Spotlight On Niagara

Carmel Fine Arts and Music Festival: 3 Days of Artful Indulgance

Carmel Fine Arts and Music Festival: 3 Days of Artful Indulgance

By David DeRocco

 Poets and writers, painters and sculptures, instrumentalists, bands of musicians and an a’cappella chorus just to cover off all bases – it’s all part of the Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival, September’s biggest celebration of local arts and music. What was once an inspired idea has grown into a flagship arts festival for the City of Niagara Falls according to organizers.


“It has grown from a festival inspired by a group of young Niagara artists to one produced by a non-profit organization, Niagara Arts Showcase, with a board of directors and an broader appeal to the wider community,” said Niagara Arts Showcase spokesperson Lori Lococo. “We have continued with many of the features over the past years and have enhanced or added new ones.  Each year, the promotion of the festival brings higher quality artists and musicians along with a more diverse crowd.”


Fireman’s Park in Niagara Falls is hosting the three-day festival, which kicks off September 15th with a spectacular Evening Masquerade Soiree hosted by MC, DJ and author Kim Clarke Champniss. The event also features Angie Strauss, singer Mel Monaco and a chance to mix and mingle with many of the artists booked for the weekend. Masks, costume and outlandish hair and make-up are encouraged for this ticketed event. 


Response from artists to the festival has been encouraging, with higher than expected submission  numbers. Lococo says the new venue at Firemen’s Park is perfectly suited to the diverse programming and large variety of art scheduled for the festival this year.


“The new venue at Firemen’s Park is well situated to enhance local community involvement with the festival especially with a greatly enhanced Kids Art Zone that will include sculpture with driftwood.  There will be Live Art where professional artists will draw/paint a live model and give attendees the opportunity to try their hand at it.  Niagara Arts Showcase held a contest for artists to submit photos of their art to be placed in a 2018 Calendar.  Out of 160 submissions, we chose the top 12 and will be presenting the awards, in addition to selling the calendar at the festival.”

 Now in its fifth year,  the Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival presented by Niagara Artists Showcase is a celebration of the diverse talents of Niagara artists and musicians. Artists such as Alistair Gunn, Amar Salmon, Annette Ysseldyk, Ashley Marazzo, Barry Smith, Cindy Prakall and Tony Parisi are just a few of the over 40 artists displaying their paintings, photography and sculptures. Musical guests range from the unique acoustic stylings of four-time Niagara Music Award winner Cory Cruise to Maple Blues Female Vocalist of the Year Maureen Brown.


There’s plenty of activity for the literary crowd as well including two presentations by Champniss, the former MuchMusic VJ and new Niagara Falls resident who will be part of the writer’s series to promote his new book Skinheads, Fur Traders and DJs.  With so many different forms of art on display, Lococo says there truly is something for everyone and a chance for those in attendance to get a real appreciation for the quality of art being produced here.


“There is an opportunity for our local community to discover the untapped world class talented artists and musicians that call Niagara home.  Through Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival and other events throughout the year, there are many opportunities for local artists to express themselves and residents and visitors to Niagara Falls to experience it.”


For more information and a full schedule of activity and performances visit