18 projects given Arts and Culture Fund grants - $75,000 distributed

By Staff

April 10th, 2024



The Burlington Arts and Culture Fund (BACF) provides grants to local artists, multicultural groups and arts and cultural organizations to:

  • Encourage social cohesion, enhance quality of life and stimulate cultural and economic development through direct investment
  • Enrich how Burlington residents experience and engage with arts and culture
  • Foster creativity
  • Nurture the quality and capacity of the arts and culture sector in Burlington

The program recognizes and supports diverse identities, perspectives, languages, cultures and artistic practices. Funding must be used to further an applicant’s not-for-profit activities and grants are intended to support a specific activity or event taking place from April to March.

This year’s approved BACF funding allocation is $75,000 total for the 18 projects. Each applicant could apply for up to $7,000 in funding.

Art With Heart: Reflective Art Workshop Series

Applicant: Lena Sharda

The Art with Heart: Reflective Art Workshop Series is a series of five workshops designed to engage community members in creative expression and self-discovery in order to build resiliency and improve overall mental health. Led by multidisciplinary artist, facilitator and therapeutic arts instructor Lena Sharda, the workshops combine therapeutic art exercises and mindfulness practices to foster self-reflection and wellness, while supporting participants to develop skills in: healthy coping, positive interpersonal dynamics, resiliency and self-confidence. A selection of the artwork created during the workshops will be displayed as part of a community art exhibit at the Burlington Public Library to share the importance of mental health and how the arts play a pivotal role in wellness.

The Artist’s Mark Juried Exhibit

Applicant: Burlington Fine Arts Association

The Burlington Fine Arts Association (BFAA) is an artist collective of approximately 180 local artists and the largest of the seven guilds of Arts Burlington. The Artist’s Mark will provide an eighteen-day juried art exhibit. The exhibition brings original art out of the gallery and into a more accessible community space to provide a unique celebration of local, contemporary art. Throughout the exhibition, participating BFAA artists will give talks about their work and artistic process. The Artist’s Mark will also feature focused artist presentations and outreach that includes an art display and workshop at local senior retirement residences throughout Burlington. The project provides a continued celebration of creativity and supports local artists from the Burlington community.

Authors in Your Neighbourhood

Applicant: Sylvia McNicoll

Sylvia McNicoll,

Authors in Your Neighbourhood encourages children to have fun interactions with local writers and illustrators to foster a love of reading and writing. This year, Authors in Your Neighbourhood has expanded to include four local authors: Lana Button, Jennifer Maruno, Sylvia McNicoll, Anitha Rao-Robinson and illustrator Jennifer Faria. They will each demonstrate and teach their craft in six two-hour workshops. Children will have the chance to learn about writing dialogue, describing characters and settings, structuring plots, and learning drawing fundamentals. Workshops will be hosted by the Burlington Public Library and reach over 250 children. This year Authors in Your Neighbourhood will also include parents and guardians in a dedicated family literacy workshop.

Brushstrokes of Bravery

Applicant: Lara Kirschner

Local artist Lara Kirschner has partnered with Shifra Homes and the Halton Women’s Place to offer paint classes to pregnant at-risk women and new moms. The classes will involve creating a personal interpretation of a pre-planned acrylic painting on stretched canvas and each class will present a new theme to help foster a sense of accomplishment. Learning opportunities for the project include developing a new skillset to boost self-confidence, working outside of one’s comfort zone to promote mental and emotional growth, the development of interpersonal skills in a group learning environment and exposure to a variety of painting techniques. The project provides a vulnerable population with access to creative teaching and skill development.

Burlington Latin Festival

Latin Legacy: a musical lineup of salsa, reggaeton, merengue, bachata, cúmbia, mariachi, jazz and samba.

Applicant: Latin Legacy Association

The Burlington Latin Festival is a cultural celebration that brings together a diverse range of artists, activities and vendors to promote the creativity, innovation and cultural exchange of the Burlington Latin community. The festival will showcase various forms of artistic expression including music, dance, Latin wellness classes, workshops and a parade. The festival will take place in Central Park on Aug. 24, 2024 and will feature a musical lineup of salsa, reggaeton, merengue, bachata, cúmbia, mariachi, jazz and samba. The dance program will present contemporary dance, traditional folk dances from Latin America and a parade. The festival is free and will include art workshops highlighting the different art and crafts of Latin American culture.

Celebrate! Holidays of the Global Village – Free Livestream Concerts for Burlington Schools

Applicant: Chris McKhool, Sultans of String

Three-time JUNO Award nominees and Billboard charting band Sultans of String will present a series of livestream concerts for Burlington elementary schools. Inspired by world travel, the project celebrates Canada’s multicultural mosaic with songs about the Buddhist Bodhi Day, Quebec’s Carnival, Chanukah, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Diwali, Eid, Halloween, Pan-African Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Winter Solstice. Celebrate! will provide young audiences with a glimpse into different customs, celebrations and festivities enjoyed in Canada. The concert lineup features core Sultans of String members: Chris McKhool on violin, Kevin Laliberté on guitar and Drew Birston on bass, as well as global musicians Maryem Hassan, Ernie Tollar, Qui Xia and Andrew from Silk Road Music, Ts’ymshian Elder Shannon Thunderbird, Suba Sankaran and Dylan Bell, and Aviva Chenrnick.

Celebrating the Cultures of the Silk Road

Applicant: One Burlington

One Burlington is exploring the historic Silk Road to showcase the intermingling and exchange of cultures through contact and commerce. As the traders travelled with their goods, they exchanged stories, songs and ideas with people from many other countries and regions. Celebrating the Cultures of the Silk Road is a family friendly afternoon featuring a variety of events for attendees to participate in. First, on stage in the BPAC Studio Theatre, five dance performances will feature music and storytelling from the four different regions covered by the Silk Road: China, Middle Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Three workshops will take place in the lobby where participants can learn about embroidery techniques, tea ceremonies and rug making. The event will also feature a presentation on the history and cultural significance of the Silk Road followed by a question-and-answer period.


Elizabeth Gardens Art Walk

Applicant: Elizabeth Gardens Creative Collective

Fourth Annual Elizabeth Gardens Art Walk.

The Fourth Annual Elizabeth Gardens Art Walk is a free one-day event that features thirty to forty local, multi-disciplinary artists, artisans, makers, designers, musicians and arts facilitators. The event is free, accessible to all ages and has tents and booths showcasing various artists’ work. Twenty interactive and collaborative Art Experience Stations will be hosted by local artists and include: pottery, paint pouring, ink, drawing, chalk murals, hydro dipping, up-cycled art, bookmark and button making as well as musical, dance and storytelling performances. The project helps the community learn about the many talented artists and makers that live in Burlington. Participants can immerse themselves into new artistic practices in a safe, supportive environment, while learning about the importance of art, and the value of connecting as a community.


Focus on Your Future

Applicant: Latow Photographers Guild

Established in 1971, the Latow Photography Guild is a member of Arts Burlington with approximately 90 members. The guild aims to help members develop their photography skills and offers a variety of programs, guest speakers and evaluations. Aimed at photography students and emerging photographers, Focus on Your Future is a portfolio review event that will provide participants with an opportunity to obtain personalized feedback on their work, recommendations and resources to improve, and tips on next steps in their future in photography. Reviewers are members of the Latow Photographers Guild and special guest reviewers will include nationally and internationally recognized photographers, jurors and instructors.


Halton Freedom Celebration Festival

Applicant: Halton Black History Awareness Society

The Halton Black History Awareness Society (HBHAS) is dedicated to implementing cultural education into the public mindset towards appreciating the values of equity and inclusivity. HBHAS develops programs to erode racism, prejudice and stereotyping, while increasing knowledge of Canadian history and its cultural landscape. The free, one-day Halton Freedom Celebration Festival brings together musical acts, children’s and youth activities, cultural art, food, crafts, heritage, historical and genealogical vendors, while promoting inclusivity and community. The multicultural festival will offer cultural crafts, art in the park, cultural fashions and accessories, food and music including the best in Canadian R&B, Reggae, Soul, Funk, African, Cuban, Jazz Fusion, Soca and Pop. The Halton Freedom Celebration Festival will take place in Spencer Smith Park on Aug. 3, 2024.


The Journey Around the Sun

Applicant: Lowville Festival

The Lowville Festival was founded in 2015 with the vision that arts and nature are perfect partners in creating unique cultural events in the natural beauty of the Niagara Escarpment. In 2024, the festival will continue with the celebration of both the Winter and Summer Solstices and the Spring and Fall Equinoxes. The Solstice events will be performance-based events and the Equinoxes festivals will be interactive family fun events. The events will take place on June 20, Sept. 20, Dec. 21 and March 20 on the Summer Solstitium, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Hibernal and the Vernal Equinox.


Lunar New Year Celebration Gala

Applicant: Redleaf Cultural Integration

The Lunar New Year Celebration Gala is an event to celebrate the beginning of the new Lunar Year, one of the most important festivals in Asian countries. The event connects people, shares diverse cultures, and celebrates the Lunar New Year. The celebration features a half-day, free cultural exhibition showcasing multicultural displays of Chinese watercolour painting, calligraphy, traditional sugar painting, a tea ceremony, Indian Henna painting, and a Korean culture display. The main event includes performances of a selection of songs and dances from various cultures and a magic show on the Burlington Performing Art Centre’s main stage. Redleaf Cultural Integration is a non-profit cultural organization that works with people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and ages to enhance the quality of life in Burlington.


Music Across the Cultures

Burlington Symphony Orchestra

Applicant: Burlington Symphony Orchestra

Music Across the Cultures is a full orchestral concert featuring special guest artists offering a variety of cultural performances. While Western Classical Music continues to be the foundation of the Burlington Symphony Orchestra (BSO), this concert provides an opportunity to expand these boundaries and connect with a variety of cultures through non-Western music and performances. The concert will feature the full-sized 55-member community orchestra and include special performances by members of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra, members of the Sampradaya Dance Creation Company, as well as a Burlington guest violinist performing Czardas.


RISE: An Immersive Community Wellness Celebration

Two members of the CinnaMoon Collective.

Applicant: Exisst SoulCare

Existt SoulCare is an artist-driven wellness initiative that aims to elevate collective consciousness, creativity, mindfulness and community building. RISE 2024, An Immersive Wellness Community Celebration will take place at the Lowville THiNKSPOT in Walt Rickli’s Sculpture Garden. This unique location will host transformative community wellness workshops, a traditional cacao experience and a dynamic forest dance performance by CinnaMoon Collective. The event will feature an opening community connection circle, breathwork and a mindful meditation workshop and community celebration with the live musical styling of DJ Magda Arturo.


Somewhere That’s Green

Applicant: Charles Cozens

Charles Cozens

Somewhere That’s Green is a live concert of environmental music performed by the Charles Cozens Chamber Music Ensemble with conductor Maestro Charles Cozens. Charles has written compositions for chamber orchestra with the theme of our environment and surroundings. Selected compositions will be performed in conjunction with several visual artworks by Burlington artists. Each composition will be descriptive of each artwork. The artwork will be displayed in front of the orchestra and by a video projected on a screen to magnify the imagery. Selected visual artists include Victoria Pierce and Janet Horne Cozens, and photographer Chris Hominuk. During the concert, the artists will provide a description about their artwork.


Stitching Together: Cross Cultural Encounters through Embroidery

Applicant: Creative Community Collective

The Stitching Together Community Embroidery project features lectures and hands-on demonstrations to learn embroidery. Workshops will be hosted at five different locations across the city. All of the individual embroidered pieces created at the workshops will be assembled as a single community piece, symbolizing the diversity of cultural heritage among the residents of Burlington. Embroidery has roots in ancient civilizations, has many variations and allows participants to interact during the creative process.


Telling Tales Festival returns to the Royal Botanical Gardens’ Hendrie Park.

Telling Tales Festival

Applicant: Telling Tales

The 16th Annual Telling Tales Festival returns to the Royal Botanical Gardens’ Hendrie Park. The event is free and visitors can participate in educational activities led by a diverse group of authors, illustrators, musicians and storytellers. The program is culturally diverse and committed to showcasing fresh, local talent alongside internationally renowned personalities. Guests can listen to the stories behind a book’s creation, learn writing tips and meet local authors. Participants can explore interactive workshops, express their creativity in the craft tent with story-based art and explore the park’s sculpture collection.


Theatre Workshops for Adults

Applicant: Theatre Burlington

Theatre Burlington was created in 1952 with the mission to provide opportunities for Burlington residents to learn about the direction, production and staging of plays. This workshop series will be coordinated by local writer and playwright Evelyn Principato, and be presented by members of Theatre Burlington. The series will cover the basics of live theatre production and participants will be mentored in the production and staging of one-act plays. The final workshop will include the presentation of one-act plays to friends and family. Participants will get first-hand experience in core areas of live theatre production including: directing, stage management, set design and construction, props, lighting, sound, costumes, acting including voice projection, stage presence and nerve management. Through the final theatrical performances, the attendees will apply skills learned in the workshops.

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