Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

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.

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

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

 

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

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Even To Those Of Us Who Are Only Irish For The Day

With a few words of wisdom from people of                 Irish descent

Posted this St. Patrick’s Day – Saturday, March 17th – by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Let’s celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day weekend with a few good quotations for these sometimes strange and dark times –

“Those who are animated by hope can perform what would seem impossibilities to those who are under the depressing influence of fear.”author Maria Edgeworth, 1804.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”the late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy during an address to the University of Capetown, South Africa, 1966.

And finally, a message that makes a great deal of sense in these mad Trumpian times from the late American comedian and cultural critic George Carlin, who in one of his stand-up routines, once described himself as a person who “used to be Irish Catholic.”

Continue reading

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

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

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission and Niagara Falls Illumination Board

Posted March 15th, 2018 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 Saturday, March 17 in celebration of all things Irish, on St. Patrick’s Day.

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 9 p.m. to 1 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

All Aboard for a Family Concert with Chorus Niagara

Be There on Sunday, March 25th for t 2:30 p.m. Matinee in  St.   Catharines/Niagara –

An Invite from Chorus Niagara

Posted March 15, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Jump on board the Chorus Niagara Transcontinental for a fun-filled choral excursion across Canada. Squid-jiggers, bronco-busters, pesky black flies and log-jammed lumberjacks tell their stories in song with lots of participation for both the young and the young-at-heart!

 

A Chorus Niagara first, this is an original new work, written and directed by Monica Dufault, Artistic Director of Carousel Players. Continue reading

How I Found My Voice as a Pacifist

By Joan Baez (This piece, from The Wall Street Journal, was reprised on Readers Supported News on March 3rd, 2018.)

Posted March 8th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper – At a time in this world when too much of what is swirling around us is oh so ugly, disturbing and dangerous, it should be comforting to know that we also still have great people around like Joan Baez, one folk singer in America who has lived and behaved courageously and heroically going back to earliest days as a civil rights and peace activist in the 1960s.

Joan Baez has just released a wonderful studio album called ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ which includes a song called ‘The President Sang Amazing Grace’ about the gunning down of a group of African Americans praying in a church in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist in 2015 and then President Barack Obama singing Amazing Grace at the funeral ceremonies for the group.

Like a growing number of popular music icons from the 1960s and 70s, including Paul Simon and Elton John, Joan Baez has recently announce her decision to say farewell to the concert tour circuits. She has Toronto on her tour schedule this September, and I am hoping she will fit one more date in Buffalo, New York in before it is all over. If that happens and I am fortunate enough to get tickets, maybe I will see you there.

Joan Baez as she looked in the Sixties

I hope you find the following story Joan Baez tells about finding her voice as a pacifist as moving as I did, and as inspiring too.)

Joan Baez, 77, is a folk singer and guitarist who received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Her latest album is “Whistle Down the Wind” (Razor & Tie). She spoke with Marc Myers.

When I was 9, my father faced a moral dilemma. After getting his Ph.D. in physics, he took a job at Cornell University on a project to improve the bulletproof windows of fighter jets. But in the late 1940s, he wasn’t comfortable working for the defense industry, given the horrors of the atomic bomb. Continue reading

Public Invited To Explore Indigenous Art And ‘Ways of Knowing’ At Rodman Hall In Niagara

An Invite from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted March 5th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – We are all vessels. Our bodies are carriers of knowledge. Our ways of life are ways of knowing.

Rodman Hall Art Centre invites the public to explore Indigenous ways of knowing through art during a special community event Wednesday, March 7.

Emma Beards, centre, is among several students from Soaring Eagles Indigenous Secondary School who will have artwork featured in a special exhibition, We Are All Vessels, at Rodman Hall Art Centre. Beards discusses her work with Rodman’s Art Installation Assistant Lauren Regier, left, and Associate Professor Peter Vietgen of Brock’s Faculty of Education.

Held in conjunction with local Indigenous organizations, the day includes a free workshop, live music, exhibit tours and a public talk by Tim Johnson, Artistic Producer of Celebration of Nations and Co-chair of Landscape of Nations: The Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial. Continue reading

Join 2018 Garden Walk Buffalo Now

‘Share your garden and show your pride in our neighborhoods and city.’

A Call-Out to Buffalo area gardeners from the volunteers at Garden Walk Buffalo

Posted March 5th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

In the backyard of a home during the 2017 Garden Walk in Buffalo. File photo by Doug Draper

(A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large – When so many of us have had more than enough of the winter cold and just want it to start getting warmer and greener outside, it is nice to get this call-out from an organization that hosts one of the nicest and most popular summer events of the year in our greater Niagara region. Here is a one for all of our Buffalo area friends and readers.)

Buffalo, New York – Garden Walk Buffalo invites gardeners from the Peace Bridge to Main Street and from Canalside to the Scajaquada to be part of the 2018 Garden Walk Buffalo, to be held Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Share your garden and show your pride in our neighborhoods and city.

Garden Walk Buffalo hosts the largest free garden tour in the country with 60,000+ visitors coming from all over the states, Canada, and even further abroad. It has an estimated economic impact of $4.5 million. Continue reading

Remembering former Beatles legend George Harrison – February 25th, 1943 to November 29th, 2001- 75 Years After His Birth

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted March 4th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

“Sunrise doesn’t last all morning
A cloudburst doesn’t last all day
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning
But it’s not always going
To be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away”

Lyrics by George Harrison, from All Things Must Pass

If you are old enough to remember seeing The Beatles make their North American television debut way back in February of 1964, here is another marker for how much time has slipped away since then.

The youngest member of that legendary foursome – George Harrison – would have turned 75 years old this winter, had he not died from cancer in November of 2001. Continue reading

Brock Film Series To Screen Oscar-Nominated Short Films – on Wednesday, February 28th starting at 7 p.m.

An invite from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara to Film Lovers, One and All

Posted February 27th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

The similarities are chilling. The topic, disturbingly timely.

DeKalb Elementary, a 21-minute American film about a gunman entering an Atlanta elementary school and encountering a compassionate employee, is set to be screened this week during the Brock University Film Series.

It’s one of five films nominated for the Academy Awards Best Live Action Short Film category, all five of which will be screened during the special BUFS Gala Oscar Night Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Landmark Cinemas starting at 7 p.m. Continue reading

Chorus Niagara Presents Semi-Staged Version Of Bach’s Greatest Choral Work  – St. Matthew Passion

Be Part of the Audience – Saturday March 3, 2018 , 7:30 pm Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

News from Chorus Niagara in Niagara, Ontario

Posted February 19th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

CHORUS NIAGARA presents Johann Sebastian Bach’s magnum opus and the opera he never wrote, the monumental St.Matthew Passion.

Chorus Niagara is proud to present this towering masterpiece featuring two choirs, two orchestras and six soloists by a composer at the pinnacle of his creative powers. Patrons will experience a unique and innovative ‘semi-staged’ rendering of one history’s most trans-formative stories. Continue reading

Some Fun Things To Do In Niagara, Ontario On Family Day Weekend – Saturday, February 17th thru Monday, February 19th, 2018

Posted February 15th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Make Ontario’s Niagara Parks Part of Your Family Day Getaway

  • ·         Wild Ontario exhibit showcasing Ontario’s native species returns to the Butterfly Conservatory, starting Saturday, February 17, 2018
  • ·         Witness the breathtaking formations and ice-coated landscape surrounding the “Frozen Falls”
  • ·         Niagara Parks’ Heritage Team will be set up at Table Rock Centre with exciting, interactive displays highlighting Canadian history

Inside Niagara Park’s Butterfly Conservatory. You can enjoy a wonderful escape from the winter in here.

Niagara Falls, Ontario  – Over its short history, Family Day has quickly become the ideal time for a mid-winter escape to Niagara Parks.

With the start of Heritage Week celebrations coinciding with the holiday long weekend (Family Day and Presidents’ Day), allow Niagara Parks to provide the perfect combination of engaging historical programming, awe-inspiring natural attractions and mouth-watering, Feast On certified culinary experiences that will leave you wanting more. Niagara Parks truly has something for everyone: Continue reading

Plan a Romantic Valentine’s Day with Ontario’s Niagara Parks

‘Niagara Falls will be bathed in soft pink and red lights at the top of each hour for 15 minutes, throughout the evening                      on February 14, 2018’

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks  Commission
Posted February 5th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – From the warm, lush paradise of the Spring Show at the Floral Showhouse, to the incredible sight of the illuminated Falls from the dining room of our signature Elements on the Falls restaurant, Niagara Parks offers something for everyone this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Illumination

File photo of Niagara Falls illuminated for Valentines Day courtesy of Niagara Parks Commission

Niagara Falls will be bathed in soft pink and red lights at the top of each hour for 15 minutes, throughout the evening on February 14, 2018 beginning at 7 p.m., providing the ultimate backdrop for couples celebrating this romantic holiday. The Valentine’s Day illumination is in addition to the regular nightly illumination of the Falls, which takes place from 6:30 p.m. to midnight that evening. Continue reading

General Public Invited to University at Buffalo Faculty Jazz Quartet Concert

Thursday, February 15th at 7 p.m. in Buffalo, New York

Posted January 31th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York  Since forming in 2017, the UB faculty jazz professors (aka Buffalo’s premiere jazz musicians) have been presenting clinics and concerts at high schools around town in Clarence, Williamsville, Amherst, and City Honors in Buffalo.

In February the Quartet – Bobby Militello, saxophone /flute; George Caldwell, Piano;  Sabu Adeyola, contra-bass; John Bacon, drums –  will play in concert for the general public.

Location: 836 Main Street – Scientology Building

Date: Thursday, February 15

Time: 7 pm

Admission:  $10. donation at door goes directly to the musicians

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee, Militello and Grammy Award winning, pianists, ‘Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance,’ Caldwell also serve as artistic directors for the Buffalo Jazz Collective .

For inquiries about the UB jazz concert program contact: George Caldwell –  gocaldwe@buffalo.edu / 917-318-6922

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

Fifty Years of ‘Born To Be Wild’ – Celebrating A Rebel Anthem

‘Get your motor runnin, head out on the highway.’

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted January 29th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

I was at a birthday party for one of my high school classmates in 1968 where we were each received a gift of thanks for attending.

I can’t remember what I was given but a friend of mine got a copy of record album with a five pretty wild and hairy looking guys on the cover.

The album was called ‘Steppenwolf’, which was also the name of the band  responsible for the 11 tracks of music inside, and of a very popular novel at the time by German author Hermann Hesse that this Canadian-based – previously known as ‘The Sparrows’ – renamed itself after. Continue reading

Plenty Of Oscar Buzz In Brock U. Film Series Lineup

News from Brock University in St. Catharines, Niagara, Ontario

Posted January 12th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Scott Henderson is equal parts movie buff and Oscar prognosticator.

As a film professor at Brock University, Henderson is one of the faces behind the Brock University Film Series, which kicks off its 2018 season at the Pen Centre’s Landmark Cinemas on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

For more than 40 years, Brock’s Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film has hosted the film series to bring some of the best in international, independent and Canadian cinema to St. Catharines.

Now part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Film Circuit, the selection committee of professors Henderson, Anthony Kinik, Liz Clarke and Peter Lester has access to many of the most hyped films during award season. Continue reading

Some of the Sad Notes and High Notes in Music in 2017

Let’s All Make A New Years Pledge for 2018 to Keep Record Stores Alive

By Doug Draper

Posted December 22nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Canada and countless others around the world said goodbye in 2017 to one of its favourite musical sons, and a true advocate for social justice and environmental protection, Gord Downie.

For those of us – young and old – who are fans of pop music going back to the first records of Elvis, Chuck Berry and The Beatles, 2017 was another year of sad goodbyes to some of the giants in the world of rock and soul and folk and blues and jazz, and everything in between.

The goodbyes started with the one and only Chuck Berry and  another one of rock’s pioneers, Fat Domino, and continued with the legendary likes of Gregg Allman of Allman Brothers fame, Allman Brother co-founder and drummer Butch Trucks, Glen Campbell, J. Geils, one half of Steely Dan’s brilliant music makers, Walter Becker, soul-singing sensation and late comer to stardom, Charles Bradley, and (I still can’t believe this next guy left us before I was ever able to get my hands on one of those always hard to get tickets to see him in concert) Tom Petty – just to name a few

Greg Allman, co=founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, left us in 2017 with one last great recording out of the just as legendary Muscle Shoals studios called ‘Southern Blood’.

On the Canadian side of the ‘rock and roll heaven’ ledger, 2017 goes down as the year millions of us mourned the news we all knew was coming when Tragically Hip front man and national treasure Gord Downie succumbed to brain cancer. Canadian music fans also said goodbye to April Wine bassist Steve Lang and, for those of us who got into the habit, starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s, of going to a Lighthouse concert whenever that band was booked to take a stage anywhere within driving distance, we lost its co-founder and one of the world’s greater drummers, Skip Prokop. Continue reading

The Shaw Film Series Features Must-See Festival Films And Documentaries

News from the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Posted December 21st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario  – Now in its 13th year, the Shaw Festival Film Series begins Saturday, December 23 at the Festival Theatre (10 Queen’s Parade). The weekly screenings of celebrated films and documentaries continues until February 17. All proceeds from this annual event benefit the Shaw Festival.

The nine feature films scheduled every Saturday at 3 p.m. (doors open at 1:30 p.m.), beginning December 23 until February 17: Continue reading

Ring in the New Year at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario

·         Annual New Year’s Eve celebration to include all Canadian musical line-up

·         Two spectacular fireworks shows are planned from the Niagara Gorge and Skylon Tower

An Invite from Ontario’s Niagara Parks and the City of Niagara Falls

Posted December 19th, 10`7 on Niagara At Large

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.

Photo courtesy of the Niagara Parks Commission in Niagara Falls, Ontario

This year’s concert features an all-star lineup of Canadian talent and will open with two artists who have been making their mark on both the Canadian and American country music scenes, as two-time country pop female vocalist of the year, Jess Moskaluke and emerging country stars, James Barker Band, take the stage. Continue reading

Fifty Years On – Still ‘Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay’

A Brief Memory and Tribute by Doug Draper

Posted December 10th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

“Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, sittin’ till the evenin’ comes. Watchin’ the ships roll in, and then I’ll watch them roll away again.”

How many times have you found your mind drifting off to that dock of the bay with that oh, so plaintive, soulful voice of Otis Redding and the understated beauty of Steve Cropper ‘s guitar and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn’s bass riffs serenading away in the background?

It was 50 years ago this December 7th that Otis Redding finished recording that song, which he wrote with a little assistance from Steve Cropper (a friend and producer of his from Booker T. and the MGs fame), and just three days later – on December 10, 1967 – Otis died in a plane crash on his way to a show in Madison, Wisconsin. He was only 26 years old. Continue reading

Open Bethlehem – Watch This Film At Your Own Risk!

A Call-Out from the Niagara Anti-Racism Coalition, Development and Peace and the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara

Posted December 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – If you decide to do so, you will feel compelled to join with others, including Jews, Muslims and Christians, in striving for a truly just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel, a peace that has been elusive for 69 years and more.  

Produced and directed by Leila Sansour, a Christian Palestinian,  OPEN BETHLEHEM is “a story of a homecoming to the world’s most famous little town… While personal, it charts the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East”.  Please see the poster for show details. Also visit  http://www.openbethlehem.org/the-film.html 

Open Bethlehem is being promoted by the Niagara Anti-Racism Coalition, Development and Peace and the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara

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

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 U. And Rodman Hall Coalition Seek Public Input For Niagara, Ontario Art Gallery’s Future

A Call-Out to You from Brock University and the Rodman Hall Coalition

Posted November 28th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Rodman Hall in St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario. Join the discussion on planning its future.

Niagara, Ontario – Brock University and the Rodman Hall Coalition are taking steps to gather public input about the future direction of Rodman Hall Art Centre, as well as identify partners who might participate in the future operation of the museum and art facility.

The Rodman Hall Coalition was created in 2016, to bring diverse community input on the future of Rodman Hall. Its 12 volunteer members include community leaders, arts professionals, Brock staff and administration, and members of the Rodman Hall Advisory Board and Brock’s Board of Trustees. The Coalition is chaired by Brock alumnus Tom Goldspink, a former University Trustee and current member of the Rodman Hall Advisory Board. Continue reading

Calling All Artists – Looking for Art Submissions for Garden Walk Buffalo 2018

Call for Entries is out now!

A News Release from the Organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo

Posted November 28th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug DraperIf you are anything like me and you prefer spring and summer to the long, cold days of winter that are coming on, here is one way for at least one way at least those of us with artistic talent can find a little escape.

The winning submission that turned out to be the great promotional poster for Garden Walk Buffalo in 2016

Garden Walk Buffalo is without doubt one of the annual highlights of summer in our greater Niagara region and the organizers of this popular event are already making their call on artists across the region for submissions of original artwork to promote the Garden Walk in 2018.

So here is the detailed information on submitting artwork, posted immediately below, along with some great information and a video on the Garden Walk. NAL is always pleased to help promote events like this, organized by dedicated community volunteers to make our towns and cities better places for all of us to live in.)

Buffalo, New York – Garden Walk Buffalo is looking for submissions of original artwork to promote the 2018 event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29, 2018. This is an opportunity to share your artwork with hundreds of local gardeners and thousands of visitors. Continue reading

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