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Covering Niagara

Studies in Local Popular Culture

Edited by Barry Keith Grant & Joan Nicks
Subjects Cultural Studies, Law, Travel, Sports & Recreation
Series Cultural Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554582211, 408 pages, May 2010
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554587605, 408 pages, July 2010
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554582471, 408 pages, May 2010

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Covering Niagara: Studies in Local Popular Culture, edited by Joan Nicks and Keith Grant
Maps: Niagara Region, Niagara Urban Areas, Niagara Wine Route
Foreword: Reflections on Everyday Life in Niagara | Geoff Pevere
Part I: Public Showings
Polite Athletics and Bourgeois Gaieties: Toronto Society in Late Victorian Niagara-on-the-Lake | Phillip Gordon Mackintosh
A Promise Set in Stone: St. Catharines Honours a Common Soldier | Russell Johnston and Michael Ripmeester
Niagara Falls Indian Village: Popular Productions of Cultural Difference | Marian Bredin
Part II: Movies and Media
Early Movie-Going in Niagara: From Itinerant Shows to Local Institutions, 1897–1910 | Paul S. Moore
“Hollywoodization,” Gender and the Local Press in the 1920s: The Case of Niagara Falls, Ontario | Jeannette Sloniowski and Joan Nicks
Where Is the Local in Local Radio? The Changing Shape of Radio Programming in St. Catharines | Laura Wiebe Taylor
Part III: Food and Drink
Frolics with Food: The Frugal Housewife’s Manual by “A.B. of Grimsby” | Fiona Lucas and Mary F. Williamson
“A Little More Than a Drink”: Public Drinking and Popular Entertainment in Post-Prohibition Niagara, 1927–1944 | Dan Malleck
Niagara’s Emerging Wine Culture: From a Countryside of Production to Consumption | Hugh Gayler
Part IV: Local Connections
“Kennying”: Kenny Wheeler and Local Jazz | Terrance Cox
The Music Store as a Community Resource | Nick Baxter-Moore
Back to Our Roots: How Niagara Artists’ Centre Became Popular Again | Roslyn Costanzo
Part V: Borderline Matters
Entertaining Niagara Falls: Minstrel Shows, Theatres and Popular Pleasures | Joan Nicks and Jeannette Sloniowski
Electricity from Niagara Falls: Popularization of Modern Technology for Domestic Use | Norman Ball
Weaving Local Identity: The Niagara Region Tartan and the Invention of Tradition | Greg Gillespie
Contributors’ Bios
Norman R. Ball is a historian of technology and Director of the Centre for Society, Technology and Values, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo. He is author of The Canadian Niagara Power Company Story (2005) and is writing a history of the Niagara Parks Commission, to mark the occasion of its 125th anniversary in 2010. His wide work experience includes archivist, museum curator, and engineering magazine columnist.
Nick Baxter-Moore is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. His current research interests include the touring strategies of the Trans Siberian Orchestra, the concert-going habits of Bruce Springsteen fans, and the history of Crystal Beach amusement park.
Marian Bredin is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. Her research interests include Aboriginal and indigenous media, communications policy and cultural politics, and Canadian television. She is co-editor of two forthcoming collections: Indigenous Screen Cultures and Canadian Television: Text and Context.
Roslyn Costanzo resides in Toronto and is active in the contemporary art scene and the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC), located in downtown St. Catharines. Her research interests are contemporary art and the emergence of artist-run culture in Canada between 1970 and 1980.
Terrance Cox is a writer of poems and non-fiction and a “general practitioner” in the Humanities at Brock University. His published collections include a “spoken word with music” CD, Local Scores (2000), the prize-winning book Radio & Other Miracles (2001), and a second CD, Simultaneous Translation (2005).
Hugh Gayler is Professor of Geography at Brock University. He specializes in urban geography and has published on various aspects of suburbanization and urban expansion into areas of high resource value.
Greg Gillespie is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. His research focuses on Scottish studies, sport studies, and game studies, and he is author of Hunting for Empire: Narratives of Sport in Rupert’s Land, 1840–1870 (2008). He is from the town of Grimsby in the Niagara Region.
Barry Keith Grant is Professor of Film Studies and Popular Culture at Brock University and co-editor of this volume. The author or editor of over a dozen books, his work has been widely published in journals and anthologies. He is the editor of film books for Wayne State University Press and Blackwell Publishing.
Russell Johnston is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. His research on Canadian media history includes Selling Themselves: The Emergence of Canadian Advertising (2001), as well as articles in magazines, journals, and edited collections.
Fiona Lucas, whose interest in Canadian culinary history began in 1987, is co-founder of the Culinary Historians of Ontario. Her first book, Hearth and Home: Women and the Art of Open Hearth Cooking, won silver in the 2007 Canadian Culinary Book Awards.
Phillip Gordon Mackintosh is Associate Professor of Geography at Brock University. His SSHRC-funded research of historical-cultural and social geographies of class, gender, and race includes bourgeois, masculine performativity in nineteenth-century Masonic lodges and the domestic embourgeoisment of public space and racialized park planning in Edwardian Toronto.
Dan Malleck is Assistant Professor in Community Health Sciences at Brock University and editor-in-chief of Social History of Alcohol and Drugs: An Interdisciplinary Journal. His research focus is the history of the regulation of alcohol and drugs, currently liquor regulation in public places in Ontario from 1927 to 1944.
Paul S. Moore is Assistant Professor of Sociology, and in the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson University. He is the author of Now Playing: Early Moviegoing and the Regulation of Fun (2008) and several articles on the history of movie exhibition and promotion in Canada. With Sandra Gabriele, he is currently researching a history of the weekend newspaper in North America.
Joan Nicks is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University and is co-editor of this volume. Her writing on film and media has appeared in various edited anthologies and journals. She and colleague Jeannette Sloniowski have been long-time research collaborators and are co-editors of Slippery Pastimes: Reading the Popular in Canadian Culture (WLU Press, 2002).
Geoff Pevere is a long-time broadcaster and film critic. He is co-author, with Greig Dymond, of Mondo Canuck: A Canadian Pop Culture Odyssey (1996).
Michael Ripmeester is a cultural/historical geographer at Brock University. He has published in the areas of historical geographies of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ontario, the ideological foundations of the lawn, and landscapes of public memory. His teaching focuses on power and resistance in the context of everyday landscapes.
Jeannette Sloniowski is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. She is co-editor of the TV Milestones series (Wayne State UP) and is completing a monograph on Jack Webb’s Dragnet. Her work on film, television, and popular culture has appeared in various journals and edited books.
Laura Wiebe Taylor is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, investigating intersections of popular culture, mass media, and interdisciplinary theory. She has published on film, popular music, and speculative fiction and spent twelve years in campus radio as a volunteer programmer.
Mary F. Williamson is a culinary historian whose publications focus primarily on foods and cookery of the nineteenth century. She contributes regularly to Culinary Chronicles (Culinary Historians of Ontario). Before retiring as Fine Arts Bibliographer at York University, she authored studies of Canadian art publications and book and periodical illustration.


Covering Niagara: Studies in Local Popular Culture closely examines some of the myriad forms of popular culture in the Niagara region of Canada. Essays consider common assumptions and definitions of what popular culture is and seek to determine whether broad theories of popular culture can explain or make sense of localized instances of popular culture and the cultural experiences of people in their daily lives. Among the many topics covered are local bicycle parades and war memorials, cooking and wine culture, radio and movie-going, music stores and music scenes, tourist sites, and blackface minstrel shows. The authors approach their subjects from a variety of critical and historical perspectives and employ a range of methodologies that includes cultural studies, textual analysis, archival research, and participant interviews. Altogether, Covering Niagara provides a richly diverse mapping of the popular culture of a particular area of Canada and demonstrates the complexities of everyday culture.


Covering Niagara, an original study of local popular culture in the Golden Horseshoe area, uses a variety of critical and historical perspectives and a wide range of methodologies, including cultural studies, textual analysis, archival research, and participant interviews, to map out this borderlands green belt / fruit belt / rust belt that also calls itself home to a World Biosphere site (the Escarpment), a natural wonder (Niagara Falls), and a tourist mecca (Clifton Hill). The collection as a whole contains fifteen chapters, divided into five broad sections.

- Linda Revie, University of Toronto Quarterly, Volume 81, number 3, Summer 2012, 2012 December

Covering Niagara will finally bust loose a secret that's been all too well concealed from all too many people: because of its unique geographical position, as a kind of radar dish picking up influences from all compass points, both sides of the border and the myriad backgrounds of the millions who have settled there, it's a pop cultural torrent.

- Geoff Pevere, broadcaster, author, critic, and former Niagara resident, 2010 May