St Catharines gives cash boost to arts and culture community


Published June 18, 2021 at 7:50 pm

The arts and culture community of St Catharines got a financial shot-in-the-arm on Monday as City Council put some money on the table.

The council pumped $289,715 in St Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP) with $10,715 going directly towards 16 applicants for the Culture Day Activity Program.

The remaining $279,000 is being spread between eight organizations through their Sustaining Core and Midsize Program funding.

And the City says this is just the first two rounds of funding for SCCIP, a group that provides and promotes opportunities for artists, not-for-profit groups, as well as arts and cultural groups.

The organization must now submit their funding applications to SCCIP.

The cash comes at a time when the groups have suffered big losses during to the pandemic and city staffers were happy to see them get a boost.

Phil Cristi, Director of Community, Recreation and Culture Services said, “The arts and culture sector in St. Catharines has been severely affected by COVID-19, with a significant impact on many artists’ and arts organizations’ abilities to carry out their work, especially those relying on audience-based performances or festivals.”

He added, “As we continue with pandemic recovery, we know how critical SCCIP is to help grow and sustain the individuals and organizations at the heart of the sector. In turn, it generates a combination of economic and cultural vitality as well as grassroots experiences and events that are meaningful to a broad range of members of our community.”

The Culture Days Activity Program, actually a national initiative, set for September 24 to October 24 this year promotes access to arts, heritage and cultural experience that are aimed towards a wide audience.

In fact, when St Catharines held them last year in the midst of the pandemic, they ended up hosting almost 200 online events, which were so successful, the city was on top of the national rankings.

The Sustaining Foundation is set up to support St Catharines-based professional non-profit groups with the aim of developing, creating, producing and delivering their work to the community. With eight organizations involved, the foundation brings significant cash back in terms of generating full-time, part-time and contract jobs.

Funding for the other SCCIP programs will be announced later this year.

Details on the SCCIP funding programs, eligibility, applications and more can be found at: