Spotlight On Niagara

Local Artists Support United Way Through Showcase Niagara Live Stream Concert Series

Local Artists Support United Way Through Showcase Niagara Live Stream Concert Series

By David DeRocco                   

Niagara’s 2020 summer entertainment and festival season is one of COVID-19’s biggest casualties given the number of events cancelled or postponed to 2021. That hasn’t deterred the spirits of a group of local entertainment professionals and musicians determined to support local artists during this time of social distancing.

Wednesday May 6th marked the first of a series of live stream performances organized and delivered by SHOWCASE NIAGARA, a collective of local artists and industry pros looking to fill time by doing what artists always do – supporting community causes through performance. The goal of the online series is to showcase local talent while supporting United Way Niagara in its efforts to raise funds and food for local families in need.

“I was approached by several Niagara Artists to see if we could do something to support this COVID-19 situation,” said Showcase Niagara producer, Dave Rapelje. “I called on some really industry pros I have worked with, and after an online meeting Showcase Niagara was born.”

Despite struggling with the realities of no work thanks to the local restrictions on events and public gathering, Rapelje says the 21 artists and industry people involved in the project are donating 100 percent of their time to help deliver the series, which continues with live stream performances May 13th and May 20th starting at 7pm.

“The entertainment industry will be one of the hardest hit and slowest to recover from COVID-19,” he said. “In speaking with many of the acts I have worked with it remains a tough situation with no opportunity to work. Performers are creative and with that we will find new ways to showcase entertainment until we have people back on stage.”

The kick-off featured a live acoustic performance by St. Catharines’ own country superstar, Tim Hicks. The goal of the series is to raise $50,000, with all proceeds going to United Way. Thanks to a generous donation from The Brown Homestead in association with the Humeniuk Foundation, any monies given to the United Way’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will be matched.

“All donations are welcomed,” said Rapelje. “When you make a donation of any amount, it will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling the impact in our community.” For more information, join the Showcase Niagara Facebook page at


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