Region of Waterloo Arts Fund awards 48 grants

Posted on Thursday December 10, 2020

Waterloo Region - The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund is awarding 48 grants, totalling $268,341, in response to dynamic proposals submitted by a wide range of artists and arts organizations.

The new single-stage, online application attracted a record 102 applications, for a total of almost $950,000 in requests.

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 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 823 projects, for a total community investment of $4,491,537.

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 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.

Fall 2020 round grants are listed below.

Good Foundation supported grants:

Drayton Theatres Inc. – Jonathan Randall (Waterloo): $6000 towards the High School Musical Project, to provide mentored arts and technical training for Waterloo Region high school students, culminating in the creation of a live musical theatre production

Susan Fish (Waterloo): $5000 for research and writing the first draft of Like A Kiss, a novel about early 20th century immigrants to southwestern Ontario from the Isle of Man, loosely based on experiences of the author’s own extended family  

Heather Kocsis and Gary Kirkham (Cambridge): $28 000 for production of Dancing Within Our Worlds, a multi-platform, cross-disciplinary installation and augmented reality project that combines sculpture and filmed media, to be presented both online and within a gallery setting

Registry Theatre – Sam Varteniuk (Kitchener): $5000 for artists’ fees for development of the script for The Museum of Lost Memories, an immersive live art and performance installation by artist Zehra Nawab, composer Grace Scheele, and poet Nicole Smith

Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival – Cheryl Ewing (Kitchener): $4000 towards a “group-mentoring” project that introduces emerging jazz musicians to experienced artists for business/artistic coaching, performing opportunities, and possible career paths 

Vera Causa Opera – Dylan Langan (Cambridge): $5000 towards production of a filmed version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers

Organizations and Collectives:

9983 Films – Michael Masurkevitch (Kitchener): $10 000 towards completion of Snow Blind, a feature-length horror film set in and featuring the KW area

Dundee Arts Collective – Jenny Miller (Wilmot): $2800 towards the Vending Machine Art Project, an interactive art installation featuring take-home DIY art projects curated by a collective of KW regional artists

Flush Ink Productions – Paddy Gillard-Bentley (Waterloo): $5500 for script creation and a reading of a new play Shaking the Tree, based on peoples’ experiences with discovering their DNA ancestry

The Fountain Play Collective – Jennifer Roberts-Smith (Waterloo): $7500 towards a four-month invited workshop to develop the design vocabulary for an at-home, mixed-reality performance making accessibility a core aesthetic value, based on the story of Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth

HM Studio – Jonah Kay (Waterloo): $7000 towards production of a documentary film about the heavy metal music scene in KW, and the impact of COVID-19 on its members and fans

Hello Kelly – Francois Goudreault (Kitchener): $4900 towards completion of an album of songs by local synth-rock band Hello Kelly

Mada Theatre – Hiba ElMiari (Waterloo): $8000 towards the production of a video of an original song created from a new Arabic poem translated into English and set to music

Seagram Synth Ensemble – James Reesor (Kitchener): $5000 for Ephem, a work of electronic sound art designed to embrace impermanence, and distributed in a homemade, compact, single-function box with a headphone output

THEMUSEUM – Bridget Hinnegan (Kitchener): $5000 towards an artist-in-residence program collaborating with Viktorija Kovac and Cosmic Fishing Theatre

Urban X Entertainment – Rufus John (Cambridge): $7500 towards creating, recording, and filming the original song Freedom Marching, inspired by the KW Solidarity March in June 2020

Vintage Black Canada – Aaron Francis (Kitchener): $5000 for VBCx, a collaborative contemporary art project that invites artists to tangibly engage with and collaboratively reinterpret selected artifacts from the Vintage Black Canada multimedia archive of Black life in Waterloo Region

Virtu Arts – Vanessa Spence (Cambridge): $4554 for a workshop reading of Stretch Marks: Part 2, the second part of a three-part series of one-woman shows about the traumas, imbalances, and challenges Black women face during pregnancy and childbirth

Individual Artists:

Coral Andrews (Waterloo): $5000 to research and write a draft of The Back Door, a book chronicling stories of Kitchener’s 1980’s counterculture that existed at The Back Door basement bar below the Metro Tavern in Kitchener

Rachael Bauman (Cambridge): $3700 towards artists’ fees and recording costs for the release of two singles by local musician Missy Bauman

Owen Bloomfield (Cambridge): $3775 to produce Slagflower Songs, a live-streamed concert of vocal music written by local composer Owen Bloomfield and featuring a number of local professional musicians  

Eric Bolton (Cambridge): $4000 towards recording and releasing Songs for the New World, 5 songs about  taking this year of confusion and finding new purpose and positivity, through reinvention, redefinition, and authenticity

Alysha Brilla (Kitchener): $7500 towards The Body-Acoustic, a full-length live acoustic album recorded in Kitchener by this accomplished local musician and producer

Sam Dlugokecki (Waterloo): $6500 towards the production of local musician Sammy Duke's second full-length album Carpe Diem 

Grant Gimpel (Cambridge): $4068 for recording a 3-song EP by long-time Cambridge rock-jazz-funk band Pilot Project

Benjamin Gorodetsky (Waterloo): $4000 towards a digital performance and video series, exploring oral histories of immigration, displacement, and social transformation, based on interviews with the artist’s grandmothers from the former Soviet Union

David Jensenius (Kitchener): $3500 towards a short television series for late-night public programming that features avant-garde art

Shawn Johnston (Kitchener): $4630 to complete production of Stories from Land Back Camp, a short film focused on the protest camp in Victoria Park

Ian Mark Kimanje (Kitchener): $7500 towards Doing Life with my Neighbour, a four-part educational video series designed as tools to help start conversations among young people on how to overcome racism in the Waterloo region

John Maksym (Kitchener): $7500 for a music video of New Vibration, an original pop song with a throwback 1960s flavour and dancing, by this established and accomplished local musician

Earl McCluskie (Cambridge): $8000 towards establishing a local livestreaming venue facility, and streaming a planned concert series featuring local nonprofit music and performance organizations

Cecile Monique (Kitchener): $4000 towards a full-length album composed, arranged and produced by this accomplished local performer/composer

Ross Muir (Waterloo): $6000 for a staged reading and singing of Job’s Blues: A Blues Opera, an imaginative resetting and updating of the Book of Job

Isaac Mule (Kitchener): $3300 towards playwright and dramaturg fees for Mr. Wonderful and I, a new script for a one-person show about a dog, the challenges of navigating mental health, and the journey to self-love

Ciaran Myers (Kitchener): $6000 towards script development for Happy Ending, a new play for podcast/audio production about crossing our insecurities to find the vulnerability to love and support each other

Jackie Partridge (Wellesley): $1600 towards the creation of 5 canvases to be donated to local businesses, produced in video landscape painting tutorials with young painters

Lauren Prousky (Waterloo): $3225 for Collecting Dust, an interactive outdoor sculpture that explores the political nature of cleanliness, collecting, and clutter

Brenda Reid (Kitchener): $5000 towards From Behind the Mask: A Community Quilt of COVID-19 Stories, an evolving and modular textile work that expresses the varied COVID-19 stories of local residents through their own quilt-making  

Frances Roberts Reilly (Kitchener): $3414 for Watershed Writers, a series of one-hour radio documentaries featuring interviews with local novelists, poets, authors, playwrights and essayists

Paul Roorda (Waterloo): $5800 for Somewhere Anywhere Postcards, a mail-art project featuring cyanotype postcards of aging walls that suggest abstract skies and landscapes 

Meghan Sims (Kitchener): $5400 towards equipment rentals for Capacity of Wonder, an exhibition of a series of experimental glass sculptures manipulated by light

Andrew Smith (Cambridge): $7000 towards Local Constellations, a poetic video exploration of the genesis and development of this senior artists’ paintings and sculptures

Marley Sullivan (Cambridge): $2450 for 2 Bag Trip, an original play adapted to film expressing the emotional trauma and baggage an artist carries day-to-day during a pandemic

Paige Warner (Heidelberg): $1275 for the release and promotion of this solo artist’s music single, Liquor

Janine White (Cambridge): $3500 for the production of Aphotic Muse, a podcast exploring the archetypes of folklore stories that inspire our art and our lives.

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For more information regarding the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, contact the Arts Fund at

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