The presence and creative expressions of the arts, culture and heritage provide vibrancy for the community and an atmosphere of creativity, vitality, diversity and inclusion. In addition, the arts, culture and heritage can be significant positive drivers of a sustainable local economy. The arts can include performing, written, visual and media arts. Heritage resources include the history and traditions of an area and are evident in the buildings, collections, sites, events and stories. On a personal level, the arts can entertain, stimulate and inspire.


What we are doing well …
Throughout the year, Niagara offers a rich diversity of multi-cultural and ethnic festivities and celebrations and many musical and cultural festivals. The Shaw Festival, Brock Centre for the Arts and the Fallsview Casino, along with smaller theatres in Welland, Port Dalhousie, Port Colborne and Niagara Falls attract local and visiting audiences and employ performers. Brock University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts offers programs in theatre and the arts, and administers the Rodman Hall Arts Center. Niagara has a Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Niagara and a Niagara Youth Orchestra and offers a Niagara International Chamber Music Festival. Cultural grants from the Region, municipalities, multi-cultural centers, Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Canadian Council for the Arts, The Department of Canadian Heritage and others support a mix of visual, written, performing and media arts. The Niagara Region Culture Committee is developing a cultural plan for Niagara. In Niagara, libraries have increased their number of cardholders compared to the province, and residents visit libraries regularly in person and electronically.


Where we can improve …
More could be done to inspire and support the artistic population to come to Niagara, to remain here and to make a better living wage. Plans to build, sustain and involve a strong cultural and heritage sector would foster diversity, enhance tourism and contribute more to a vibrant local economy. We need to develop an improved infrastructure for cultural and heritage networking; promote and support the important role of heritage in our community and in the stimulation of economic and civic engagement; and analyze the impact of culture and heritage on Niagara.


Overall score: Level 3. Progress is being made.

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