Tooton’s Photography: In The Business Of Making Memories / Tues 20 Nov 2018 8PM

Tooton’s Photography: In The Business Of Making Memories
Written and Directed by Anthony Tooton

Niagara Premiere!
Tuesday 20 November 8PM at NAC
$7 at the door

The Tootons processed and printed more than 100 million rolls of film from 1905 to 1996 in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. This family documented ourpeople, places, and history. Anthony Tooton (IV) takes us on his journey of documenting this important family’s legacy, started by his Great-Grandfather, who was born in Damascus, Syria. The film is a passionate Immigrant’s and business story of endearing love, undying commitment, and unique success.


TEAMS of FIVE – $25 per PERSON for the SEASON


Season Begins Friday 9 November 8pm
Call or email NAC to register your team 905-641-0331


uSEless BEAuTY
DiG some uSeLESS  
ThE winteR
DoLDRuMS witH a
THiCK wooden
stiCK sWunG
MUsic, hisTORY,
aRt, FiLM – on
an ESpeciaL

A New Place to Dwell: 8MM Films and Live Music by Several Futures

A New Place to Dwell: 8MM Films and Live Music

Film Collages by Jonathan Culp
Live Music by Several Futures

Saturday 19 December 2015 9PM at NAC

“A New Place To Dwell” is a live multi-screen Super 8 film mashup, with driving accompaniment from Toronto avant-rock band Several Futures. This one hour performance features dozens of one-of-a-kind film clips from the “orphan film” archives of Jonathan Culp – from horror movies to home movies, from living rooms to dance floors. Projected on three 50-year-old Technicolor loop projectors, these images are orchestrated into a bizarre, kinetic journey through the 20th century camera’s gaze.



The Curse of Clara

The Curse of Clara
Special Niagara Screening
Based on the autobiographical short story by Vickie Fagan


When small-town girl Vickie is accepted into the prestigious National Ballet School and selected to play “Clara” in the Company’s holiday production of The Nutcracker, things look like they couldn’t get any better. And they can’t, because that’s when Vickie finds out about the mysterious Curse of Clara. Thankfully, she’s got a good friend, the 1972 Summit Series and an imaginary mentor (in the form of Phil Esposito) to keep her “on pointe.” Starring Saara Chaudry, Sara Botsford, Sheila McCarthy, Karen Kain, Bob Cole, and Phil Esposito.

THE CURSE OF CLARA: A HOLIDAY TALE is a new original animated special airing on CBC-TV in December as part of its holiday programming lineup. A young dancer’s dreams come true when ballet, hockey and the holidays converge.

Inspired by the autobiographical short story “The Curse of Clara or My Big Fat Disappointment” by Vickie Fagan, the 30-minute special is set against the backdrop of The National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker and the 1972 Summit Series, a Canada-USSR showdown that shaped hockey history.

THE CURSE OF CLARA: A HOLIDAY TALE stars Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Phil Esposito and Bob Cole (Hockey Night in Canada) and National Ballet of Canada Prima Ballerina Karen Kain as themselves with Sheila McCarthy (Little Mosque on the Prairie, Emily of New Moon) as the narrator, Sara Botsford (E.N.G., Legal Eagles, Still of the Night) as the ballet mistress and Saara Chaudry (Max and Shred, Degrassi) in the roles of Vickie and Clara.

Harriet’s Legacies: Race, Historical Memory and Futures in Canada | Thurs 22 + Fri 23 Oct

Harriet’s Legacies:
Race, Historical Memory and Futures in Canada

Organized by Ronald Cummings, Natalee Caple, Gregory Betts, Kevin Gosine, and Tamari Kitossa
Day events at Pond Inlet, Brock University
Evening events at the Niagara Artists Centre

This important conference will highlight the historical presence of Black Canadians in Canada. The title refers to the crucial role that St. Catharines played in the Underground Railroad and the abolition of slavery. Harriet Tubman, who is recognized by UNESCO, as a freedom seeker, abolitionist and ‘conductor’ was the city’s most renowned participant in the Underground Railroad. Tubman and the Black citizens who helped to build St. Catharines are soon to be recognized by the opening of a new elementary school in downtown St. Catharines. The timing of the conference will help to connect the university and the broader community around shared goals of unity in diversity, the recovery and memorialization of Black history in Ontario and the promotion of general knowledge around the multiple accomplishments of Black Canadians.

dann j. Broyld, Carole Lynn Stewart, Jennifer Harris, Jessica Ratcliffe, Kate Siklosi, Victoria Partyka, Anique J. Jordan, Carla Chambers, Kaie Kellough, Jacqueline Valencia, Klyde Broox, Clifton Joseph, Lillian Allen, Paul Barrett, Cecil Foster, Carolyn Thompson, Leslie Sanders, Wilma Morrison, Natasha Henry, David Hemmings, Kit Dobson, Deanna Henderson, Ronald Cummings, Nalini Mohabir, Zainab AMadahy, Bonita Lawrence, Paula Madden, Ciann Wilson, Jane Andres, DJ Marinko Marinkov, Bill Ralph

THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER  2015 > beginning @ 8:30AM
A day of conference presentations, musical performances, and a catered lunch followed by keynote presentations by two-time Juno Award winning Dub poet Lillian Allen and Dr. Paul Barrett, author of Blackening Canada. An evening of music, dub poetry, and a special living tribute to Austin Clarke.

FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER 2015 > beginning @ 9:00AM
A morning of conference presentations and roundtable discussions, followed by a guided tour of the Black history of Niagara Peninsula by Niagara Bound Tours. Evening events feature a discussion and demonstration of the vinyl history of Dub, Techno, and Hip Hop followed by a screening of NFB classic King of the Hill, featuring St. Catharines’ own Ferguson Jenkins, the greatest Canadian baseball player of all time.

Register here:


Sculpture by Frank Rekrut
Photograph by Gregory Betts
Poster by Natasha Pedros, Niagara Artists Centre

Unpopular Film Series presents Sudden Fury: Thurs 24 Sept 2015

Unpopular Arts Film Series presents


Thursday 24 September 8PM at NAC

An independently financed (no tax shelter here) and directed by Brian Damude, this is one of the best Canadian films of the era, a successful transplanting of Hitchcockian shock techniques to a pastoral southern Ontario milieu. The mostly unknown cast really knocks it out of the park, and there’s clever pacing tricks and brilliant use of props – a telephone, a milk jug.

Unpopular Arts Film Series presents AGENCY

Unpopular Arts Film Series presents


Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace at NAC
Thursday 20 August 8:30PM
PWYC suggest $10

Lee Majors and Robert Mitchum square off in the first “Limited Public Offering” tax shelter film – the phenomenon that brought in the dentists. Goofy, fast-paced action film set in the seedy world of the modern ad agency – with SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING.

Featuring Robert Mitchum, Lee Majors, and Valerie Perrine

Ornette Coleman: Film Screening + Discussion

Ornette: Made in America
Film Screening & Discussion with David Lee
Author of The Battle of the Five Spot

Thomas Craig Oliver Rooftop Terrace

Thursday 30 July 2015 / Doors at 8:30PM / Screening at 9PM
Only ten bucks!

David Lee presents the new edition of his acclaimed book on Ornette Coleman, The Battle of the Five Spot. His talk will be followed by a showing of the newly remastered Shirley Clarke film Ornette: Made in America.

Ornette: Made in America (1985)
Directed by Shirley Clarke
85 minutes

On June 11, the great American saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman passed away at the age of 85. In this presentation, Hamilton writer and double bassist David Lee talks about Coleman and his controversial music in the context of Lee’s acclaimed book The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field, a unique account of the explosive debut of “free jazz.” Lee’s talk serves as a preamble to a showing of Ornette: Made in America, the 1985 documentary by the fearless American filmmaker Shirley Clarke.

Ornette: Made in America  does not chronicle the life of Coleman, but rather emulates his freeform style by mixing together excerpts from performances, interviews, experimental music videos and reenactments of Coleman’s childhood. Included are interviews with and original footage of William S. Burroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Ed Blackwell, Robert Palmer, George Russell, John Rockwell, Don Cherry and Ornette’s son and longtime drummer, Denardo Coleman.

The film intercuts interviews, archive footage and psychedelic sequences around Coleman’s performance of Skies of America with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at the city’s Convention Center. The opening of the now-defunct Caravan of Dreams nightclub serves as a catalyst for the film’s production, but Shirley Clarke had actually been working on the film for a span of over 20 years. The 1968 footage with Ornette, the young Denardo, and the great bassist Charlie Haden was filmed by Clarke for a separate film that never came to fruition.


Film Screening on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace at NAC
Thursday 23 July 2015
Doors at 8:30PM / Screening at 9PM
PWYC (suggested $10)

For the last 20 years, notorious activists the Yes Men have staged outrageous and hilarious hoaxes to draw international attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment. Armed with nothing but thrift-store suits and a lack of shame, these iconoclastic revolutionaries lie their way into business events and government functions to expose the dangers of letting greed run our world. In their third cinematic outing (after The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix the World), they are now well into their 40s, and their mid-life crises are threatening to drive them out of activism forever – even as they prepare to take on the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced: climate change. More than the first two films, The Yes Men Are Revolting is as much a character study as it is an entertaining depiction of their latest interventions. Revealing the real people behind the ruses, at its heart lies a hopeful message about fighting for change.

Why Are you Making All That Noise

A Nihilist Spasm Band documentary by NAC Member Don Alexander
Wednesday 13 May 2015 at 9PM

A screening of Don Alexander’s half hour doc on the Nihilist Spasm Band (NSB) will be screened at NAC Wednesday 13 May at 9PM.

The screening of “Why Are You Making All That Noise” is also an advance promotion for the appearance by the NSB Band coming up this summer on NAC’s Rooftop Terrace!  The Nihilist Spasm Band is on its “50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR”

There is a parallel of Canadian Nationalism and Regionalism in the founding influences of both the noise band and the Niagara Artists co-op.

The band formed in London at about the same time NAC was being gestated here in Niagara.

In the documentary the noise-music  and lyrics are punctuated by interview and work of artists in the band.  NAC founder John Boyle who plays kazoo, thumb-piano and some percussion, was also in the founding group of the band —inspired by London artist Greg Curnoe.

The documentary has a re-enactment of a famous St. Catharines concert in the late 90s when the band played at a child-care centre. (No children were actually deafened by the concert, but were confused). On that same tour the band played at Rodman Hall, shocking staid patrons who had been attracted by the Nihilist Spasm Band promotion piece that cited “world capitals” on their tour.

Actually London, Paris, etc were the Ontario versions.  NAC later shamelessly adopted the “world capitals” theme for the NAC Miniature Show and Ego Exposition tour of similar Ontario namesake communities.

NAC founder John Boyle discusses a lot of the linkages between the Nihilist sense and the 1970’s NACsense.

Some of the interview footage was shot here in conjunction with an NSB concert at NAC at the turn of the century.

Documentary maker Don Alexander will introduce the video and its making as well as fleshing-out the apparent NAC and NSB ties.