St. Catharines steps up support for arts and culture during COVID-19 pandemic

City of St. Catharines press release – In response to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our art and culture sector, the City of St. Catharines will provide expedited, flexible funding to existing St. Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP) Sustaining Fund clients.

In Addition, SCCIP funding will not decrease and 2020 budgets will be maintained. Any unspent money will be used to create a temporary COVID fund for music, arts and cultural activities that support downtown revitalization and enhance public life during the recovery.

“The continued growth of arts and culture in St. Catharines will be vital to the City’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Director of Community, Recreation and Culture Services Phil Cristi. “A vibrant arts and culture scene is important and not-forprofit arts organizations are at the heart of this sector.”

As a result of the pandemic, the priorities, plans and budgets of many of SCCIP sustaining core, midsized and festival funded organizations have been forced to shift in response.

The expedited application process will ensure current SCCIP recipients can plan future programming. They will also not be expected to return funds if their plans cannot proceed as originally expected.

Furthermore, a new initiative will be introduced that will give priority to projects that support downtown revitalization or seek to enhance public life during the City’s recovery. The St. Catharines Arts and Culture Community Revitalization Program will replace the Arts Development and Culture Builds Community funding. It will focus on projects that engage residents through performances, community art experiences and neighbourhood cultural activities that encourage participation, creativity and innovation.

In deciding whether to proceed with planned activities, grant recipients are encouraged to consider public safety first and to adapt based on the most up-to-date information from public health authorities and provincial orders.

Full details of the SCCIP funding program can be found at