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Niagara Jazz Festival wins Best New Festival in Ontario Award

Posted Mar 16th, 2017 in Festivals and Events, Performing Arts, Music Scene

Niagara Jazz Festival wins Best New Festival in Ontario Award

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The support of our many community partners make it possible for TD Niagara Jazz Festival to feature hundreds of jazz artists at both free and ticketed events for all ages each year.

At the March 2017 conference of Festival and Events Ontario, TD Niagara Jazz Festival was awarded the Best  New Festival in Ontario Award for organizations with budgets of $100,000 to $500,000. Festival co-creators Juliet Dunn and Peter Shea proudly accepted the award handed out by the provincial association that recognizes industry festival and events leaders that stood out in the previous festival year. Festivals and events of all kinds from every corner of Ontario were represented in the nominations – from community festivals to internationally recognized events. For more information on the FEO awards handed out on March 3, 2017 visit 

“It is such an incredible honour to receive this award, “ said Juliet Dunn, NJF Executive Director. “As the TD Niagara Jazz Festival enters its 4th year – there are so many people and organizations to thank for their outstanding support – our great audiences, incredible jazz artists, dedicated volunteers, community sponsors & Board members and great partners from Niagara’s outstanding culinary, wine, breweries, hospitality and cultural organizations. Special thanks to our Founding Chair of the Board, Joe Robertson and TD who were our champions since year one. The support of our many community partners make it possible for TD Niagara Jazz Festival to feature hundreds of jazz artists at both free and ticketed events for all ages each year. We are truly thankful to be able to bring the festival and the incredibly talented jazz musicians to the forefront in Niagara. Niagara is a beautiful region with so much to offer and to add 'music to the mix' is truly an honour.”

“It is an immense pleasure to be the co-creator and Artistic Director of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival” says Peter Shea. “I enjoy being able to feature my colleagues in the industry, my past teachers and the artists that have inspired me along the way. It is also a thrill to feature the incredible wealth of talent that we have right here in the Niagara Region. Thank you to all of our supporters and funders for making it all possible and a special ‘shout out’ to all of our dedicated volunteers. Winning this award is beyond our highest expectations. For all who have believed in us, thank you!”

In its first year TD Niagara Jazz Festival saw 3,000 attendees over a 3 day period at wineries, outdoor parks and other venues in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Now the Festival enjoys an annual attendance of over 10,000 people with 2017 Festival activities expanded to Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines and Vineland. The Niagara Jazz Festival that is dedicated to celebrating the art form of jazz in the Niagara Region also offers Niagara youth educational workshops and master classes and features a 'Jazz for the Ages' Youth competition that showcases young jazz artists throughout the year. Throughout the year, the festival offers a Twilight Jazz Series ( at Mahtay Café in St. Catharines and partners with other Niagara festivals and organizations: FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, In the Soil Arts Festival, Niagara VegFest, Foster Festival, NIFF (Niagara Integrated Film Festival) and many more.

This year’s 2017 TD Niagara Jazz Festival will feature 3 days of live jazz and events throughout the Niagara Region from July 28th – 30th, 2017.

In 2017 the festival also celebrates Canada's 150th with an initiative called:

LIVE LEARN JAZZ: A Canadiana Suite

The LIVE LEARN JAZZ Program is a satellite project of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival that was started to the lead up to the 2016 festival. It was conceived for those patrons who are interested in learning more about jazz music in a fun atmosphere, in a picturesque Niagara setting.
Live - the experience
Learn - the history
Jazz - the music

TD Niagara Jazz Festival Dates Promo

This special ‘Canada 150 celebration’ model of the LIVE LEARN JAZZ Program will include four educational jazz appreciation sessions culminating in a final concert all targeted toward the general public. The program will feature Canadian artists from across Canada, to explore Canadian contributions to jazz curated by Canadian ethnomusicologist: Michael Morse.

  1. Thursday, April 6th – BEBOP IN THE BREWERY - The Excange Brewery - 7pm Featuring Kevin Turcotte (Local opening act: Bill Melymuka)
  2. Thursday, May 11th – DAMES IN THE DISTILLERY - Wayne Gretzky Distillery – 7pm Featuring June Garber + Heather Bambrick (Local opening act: Barbara Mantini)
  3. Thursday, June 8th – SAX IN THE VINEYARD - Henry of Pelham Winery – 7pm Featuring Pat LaBarbera (Local opening act: Sal Roselli)
  4. Thursday, July 6th – VIBES IN THE VINES - Stratus Vineyards – 7pm Featuring Randy Stirtzinger on Vibes and Graham Lear on Drums GRAND FINALE: A CANADIANA SUITE
  5. Sunday, July 30th – CELEBRATING MOE KOFFMAN – Megalomaniac Winery - 2pm Featuring Bill McBirnie and the Bernie Senesky Quartet (Local opening act: TBC)
  6. Sunday, July 30th – CELEBRATING GREAT CANADIAN FEMALES IN JAZZ - Megalomaniac – 4:30pm Featuring Laila Biali (Local opening act: Ashley St Pierre Trio)
  7. Sunday, July 30th – CELEBRATING OSCAR PETERSON - Megalomaniac Winery - 7pm Featuring John Sherwood, Dave Young * + Terry Clarke * (*Oscar Peterson Alumni)

During festival weekend (July 28 – 30) events will include the Flagship event at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre featuring ‘Chops n’ Soul with Joel Parisien’, ‘Jazz in the Park’ at Simcoe Park with 3 FREE stages and activities for all ages, the always popular Dixieland Jazz Cruise and the final celebration at Megalomaniac Winery with the LIVE LEARN JAZZ events as well as a FREE stage, and food and artisan vendors. Details of all artists will be released in April.

Tickets, Season’s passes and weekend passes available at

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  • Thanks Debi. I follow Connecting Niagara on Twitter and Facebook as well. It's nice to have a site that promotes local events and organizations. We appreciate the support and promotion of our event.
    ~ Dan M.


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