Grants Awarded to 17 Recipients in First 2024 Round of Funding Through Windsor Arts Culture and Heritage Fund ACHF

Local artists and creators submitted forty-six applications in the first round of ACHF funding for 2024. This included thirty-five applications from individuals and eleven applications from organizations. Of these, seventeen projects – twelve grants to individuals, and five grants to organizations – will receive support for arts, culture and heritage projects in the community.

The funding requests totalled about $188,000. With $59,000 available in this round, the competition was high, and the jury had to make difficult decisions. The jury was pleased to see seventeen of the total submissions in this round come from first-time applicants, and excited to be able to select three of those to receive funding. The jury selected a strong mix of projects across genres including the visual arts, the performing arts, film, music, literary arts and storytelling, podcasts; and some important projects supporting diversity, inclusivity, heritage, and the celebration of humanity in the city of Windsor.

The ACHF, approved by City Council, awards grants to individuals and cultural organizations to help stimulate creative and economic growth. Each project could be funded to a maximum of $5,000 in a given round. $118,000 in project funding is available each year, administered through two rounds of $59,000 each. In 2022, City Council approved a recommendation to increase funding by $30,800 to a total of $118,000 annually, which represents a 35% increase in funding to the program.

Since the launch of this program in 2014, and including this current round:

  • 908 applications have been submitted for consideration for funding
  • 453 individual projects have received funding
  • $1,009,000 has been awarded in project funding to local arts, culture and heritage initiatives benefitting our community, including funding for the following:
    • 33 community arts–based programs and initiatives
    • 76 visual arts projects and initiatives
    • 61 literary arts projects and initiatives
    • 76 performing arts projects and initiatives
    • 119 musical arts projects and initiatives
    • 58 film arts projects and initiatives
    • 30 heritage and culture projects and initiatives

The City extends congratulations to the following 2024 Round 1 recipients:

Rawad Kansoun. $5,000. Parallel (working title). Funding for artist fees and productions costs for a film.

Batool Yahya. $5,000. HeArt from the Streets. Funding for artist fees, venue, supplies and promotion for a visual arts exhibition and event.

Sarah Smitherman. $5,000. Flowering Plants of Ojibway and Surrounding Areas, Part 2. Funding for artist fees, design and layout, and framing and installation for an arts exhibition and corresponding book.

Teajai Travis. $5,000. A Blaze of Story – Season 2. Funding for artist fees and production costs for a storytelling series and corresponding podcast.

Kristen Siapas. $4,960. Jazz in the Park. Funding for artist fees, venue, and promotion for an outdoor jazz performance series.

Maryam Safarzadeh. $4,462. Persian Village Art Group. Funding for artist fees, artisans, and promotion of a multicultural mixed-genre art festival.

Jamie Greer. $4,000. The History of Pro Wrestling in Windsor, Ontario. Funding for photo licensing, publishing costs, and a book launch for the next phase of a literary arts and local history project.

Kevin Blondin. $3,900. THIS is DRAG Showcase Event Series. Funding for artist fees and production costs for a monthly drag showcase.

Arts Collective Theatre - ACT. $3,500. ACT’s 10th Anniversary production of RENT. Funding for artist fees, videographer, and rental items for a theatre production.

Valerie Bonasso. $3,350. Windsor’s History: A New Musical. Funding for artist and producer fees for libretto and score composition for an original stage musical.

Windsor Optimist Youth Band. $3,325. 2024 Band Camp and Spring Concert. Funding for artist fees and venue for a band camp and community spring concert.

Gujarati Samaj of Windsor. $3,058. Ardh Shatabdi Mahotsav. Funding for production costs, venue, materials, and promotion of a multicultural musical production.

John-Paul Bonadonna. $3,000. Leave Those Kids Alone album. Funding for production, mixing, and mastering of an album of original music.

Jo Taylor. $2,725. Community Connexions. Funding for artist fees and production costs for a choral music series across the community with the Windsor Community Choir.

Abridged Opera. $1,500. Suor Angelica. Funding for artist fees for soloist and musicians for an opera celebrating the organization’s 10th anniversary.

Adam Bergamin. $800. Regency Cabaret. Funding for artist fees, costumes, props, and accessories for a drag performing arts project for seniors.

Greater Windsor Concert Band (GWCB). $420. GWCB Spring Concert 2024. Funding for concert venue rental for a live concert band/symphonic concert.

Opportunity for Sponsors, Donors, Community-Builders with the ACHF:

As the ACHF program continues to evolve, the City is reaching out to those individuals, organizations, businesses, and corporations that have expressed an interest in supporting arts, culture and heritage in Windsor in the past. There are two possible opportunities for partnership between sponsors, donors, and community-builders in connection with the ACHF grant program.

Those who wish to register as a Patron will be provided with information on funded ACHF projects that are seeking additional funding support to realize their project goals and increase community impact. City staff will facilitate a meeting between interested parties to see what possibilities exist.

Those who wish to register to become an ACHF Partner will have the opportunity to donate a funding amount to the ACHF funding stream, which will increase available funding in a given round, thus increasing opportunities for additional creators and projects to receive funding. The ACHF Jury will adjudicate all funding requests, and City staff will work with ACHF Partners to determine the best fit for donations in any given round.

Those wishing to take advantage of this unique opportunity to direct support to Windsor’s arts, culture and heritage creative community are asked to reach out to to begin the conversation.


“For the third year in a row, $118,000 will be awarded to individuals and organizations through the City’s ACHF program, helping us to build on Windsor’s proud history of investment in our creative community. The results of the program speak for themselves, with over $1 million in funding awarded to just over 450 innovative projects since the program launched. The ACHF program is one of many components of Council’s overall significant investment in arts, culture and heritage in Windsor. On behalf of City Council, congratulations to the funding recipients in this round. Thank you for the work that you do in our community. Thanks, also, to our volunteer jurors for evaluating the applications and being of service to the creative community. We look forward to seeing these new projects come to life in Windsor!”
- Mayor Drew Dilkens

“We remain proud of the ACHF program, and grateful for Council’s ongoing support and investment into this important initiative for our creative community. We are grateful to our volunteer jurors who step up to help us support arts, culture and heritage projects through this fund. It is wonderful to see many new applicants coming forward and to see increasing submissions from Windsor’s diverse multicultural communities. We are so very excited to see this latest batch of projects move forward.”
- Michelle Staadegaard, Manager of Culture & Events, City of Windsor

Further details on the program guidelines and objectives, application process, eligibility requirements, success stories from previous recipients, and deadline dates for funding rounds as available are posted at online.

To learn more about arts, culture and heritage services at the City of Windsor, visit or call 311.