, 7:30 pm Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St.Catharines.

Also featuring seldom-heard unique work KING DAVID from French/Swiss composer Arthur Honegger

A News Release from Chorus Niagara in Niagara, Ontario

Posted March 1st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Chorus Niagara and Artistic Director Robert Cooper proudly present Arthur Honegger’s KING DAVID. Accompanied by new music by Niagara composer James Moffett, LEGACY.

Artistic Director Robert Cooper says, “If you enjoy the drama of a great Handel oratorio, like Messiah or the magnificence of a Bach masterpiece like the St Matthew Passion, then this concert is for you.  Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Presents Art of Nature Series Including New Exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory

Exhibit to showcase 30 visually stunning nature photographs, winners from the Canadian Geographic Wildlife Photography Contest

Interactive programming and workshops inspired by Canadian nature and wildlife

Overlooking the lower Niagara River from Niagara Glen along the Parkway in Ontario

A News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted February 27th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – In support of its mandate as the environmental and cultural stewards of the Niagara River corridor, Niagara Parks will be hosting the upcoming Art of Nature Series, including a travelling exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory, along with specialty programming and hands-on workshops from February 16 through to April 28.

Inside the Niagara Glen Nature Centre overlooking the lower Niagara River

The exhibit will showcase 30 winning photographs from the Canadian Geographic Wildlife Photography Contest, as coordinated by the Canadian Museum of Nature and Canada Post, offering guests a closer look at incredible moments in Canadian nature, which have been captured on film. Continue reading

It Was 50 Years Ago Today …. January 30th, 1969

The Beatles performed their very last public concert on a rooftop

A Brief Memory from Doug Draper

Posted January 30th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

“I’d t like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we’ve passed the audition.”

With those words, spoken by John Lennon on top of a roof in London, England on January 30th, 1969, performed their very last public concert before disbanding for good, the following year.

What became known as their “rooftop concern” was documented on film for the grand finale of what would also be their last feature-length movie, ‘Let It Be’, and would showcase live performances that song along with other soon-to-be hits, ‘Get Back’ and ‘The Long and Winding Road’.

It would also showcase ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, a song written mostly by John and that made up the flip side of the vinyl 45 rpm single, ‘Get Back’, and that featuring keyboardist Billy Preston, in a rare appearance with a group that had virtually no history of using accompanists when it played live.

Click on the screen below to watch them performance of that song –

For millions of people like me, who grew up in the mid-to-late 1960s Beatles music as a major part of our soundtrack, the breakup of the band was a sad time and was followed by a hope that it would one day re-unite – a hope that, a decade later, died forever, when a deranged individual shot John Lennon to death outside his home in New York City.

The Beatles’long and winding road did not last long enough, at least not for the rest of us, but we still have all of the great music from band that certainly passed the audition.

.NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

Local Musician’s Legacy Lives On Through New Brock University Jazz Ensemble

Brock students and members of the community are invited to audition for the Department of Music’s new jazz ensemble. For more details, read on.

News from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted January 28th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

If you’re a jazz lover in Niagara, you’ve likely crossed paths with Hugh Logan.

Brock students and members of the community are invited to audition for the Department of Music’s new jazz ensemble, which is funded by a generous gift from the Bassett family in honour of late musicians Hugh and Marie Logan. Pictured here is music student Aaron Cardona.

Affectionately known as ‘Hughie,’ the Toronto-born musician was a prominent part of the local music community for decades — known as much for his upbeat demeanour and quirky antics as he was for being a valued and dedicated member of a number of bands.

Logan died in 2016, but his legacy will live on for years thanks to a generous gift to Brock University’s Department of Music.

Logan’s sister, Norma Bassett, has created a fund that will support a new student and community jazz ensemble, an accompanying instrumental jazz techniques course and the Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series. The gift is Bassett’s way of honouring her late brother and sister-in-law, who were loved for their musical accomplishments and larger-than-life personalities.

The ensemble and three-concert series will launch in the fall out of Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA). Continue reading

Work of acclaimed Indigenous artist Carl Beam on display at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Niagara

Opening reception for “Carl Beam: Us and Everything” is free to attend and takes place Friday, Janunary 11th  at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

An Invite from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines

Posted January 11th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

An exhibition featuring works by an Indigenous artist described as one of the most important artists in Canadian contemporary art history, is on display at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

Samples of this great artist’s work above and below

The community is invited to celebrate the opening of the exhibit featuring works by Carl Beam, the first Indigenous artist to have his work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada as contemporary art. The opening reception for “Carl Beam: Us and Everything” is free to attend and takes place Friday, Jan. 11 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Continue reading

Three More Opportunities to see ‘The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

Dr. Ann Innis Dagg and a friend

The Feature Length Documentary about a woman considered “Caanada’s Jane Goodall” is still screening at The Film House in St. Catharines/Niagara

December 27th, 28th & 29th

News from The Film House and The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted December 27th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario- You still have an opportunity to see the feature length documentary The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, on Thur 27 Dec at 2:30pm, Fri 28 Dec at 2:30pm and Sat 29 Dec at 4pm. The film is described by critics as “naturally enlightening, inspirational and rousing.”

Director Alison Reid makes the viewer feel joy and pride for all of Dr. Ann Innis Dagg’s ground-breaking successes and sadness and anger at the patriarchal constructs that derailed her professional career.

The documentary does have a happy ending: in 2010, a distinguished group of giraffologists brought Dagg back into the fold.  Dr. Anne Innis Dagg is now gaining recognition as a well-respected Canadian trailblazer! Continue reading

Join a Local Christmas Bird Count this Holiday Season!

In one of last year’s Bird Counts, a record 410 American goldfinches were recorded in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Find Information Below on Bird Count Days hosted by Nature Clubs in Niagara

‘Scientists use the data collected from these Bird Counts to monitor the health and status of resident and migratory birds over time, and to develop conservation strategies for species in decline and their habitats.’

A News Release from Ontario Nature

Posted December 21, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Boreal Owl_credit_Nate_Kohler_Ontario Nature

Each year, bird lovers welcome winter by joining a Christmas Bird Count. It’s a great way to explore nature while helping our feathered friends and is a part of many families’ holiday traditions.

The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900, and today it is North America’s longest-running wildlife census. The one-day bird census is conducted by volunteers of all ages and skill levels. Many local counts are organized by birding and nature clubs, and everyone is welcome to attend free of charge. Continue reading

You Are Invited To A Very Special Screening Of –

THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES: The determined woman, who is truly Canada’s Jane Goodall!

On Wednesday December 19th at 7 p.m. Followed by Q&A with the ground-breaking Canadian biologist, Anne Innis Dagg and film director Alison Reid!

News from the Film House at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted December 18th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Anne Innis Dagg discovered her life-long passion for giraffes as a little girl while visiting the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago in 1947. When she asked for a book on the animals, she was surprised to learn there wasn’t one…

“So I thought, ‘Well, I’ll learn about giraffes and then I’ll write one,’” recalled Dagg. Continue reading

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Icon Gordon Lightfoot returns to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Niagara

Celebrate his 80th birthday with a North American tour in 2019

Tickets on sale to HOT TICKET members this Wednesday, November 28th, 2018!

Some Exciting News from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted November 26th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario – We are ecstatic to announce two performances with Gordon Lightfoot, on sale to HOT TICKET Members starting this Wednesday. The beloved singer-songwriter will perform in Partridge Hall on Thursday 11 April and Friday 12 April 2019 for two up close and personal evenings of stories and song.

Lightfoot’s history with St. Catharines runs deep – his last performance at the PAC was part of The Legend Lives On 2017 tour that found the singer criss-cross North America for 79 dates between March and November. In 1968, some 50 years ago, Lightfoot played to a packed crowd at the Palace Theatre in downtown St. Catharines (the site of the former Town Cinema) directly across the street from the FirstOntario PAC. Continue reading

Annual Poinsettia Display Returns to Ontario’s Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse

Popular seasonal display will take place from Saturday, November 24 to January 12, 2019

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted November 22nd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, OntarioA family tradition for over 70 years, the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse continues to showcase the best of the holiday season, featuring vibrantly coloured arrangements, including poinsettias, cyclamen, blue spruce and many other Christmas surprises.

A visit to the Floral Showhouse would not be complete without a stroll through the Life on Display exhibit, located throughout the gardens outside. Explore the grounds, including traditional-themed holiday lighting displays as part of Niagara Parks’ Aura: Let it Glow celebrations, which have added several incredible illumination-themed events to the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights. Continue reading

Wellspring Niagara Presents – This coming December 6th at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre

An extraordinary evening of music in support of Wellspring Niagara Cancer Support Centre

THE MANTINI SISTERS:
LIVE AT THE PAC! 

PARTRIDGE HALL

News from Wellspring Niagara Cancer Support Centre

Posted on November 19th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

An extraordinary evening of music with Niagara’s own, The Mantini Sisters! Described as “Canada’s contribution to the great female trios”, The Mantini Sisters are joined by a phenomenal band led by Arranger/Director, Mark Camilleri (The Tenors, David Foster, The Priests). Continue reading

Brock U. Pop Culture prof says Stan Lee’s impact ‘almost indescribable’

Scott Henderson believes comic book icon Stan Lee will go down in history as a significant contributor to pop culture

A News Release from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted November 19th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Brock University Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Pop Culture Association of Canada said Lee, the Marvel Comics writer, editor and publisher who died a week ago this Monday (November 12th) at the age of 95, transcended the industry he helped create.

“He altered comic books in the 1960s and made them so much more relevant than they had become,” said Henderson. “He really reinvented the comic book form. His impact is almost indescribable. It’s a separate level.” Continue reading

Chorus Niagara Presents – An Anthem For Our Times

EIN DEUTSCHES REQUIEM, featuring Johannes Brahms’ moving German Requiem – November 10, 2018, 7:30 pm Partridge Hall,                                           FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St.Catharines

Pre-concert chat for ticket holders at 6:30 pm

A Grand Opening Evening  with Chorus Niagara

Posted November 9th, 2018 on Niagara At Large.

Opening its 56th season, Chorus Niagara and Artistic Director Robert Cooper proudly present EIN DEUTSCHES REQUIEM, featuring Johannes Brahms’ moving German Requiem, plus contemporary composer Ola Gjeilo’s Dark Night Of The Soul.

A humanist Requiem, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem is both grand and intimate, meditative and dramatic, offering consolation to the living and soothing the universal need for comfort in times of profound loss. ‘ Continue reading

Niagara Falls to host all-Canadian musical line-up for New Year’s Eve celebration at Niagara Parks

Featuring Burton Cummings, the lead singer from one of Canada’s most legendary rock groups, The Guess Who

Canadian singer and songwriter Burton Cummings first came to fame in the 1960s and 70s with the hit rock band, The Guess Who

  • New Year’s Eve celebration to take place in Niagara Parks’ Queen Victoria Park
  • Featuring a diverse and talented musical line-up of Canadian artists, including rock icon Burton Cummings
  • Two spectacular firework displays planned from the Niagara Gorge and Skylon TowerNews from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted November 9th. 2018 on Niagara At Large

The triple Juno Award-winning band, The Sheepdogs

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Parks Commission and the City of Niagara Falls, along with its Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve event partners, invite the public to join the celebrations and be part of one of Canada’s longest running New Year’s Eve festivities and concert series, taking place in Queen Victoria Park.

This year’s concert features an all-star line-up of Canadian talent and will open with Niagara Falls-based band and winner of band of the year at the Niagara Music Awards, Avenue Inn. Avenue Inn has carved a unique space in the Canadian music scene since their formation in 2012 and have carefully crafted their own alternative rock approach, with their brand-new album “Tonight”.

Taking the stage at 9 p.m. will be The Sheepdogs, the triple Juno Award-winning Saskatoon-based quintet. Continue reading

New Art Exhibit at St. Catharines City Hall offers ‘Abstract’ Look

Everyone is invited to the opening reception of the exhibit, Friday, Nov. 2nd, from 4-5 p.m. at St. Catharines City Hall, 50 Church Street

News from the City of St. Catharines
Posted November 1st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario – A new art exhibit completed by members of the Willow Arts Community has added a splash of colour to St. Catharines City Hall.

‘Abstract City Hall’ is currently on display on the second floor. The work, a series of colourful paintings by different artists merged together to form an abstract look at St. Catharines City Hall, was created during a Willow Arts Community workshop which was delivered by instructor Mark Roe. Continue reading

Fall Foliage on Full Display this Thanksgiving Weekend at Niagara Parks

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission
Posted October 4th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

The rapids of the lower Niagara River. Photo courtesy of Niagara Parks Commission

  • Take in the stunning autumn colours from lake to lake along the Niagara River Recreation Trail 
  • Hike the newly classified trail system that winds through the lush Carolinian forest of the Niagara Glen
  • Locally inspired harvest menu and Thanksgiving Brunch at Niagara Parks restaurants
  • Take advantage of the last stretch of warm temperatures with special fall promotions at Niagara Parks Golf Courses

Niagara Falls, Ontario  – Celebrate the transition to fall by exploring the hiking trails, parks, gardens and natural wonders found throughout Niagara Parks, as you enjoy the beauty and serenity of the fall colours all along the scenic Niagara Parkway.

An aireal shot of the fall foliage along the Parkway and walls of the gorge above the lower Niagara River. Photo courtesy of Niagara Parks Commissoin

The timing is perfect this Thanksgiving weekend to take advantage of the remaining warm temperatures and enjoy all there is to do in Niagara Parks: Continue reading

Summer’s Gone, But Stage Is Already Being Set for 25th Anniversary of  Garden Walk Buffalo in 2019

Call Now Out for 2019 Garden Walk Buffalo Artwork Submission

News from the Organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo

Posted September 28th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – In 2019 Garden Walk Buffalo will celebrate 25 years as America’s largest Garden Walk. We are looking for submissions of original artwork to promote the 2019 event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, 2019.

This is an opportunity to share your artwork with hundreds of local gardeners and thousands of visitors.

Entries are due Jan. 31, 2019.

Artwork should communicate:

On the artwork front, here is the winning poster for this past July’s Garden Walk Buffalo 2018

  • Descriptives: Gardens, flowers, creativity, neighborhood
  • 25th Anniversary: you may choose to incorporate the number “25” into your artwork if applicable. It is not a requirement to do so, but an option.
  • Garden Walk Buffalo is the largest garden tour in the U.S and one of Buffalo’s most anticipated summer events.
  • It attracts thousands of visitors to Buffalo’s Westside to tour more than 400 creative urban gardens.
  • Garden Walk Buffalo shatters expectations of Buffalo city living, it promotes neighborhood beautification, and instills community pride.

Continue reading

Niagara College Prof, Grad Christopher Bessette Wins Best Director Award

2012 film Trade of Innocents makes a comeback at annual Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival (CIFF)

News from Niagara College in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 24th, 2018 on Niagara At Large 

Niagara-based writer / director Christopher Bessette doesn’t only reach for the stars, he shines among them.

Christopher Bessette (,left) receives the Best Director award from festival co-founder and co-director Rafael Kalamat at CIFF 2018.

The Niagara College Broadcasting graduate and current part-time faculty member was among the star-studded nominees and winners at the second annual Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival (CIFF) held September 14-16 in Toronto – including Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Dennis Quaid and Mira Sorvino. Bessette attended CIFF with multiple award nominations for his 2012 film Trade of Innocents, and walked away with the Best Director award, while cast member Sorvino also won Best Lead Actress for her role in the film.

Trade of Innocents — which raises awareness of child exploitation through human trafficking – was selected one of the featured films at CIFF and Bessette was invited to participate in a film festival panel alongside Oscar winner Roger Christian (Star Wars) and other industry experts.

Continue reading

Buffalo Philharmonic Pays A Musical Tribute To One Of The Greatest Song-Writing Masters Of All Time

Come Celebrate George Gershwin’s 120th Birthday at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, New York – Saturday, September 22 at 8:00 pm

News from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) and Kleinhans Music Hall

Posted September 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Celebrate the 120th birthday of the original piano man, George Gershwin! John Morris Russell opens the BPO Pops season with an extravaganza of the Gershwin repertoire, including the cherished Suite from Porgy and Bess.

Guest artist seventeen-year-old Ray Ushikubo, winner of the 2016 Piano Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival and School and recipient of the prestigious Davidson Fellow Laureate Award, will wow audiences with the “I Got Rhythm Variations” on piano, and a special encore you won’t expect! Mezzo-soprano Nicole Thomas lends her pipes to some of Gershwin’s classics.

Continue reading

Brock U. Film Series Moves To Performing Arts Centre For New Season

2018 Season Begins Thursday, September 20th at the Performing Arts Centre’s Film House in downtown St. Catharines. See You There!

News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted September 19th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Brock University Film Society (BUFS) is launching its new season with a well-known partner on board.

The longstanding movie series will begin its latest run at the end of the month in collaboration with The Film House at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC).

Screenings will take place at the downtown St. Catharines theatre over the course of 11 weeks — and cinema buffs will not want to miss a scene.

With the advent of streaming sites and changes to the way films are distributed, people are tempted to watch movies at home. But Scott Henderson, a professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, and one of the people behind BUFS, wants to challenge that idea. According to Henderson, there’s more to watching a movie than just hitting play. Continue reading

An Old Beatle Offers Us A Bit Of  Bright Light In Dark Times

“Who cares what the idiots say, Who cares what the idiots do, Who cares about the pain in your heart, Who cares about you, …. I DO.

  • From ‘Who Cares’, one of the 17 new songs on Paul McCartney’s 25th and latest solo album, ‘Egypt Station’, released This September 7th, 2018

A Brief One from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted September 7th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Paul McCartney is back – not that he ever went away – with a very nice new album.

In a world where music lovers everywhere are still mourning the passing of Aretha Franklin and some of us are still coming to terms with the all-too-soon –and-sudden death last year of Tom Petty – all with the madness of King Trump deconstructing decency and democracy 24/7 – how good it is to still have Paul McCartney with us, releasing a whole album of songs that rise up from the kinder side of human nature.

The album, called ‘Egypt Station’, also features great cover art from paintings produced by McCartney himself and was released this Friday, September 7th, 2018 – just a little over 50 years to the day that he and the rest of The Beatles released what would be one of the biggest singles every, ‘Hey Jude’, with ‘Revolution’ on the flip side. Continue reading

Ontario Parks’ Old Fort Erie Hosts Annual Murder Mystery Night

See It On Saturday, September 8th, at 7 P.M.

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission
Posted August 30th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Fort Erie, Ontario  – Niagara Parks’ Old Fort Erie invites guests to attend its popular Murder Mystery event taking place on Saturday, September 8 at 7 p.m., which will combine an evening of intrigue with the fascinating history of the old stone fort and the site of Canada’s bloodiest battlefield.

Murder Mystery in Old Fort Erie. Photo courtesy of Niagara Parks

The all ages event challenges participants to test out their detective skills within the chilling walls of Old Fort Erie. Assist the inspector and interview sneaky suspects to find the culprits and help solve the mystery to win a prize at the end of the evening. Continue reading

19th Annual Elwood Avenue Art Festival – One of Our Bi-National Region’s Last Great Street Fests of the Summer

In Buffalo, New York’s Elmwood Village Area – Saturday & Sunday, August 25th & 26th

Posted August 24th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Shop – With more than 170 artists and craftspeople selling work done in 16 different mediums, you’re sure to find something you love. Continue reading

Aretha’s Hometown Newspaper Does Her Up Right

Queen of Soul’s Passing Is Front-Page News in Newspapers across the United States, Canada and Around the World

Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted August 17th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

The Detroit Free Press, in the Motor City where Aretha Franklin lived most of her life and where she died at home this August 16th following a long battle with cancer, devoted  its whole front page to the Queen of Soul this August 17.

Of Aretha, The Detroit Free Press writes –

“Aretha Franklin was the loftiest name in the rich history of Detroit music and one of the transcendent cultural figures of the 20th Century. Continue reading

One Of The All-Time Greats In Music Has Passed On – ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin

“Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many, many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love, Paul (McCartney).”

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted August 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

“What earmarks a musical legend?

“For Aretha Franklin, the answer is a truckload of accolades, including a stack of gold and platinum singles and albums and an armful of Grammy awards, within a colourful influential career that has spanned decades.

“But Aretha – one of the few artists in pop music history who earned international first-name status with no self-proclamation whatsoever – is not a musical l legend simply because of the hits. No she’s the undisputed “Queen of Soul” because, more than any other pop singer in the 20th century, her voice  … quite simply personifies modern American soul music as we know it.”

These introductory words from the liner notes of one of the many compilations of Aretha Franklin’s hits put it well. But no words I’ve ever read can match that voice that was a soundtrack for civil rights, for love and peace, for respect, and for the free spirit and soul in us.

Aretha Franklin – the undisputed “Queen of Soul”, died this Thursday morning, August 16th, 2018, at her home in Detroit, Michigan after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76. Continue reading

Hail! Hail! Jeff Beck & Ann Wilson – Go See Your Rock Heroes While You Can

By Doug Draper

Posted August 8th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

I have never seen Eric Clapton, one of my all-time favourite guitar gods, in concern and probably never will because of the price of the tickets alone.

Thousands gather on the grassy slopes of Artpark in Lewiston, NY. this past Tuesday, August 7th for one super evening with two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees – Ann Wilson and Jeff Beck. Queenston Heights on the Ontario side of the Niagara River looms in the background. Photo by Doug Draper

And I never saw Jimi Hendrix and know I never will unless he’s playing Purple Haze in Rock and Roll Heaven, and I’m not ready to buy a ticket to that one yet.

Carlos Santana, Steve Cropper and Buddy Guy have so far got past me too.

Jeff Beck. File photo

But this past Tuesday, August 7th, at Artpark in Lewiston, N.Y., I finally got to see Jeff Beck, ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top ten guitarists in the world and one I first fell in awe listening to rock radio stations back in the 1960s when he was cranking out top ten hits like Heart Full of Soul, Shapes of Things and Over Under Sideways Down by a super group called The Yardbirds. Continue reading

Garden Walk Buffalo – One of the Great Escapes of the Summer for People who love Classic Urban Neighbourhoods – Is Here!

One of the Very Best Summer Events of the Year is Back – 2 Days, Saturday July 28th and Sunday July 29th – And still Free and Open to All

New from the organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo, one of North America’s largest and most popular annual celebrations of urban landscapes 

Posted July 27rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York Garden Walk Buffalo hosts the largest free garden tour in the country with 65,000+ visitors coming from all over the states, Canada, and even further abroad. Continue reading

2018 Garden Walk Buffalo Is Almost Here!

One of the Very Best Summer Events of the Year is Back – 2 Days, Saturday July 28th and Sunday July 29th – and it is still Free and Open to All

New from the organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo, one of North America’s largest and most popular celebrations of gardens in classic urban neighbourhoods

Posted July 23rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – Garden Walk Buffalo hosts the largest free garden tour in the country with 65,000+ visitors coming from all over the states, Canada, and even further abroad. Continue reading

St. Catharines Mayor presents Key to the City to renowned playright Norm Foster

News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted July 23rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large 

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik presented the Key to the City to internationally-renowned playwright Norm Foster at the world premiere of a new Foster play at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on Friday, July 20.

St. Catharines City Councillors Carlos Garcia and Sandie bellows with the city’s Mayor Walter Sendzik and Norm Foster on receiving the Key to the City at the world premiere of Come Down From Up River at the Foster Festival.

“The Key to the City is presented to individuals whose contributions in their career reflect positively on our city – an honour we are proud to present to Mr. Norm Foster,” said Mayor Sendzik.

“Through his original pieces, Mr. Foster’s plays reflect real life and humanity, sharing stories with humour and wit, and have helped put St. Catharines on the map as a world class destination for original theatre and cultural experiences.” Continue reading

Exploring Family History Through Art At Rodman Hall Art Centre Workshop

News from Brock University in St. Catharines

Posted July 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Old family photos were given new life during a special Brock workshop held last week.

Chidera Onyegbule and Osaze Usuanlele make cyanotypes, an early type of archival photography, using images from their families’ histories. Fifteen youth aged 14 to 18 have been participating in the week-long workshop, which is a partnership between Rodman Hall Art Centre, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the City of St. Catharines.

Fifteen young artists from St. Catharines spent the week working with Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend to explore their family history and create new works of art. Continue reading

Happy Birthday To One Of The Greatest Pop Singers of All Time

Long Live Linda Ronstadt – Born July 15th, 1946

Posted by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large, July 15th, 2018

I hope you don’t mind if I get away from politics for a few moments to post this.

When I was a kid back in grade school, she could never know it but in the field of female pop singers who were topping the charts at the time, she was my number one school boy crush.

And all these years after I turned on that old thing called a radio and heard her singing her first big hit, ‘Different Drum’, with her band, The Stone Poneys, in 1967, I still love her and all the great music she has shared with us.

Happy Birthday Linda!

To hear and watch multiple Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Linda Ronstadt singing Different Drum, just click on the screen below –

.And here is one of my favourite songs by her and, from the summer of 1970, one of her first great hits as a solo artist –

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

Brock University Chancellor launches Indigenous film festival

Festival Runs Friday, July 13th thru Sunday, July 15th

News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted July 13th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

A strong line-up of films from around the world will highlight a new Indigenous-focused event this weekend on Manitoulin Island.

The Weengushk International Film Festival (WIFF), a joint venture between Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) and Brock University, was created to highlight Indigenous talent including actors, writers, directors and filmmakers from around the world. Continue reading

Celebrate All Weekend Long with Ontario’s Niagara Parks this Canada Day

 A Canada Day Invite from  Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted June 26th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Fireworks over Niagara Falls

  • Enjoy free live musical performances in Queen Victoria Park, including the launch of the new Niagara Stage concert series, followed by Canada Day fireworks
  • Start your day with a mindful outdoor meditation session at White Water Walk or hiking excursion at the Niagara Glen
  • Take part in a night-time zipline by the Falls and experience the return of Night Lights: Journey Behind the Falls After Dark
  • Take advantage of the GO Niagara Seasonal Train service, as Niagara Parks and GO Transit make travelling from Toronto to Niagara Falls even easier

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Niagara Parks is set to once again mark Canada Day with a full lineup of events over the July 1st long weekend all along the Niagara River corridor, including the annual outdoor Canada Day celebration taking place in Queen Victoria Park. Continue reading

People and Places Exhibit Explores Nostalgia and the Urban Space in St. Catharines, Ontario

News from the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre

Posted June 26th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Architecture from St. Catharines’ past will soon be on display as part of a new exhibit at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.

People and Places highlights the landmarks and stories behind some of the City’s most famous buildings and landscapes. Items in the exhibit include window pediments from the Russell House Hotel, the May-Clark-Seiler house doorway, the Henry Furs sign from King Street, the YMCA sign from its former location on Queen Street, plus other photographs and objects from the Museum’s collection.

The Russell Hotel in downtown St. Catharines/Niagara, circa 1950s

“This exhibit is about remembering the past and exploring how it fits into the changing landscape of a growing city,” said Adrian Petry, visitors services coordinator with the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre. “Life-long residents will certainly experience nostalgia for the sites and stories, but newer residents will get an appreciation for how St. Catharines has evolved over the years.” Continue reading

Liona Boyd is Coming to Niagara, Ontario for an Intimate Evening with the First Lady of the Guitar – Sunday, November 18th, 2018

News from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted June 25th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Master guitarist Liona Boyd

Liona Boyd, since her 1975 debut performance at Carnegie Hall, New York, has enthralled audiences worldwide with her romantic and unique brand of classical, folk and world music.

Tracing the timeline—Spanish-British heritage, emigrating to Canada in 1959, “falling in love with classical guitar at the age of 13”, graduating from the University of Toronto with a music degree in 1972—the traditional classical music path seemed quite clear. Continue reading

Garden Walk Buffalo – One of North America’s Most Popular Garden Walk Fests Now Only A Few Weekends Away, Saturday, July 28th & Sunday, July 29th

Have A Garden Walk Buffalo Map Mailed To You In Advance Of The Walk!

News from the Organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo

Posted June 25th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Be the first to get your 2018 Garden Walk Buffalo map!

Plan ahead to see hundreds of gardens on this year’s Walk! Get your advance copy of the map – which includes a detailed street map, a handy garden features list, shopping guide, free shuttle bus route, detailed garden descriptions, and more – when you support Gardens Walk Buffalo.

With a minimum $15 donation, you’ll receive the 2018 map mailed to your home prior to the Walk.

NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE! Continue reading

One of the Most Inspirational Voices of our Times is taking her Final Bows

Here is hoping Joan Baez will always be an inspiration to each and every one of us who longs for a more just and peaceful world

A Brief Commentary from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted June 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

One of the truly great ones, folk singer and humanitarian Joan Baez

Now is her mid-70s, legendary American folk singer Joan Baez is also now in the middle of what she is calling her “farewell tour” (a stop at Massey Hall in Toronto is scheduled for this September) and her latest critically acclaimed album – ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ – is reportedly the last set of new songs she plans to record in the studio.

Joan Baez has marched shoulder to shoulder with everyone from the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King to anti-war and human rights advocates around the world, and has done so despite every threat of violence, of being jailed and of being censored or blacklisted in one way or another.

Joan Baez, to the right of Martin Luther King (centre) during a civil rights rally in the 1960s

And there is no record of her ever compromising her principles or backing down.

She is one of my heroes and true sources of inspiration going back to my teen years in the 1960s.

Here is a line from Joan Baez’s acceptance speech when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past 2017 – a line that defines her legacy as an artist and a caring, compassionate citizen of the world. I hope you find it inspiring too.

 “I want my granddaughter to know that I fought against an evil tide and had the masses by my side”

Niagara At Large is still on the road this week and will be back in full operation this coming Monday, June 25th with more news and commentary about the good, the bad and the ugly in our region and the world around us.

Road trips are good for a little escape, but as far as the good, the bad and the ugly around us goes, I am reminded of a line in an old Eagles song – “You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.”

So here’s to coming back to face the music folks.

Stay Tuned!

To watch Joan Baez entire acceptance speech at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee ceremonies, click on the screen below

.NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

 

 

 

City of St. Catharines Celebrates New Neighbourhood Park Thanks to Wise Guys Charity Fund

A News Release from the City of St. Catharines

Posted June 1st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

There’s a new neighbourhood park in south St. Catharines thanks to a partnership between the City and the Wise Guys Charity Fund.



Doug Smith, chair of the Wise Guys Charity Fund, Mayor Walter Sendzik, members of City Council and the Wise Guys kicked off June is Recreation and Parks Month by celebrating the new Wise Guys Park, located across from the Welland Canals Fallen Workers Memorial where Wilfrid Laurier Crescent meets Welland Canals Parkway.

The Wise Guys Charity Fund contributed $25,000 towards the new park. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Summer Concert Series to Kick-off June 1

A News Release from the Niagara Parks Commission

Posted June 1st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

• Live shows on the stage at Queen Victoria Place set to run until September 3
• Popular free concert series showcases homegrown talent
• Concert series presented with support from Celebrate Ontario and Coca Cola

Live music from Niagara Parks concerts, with the Falls as a backdrop – all making for a stage show that is hard to beat.

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Parks 2018 Coca Cola Concert Series will run from June 1 to September 3, with free performances featuring local artists from a variety of musical genres from country to classic rock, with bonus concerts scheduled from July 1 to July 4.

Out-of-town guests and local residents alike are invited to enjoy free live performances on the concert stage located at Queen Victoria Place, starting at 8 p.m. Each evening will culminate with a fireworks display over Niagara Falls at 10 p.m. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Enhances Niagara River Recreational Trail for Cyclists

Cycling along the unforgettable Niagara River has never been easier

A News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted May 4th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

  • Over $200,000 invested in cycling infrastructure all along the renowned Niagara River Recreation Trail.
  • Improvements include new bike racks, repair stations, equipment lockers, water refill stations, lockers, solar lighting and waste receptacles.
  • Provincial support highlights the importance and growth of cycling tourism in promoting Ontario as a premier tourism destination.

Niagara Falls, Ontario  – Thanks in part to the generous support of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Bike Parking Capital Funding Program, Niagara Parks has undertaken a series of cycling amenity improvements along the Niagara River Recreation Trail, designed to enhance and promote cycling tourism in Niagara and Ontario. Continue reading

Celebrating the First Really Beautiful Morning of Spring, 2018!

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted April 23rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Suffice to say, we’ve been through a very a long, cold winter across Southern Ontario and Western New York. We had snow and ice storms just one week ago – right up to the middle of this April, for Hell’s Sake!

On top of the frigid weather, in Niagara, Ontario, in particular, we’ve had all the madness and ugliness coming out of Niagara’s regional headquarters and some of the other government bodies in the region – all of this in the backdrop of Trump, Trump, Trump dominating news on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border.

So waking up to a Monday morning like this is like going from scrapping ice off your windshields to taking a walk along a warm, sandy beach with a song that is the perfect soundtrack for mornings like this. Continue reading

This Record Store Day – Saturday, April 21st, 2018 – Do Yourself And The World Of Music A Favour

Make A Pledge To Save What Are Left Of The World’s Real Brick-and-Mortar Record Stores By Buying           All Your Music There

By Doug Draper, reporter and publisher for Niagara At Large

Posted April 19th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Record Theatre in Buffalo, New York, one of the region’s great record stores, closed last year after more than 40 years. File photo by Doug Draper

For this life-long lover of recorded sound, this year’s ‘Record Store Day’ – scheduled for this Saturday, April 21st – arrives with a tint of sadness.

For the first time in 42 years, Record Theatre on Main and Lafayette in Buffalo, New York – one of the greatest record stores south of Toronto and north of the Big Apple – is gone.

Walking into Record Theatre, like walking into the grand old Sam the Record Man store on Yonge Street in Toronto, was like venturing into Aladdin’s Cave. The selection of music, in virtually every genre, was breathtaking and the people who worked there – people who became a community of good friends if you visited the store enough – embodied a knowledge and passion for the music that could not be beat either. Continue reading

Feel The Love For Craft Beer At Project Brew – Friday, April 20th in St. Catharines/Niagara

Niagara College Brewmaster students to host Woodstock-style beer festival at the St. Catharines Market Square

A News Release from Niagara College

Posted April 18th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Brewmaster students from Niagara College are set to serve up their visions of peace and love in a glass at Project Brew April 20.

Project Brew BruStock will be held on Friday, April 20 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the St. Catharines Market Square. Eighteen one-of-a-kind beers crafted by students in their final term of the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program will be on tap at the evening event. Brews will be accompanied by live music, food vendors and games. Continue reading

Experience a Solar Viewing Event at Niagara Glen

Do Some Mid-Day Star Gazing on the scenic heights overlooking  the lower rapids of the world-famous Niagara River on Saturday, April 21st

An Invite from Ontario’s Niagara Park’s Commission

Posted April 18th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Royal Canadian Astronomical Society – Niagara Centre will be hosting a solar viewing event at the Niagara Glen Nature Centre, offering guests an opportunity for some mid-day star gazing on Saturday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Niagara Glen Nature Centre overlooking the rapids of the lower Niagara River in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Niagara Parks Commission

   Whether it’s hiking the trails within the Niagara Glen, exploring the Nature Exchange program at the Nature Centre or taking part in planned environmental activities, a visit to the Niagara Glen Nature Centre is the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) this weekend.

WHAT:                         Solar viewing event led by the Royal Canadian Astronomical Society – Niagara Centre
DATE:                         Saturday, April 21, 2018
TIME:                          11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
LOCATION:                 Niagara Glen Nature Centre, 3050 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls     Continue reading

Chorus Niagara Proudly Presents Amadeus, featuring one of Mozart’s grandest musical works – Mass in C Minor

May 5, 2018 7:30pm Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Don’t Miss It!

No Western composer demonstrated a more Shakespearean range of emotion than Mozart — from the comedy of self-deception to tragic despair, from pleasure in worldly comforts to heroic defiance of convention, from supernatural terror to spiritual rhapsody. His most ravishing music looks inside the soul as deeply as art can.”[1]

A News Release from Chorus Niagara

Posted April 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

May 5, 2018 7:30pm Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Niagara, Ontario – Culminating its 55th season, Chorus Niagara and Artistic Director Robert Cooper proudly present AMADEUS, featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s astounding Mass in C Minor.

Mass in C Minor is the most lavish and grandest of Mozart’s works. Four stellar Canadian soloists are featured with brilliant choruses by Chorus Niagara full of operatic flourish. Mozart’s theatrical genius further complements the program with buoyant excerpts from his greatest operas Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutte and The Magic Flute. Continue reading

Speaker Series At Old Fort Erie Features Acclaimed Canadian Adventurer Adam Shoalts – Saturday, April 7th at 2 P.M.

 An Invite to all from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commisson

Posted March 23rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Adam Shoalts

Niagara, Ontario  – Acclaimed Canadian adventurer, author and former Old Fort Erie staff member, Adam Shoalts, will share his experiences mapping Canada’s rugged north during an engaging and humorous lecture at Niagara Parks’ Old Fort Erie on Saturday, April 7 at 2 p.m.

Guests are invited to attend the free event to hear more about Adam’s 4,000-kilometre solo adventure across Canada in 2017. An author of three books, Adam will also be available for a book signing during the event. Registration is recommended.

For more information and to register, please call the fort at (905) 871-0540 or email oldforterie@niagaraparks.com.

Date:                Saturday, April 7 at 2 p.m.

Location:          Old Fort Erie – Welcome Centre
350 Lakeshore Rd, Fort Erie

Admission:       Free (registration is recommended)

About Ontario’s Niagara ParksSince its establishment in 1885, Niagara Parks has remained a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport, entrusted to preserve and protect the land surrounding Niagara Falls and the Niagara River. Today, Niagara Parks boasts gardens, a horticulture school, recreation, golf courses, restaurants, heritage and historic sites, gift shops and, of course, Niagara Falls. In short, natural landscapes, history, family fun, hiking, culinary delights, attractions and adventure.

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

 

Support Two of Niagara, Ontario’s Great Used Book Stores

They Have Big Sales On This March. Check Them Out

A Brief One from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted March 22nd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Let me start by saying that this is not a paid ad.

I am posting this one because I’ve always been a strong supporter of what are left of our great old brick and mortar book and record stores in Niagara, Ontario and across the border in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York areas, and I urge you to be a supporter of them too.

The only real way to do that and keep real book and record stores alive is to literally go to them and spend a little money on some of the good titles they have.

And right now, two of the very best of the used bookstores in our Niagara region are having sales of up to 50 per cent off most of their inventory, every day they are open, right up to and including Saturday, March 31st. Continue reading

It’s Sir Ringo Now!

Former Beatles Drummer Finally Gets A Full Measure Of The Respect He Deserves

A Brief High Five and a Peace Sign to Ringo from NAL reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted March 20th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Beatles fan that I am, I have to get just a little about this out there for all the other Beatles fans out there from age 77, right down to (yes, they are still buying the records) right down to the age of 16.

This first day of spring, March 20th, back in his home country of England, Ringo Starr – born Richard Starkey in Liverpool – was knighted by Prince William in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Ringo Starr, shortly after receiving his long-overdue knighthood this March 20th at Buckingham Palace in London, England

The 77-year-old musician received the honour 21 years after it was bestowed on Paul McCartney, the only other surviving member of one of the greatest rock bands in the world, The Beatles. Continue reading