Niagara CGI - Computer Graphics Group

Niagara CGI - Computer Graphics Group

Niagara CGI is a new arts group with a unique focus on Adobe Photoshop, Zbrush, 3D Studiomax, and other modern digital art tools. The group describes itself as being "all about taking what is trending, what local artists have done or are doing, as well as linking events". I'm looking forward to seeing the digital arts community grow in Welland and beyond due to the efforts of this group.

Niagara CGI to Connect Artists and Developers

At the heart of the operation is Atom Dellow, a Welland based digital artist. Atom found himself experiencing the same frustrations as many other digital artists have, due to isolation and the lack of a central location to learn and improve. There isn't a Curry's Art Supplies for the digital artist, which translates into frustrations that are not experienced with any other type of art.

Niagara CGI connects artists, developers, educators, and local cultural leaders without having to join a large government subsidized business taskforce.

Niagara CGI Hackerspace and Art Nights

Niagara is lacking when it comes to spaces set aside for creative development in the digital domain. Niagara CGI has been working with existing art groups to provide access to resources and people across Niagara. Unlike efforts in St. Catharines the group seems to be capable of operating in any city in the Niagara Region. Welland, Pelham, Port Colborne and Wainfleet digital professionals and aspiring digital profesionals are encouraged to join the Facebook group to hear about upcoming events and connect online.

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Waving Cat Media

Waving Cat Media

Waving Cat Media is Niagara's newest multimedia and marketing outfit, with a host of affordable extras for any business looking to improve their exposure in the Buffalo-Toronto market and beyond. Officially opened in 2013 with the support of Niagara's social media elite. With Waving Cat Media the long and tedious process of getting great new content online is made easier and faster thanks to the experience and values of the participating local organizations and individuals.

Waving Cat Multimedia

David Bagarozza (known online as David FB) has brought his multimedia skills and well calibrated equipment to the Waving Cat Media group. Known in Niagara for his work with Pulp Comics and the Black Lantern Experience, there isn't much that David FB hasn't had his hands on.

Check out his portfolio and the portfolios of the newer multimedia experts at Waving Cat Media to better understand what they offer.

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Waving Cat Social Media

Social media has been an impressive add-on for major marketing agencies, and when done properly it can be extremely valuable. If your existing marketing agency isn't getting the job done through social media then the Waving Cat Media offering might be able to fill in that gap without cutting off your existing marketing agency.

Looking to boost throughput? Get into a new market? Go viral? Then Waving Cat Media has the fix for your organization, as long as you're willing.

Waving Cat Media on Twitter -
Waving Cat Media on Facebook -

Working in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls GIF

Over the last couple months there has been mounting pressure to find a place to call home that is a little closer to work and much easier on gasoline.

Business in Niagara Falls

Seems as though there is a lot that the businesses in Niagara Falls have to do in order to play catch-up with other major cities. Digital services are in demand across nearly every service oriented business. This includes restaurant point of sale systems, digital imaging, online marketing, and revision management systems. The good part is that we're able to skip the rebuild issue that many older businesses in Toronto and New York suffer from when they migrate to a new platform. No legacy data means that there are no problems.

Niagara Falls Real Estate

I like the idea of living close to where you work, and Niagara Falls is close enough to my hometown to make the switch without too many issues. The down side is the idea that everyone that I work with daily also lives in communities outside of Niagara Falls. There is something strange about the disconnect between locals and some of the top jobs in Niagara Falls. Maybe we're able to appreciate the value - everything loses its sheen once it is a part of the .

Niagara Falls is essentially "under the power lines", a fact that sticks in my head every time I look at Niagara Falls Real Estate listings. I shouldn't be one to judge since I grew up next to a steel forge with a considerable amount of electrical current passing through the lines leading to the factory.

i'm waiting for a great deal in a great location, even if it needs a little work.

Working Digitally and Bi-nationally

Another plus about Niagara Falls is that the proximity to the US Market and easy ability to collaborate with offices in the United States give the entire region a competitive edge. Sitting on top of some of the fastest digital infrastructure in the world, with a short drive to a local farm... almost better than anywhere, save for California. I'm not one to go to California and give up on the Canadian lifestyle though.

Better conditions for business, good real estate in a variety of options, and situated perfectly for bi-national partnerships. Things seem to be working in Niagara Falls.

Canada's Wonderland Haunt

Canada's Wonderland Haunt

For Canadian Thanksgiving my entire schedule has been cleared in order to attend Canada's Wonderland Haunt, a haunted carnival experience that takes over the part throughout the fall season.

Night Carnival

There is something about the dimly lit park accentuated by beautiful lights ever 20 meters. The rides and haunted tours are ablaze in a rainbow of light. While rainbows may not be scary, they are a pleasant way to let your guard down before the next surprise.

Club Blood

This is a perennial favourite, Club Blood needs to be a real club that is separate from the attraction. Haunted beats and wonderful costumes are the closest that Southern Ontario gets to a perfect 'surprise' rave. Get pumped by listening to some SomaFM (Link - ) - the mix is comparable in quality at the park. Anyone that misses Club Blood needs to get off their high horse (Leviathan), and join in the fun.

Louisiana Bayou

In years past this has been one of the darkest and most aggressive haunts at the park. Music is a huge factor in keeping things moving in the attraction. I almost missed this one during my first year at Canada's Wonderland Haunt due to a medical complication experienced by another person in the attraction. The kind of scares that cause medical complications are worth a second look.

Hopefully I'll have more photos and video to share after the trip.

Black Lantern Experience - F**ked up S**t Show

Black Lantern Experience - F**ked up S**t Show

Recently there have been plenty of haters making things difficult for artists and art lovers in the city of #Welland. Used to be that if you didn't like someone or something that it was as easy as walking away. Unfortunately we no longer have that capability to make peace through ignorance, due to technology. The Black Lantern Experience has been quietly criticized by establishment artists, politicians, and bureaucrats. This criticism isn't unwarranted, since the Black Lantern Experience has been a hotbed of anti-establishment art and discussion, due to the fact that the establishment is no longer participating with a large part of the community.

Time to read between the lines, if you or an organization that you work for takes a shot at #BLX then the Black Lantern Experience will respond. The last group art show, Hostile Takeover, proved that the Black Lantern Experience is as organized as any other arts group in the city. The upcoming show will take on some new ideas about destruction, construction, and the function of art in a damaged community.

F**ked up S**t Show - Art and Entertainment

Come out to this public event and get out of your comfort zone. Doors open at 20h00 (8pm) on October 19th, 2013 to a disturbing collection of paintings, photography, and performance art. Organized by James Takeo at his studio on 75 West Main Street with the assistance of all of the #BLX volunteers, artists, and benefactors.

F**ked up S**t
75 West Main Street
Welland, Ontario
October 19th, 2013
Doors open 8pm

Black Lantern Experience Teaser Video

Visit BLXTV for More Information - Calling Cards Calling Cards

For years I've been bothered by people that constantly insist that in order to make a proper introduction between business people a business card is essential. Those people have nothing to worry about thanks to a collaborative set between James Takeo and Craig Hotrod, two Welland artists that typically specialize in Tattoo art.

Made from Recycled Material

The card material is recovered from office materials intende to add structure to paper pads. I used to scribble on grid paper any ideas that I would have and have a substantial collection of older works that could be moved from pads to binders, scanned digitally if anything of importance is in the pad, and permanently filed in the blue cube filing system.

Hopefully this is the last time I'll ever need paper calling cards - people should be able to find me by name just about anywhere on the Internet. At this point the secret is out.

Includes Social Media Contact Information

Just about everything except a direct link to my Google+ page is included on this card. Email, Twitter, Website URL - I've been lucky enough to secure my oversized name on just about every social media tool that exists.

Calling Cards - More Than Business

For anyone that isn't familiar with Calling Cards the purpose is to ensure that other residents or grounds staff at a residence know that you're supposed to be there. These cards are an invitation to connect and collaborate, nearly anytime or anywhere. Given that we live in the age of global telecommunications I can't guarantee that I'll be in one place for too long. This card is an open invitation to the next venue, digital or embodied.

Welland Construction Blitz

Welland Construction Blitz

It is really surprising how much has changed in Welland since the 2008 recession came into effect, there are signs all around that the recession is over and Welland is ready to get back into business. Just as soon as progress starts to be made, especially in the downtown area there is always another wave of infrastructure projects. This time around the WElland Construction blitz is focused on roads.

East Main Street Backups

As a frequent driver along East Main Street and daily user of the new roundabout I've grown a healthy feeling of dread regarding infrastructure projects along my daily commute. East Main Street between Wellington and Empire Street is a completely avoidable stretch, that I never seem to remember to avoid at eight o'clock in the morning.

The dread will be back in full swing during the upcoming snowy season when road lines are less than visible, folks from out of town may be unfamiliar with the roundabout, and the smooth stretch of East Main Street will be packed with people looking to barrel down the oversized roadway at full speed.

King Street Grinds

King Street is also under rapid reconstruction, given that the last repaving took much longer than expected there are already concerns from residents and businesses on the street. It has already been a tough year despite any of the best efforts by Illuminaqua to bring people back to the downtown area of King Street. There are literally to many barriers to development along the canal trails and King Street, given the combination of fences at Illuminaqua, steep parking rules along an empty street, and broken equipment turning the street dark or tripping out people enjoying Merritt Park and its fountain.

King Street South is about to experience the same kind of frustration, including the newly reopened restaurants, bars, and a cupcake cafe. The only consistently successful business in that area appears to be the Bamboo Restaurant. It seems as though nothing can stop great take-out.

Pavers Move Faster than Banner Staff

The most surprising part about the repaving in Welland is that the asphalt was removed so quickly, less than a week between the start of the grind and the whole section being turned into a tire grinder. I've included a picture with this article to demonstrate how October construction overlaps the remaining Canoe Niagara and World Championship banners from the event held in August 2013.

Hopefully the banners will come down before the Panam Games. Although we may be waiting for winter decorations to come down first.

Welland Market Square - Saturday Mornings

Welland Market Square - Saturday Mornings

Welland has an excellent market that is still colloquially known as the Welland Farmers Market. The Welland Market itself goes beyond farm fresh produce and includes bakers, producers of meat products, and the occasional non-food vendor looking to sell jewelry or affordable bed sheets. Want to know more about the Welland Market? Check out the local highlights.

Welland Market - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The North Side Pavilions are the heart of the fresh, organic, and from-the-farm produce, featuring hard to find and certified produce. The West Awning has some of the best deals from larger local farms, including eggs and fresh baked pie.

Welland Market - Fresh Bread and Meats

The West Building, also known as "The Alamo" is home to meat, cheese, and vegetarian alternative vendors that require freezer space and other amenities. Pick up some spicy sausage, fresh samosas, and a variety of fresh deli meats at some of the most competitive prices in Niagara.

Welland Market - The Community and Customs

The Welland Market Square is also a great place to meet with locals and catch up on the news. This includes the news highlights and opinions that aren't always seen in publications with journalistic integrity. Stick around for long enough and you'll have a chance to meet up with local volunteers, bureaucrats, lawyers, and historians. The community itself is typically a good draw.

Welland Market - Democratizing Prices

Just about anywhere there seems to be an excellent market, bazaar, or plaza that allows small businesses and farmers to compete with grocers or other vendors that would otherwise keep prices out of sync with what the farmers deserve. If you feel as though it is worth the effort to find Fair Trade Coffee then you should probably look into local markets like the Welland Market to keep prices low and farmers happy.

Welland - Dog Park Capital of Ontario

Welland - Dog Park Capital of Ontario

Welland is known as the Rose City before all else. Recently the Rose City has been heralded as a retirement village, sports mecca, and ghost town depending on who is telling the story. I'd like to add one more notable future for Welland that is already in progress - Welland for the Dogs. There are thousands of dogs in the City of Welland, community leaders and businesses have plans to profit from the local love for dogs.

Canalside Dog Park at Lincoln Street

Touted by some as the largest Dog Park in Canada there are preliminary plans to host an expansive Dog Park at the intersection of Lincoln Street and the Welland Canal, across the Canal from the Welland Arena. The land, which is already serviced with electrical and sewage infrastructure, would be left as flat land with hundreds of meters of fence surrounding the canalside property.

The first time that the Welland Dog Park was presented was at a WRCC meeting with Barry Sharpe and other local leaders. They were eager to start the project after moving the park from its original planned location on the east bank of the Welland Canal.

Niagara Regional Police Dog Training Sites

Seems like every abandoned industrial property in Welland gets its chance to be a NRPS Dog Training Site. This would mean that the Niagara Regional Police are training their dogs in fields of broken glass, rubble, rust, and other very dangerous materials. Properties currently listed include the old Union Carbide, Welmet, Henniges, General Tire, and Atlas Specialty Steels properties. If we include all of those properties into the dog park plans originally mentioned then there is more property assigned to dogs than any individual business or resident in the City of Welland.

There is even the possibility that if those properties are safe enough for NRPS dogs that they should be opened for all dog owners, then the precious canalside property can be kept for the human residents and visitors to the City of Welland.

Where Dog Owners Already Travel

Welland already has an unorganized dog park between Thorold Road and Woodlawn on the West Bank of the Welland Canal. There isn't a single day that goes by that local residents aren't out there with their dogs, even throughout the Winter the draw remains. The park wasn't planned for this area due to a variety of reasons that never seem to stay the same, although it usually has something to do with the rowing facility or neighbours that take issue with its current use.

Since many of the dog owners that use the Thorold-Woodlawn Park are leaving behind dog waste the warmer months carry a scent along the Greater Niagara Circle Route - a world class cycling trail that passes through the park. The enforcement of local cleaning, littering, and dog licensing by-laws would help responsible dog owners to keep a better park. Repeat offenders should have their licences revoked, and those found without a license should have their homes inspected to see how many other unregistered animals that they're keeping in potentially dangerous conditions.

Niagara Ice Dogs - Future Home in Welland?

Niagara always deserved a great hockey team, and with a name like Niagara Ice Dogs - they should be right at home in the City of Welland canal-side arena. The arena that would be walking distance to the largest dog park in the nation.

Canadian Blood Services and the Blood Signal

Canadian Blood Services and the Blood Signal

Here we are again - the blood signal is shining over Welland for the blood donor clinic. Every 56 days there are hundreds of people in Welland that donate blood at one of the three mobile clinic sites.

Saving Lives is Important

Children, neighbours, motorists, and everyone else seems to have a pretty bad track record for keeping all their blood. Without blood supplies for emergencies these people will die, that is a Denzel Washington guarantee. Blood also has an expiry period even when it is stored in refrigerated coolers. The need is constant and the supply is well managed by the Canadian Blood Services. In exchange the volunteers receive very little outside of appreciation - this is intended to encourage responsible donation.

There is no blood tax in Canada - only the blood charity and millions of Canadians are very charitable.

Steady Need Still Exists

The secondary use for whole blood collection is to create blood and platelet products for people with incurable diseases. Some of these people may survive without these products, which is why it can seem controversial to donate. Examples include those with clotting disorders that may bleed to death from even the smallest laceration. These donations are a quality of life issue since the blood is used to save lives through prevention rather than as a reaction to an emergency.

This purpose helps people to understand that their blood will not be wasted. If an the blood within an appropriate time the Canadian Blood Services works with blood product suppliers to provide the raw materials to save more lives and improve the quality of life for people with diseases.

Lake Erie Fish is Delicious

My third major reason for donating may be misguided, mercury contamination in Lake Erie fish. I don't entirely believe that Lake Erie is as bad as it was during the twentieth century, just in caseI'm wrong the CBS can have the heavy metals. Heavy metals are the price that recipients will have to bear until they can test for that and let everyone know how safe the Lake Erie fish really is. Perch, Pickerel, and more are great to eat after a donation too - rich in protein and healthy oils.

See you at the next clinic -


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