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Cambridge projects among those to receive art fund grants

Spring 2021 round received 86 applications seeking a total of $588,745 in grants funding
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The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund is awarding 31 grants, totaling $191,255, in response to dynamic proposals submitted by a wide range of artists and arts organizations. The Spring 2021 round received 86 applications seeking a total of $588,745 in grants funding.

The Arts Fund, a not-for-profit corporation served by a volunteer Board of Directors, is one of the few granting bodies in Canada that awards grants directly to artist-led projects. The mandate of the Arts Fund is to contribute to the creative vitality in our community by providing meaningful grants and other advocacy support to local individual artists and to arts and culture organizations.

Regional Council generously allocates the equivalent of 67 cents per capita to the Arts Fund for granting purposes, so that residents and visitors alike may benefit from the vibrancy of the local arts and culture sectors.

Often, these supported projects are also able to attract additional funds through earned revenue, grants from provincial, federal or private sources, sponsorships, and in-kind donations. Since its establishment in 2002, the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund has supported 854 projects, for a total community investment of $4,682,792.

The Arts Fund welcomes grant applications in all arts disciplines, from individual artists and arts organizations based in the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo and in the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich. Applicants may apply in the spring or fall of each year for projects that will occur within the following 12 months.

The grants awarded in the Spring 2021 round are listed below. The information listed within brackets indicates the project location; in some cases, there are multiple locations and this is noted as “Region of Waterloo”.

Organizations and Collectives:

Andromeda Trio – Miriam Stewart-Kroeker (Region of Waterloo): $2,500 for a collaboration between the Andromeda Piano Trio, composer Karen Sunabacka, and author Joyce Clouston to explore Métis-Mennonite relations in Canada.

CalúJules–Flamenco Plus – Claudia Aguirre (Region of Waterloo): $3,000 for the KW Flamenco Fest, a collection of special online activities and street performances intended for K-W students of flamenco, as well as the wider community.

Cambridge Poppy Project – Sue Sturdy & Jayne Herring (Cambridge): $8,000 for a community art project honouring our veterans and inviting the community to come together to create, in remembrance.

Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery – Denis Longchamps (Waterloo): $5,000 for a 2-month ceramics residency for an emerging artist from the Region, culminating in a public exhibition and visitor engagement.

Grand Philharmonic Choir – Luisa D'Amato (Kitchener): $8,000 towards 100 years of Choral Music in the Region of Waterloo, a video documentary that explores the cultural heritage of choral music in Waterloo Region, including the role of the Grand Philharmonic Choir.

Inter Arts Matrix – Sheila McMath (Kitchener): $15,000 for A Hole in the Ground, an ongoing art installation series of six artistic interventions at the site of a hole six feet deep, seven feet long, and three feet wide.

Nota Bene Players & Singers – Marc Paré (Waterloo): $8,500 for A Baroque Christmas - Contemplation and Celebration, a music project that culminates in early December 2021 with two concerts.

Only Connect – Nicholas Dinka (Waterloo): $5,000 for Through the Looking Glass, a video documentary capturing an innovative collaboration between a local glass artist and a physicist developing a thought-provoking artwork.

Puppets & Shadows Theatre – Arlene Thomas (Waterloo): $2,000 for transforming The Adventures of Widget into a live-streaming production.

Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film and Arts Festival – Hannah Enns (Kitchener): $6,500 towards a Fall Festival and a Summer Cabaret, featuring film, performances, and mentorship workshops that celebrate authentic 2SLGBTQ+ stories.

"Rock This Town" Film Collective – Betty Anne Keller (Waterloo): $10,000 towards the making of Rock This Town, a documentary based on interviews with music industry professionals that is designed to encourage and inspire the next generation of music creators and entrepreneurs.

SPECTRUM, Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space – Scott Williams (Kitchener): $3,500 to hire a local Black or Indigenous artist to paint a mural in the SPECTRUM downtown Kitchener space.

UW A Cappella Club – Ruju Jambusaria (Waterloo): $1,767 towards releasing virtually on streaming platforms a cappella music created and produced by the University of Waterloo A Cappella Club.

Waterloo Concert Band – Jessica Larmer (Region of Waterloo): $3,000 to commission a locally-composed concert band score to celebrate a return to live music-making with our supporting communities.

Individual Artists:

Robert Achtemichuk (Kitchener): $7,500 for So Nature deals with us, and takes away, a series of paintings about aging and loss by this senior artist.

James Bow (Kitchener): $6,000 for a first draft of The Curator of Forgotten Things, a science-fiction story exploring human identity and the end of work, as in, what if the robots took over, but were nice?

Colin Boyd Shafer (Kitchener): $8,300 for Victoria Park, a photo essay to help us all better understand and appreciate Kitchener's oldest park.

Johanna Daze (Kitchener): $5,000 towards this songwriter and vocalist’s debut solo recording of 12 original songs.

Andrea Filiatrault (Region of Waterloo): $3,000 to rescue items that are set out for garbage and create assemblage art pieces that celebrate what we have.

Aoe Girard (Cambridge): $3,300 for the creation and production of I am a Big Elephant, a children's picture book for 3-7 year-olds.

Justin Hamilton (Kitchener): $5,000 for producing There's Power in His Blood, a collection of songs depicting the artist’s musical journey overcoming addiction and finding faith through talent.

Carl Hiebert (Region of Waterloo): $6,000 for the first draft of Living On - The Gift of Wings, an autobiography that explores perspective, risk-taking and overcoming challenges.    

Valerie Hill (Kitchener): $8,000 for a biography of Afghani human rights lawyer and activist, Kitchener's Wazhma Frogh.

Phillip Psutka (Kitchener): $7,300 for Dark River Podcast, a spooky fictional podcast about a small town in Northern Ontario in the early 20th century.

Andrew Rinehart (Waterloo): $8,000 for Songs of Birds, a full-length multimedia performance of music, tech, and poetry, juxtaposing urban life with the natural world.

Grace Scheele (North Dumfries): $8,513 to develop, produce, record, and promote "manifest romantic destiny" a debut album from this contemporary harpist, composer, and improviser.

Andrew Smith (Cambridge): $4,500 towards costume and filming expenses for Local Constellations, a short experimental art film integrating unique geometry and Galt landscapes.

Carrie Snyder (Waterloo): $6,000 for the first draft of Two Women, a novel loosely based on the oral life history of the author’s grandmother, the child of Amish/Mennonite missionaries originally from Waterloo Region.

Dwight Storring (Kitchener): $12,270 towards Anna Kaljas: The Untold Story, a poetic documentary film that follows the remarkable life of social justice advocate and Order of Canada recipient, Anna Kaljas of Kitchener.

Chia Yin Wu (Waterloo): $4,265 to compose, record, and premiere a musical composition for three violins.