Past Community Programs

Community-Engaged Art Practice is a distinct field of collaborative, co-creation artistic practice between professional artists and community members. Consistent with our values on the potential for contemporary art to effect positive change in our community, Rodman Hall Art Centre launched a Community-Engaged Art Program in 2018/19, working with social service agency Partners. Our program projects are developed in consultation and co-learning with partner staff and local artists are contracted whose lived experience as well as artistic skills, are appropriate for the Partner client group. The projects take place at Partner sites where the finished works subsequently installed, bringing art made by participants into their own spaces.

2019/20 Program

In the second year of the program, we are working with four partners: Positive Living (Mens’ and Women’s Groups), Start Me Up Niagara (Art Me Up Program), Strive Niagara (Young Mom’s Program) and YWCA Niagara Region (Niagara Falls Shelter). The artists are: Leona Skye Grandmond (Positive Living Niagara’s Women’s Group), Nancy Nigh (YWCA Niagara Region Niagara Falls Shelter), Cathy Sisler (Start Me Up Niagara – Art Me Up Program), Bruce Thompson (working with the Positive Living Niagara’s Men’s Group), and Amber Lee Williams (Strive Niagara Young Mom’s Program).


2018/19 Program

The first year of the program saw three projects with two Partners, Strive Niagara (Young Mom’s Program) and YWCA Niagara Region (YWCA Niagara Region Niagara Falls Shelter and Sex Trade On My Terms program).

The artists were: Leona Skye Grandmond (YWCA Niagara Region Niagara Falls Shelter), Amber Lee Williams (Strive Niagara Young Mom’s Program), and Crystal Zettel (YWCA Niagara Region Sex Trade On My Terms).



Second Annual Champion of the Arts Awards

Honouring Excellence in Teaching in Niagara | click here for 2018-19 nomination package

Carousel Players, The Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and Rodman Hall Art Centre will recognize and celebrate three outstanding elementary school teachers who inspire their students though the integration of the arts in the classroom, and across the curriculum. Continuing their 14 year tradition, Carousel Players will offer the Norah Morgan Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts. The Niagara Symphony Orchestra will celebrate a deserving music teacher with the Paul van Dongen Award for Excellence in Music Education, and Rodman Hall Art Centre will honour an educator with the Excellence in Visual Arts Education Award.

Nominations will be accepted by all three organizations from March 1 until June 30, 2018. Recipients of these awards will be announced and recognized by each organization in the 2018-2019 school year. Nomination forms for each organization are linked below. All elementary school principals and teacher colleagues are invited to submit nominations for these awards. Further information and additional Champion of the Arts nomination forms can be found as follows:

Rodman Hall Art Centre | 905-684-2925 | click here for 2018-19 nomination package

Rodman Hall Art Centre is a contemporary art gallery in the historic Thomas Rodman Merritt House, overlooking the Walker Botanical Garden that descends to the Twelve Mile Creek. Year-round, their program connects the community with art through innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions, events, and art classes for all ages.

Carousel Players | | 905-682-8326

Carousel Players is an award-winning professional theatre company for young audiences, committed to the development of new work and the production of theatre that entertains and challenges audiences, committed to the development of new work and the production of theatre that entertains and challenges audiences. They present inspiring, creative plays for children 5-15, and ensure their performances and outreach programs are accessible to all.

Niagara Symphony Orchestra | | 905-687-4993    

A cultural treasure for seven decades, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra (NSO) is a professional orchestra of over 50 musicians providing classical and contemporary orchestral music to more than 12,000 residents of the Niagara Region annually.

Co-presented with The Film House, First Ontario Performing Arts Centre
September 19, 7 pm

D: Charles Officer | 86 min | 2017 | Canada | RATING: G
Unarmed Verses follows Francine Valentine, a 12-year-old girl who is just one of many people facing eviction from a low-income housing block in Toronto’s north-east end due to the impending demolition of their home. With a creative spirit, love for art and perceptive point of view beyond her years, Francine and other neighbourhood children turn to creative expression.

A panel followed the screening with Vicki-Lynn Smith and Dylan Powell. Vicky-Lynn Smith spoke about growing up in St. Catharines. She is a fifth-generation St.Catharines resident and her ancestor, freedom-seeker Adam Nicholson, settled here after travelling the Underground Railroad. Dylan Powell Dylan is current completing his MA Thesis at Brock University and spoke about his research on the history of race, inequality and housing policy in St. Catharines from 1915-1965.

Gallery Players of Niagara

Saturday, November 24, 1 pm

This program of traditional, new and experimental music brings together three leading instrumentalists from diverse musical worlds: Ben Grossman, Arja Kastinen and Alison Melville. What do you get when you blend the shimmering sound of the kantele (Finland’s dulcimer), the multi-faceted pungency of the hurdy gurdy, and the evocative colours of wooden flutes?


November 29 to December 30, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 29, 5 to 7 pm

Reflecting on the exhibition Heather Hart: Northern Oracle, Brock University students in Visual Arts, Studies in Arts and Culture, and French Studies transform the Studio Gallery into a “manifesto room” in which they present their own statements in a space both radical and respectful.


February 1, 2019 7 pm – doors open at 6:30 pm
Admission: $5 per person
Guest Speaker: Will Henfield

Will Henfield is a Deaf Bahamian photographer and a graphic designer based in Ontario, Canada. He is a professional photographer specializing in portraits, fashion, architecture, and landscape and travel photography. Photography is his passion.His goal is to become a professional photographer with an edge. He is certain that he can become great at it. He believes that everything in the world is beautiful as long as we take the time to look at the beauty of it. He sees the beauty in everything that light and shadow touches. The camera allows him to capture it through his mind’s eye. He plans to dedicate his life to the creation of beautiful imagery with his unique vision.
Email for more information.

February 1 to 10, 2019

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 31, 7 pm
An exhibition of works by Start Me Up Niagara’s Art Me Up participants following their interaction with Heather Hart: Northern Oracle. Start Me Up Niagara (SMUN) works with individuals facing significant life challenges such as addiction, mental illness, poverty, homelessness and unemployment, providing opportunities to improve health, increase community integration and support employment.

Thursday, February 7, 7 pm
Art Me Up Facilitator, Julia Blushak, reads from her Streets and Shadows: Notes from Outreach and volunteers and participants share stories from Start Me Ups community newspaper, Street News. Street News conveys Voices from the Streets—a paper by and for those living close to the streets.

Sunday, February 10, 2 to 4 pm

A sound performance raising the roof of Northern Oracle, featuring DJ MaBonzo (music from the African diaspora), Dragon (black secret technology modular synthesizer set) and Marinko (rubbed and dubbed). This event is an invitation for our community to gather and experience the exhibition Heather Hart: Northern Oracle animated by an electro-acoustic, acousmatic soundscape performance led by Niagara-based artist and DJ Marinko Jareb.

Thursday, February 28, 2019, 7 pm

Members of the Niagara African diaspora community share in manifestos their thoughts and experiences in the Niagara region as visible minorities, shouting from the rooftop in English, French and African languages.

July 17 to September 2
Opening Reception: 
July 17, 5:45 to 6:45 pm

The Cogeco Lobby (Film House), First Ontario Performing Arts Centre
250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines

This exhibition is of art made by 14 to 18 year old youth who worked with Brock University Assistant Professor of Visual Art Amy Friend to create original works using their own family documents, based on the exhibition Carry Forward. The youth had deepened access to Carry Forward, then conceptualized, planned, and executed their work at Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts within a cross-cultural learning environment. Family documents were a springboard for visual exploration of camera-less techniques, allowing the youth to bring the ideas of Carry Forward into their own lives and experience.

Art-Making With Family Photographs and Archives is a partnership between Rodman Hall Art Centre and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the City of St. Catharines. Special thanks to Brock University’s Registrar’s Office – Liaison.

Foster Festival's 2018 Adult Drama ClubFoster Festival’s 2018 Adult Drama Club

The Foster Festival Adult Drama Club is back for our Scene Study Clinic at the Rodman Hall Art Centre.

Once again this year by popular demand we are concentrating on actors and acting! Join us at the Rodman Hall Art Centre in St. Catharines for four sessions in which we’ll explore acting problems and solutions, warm-up techniques, auditioning tips, and how to bring your best game into the rehearsal room.

Whether you love being on the boards, want to improve your public speaking skills and confidence, or are simply curious about what makes an acting performance memorable, you’ll love our SCENE STUDY CLINIC!

We will have a variety of scenes and monologues to play with but we’d love you to bring in material that you are currently working on – self-written or published, under 5 minutes please so that we can work on a number of scenes each evening.

All sessions are FREE to attend.

Join us for Foster Fridays at Cairns Hall in the PAC. On the second Friday of each run, Adult Drama Club members will receive a 15% discount off regular ticket prices for our three productions. Adult Drama Club Members will be given the discount code at the Drama Club Sessions.

The performance will include a post-show Q&A TALKBACK with the Actors in The Foster Festival’s new FORE & AFT LOUNGE at the Performing Arts Centre. Enjoy a coffee or raise a glass with us while enjoying an informal chat with the actors.

Interpreting Environments | The Niagara Secondary Student Juried Exhibition

On View: March 28 to April 15, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 29, 4:30 pm

Each year, Rodman Hall invites secondary students in Niagara to submit their work to a juried exhibition that proudly celebrates the diverse creative talent in our local secondary schools. This exhibition highlights the range of approaches students use in artmaking, and invites us to share in their expressions, perspectives, and understanding of the world around us. This year, we encouraged all Niagara students from grades 9 to 12 to submit artwork that explores the theme of Interpreting Environments.


Best Interpretation of the Theme:
Emma Kate Jeffery, Jade Zanutto, Kayla Cupa-Angus & Emily Tran
Technology is Killing Me, E.L. Crossley Secondary School

Best Painting:
Yoon Hur, Blue Mountains, Laura Secord Secondary School

Best Drawing:
Maggie Bernier , 見えてないクラゲ (Unseen Jellyfish), DSBN Academy

Best Alternative or Mixed Media:
Gwen Gibson, The New Miley, E. L. Crosley Secondary School
And Megan Freewin, Transcendence of Morgan Freeman, E. L. Crosley Secondary School

Juror’s Choice (Juror Lauren Regier):
Chloe Diemer, Heart of London, St. Francis Catholic Secondary School

Juror’s Choice (Juror Peter Vietgen): 
Sara Turavan, Body Garden, Laura Secord Secondary School

Juror’s Choice (Juror Michelle Nicholls):
Madison Ruddell, La Vie, Stamford Collegiate Secondary School

Viewer’s Choice:
To be selected by ballot during the exhibition.


DSBN Academy
Dakota McRae
Teacher: C. Goulding

Eden High School
Jayce Jung, Ireland Vanderkooy, Taylor Goertz, Lauren Alguire, Aidan Zeglinski, Jazmin Wolff, Catherine Pan, Eden Rikkerink
Teachers: P. Eppler & S. Azzopardi

E. L. Crossley Secondary School
Marisa Giammarco, Brody Bachur, Sydney Grummett, Katherine Konkle
Teacher: S. Wilkinson

Laura Secord Secondary School
Daniel Twining, Zoe Dougherty
Teachers: P. Wehr & C. Wilcox

Notre Dame College School
Annalynn Plopp, Ava Kelly
Teacher: J. Taraba

Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School
Aimee Maredia, Katey Crawford
Teacher: S. Palencar

St. Francis Catholic Secondary School
Vanessa Constant
Teacher: T. Lambert

Stamford Collegiate Secondary School
Teacher: A. Ballet

We Are All Vessels

Presented in partnership with the Niagara Regional Native Centre, Soaring Eagles Indigenous Elementary and Secondary Schools, Niagara Catholic District School Board, District School Board of Niagara, Kakekalanicks/Celebration of Nations, and Ignite The Spirit of Education, with support from Dr. Peter Vietgen, Faculty of Education, Brock University.


February 28 to March 8, 2018
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7, 1 pm

See the visual art of students from Soaring Eagles Indigenous Elementary and Secondary Schools and their responses to our current exhibition Always Vessels.


Wednesday, March 7, 1 to 7 pm

We are all vessels. Our bodies are carriers of knowledge. Our ways of life are ways of knowing.

Join us for the reception of the Soaring Eagles Student Art Exhibition followed by events including workshops and tours of Always Vessels and We Are All Vessels. Everyone is welcome to join us for any and all parts of this day as we celebrate community, art and Indigenous traditions.

All activities free & all welcome!

All-Day  Always Vessels exhibition & video screenings of Curator Alexandra Nahwegahbow tour of Always Vessels

1 pm – Opening of Soaring Eagles Indigenous Schools’ exhibition

3 to 5 pm  Leather Pouch Making with Crystal Zettel (drop-in)

4 to 4:45 pm ‘Ol Child (jazz band)

5:30 pm – Keynote by Tim Johnson – INDIGENOUS ART:  MEANING AND MESSAGE – Examples from world class exhibits and memorials

CLOSING  Drums and Round Dance

Schedule subject to change. Click here for event poster.

Image: Dominic Pfeiffer, Soaring Eagles Secondary Program

Interpreting Trees | Niagara Investment in Culture Program | Fall 2017

Students visited Rodman Hall and had the opportunity to look at and experience our surroundings in new ways by participating in a garden walk from two perspectives, followed by responsive art-making. Local students in grades 7 to 12 from seven Niagara schools participated in this program in October 2017. The garden was explored by Artist Reinhard Reitzenstein and his work Carolina Blue, installed in the Rodman Hall garden was the jumping-off point for this project. The Garden was also discussed from the perspective of an arborist. Students then participated in art-making workshops where they created sculptures of trees using plaster bandages on wire armatures, and the resulting work was exhibited in many of the participating schools.

This program was presented by Rodman Hall Art Centre/Brock University in partnership with the Region of Niagara, Niagara Investment in Culture Fund.

Image: Installation shot of Reinhard Reitzenstein, Carolina Blue, 2017, cast bronze (right), Carolina Poplar tree (left), cerulean blue rust guard paint, turpentine. Located in the Walker Botanical Gardens of Rodman Hall Art Centre.

Please click here to visit the photo gallery