$14,000 in Create + Connect grants awarded to local artists

To support and inspire local musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Kitchener through its Film, Music, and Interactive Media Office and the Centre In The Square partnered to create a fund to help local artists do what they do best — create and connect. Today, the City and Centre In The Square are awarding 14 grants of $1,000 each to help musicians create audio and video content to engage and grow their audiences.  

“The pandemic has devastated the music industry around the globe and here at home – affecting the lives and livelihoods of so many in our community,” said City of Kitchener Councillor and Centre In The Square board member, Bil Ioannidis. “I hope the Create and Connect grants will help some local artists with projects that help to bring valued music and entertainment to the entire city, and beyond.” 

A total of 146 local musicians applied for the grant. The jury, formed by members of the local arts scene, reviewed the details of each applicant’s project before selecting the 14 grant recipients. The review included the artist’s music, social media, collaborators, and budget. 

This year’s Create and Connect grant recipients include:

  • Rufus John
  • Anthony Ramsay
  • Rachel Hickey
  • Adult Recreation Centre (Alexander Wright)
  • Jaguar Sun (Chris Minielly)
  • Flamenco Plus (Julian Berg)
  • The MacQueens (Kris MacQueen)
  • Mandippal Jandu
  • John Paul Sunga
  • Hiba ElMiari
  • Clarissa Diokno
  • Among Legends (Sara Fellin)
  • I, the Mountain (Allison Dyjach)
  • Vintage Flight (Avalon Bridger)

“The awarded grants really reflect the breadth, depth, and diversity of the musical talent in the community,” explained Rob Sonoda, General Manager of Centre In The Square. “The artists represent genres such as pop, punk, flamenco, hip hop, rock, Arabic, and country.” 

Centre In The Square and the City of Kitchener are committed to supporting local music in all its forms and developing local musicians to reach their full potential. 

The 2021 Create and Connect Grant Recipents

Rufus John — will record and promote the hip hop version of the song Freedom Marching with members of the local BIPOC community.

Anthony Ramsay — will create a video art project showcasing the Region and its BIPOC musicians.

Rachel Hickey — will produce her 1st live-off-the-floor videos for 2 original songs.

adult recreation centre (Alexander Wright) — will record a live album release for their 1st album.

Jaguar Sun (Chris Minielly) – will produce a live video to showcase his new band. 

Flamenco Plus (Julian Berg) — will record two songs, their first professional recordings.

The MacQueens (Kris MacQueen) – will produce a narrative music video for their new single. 

Mandippal Jandu – will shoot a video series of local Black, Indigenous and People of Color musicians. 

John Paul Sunga – will record a new song and a video to accompany it. 

Hiba ElMiari – will have her poem translated from Arabic, set to music and recorded.

Clarissa Diokno – will film a music video for her 2nd single.

Among Legends (Sara Fellin) – will film videos for 1st full-length album. 

I, the Mountain (Allison Dyjach) – will record video for new single. 

Vintage Flight (Avalon Bridger) – will produce a video for a new single.