____Posted Tuesday January 17, 2017 ____


Arts & Culture

Region of Waterloo Arts Fund awards six 15/150 Grants plus the regular 18

Waterloo Region - The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund announces a total of 24 grants of $165,800 in response to proposals submitted by artists and arts organizations throughout Waterloo Region.

The Fall 2016 round included two distinct opportunities for artists and arts organizations to submit applications for funding. The grants awarded are comprised of six one-time only 15/150 Grants plus 18 grants from the regular application round.

In early summer of 2016, the Arts Fund board of directors announced the 15/150 Grant to mark two special anniversaries in 2017: the Arts Fund's 15th anniversary of Making Art Happen and Canada's 150th anniversary. The 15/150 Grant was an opportunity to reflect and celebrate these two occasions. All granted 15/150 projects will take place in 2017.

The 15/150 Grant was open to all performing, visual, media and literary arts disciplines in the Region of Waterloo.

The Arts Fund received 26 requests for 15/150 Grants, for a total of $213,730. After the first round of evaluations, eight applicants seeking a total of $93,750 were invited to submit a more detailed Stage 2 application from which four grants were ultimately selected. The board also opted to bestow 15/150 Grants on two projects from the regular Fall round. Ultimately, six 15/150 Grants were awarded for a total of $70,000.

The 15/150 Grants were made possible when Regional Council approved an increase of $150,000 in additional funding to assist the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund’s anniversary projects. As part of the Regional Council’s programs to celebrate the 150th anniversary, Council has also approved an increase of $150,000 in ongoing funding past the 2017 anniversary.

The 15/150 Grants

The six special proposals selected for full or partial funding from the 15/150 Grant are:

Sue Sturdy, $15,000 for The Grand Woolly River Ride, a celebratory event along the Grand River featuring a flotilla of 150 canoes decorated with donated knitting, sewing and crocheting. The occasion, which will attract participants and spectators of all ages, reflects on the importance of how the country was opened up through its rivers, and the founding local industries of mills and textiles.

Neruda Arts, $12,000 for Canada 150 Commemorative Mural: Multiculturalism at the Crossroads, a large-scale public art mural celebrating diversity, equality, social justice and respect for cultural differences, ideals that Waterloo Region shares with the rest of Canada. The colourful artwork, to be installed in the Mill-Courtland neighbourhood, will provide a sense of community with a lasting impact on its viewers. http://www.nerudaarts.ca/

The Multicultural Theatre (MT) Space, $15,000 for Celebrating Canada: Past, Present and Future, an event to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary by bringing together its past narratives, its present stories and visions of our shared future. In partnership with Joseph Schneider Haus Historic Site, and using interactive programming, there will be a series of original site-specific works and youth-led theatre presentations created for children, families and all ages. http://www.mtspace.ca/

Eva McCauley, $15,000 for the Face to Face Project, to create and exhibit a suite of 30 original paintings of Canadian youth. Half the portraits are of University of Waterloo students, contemporary faces, painted in colour, and half are portraits referencing archival materials of students from 1867 painted in monochromatic black and white. The installation is to reflect the spirit of Canada’s increasing diversity, to communicate the human condition and invite positive dialogue. http://www.evamccauley.com/

Penderecki String Quartet, $5,000, for PSQ’s Quartetfest 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert, a special PSQ performance featuring an alumni string orchestra playing a new work by local composer Colin Labadie, plus a new composition by Kelly-Marie Murphy to mark both the quartet’s 25th and Canada’s 150th anniversaries. http://ps4.ca/

Nota Bene Baroque Players, $8,000, for A Grand Journey: a Celebration of the Grand River, in Words and Music, a multidisciplinary project drawing together the artistic worlds of music, visual art and storytelling in a concert presentation. Based on traditional aboriginal stories of life in the Grand River watershed, the performance will feature the premiere of a new work by Indigenous composer Spy Dénommé-Welch. http://www.notabenebaroque.ca/

The 2016 Fall Round Grants

For the regular Fall round, the Arts Fund initially received 60 requests, for a total of $458,932. After the first round of evaluations, 24 applicants seeking a total of $165,582 were invited to submit more detailed Stage 2 applications. Two applications were transferred and accepted as 15/150 Grant recipients. In total, 18 grants were selected to receive $95,800 towards the creation of new art.

Since it was established in 2002, the Arts Fund has supported more than 530 projects for a total of $2,853,453.

Proposals selected for full or partial funding in the Fall round are:

Helmann Wilhelm, $4,500 for All Things Beautiful, a short romantic thriller filmed in Waterloo Region and based on a fictional story which emphasizes the imposed vision that others have of us in spite of who we really are.

Paul Francescutti, $12,000 for Two Drums, Many Dreamers, a documentary film about the drumming and dancing of two First Nations, and the story of Canada’s White Pines Dancers who travel to visit and share experiences with a dance group in Uganda.

The Multicultural Theatre Space (MT Space), $10,000 for the Ahmad Mire’e Documentary, which tells the story of Syrian refugee and theatre artist Ahmad Mire’e, his journey to arrive in Waterloo Region, and his first year here as he creates and presents his new play, Adrenaline. http://www.mtspace.ca/

Studio D-20/Angela Onuora, $4,800, for post-production work on More Than a Thousand Words, a short film of fiction based on real world events in Nigeria, the effort to flee conflict zones and the chance to establish stable new lives in Waterloo Region.

Susan Fish, $2,500 for writing the Berlin/Kitchener chapters of her novel, Dust to Dust, a fictional story based on Kitchener’s first female architect, Molly Barra Marquette who built Barra Castle in the late 1920s. http://storywell.ca/whoarewe.html

Sarah Pearson, $4,000 to create her untitled second full-length album of original music, professionally produced for independent release and launch in Fall 2017. https://sarahpearson.bandcamp.com/

To The Trees, $5,000 for recording the band’s untitled debut EP of original music and lyrics, for release and launch in Spring 2017. http://www.tothetrees.ca/

Sarah Granskou and Joel Brubacher, $5,000 for Puppetry and Performance, to collaborate on the creation of new puppets, expand their repertoire, and prepare and rehearse their performances. http://sarahgranskou.com/ http://www.banjopuppets.com/

Inter Arts Matrix, $8,000 towards the development of Phaedra of Edmonton, a new and experimental multidisciplinary chamber opera set in Canada, using collage, musical and theatrical improvisation, and with dramatic readings open to the public. https://www.interartsmatrix.ca/

Cheryl Ewing, $7,000 towards Starlight Presents: Festival for Youth, a performing arts festival for youth and children, as a means to increase youth engagement in music, theatre and dance, and build the next generation of leadership through collaboration. https://www.cherylaewing.ca/

Sonderlust, $5,000 towards Wives Tales, a new play created in collaboration by female theatre artists who are dedicated to the creation of original work and the staging of women’s stories; to be performed in late Fall 2017. http://sonderlust.ca/

Janice Lee, $3,000 for The Smackdown: Spoken Word Musical Comedy, a contemporary one-woman stage play using interactive direct-address with the audience about the difficulties and joys of finding friendship and community within this region, its racial makeup and its artistic environment. http://janicejolee.ca/

Theatre Mada Collective, $8,000, towards the development and workshop presentations of The Bell, a comedic play about a shepherd and his story-telling sheep recounting the horrors of war, and translated into English by Majdi Bou-Matar and Paddy Gillard Bentley.

Ahmad Meree, $5,000 towards the production of Adrenaline, a new solo play about a refugee newcomer’s first New Year’s Eve in Canada, using puppetry, movement, text and music to tell this story with its universal themes of family and home.

Robert Achtemichuk, $2,700, for A Body As I See It, a visual art exploration of the body as it ages and the development of new works through research and painting gouache on paper and silk. https://robertachtemichuk.ca/

Jennifer Akkermans, $3,000 for the development, creation and exhibition of a body of experimental new works in mechanical sculpture/automata. http://jenniferakkermans.com/

Charlena Russell, $1,300 to collaborate in developing tech-art for a new sound-activated light-suit, using circuit design and computer programming, in order to create a one-of-a-kind performance costume. http://charlena-russell.com/

Roman Bienko, $5,000 towards Capturing the Spirit, spanning a month at a time over a full year, a project to interact with the community while sketching and displaying the framed works at various coffee shops throughout Waterloo Region.

The objective of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund is to make art happen in the community through active promotion of arts and culture, and by providing meaningful grants and other support to artists and to arts and culture organizations.

Annually, Regional Council generously allocates the equivalent to a grant of 67 cents per capita to the Arts Fund so that the people of Waterloo Region may benefit from the vibrancy of the arts and culture sectors.

Created in 2002, the Arts Fund is a not-for-profit corporation which provides arms-length funding for the performing, visual, media and literary arts. It welcomes grant applications in all arts disciplines from individual artists and arts organizations based in the Region of Waterloo (comprising the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich).

The Arts Fund invites applications in the spring and fall of each year for projects that will occur within the following 12 months. The goal in the longer term is to enhance the ability of an artist or arts organization to make more art happen through future projects.

The Arts Fund is one of the few granting bodies in Canada that awards grants directly to artist-led projects. Often these supported projects are able to attract additional funds through earned revenue, grants from provincial, federal or private sources, sponsorships, private and in-kind donations.

For more information about initiatives such as peer-to-peer application support, Board-hosted open houses before application deadlines, and Artist-at-Large Advisors, please visit the website: www.artsfund.ca.

The next Arts Fund Open House for grant applicants before the Spring 2017 round is on Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 5-7 p.m. at the Region of Waterloo Headquarters, 150 Frederick Street, Kitchener. This is an informal drop-in, where board members will be available to share general information about the fund and its mandate.

The next deadline for applications to the Arts Fund is 4 p.m. on Friday, March 3, 2017; full details are available on the website: www.artsfund.ca

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