#NiagaraPerforms free LIVE online concerts + events

The FirstOntario PAC’s summer of 2020 online series featured over 50 free live concerts and events from over 200 Niagara artists and community groups. Performances are still available for FREE viewing on the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s Facebook page and YouTube channel .

Experience and engage with the best of Niagara's artists and arts organizations from the comfort of your home on #NiagaraPerforms!



Sunday 30 August, 7pm - Brittany Brooks (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL!)
Brittany Brooks is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with Niagara roots. Her compositions combine the nostalgic sounds of country music, with the imagery rich narratives of folk music. For this performance, Brooks will be debuting all new material - so listeners are in for a treat. Music for fans of Emmylou Harris, Sandy Denny and Joni Mitchell.

Saturday 29 August at 5-6pm and 7-8pm - The Figure Four (OUTDOOR PACYARD CONCERT)
“Niagara’s favourite party band” (Niagara This Week) and winners of The Standard’s “Best Local Band” Reader’s Choice award, The Figure Four have been spreading joy from St. Catharines to Thorold and all the many points in between for twenty years with their interactive all-request live performances.
SET ONE (5pm) https://youtu.be/XPP0Aambdu8
SET TWO (7pm) https://youtu.be/oGx1pZzU7oY

Thursday 27 August, 7pm – Local Reflections on Racism
The continuation of the Online Interactive Speaker Series keeping up the momentum for racial justice and inclusion in St. Catharines presented in partnership with Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, Niagara Region Anti-Racism Association. Guest Speaker: Felipe Ivo Costa Topic: How discrimination affects the overall health of the LGBTQIA2S+ community with a specific discussion on LGBTQIA2S+ newcomers.

Sun 23 August, 7pm – My Son the Hurricane  (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL!)
Multi horn, multi drummer, multi singer brass funk beast. Hailing from Niagara/Toronto, the perennial festival closers and dance floor inciters mix New Orleans style grooves with funk, jazz and hip hop. My Son the Hurricane has become revered for their live performances.

Thursday 20 August, 7pm – Earth Song Teachings
The Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre cultural team present a family friendly evening of fun and learning about the rich history of the social songs of the Haudenosaunee.

Sun 16 August, 7pm – Little Nerves  (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL!)
Featuring the soaring velvet voice of front man Oscar Anderson-Shortt (aka DRFTR) their repertoire consists of everything from dance floor funk, island time vibes, hip-hop drops and more.

Saturday 15 August at 5-6pm and 7-8pm - Mark Lalama Trio
Join us for our new backyard concert series with our house band! The multi-talented and charismatic trio of Mark Lalama, Richard Moore and Davide DiRenzo have been providing their high level musicianship and spontaneity to recreate magic every month at our consistently sold out Hear! Here! Niagara Music Series events.
Set 1: https://youtu.be/e9TRsoNzbFc
Set 2: https://youtu.be/uDaYGYeGYQU

Thursday 13 August, 7pm – Niagara Conservatory of Music
The young students of the Niagara Conservatory of Music showcase their continued hard work while being separated from their teachers and peers, finding new ways to bring joy into their lives through music.

SAINT STONE is a trio of queer, trans, and gender non-conforming artists from Niagara, on the shared territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg, Huron-Wendat, and Neutral peoples. STONE for the first brick thrown at the Stonewall Riots, and SAINT for the queer and gender diverse people who are told they are anything less than transcendent.

Thursday 6 August, 7pm – LVW Creative Barracks'  interactive craft experience for families 
Lacie Williamson is a multi-disciplinary artist and arts educator who owns and operates LVW Creative Barracks, an art studio and gallery created as "a home for all creatives."

Sunday 2 August, 7pm - LMT Connection (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL!)
Niagara's premiere masters of funk and soul featuring the legendary Motown frontman Leroy Emmanuel. Presented as part of the #EmancipationDaySTC activities.

Juno-nominated, Independent Music Award-winning Afro-Cuban roots and jazz band OKAN features stunning vocal harmonies and a powerful jazz foundation. Based in Toronto, the women-led ensemble explores musical forms of Santeria as well as diverse Cuban popular genres. In partnership with Matter of Black and BlackOwned905. Part of a full weekend of activities to celebrate EmancipationDaySTC! Click here for more OUTDOOR EVENTS .

Thursday 30 July, 7pm – Local Reflections on Racism
An Online Interactive Speaker Series with Small Group Discussions – An online community discussion about confronting racism and other forms of exclusion in our community to create an inclusive Niagara.
Speaker Mutsa Charamba from Positive Living Niagara and co-organizer of Emancipation Day Celebrations discusses Social Determinants of Health within the Black Community. Featuring performances from Shannon Kitchings and Eve Atom. Presented in partnership with Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, Niagara Region Anti-Racism Association and Positive Living Niagara as part of the #EmancipationDaySTC activities.

Sunday 26 July, 7pm – Ol' Child (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL!) 
The members of Ol' Child met each other at recurring local open jam nights that are better described as healing sessions. Ol' Child aims to bring this magic to all who welcome it with their live performances with eclectic styles of blues, classic rock, r&b, soul, funk, jazz and original tunes. Ol' Child demonstrates how people of all ages and backgrounds can unite through groove, dance and play.

Thursday 23 July, 7pm – Brock University's Student Justice, Human Rights and Equity  
Join us for a collaborative evening of music, poetry and stimulating discussion featuring local performers J-Marsh, Jasmine Whyte and D'Scribe and an after-show panel with the artists facilitated by author and HRE's own Intercultural Communications Coordinator Trecia McLennon. This event explores the connections between art, activism, race, gender, sexuality and the importance of performance in expression, liberation, and social transformation.

Sunday 19 July, 7pm – Spencer MacKenzie (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL) 
Multi-award winner, Spencer Mackenzie has a deep, soulful, true to the blues sound, with an electrifying twist that captivates his audience. “His guitar playing is crisp and clean even as it delivers some down-to-the bone licks…He’s got the blues power in his soul.” – Blues Blast Magazine. With a new album set to release this September, his current album is still earning nominations, rave reviews and hitting the top of the Blues Charts including #1 in Canada for 5 weeks! “With an eye towards the future, he’ll be the one taking the blues there with him." - Rock Blues Muse. 

Sunday 12 July, 7pm – Katey Gatta (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL) 
Niagara songstress Katey Gatta weaves melodies that leave you feeling like you’re caught in the crosswind of a gentle breeze and a wailing gale. Sometimes her sweet, sultry voice has been described as reminiscent of Norah Jones or Joni Mitchell, and well, sometimes it is. She pairs her tongue in cheek lyricism with intricately picked chords that'll ring in your ears like peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.

Thursday 9 July, 7pm – The Gallery Players of Niagara (Tangos and Treasures) 
Doug Miller (flute) and Tim Phelan (guitar), perform a sunny selection of music from Brazil, Argentina, alongside iconic movie themes and other gems. Designed to lift your spirits, TANGOS & TREASURES will feature music by Piazzolla, Jobim, Machado, Morricone and more.

Sunday 5 July, 7pm – Culture Reject (LIVE FROM PARTRIDGE HALL) 
The music of Canadian Culture Reject draws comparisons to Broken Social Scene, Andy Shauf, Talking Heads and the “real soundtrack to a Wes Anderson film” -- yet remains a truly original offering of Lo-Fi Soul delight. Niagara-raised Michael O’Connell and crew - Karri North, Carlie Howell (Beverley Glenn Copeland) and local dynamo Marshall Bureau (Great Lakes Swimmers) - create a live show filled with sophisticated arrangements of simple and complex pop songs, subdued harmonies, big hooks, nuanced highlights and.... an audience that doesn't want to be anywhere else.

Thursday 2 July, 7pm – The Foster Festival  is the only Canadian theatre festival to celebrate the work of a living playwright. Norm Foster is the most produced playwright in Canadian history and our Niagara community is very fortunate that Norm and his hilarious heartwarming plays have found a permanent home in our local world-class venue. Tune in for a live reading of the Foster favourite Here on the Flight Path performed by Melanie Janzen and Jamie Williams. Love, life and loss are all discussed with big laughs and a few tears in what many describe as Norm Foster’s funniest play ever. The performance will be followed by a Q&A session with the actors and Norm Foster himself!

Sunday 28 June, 4pm – Kurt Swinghammer and Lori Cullen  bring their musical talents together in this very special performance from their home. Cullen is a celebrated pop/folk/jazz singer-songwriter and Swinghammer is St. Catharines homegrown acclaimed singer-songwriter, guitarist and visual artist. 

Thursday 25 June, 7pm – Yellow Door Theatre ’s Artistic Director Andorlie Hillstrom shares the artistic work that her dynamic group of young student artists have been creating. ​

Sunday 21 June, 4pm – Celebration of Nations Artistic Director Michele-Elise Burnett and Artistic Producer Tim Johnson join us for National Indigenous Peoples Day. Learn more about the upcoming Celebration of Nations 2020 edition and enjoy musical performances by special guest artists, including Canadian Mohawk Two Spirit singer/songwriter, SHAWNEE!

Thursday 18 June, 7pm - Bravo Niagara!  Festival of the Arts presents highlights from its 2019/20 season with a special guest appearance by Measha Brueggergosman , the internationally celebrated and award-winning Canadian soprano.

Sunday 14 June, 4pm – Great Lake Swimmers' Tony Dekker is a beloved indie folk act in Canada and beyond originally hailing from Wainfleet Ontario. CBC has called Great Lake Swimmers “a national treasure” with a sound that is at once familiar and distinct, using the tools of folk music as the starting point to delve deeper.

Sunday 7 June, 4pmWhitney Pea ’s sound is playful and original with lyrics that often illustrate the connection between the human heart and nature. She is loved for her soothing voice and genuine approach to songwriting.

Thursday 4 June, 7pmJohn Sherwood is Niagara's jazz piano luminary who is recognized by his audiences, critics, and peers as one of the top jazz pianists in Canada today.

Sunday 31 May, 4pm – Ariana Gillis is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who will bring her soulful talent and outrageously original, melodic and passionate songs to #NiagaraPerforms with added special guest David Gillis.

Sunday 24 May, 4pmJoe Lapinski  is a local musician, songwriter and producer who will perform an uplifting set of music, spanning his career, plus new never heard before songs.

Thursday 21 May, 7pm - Garden City Comedy Festival  Director David Green performs a live stand-up comedy performance with special guests Thomas Calnan and Michael Moses.

Sunday 17 May, 4pm - Vox Violins' music is fun, lively and interactive. Together, Beth Bartley and Mark Clifford are multi-instrumentalists that have two lifetimes worth of shared music from Celtic fiddle tunes, Canadian folk ballads, blues classics to rock ‘n’ roll grooves.

Thursday 14 May, 7pm – Carousel Players'  Artistic Director Monica Dufault will share a reading of Peg and the Yeti by Kenneth Oppell and show how to make your own Yeti craft at home (for ages 4 to 10)

Sunday 10 May, 4pm – Spencer Burton  will share his country-folk infused music from his home in Fenwick.

Thursday 7 May, 7pm – Juliet Dunn and Peter Shea of TD Niagara Jazz Fest will share music and love from their home studio in St. Catharines north end.

Sunday 3 May, 4pm – Suzie Vinnick , the multi-award-winning roots and blues artist performs a set from the Hear! Here! Niagara Music Series sponsor B4 Networks' boardroom in Fonthill.

Thursday 30 April, 7pmSuitcase in Point, known around the FirstOntario PAC for their hilarious holiday sketch comedy cabarets, will provide some quarantine comic relief. 

Sunday 26 April, 4pmLaurel & Hulley , local Hear! Here! alumni Laurel Minnes and her musical partner Taylor Hulley will bring their blend of vocal harmonies and laid-back grooves.

Thursday 23 April, 7pmGordon Cleland , principal Cellist for the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and Music Department Instructor at Brock University’s Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Sunday 19 April, 4pmMark Lalama , celebrated local producer, musician and hosting artist of the Hear! Here! Niagara Music Series.

ABOUT #NiagaraPerforms:

Announcement, St. Catharines, 16 April 2020 – The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is set to launch a new online series to help further connect audiences and artists during this unprecedented time of physical separation. #NiagaraPerforms will provide a platform and professional artist fees for local artists to share performances with online audiences as a home-grown take on the National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms series.

“We are pleased to join this national movement through a local lens,” says Sara Palmieri, Programming and Marketing Manager. “We want to continue to find ways that connect our local artists and arts organizations with audiences and the online space is definitely a place where we can all still meet.”

The first batch of #NiagaraPerforms artists were selected by the programming team from previous editions of the popular Hear! Here! Niagara Music Series as well existing partnerships with local arts organizations. The online series will be announced two weeks at a time as the FirstOntario PAC continues to monitor the changing realities of the COVID-19 crisis.


The FirstOntario PAC’s summer online series will feature FREE live concerts from Niagara musicians every Sunday and content from community partners every Thursday. Performances will be available for viewing through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

“I’ve heard this a few times and it’s true,” notes Sara Palmieri. “When this is all over it will be the music, films, books and livestreamed concerts and performances that will get us through this. The arts will keep us connected.”

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