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Founded in 1969 as a collective of working artists, NAC is one of the oldest artist-run organizations in Canada.

NAC believes that the arts and critical dialogue on the arts are integral to a healthy community.

Niagara Artists Centre is a not-for-profit, charitably registered, member-driven collective formed by and dedicated to serving the working artists and community of Niagara.

Charitable Number – 10777 3053 RR0001 & HST Number – 10777 3053 RT0001

NAC gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of St. Catharines, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Niagara Community Foundation and Delta Bingo Players.

NAC Staff

Minister of Energy, Minds, and Resources

Stephen Remus

Stephen has been involved at NAC for over 15 years, as a volunteer, board director and staff member.

I’ve been involved at NAC for over 15 years, as a volunteer, board director and staff member. Creatively, I’m primarily a screen-printer, but I also work in 16mm film and video and I paint and write from time-to-time. I was awarded the City of St. Catharines 2009 Trillium Established Artist Award. I consider my experience, wealth of community contacts, and the ability to bring people together to work toward a common goal things I bring to the benefit of NAC.
Rea Kelly
Events Coordinator

Rea Kelly

A recent graduate from Brock University's Studio Art program, Rea is a working artist primarily as a drawer and painter.

I have been working for the NAC since 2020, helping keep the place afloat. I intend to use my position here to continue to foster a connection between the arts and our community, something I am very passionate about. A recent graduate from Brock University's Studio Art program, I am a working artist primarily as a drawer and painter. I was nominated for a St. Catharines Art Award in the Emerging Artist Category in 2019 and nominated by the Brock VISA department for the national BMO 1st Art! Competition in 2021. You'll likely find me at the front desk playing some tunes and trying to stay organized.
Check out my site and portfolio: reakellyart.com
@ reakellyart
Film + Event Coordinator

Jess Nguyen

Jess is a community builder, with one foot in environmentalism and the other in local art.

Jess Nguyen is a community builder, with one foot in environmentalism and the other in local art. Her hands-on experience extends beyond her formal education — videography and environmental science— to stage productions, art installations, playing in a band, organizing events, and much more. She loves the process of building up delightful, odd, amusing, and immersive experiences. Additionally, she enjoys organizing and participating in environmentally focused events and projects in the community.
Gallery Coordinator

Cree Tylee

Cree is a mixed media artist with a focus on experimental photography.

Cree Tylee (b.1993) is a mixed media artist from Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. Tylee first studied at Haliburton School of Art + Design, receiving a Visual and Creative Arts Diploma along with a certificate in Photo Arts, later returning to also complete a certificate in Ceramics. After attending college Tylee worked abroad in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region of Germany. Upon her return to Canada, Tylee attended undergraduate studies at The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in St. Catharines, Ontario. Focusing on her interest in experimental photography, Tylee graduated with honours from Brock University in Studio Art with a minor in The History of Art and Visual Culture. Tylee currently lives and works in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
Ambassador

Natasha Pedros

Natasha is a print designer, performer, and co-founder of Suitcase in Point Theatre Company and the In the Soil Arts Festival.

I’ve worked at NAC since 2005. I coordinate, promote, and help determine NAC’s full slate of exhibits in the Show Room, Plate Glass, and Flea Market Galleries, as well as the Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery. I also oversee the contracting of artists and supervise bookkeeping. I’m a print designer, performer, and co-founder of Suitcase in Point Theatre Company and the In the Soil Arts Festival. I recently co-directed a remount of Paris La Nuit by founding member of the Niagara Artists Centre, Dennis Tourbin.
Chance Mutuku
Design Collaborator

Chance Mutuku

Chance is a multidisciplinary Creative and founder of BBBBlanc* studio, a community - centred creative practice that uses design to empower forward thinking ideas.

Chance Mutuku is a multidisciplinary Creative . He uses different mediums to bring ideas and projects to life. His area of expertise ranges from Brand development, Graphic Design, Animation — to Creative Direction. Over years, he has helped initiate a wide variety of creative projects and collaborations with fellow creators. All which are driven by his passion for using creative ideas to help build community and to promote culture in the Niagara region.

Among some of these ventures is BBBBlanc* studio, a community - centred creative practice that uses design to empower forward thinking ideas.

Aside from initiating creative projects, Chance contributes to his community through creative workshops and public speaking engagements where he uses his story and experiences as a creative to motivate the youth and creatives alike. Ultimately encouraging them to use their skills to make impact in the world.

Film + Rooftop Krewe

Nikolas Rigas da Silva

Niko has been volunteering at NAC since he landed in downtown St. C from Brazil.

Nikolas has been involved at NAC as a volunteer since landing from Brazil, and joined the staff on a contract this summer as part of the UN's YBBE Program. Nikolas helps run the TCO Rooftop Terrace and will be working on off-site installations during the Mighty Niagara Film Fest.
Curatorial Assistant

Connor Wilkes

Connor hopes to foster an appreciation and participation in experimental/expanded cinema and filmmaking through NAC.

I recently graduated from the Film+Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at TMU. I have been living and working in St. Catharines for almost a decade. Through my practice and work in and around NAC I hope to foster an appreciation and participation in experimental/expanded cinema and filmmaking in the Niagara Region.

The last six months of living have found me residing and studying in Rochester, N.Y. Here, I have been experimenting with analogue video techniques and writing on the history of video art and activism.

cw

PS. I wrote this at 666 South Ave

Tool Librarian

Matt Caldwell

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon
Kasiaa Smuga
Film Programmer

Kasia Smuga

Kasia returned to NAC in 2016 as the Film Programmer and coordinates the Mighty Niagara Film Fest.

Kasia came around NAC with interest in using 16mm film archives and tool library for a student art installation, 12 years ago. Upon graduating from the Visual Arts program at Brock University, she joined the team as NAC' s Principal Officer of Pedagogy (2008-2012), coordinating professional development workshops and training as resident video editor. Branching out to assist in other gallery operations, as project manager for public art installation and executing various independent artist projects around the GTA, Kasia returned to NAC in 2016 as the Film Programmer.
Sahar Saeidi
Curatorial Assistant

Sahar Saeidi

Sahar recently graduated with a BA in film studies at Brock University and is eager to hone and expand creative passions through a connection to community.

I recently graduated with a BA in film studies at Brock University. This summer at NAC, I am eager for my creative passions to be honed and expanded through a connection to community. I love all things movies, music and literature. In 2021, I self-published a brief collection of poetry and prose titled “Waiting For This” which was a great step for me in the direction I want to go in. I am especially eager to be working on the NAC’s Mighty Niagara Film Fest this summer, showcasing fascinating stories to our Niagara Region.

Board of Directors

President, Programming + Outreach Committees

Shannon Kitchings

Shannon has been creating and performing her whole life.

Shannon has been creating and performing her whole life. Ultimately trained at UTM/Sheridan College she began her career locally in Burlington Student Theatre. Roles include a wide range from bar wench to queen. As a mid-career artist Shannon performs as a singer, actor, and spoken word artist, largely in applied theatre settings. Performing extensively in Canada and the US, Shannon has always appreciated the opportunity to share art making in her hometown community of Burlington, ON.
Programming Committee

James Brown

As a person with high functioning autism, I look forward to giving a voice to the neurodivergent as a member of the Niagara Artists Centre’s board.

My name is James Brown. I was born and raised in
St. Catharines, Ontario, where I still reside to this day.

I have been volunteering at NAC since 2017. I create digital portraits of detail using a paint program on my Mac laptop and I’ve been writing about film for NAC.

As a person with high functioning autism, I look forward to giving a voice to the neurodivergent as a member of the Niagara Artists Centre’s board.

Resource Management + Outreach Committees

Tabitha Lewis

Tabitha Lewis works in the Brock University Library Makerspace as the Coordinator.

Tabitha Lewis works in the Brock University Library Makerspace as the Coordinator. She has over 15 years of work experience with multimedia software including graphic design, photography, and video-editing. She loves to work with people and help them tap into their creative genius. She keeps a space for painting at NAC's studios at 433 St. Paul Street.
Programming Committee

Giniw (Graham) Paradis

Bio coming soon

Vice President / Programming Committee

Bruce Thompson

Bio coming soon

Programming Committee

Matt Jaekel

My favourite projects are large, multidisciplinary collaborations, where all kinds of people come together to create unorthodox, immersive social experiences

I'm a musician, video artist, and event coordinator. My favourite projects are large, multidisciplinary collaborations, where all kinds of people—including those who might not primarily think of themselves as artists—come together to create unorthodox, immersive social experiences. On a fairly frequent basis, art has placed me neck-deep in strange, life-affirming situations. I'm eternally grateful that the NAC, an unusually open-minded organization, has been behind the scenes, providing the stage and support for many of those most untethered moments.My goal in joining the NAC's Board of Directors is to help spur on the grassroots growth of a new, young and upcoming subculture that, in my opinion, needs to exist to a greater degree in our arts and music scene.
Ryan Mallette - Board Member
Resource Management Committee

Ryan Mallette

Ryan’s love for building is lifelong. From an early age, he took things apart and rebuilt them in new, creative ways.

Ryan aka ramm is a master craftsperson and has helped dream up and build some of North America’s favourite installations, from Canadian Tire’s ice truck to Casper’s nap pods. He is responsible for creating the captivating fixtures and finishes in many of Toronto’s hottest restaurants, including À Toi and Shook.
Ryan’s love for building is lifelong. From an early age, he took things apart and rebuilt them in new, creative ways. Later he became a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer where he worked on servicing and repairing some of the largest aircrafts in the sky. Ryan’s many creative achievements have earned him the Top 40 Under 40 award for entrepreneurs in the Niagara Region.
Programming Committee

Linda Steer

Linda Steer is an art historian and professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Brock.

Linda Steer is an art historian and professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Brock. She is also a partner, a parent, a fan of surrealism but not a surrealist, and an admirer of strange and beautiful things.
Treasurer / Resource Management

David Legge

I’m fueled by craft beer, spite and tortilla chips.

Print-maker, mall ninja, and multidisciplinary juggler. Teetering on the fulcrum of minimalism and intellectual purity to craft experiences both online and in real life. I’m fueled by craft beer, spite and tortilla chips. Check me out on Myspace!
Programming Committee

Jenn Judson

Jenn's approach to art AND life is usually with humour and often underlined with a touch of the subversive!

Jenn Judson is a lovable character, a serious artist and a big time collaborator. Jenn is a graduate of the Brock University Visual Arts Program and is currently living and working in St. Catharines, Ontario. The artist is part of two visual art collectives, The Pepsi Girls and Permanent Vacation, both of which are made up of local residents/artists. While primarily a collage artist (ever heard of Paper Bananas??), Judson’s practice is dynamic and includes a range of media including, textile, installation and painting. Her approach to art AND life is usually with humour and often underlined with a touch of the subversive!
Programming Committee

Troy Ouellette

Dr. Troy David Ouellette is an artist/researcher specializing in Assemblage theory, technology and conceptual art.

Dr. Troy David Ouellette is an artist/researcher specializing in Assemblage theory, technology and conceptual art. Ouellette’s creative practice bridges electronics, new media, sound art, architecture and eco-design aesthetics. From 1999 until 2006 he was the Sculpture Facilitator at the Banff Centre for the Arts, in Banff Alberta, where he worked with First Nations and resident artists within an international context. His work has been included in several solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Australia and the United States.
Programming Committee

Adam CK Vollick

My early love of Photography and Light has allowed me to hone unconventional methods in many different disciplines with some of my heroes.

I am a Niagara native who grew up close to the breeze of Lake Erie. My early love of Photography and Light has allowed me to hone unconventional methods in many different disciplines with some of my heros. I am currently working on several film projects for Neil Young; I am co-producing a short film with Daryl Hannah; and recently my work can be seen in the Timberlake/Demme film that premiered at TIFF 2016 and is now streaming on Netflix. As well, I continue to be a Daniel Lanois film collaborator for over a decade. My works both still and moving pictures are internationally collected and appear on stages and in theaters across the globe. Niagara is where I return to meditate, and find peace in my own life while preparing for the next sojourn.

Mandate

Mission Statement

Niagara Artists Company is a not-for-profit, charitably registered, collective formed by and dedicated to serving the working artists and community of Niagara.

NAC provides a forum for the development, exhibition and appreciation of contemporary art by providing facilities, equipment, professional expertise and a supportive atmosphere for arts research, advocacy and dissemination.

NAC believes that the arts and a critical dialogue on the arts are integral to a healthy community.

Vision Statement

NAC is striving to educate and contribute to a community that gets excited about art, that supports and recognizes local artists and cultural institutions, and that understands an investment in the arts is an act of enlightened self-interest.

Goals of Organization

ARTIST RELATIONS

  • Enhance cross-cultural relations
  • Increase professional artist memberships
  • Sustain satellite activities – film, literary, performing, and interdisciplinary arts
  • Innovate publications, catalogues
  • Increase member-driven programming
  • Increase member career development
  • Increase educational programming

AUDIENCE RELATIONS

  • Increase audiences
  • Maintain program continuity – three galleries
  • Increase publications, catalogues
  • Increase educational programming
  • Increase public art initiatives

COMMUNITY RELATIONS

  • Increase public recognition
  • Increase human resources, volunteers
  • Increase membership and donors
  • Increase political advocacy for artists
  • Add strategic business alliances, partners
  • Assume leadership as an Artist-run Centre

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT – HUMAN, FACILITY, EQUIPMENT, FINANCIAL

  • Diversify revenue sources
  • Create accessible digital archives
  • Expand tool library for artists

Summary of Programs and Services

General Program Guidelines

  • Provide a platform for interdisciplinary contemporary art
  • Provide a members’ gallery, main gallery and multi-purpose place of assembly
  • Choose regional, national and international exhibits of special interest to the community
  • Balance examples of regional practice with the work of artists from outside Niagara
  • Maintain artist fees and project-related expenses above minimum CARFAC standards

Current Programs and Services

Niagara Artists Centre offers a resource for the development of the contemporary arts in Niagara and a forum for the appreciation of contemporary arts in Niagara.

Resource for Members

As a Resource to Member Artists, NAC provides:

  • Exhibition space/members’ gallery
  • Professional expertise
  • A tool library
  • Educational workshops and publications
  • Communication network, bulletins, information
  • A film library
  • Promotion, referrals, and liaison to clients
  • Advocacy for the rights of artists

Forum for Arts Appreciation

As a Forum for the Appreciation of Contemporary Arts in the community, NAC provides:

  • Juried exhibitions in its Main Exhibition Space
  • Publications
  • Educational workshops/screenings
  • Referrals and liaison with artists
  • Information and a library
  • Film collection

Artistic Priorities

Operating Guidelines
NAC . . .

  • Provides a platform for interdisciplinary contemporary art
  • Provides a members’ gallery, main gallery and multi-purpose place of assembly
  • Chooses regional, national and international exhibits of special interest to the community
  • Balances examples of regional practice with the work of artists from outside Niagara
  • Maintains artist fees and project-related expenses above minimum CARFAC rates
  • Offers a resource for the development of the contemporary arts in Niagara
  • Is a forum for the appreciation of contemporary arts in Niagara

Equity Statement

Understanding Equity

We welcome you to this statement of the Niagara Artists Centre’s (NAC) vision and understanding of Equity. We hope this document will clarify our understanding and commitment to relationality and social justice both to ourselves and to the wider communities with which we are associated and engaged. We have taken instruction from the model developed by the Edmonton Community Foundation and Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) who define equity as: “an approach whereby all people – including those who bear the burden of historic and contemporary forms of marginalization, whether intentional or unintentional – have equal access to opportunities to define and achieve goals. Equity is more than an outcome; it is an on-going process that seeks to correct systemic barriers and create a more just and fair society for all. […] Equity acknowledges unequal starting places and addresses unequal needs, conditions, and positions of people and communities that are created by institutional and structural barriers.”

Why is an equity statement important?

As a group of artists and creators the Niagara Artists Centre includes many groups who experience oppression and marginalization by societal structures, and who often experience a history of social and financial disadvantages as a result of systems of oppression including (but not limited to) racism, sexism, colonialism, heterosexism, and ableism. The members of the Niagara Artists Centre bear essential knowledge and are full of creativity, vibrancy, and resiliency. At the same time, many of their insights, knowledge, and practices are not fully realized because of inequality. Solving these problems requires shifting the status quo and creating a better future for all of our members.

The Board of Directors at the Niagara Artists Centre strives to be strategic and responsive to the changing needs of all its members. We recognize that even small organizations such as NAC have access to forms of power, such as capital, networks, and influence. As such, it is important for us to be explicit in our commitment to equity, representation, and dialogue. We hope this statement will:

  • be a tool for change;
  • inspire conversations about equity;
  • keep our organization accountable; and
  • invite others to consider their own equity processes.

While NAC has a history of addressing inequality, we also recognize there is more to do within our organization. We are a learning organization and this is a living document. We invite you to share your thoughts, feedback, concerns, and questions about our journey to equity, and your own. Please send any comments to artists@nac.org

Statement

This Equity Statement is meant to reflect the collective values and vision of all members of the Niagara Artists Centre, recognizing that the Board of Directors has a special responsibility within that community to ensure that the values and ideals of this statement are upheld, advanced, and communicated clearly to all members. NAC will be responsive to the changing needs of our members and to the many people and socio-cultural communities that define the vibrancy and resiliency of our discipline. We acknowledge that systemic barriers to equity exist. As Equity has no terminal point, it can only be achieved insomuch as it is actively pursued as an ongoing goal and ongoing process.

  • NAC will strive to support and create an inclusive and equitable community.
  • NAC will strive to remove the barriers that limit equitable access to participation for members of historically underrepresented groups.
  • NAC will value diversity and inclusion and commit to helping achieve equity.
  • NAC will recognize that prioritizing some groups is a necessary step in equity.
  • NAC will recognize that such prioritizing might create discomfort, but acknowledges and accepts that change is rarely comfortable.
  • NAC will continue to review policies and processes (formal and informal) through an equity lens and will review processes to identify unconscious bias.
  • NAC will continue to honour and ensure engagement with and between diverse people and communities. We seek to establish and recognize shared goals, while engaging diverse voices to ensure that all communities within NAC see themselves reflected in the work of the organization.
  • We see committing to making meaningful space for diverse communities as a key way we can help achieve equity. We want to ensure that people can thrive and reach their full potential by amplifying community voice and opportunity.

The NAC Board shall regularly report back and communicate the successes and challenges in our equity journey.

Actions

Action 1: NAC will continue to make space available in our events and publications for a wide range of community purposes, to be able to respond to needs as they emerge. We will consider how we can best address systemic barriers.

Action 2: NAC will provide or promote equity-training opportunities for members through such venues as workshops, webinars, panels, and resources. We will seek ways to remove barriers and provide additional support to communities that will benefit from experience with professionalization processes in the contemporary visual and media arts. We will commit resources to supporting equity and accessibility as a process and outcome.

Action 3: NAC will prioritize programming from historically under-represented communities and will determine whether to take additional action to reach these communities or prioritize these submissions. We will encourage people of all backgrounds to submit proposals and apply for other opportunities at all levels in our work and operations.

Action 4: NAC will actively recruit so that our board, staff, and volunteers are broadly reflective of the community, and will strive to engage similarly diverse participants in our events and publications. Working with equity-deserving communities, we will together consider whether to establish new programs or support new professional opportunities that situate the decision-making power within those communities. We will review and adapt our communication processes to ensure equitable and accessible promotion of our programs, opportunities, and events and to engage diverse voices in telling our shared stories.

Action 5: The NAC Board of Directors will seek community feedback on the equity statement and release a yearly update on our progress prior to our Annual General Meeting towards increasing equity.