Voices of Niagara: Michael Di Camillo, Di Camillo Bakery, Niagara Falls, New York

My name is Michael Di Camillo and my grandparents started Di Camillo Bakery in 1920.  They were both immigrants from the Abruzzo region of Italy.  They came separately and were married here in 1902.  They started their family here. My grandfather was working at the Shredded Wheat plant – that’s the iconic cereal started in … Continue reading Voices of Niagara: Michael Di Camillo, Di Camillo Bakery, Niagara Falls, New York

Human Accumulations: Documenting Niagara Falls

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For Human Accumulations Alan Gignoux and Jenny Christensson are documenting the Niagara Falls of today – the waterfalls and the two cities of Niagara Falls in New York and Canada - in photographs and words in the form of interviews.    Once, at the heart of an ancient forest, there was a beautiful waterfall, whose … Continue reading Human Accumulations: Documenting Niagara Falls

Voices of Niagara: Jim Hill, Niagara Parks Commission, Ontario

My name is Jim Hill, I’m the Senior Manager of Heritage, for the Niagara Parks Commission. Our park has been around since 1885 and we’re an agency of the Province of Ontario.  Our mandate is to preserve the nature and heritage along the Niagara corridor on the Canadian side of the river.  When we were … Continue reading Voices of Niagara: Jim Hill, Niagara Parks Commission, Ontario

Voices of Niagara: Paul Dyster, Mayor of Niagara Falls, New York

In a city that was once an industrial power, that’s lost half of its population over the course of the last 50 or 60 years, economic development is always going to be a great challenge.  There’s a certain irony in that since this was one of the first areas in North America to industrialise at … Continue reading Voices of Niagara: Paul Dyster, Mayor of Niagara Falls, New York

Failed Utopias and Dystopian Futures

Gillette's was not the only Utopian plan for the Falls - also in the 1890's William T. Love attempted to raise money to construct Model City, an urban development scheme designed around a canal and a hydroelectric plant,  with housing for more than 1 million people.  Love's plans collapsed after his investors backed out as … Continue reading Failed Utopias and Dystopian Futures

Voices of Niagara: Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario

"One of the biggest factors driving the success of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, Ontario, was the emergence of gaming – casinos.  In 1996 we had our first temporary casino open up and then in 2006 we had our permanent Falls View Casino, which was a billion dollar bill. And when that happened it … Continue reading Voices of Niagara: Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario

Voices of Niagara: Constance Hamilton, Sass Hair Salon

"My name is Constance G. Hamilton and I own and operate the beauty salon.  I do hair, make up, ear piercing. My father came here from Alabama because there was work.  At the time, there was no work in Alabama, unless you worked on a farm or something; he was having a new family, myself … Continue reading Voices of Niagara: Constance Hamilton, Sass Hair Salon

Voices of Niagara: Lou Paonessa, Robert Moses Niagara Power Project

We interviewed Lou Paonessa about the history of hydro-electric power at Niagara Falls and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Project, New York State's biggest energy producer.   "My name is Lou Paonessa, I work in community relations at the New York Power Authority. We like to say that this is the birthplace of hydro-electricity here at … Continue reading Voices of Niagara: Lou Paonessa, Robert Moses Niagara Power Project

Niagara as a Focus for the Future

Niagara gripped the imagination of not only travellers and writers, but also of engineers and entrepreneurs.  Many of these “envisioned the fall’s industrial and economic potential as limitless” and “they imagined a colossal, utopian future that would inevitably result from the relentless human drive to subdue and transform nature.” (McGreevy) In his book Imagining Niagara  … Continue reading Niagara as a Focus for the Future

Niagara Falls, 1855

This painting by Regis of Niagara Falls, now in the High Museum in Atlanta, provided the inspiration for our visit to the falls and will be the starting point for Alan's creative response to this location.  It is a delicately coloured summertime view of the falls with little sign of human intervention aside from the … Continue reading Niagara Falls, 1855