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Welland Bridge 13 July Illumination Schedule 






Media Release

Yasaman Mehrsa answers the call to transform public art space at Rec Rentals @ The Docks


June 20, 2023

Welland, ON – Rec Rentals @ The Docks will have a different look late this year after Brock University graduate Yasaman Mehrsa was chosen as the artist to transform exterior surfaces with a creative theme celebrating the City and its connection to trails, parks, and the waterway.

Put forth to the arts community in April, the project’s focus was on creating a vibrant canvas on the buildings that foster community pride in public art and enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors to the area.

“We were fortunate to receive many submissions from very talented artists,” said Erin Carl, supervisor of festivals and events. “Yasaman’s submission stood out among all the others, and we’re excited to see her work; her public art experience positions her well for success on this project.”

With an overall budget of $8,000, the artistic design contains parameters set forth by the City, including visuals that celebrate the community, culture, and recreation.

Born and raised in Tehran/Iran, she got exposed to art from a young age. She completed her studies with a Bachelor of Visual Communication in Iran and later earned a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Brock University.

She uses both digital and traditional mediums; her work is illustrative in style, focusing on storytelling and exploring all facets of life and being human in a natural environment, and is often representative of awareness of the human-nature relationship.

She has worked on various public art projects for organizations, communities, BIAs, and festivals inside and outside Canada since 2018. She has painted murals on walls as tall as three stories high, windows, grounds, boxes, doors, stairs, and more.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Corporate Communications Manager

905-735-1700 x2337



Supporting Small Businesses: Calling on the Federal Government to Extend the CEBA Loan Repayments and Forgiveness Deadline

June 20, 2023

The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and the Ottawa Coalition of BIAs (OCOBIA) recently conducted a survey of 657 businesses collectively. We ask both your small business members and your BIA to send the attached templated letter to your Member of Federal Parliament. Together we can make a difference to small business!

Small Businesses Need Your Action The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) was an important lifeline to many businesses who were forced to close and had restricted operations during COVID-19. The Federal Government requests that businesses pay back the full amount of their loans by December 2023 in order to receive 33% of their loan (up to $20,000) forgiveness. The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and the Ottawa Coalition of BIAs (OCOBIA) recently conducted a survey of 657 businesses collectively. OCOBIA’s survey of 128 businesses, found that 97% of Ottawa small business respondents indicated that the repayment deadline of December 31, 2023 will adversely affect their business. Seventy-Four (74) percent of businesses stated that they will be forced further into debt under the current repayment plan, 41.4% fear that it will force them to close the business and 3 out of 4 businesses who were in operation before COVID declared that they are below 75 % of pre-pandemic sales. The OBIAA survey of 529 businesses across Ontario had similar findings, with 88% of businesses stating the CEBA Loan Repayment will negatively impact their business, 66% stating they will not be able to invest in their business towards growth and 46% note they will be unable to expand their business.  Sadly, 37% indicated that it will require laying off staff.  Significantly, 42% stated that their business may be forced to close their business. In a recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business report, their findings are hauntingly similar:

  • Of the nine in ten small businesses who used CEBA, three quarters accessed loans between $40,001 and $60,000, while one quarter received loans of up to $40,000.
  • Only 10% of CEBA users have repaid their loans.
  • A total of 43% of CEBA users risk missing the current repayment deadline by end of 2023. Small businesses in the arts, recreation, and information (62%), hospitality (61%) and social services sectors (46%) are most likely to miss the current CEBA deadline.
  • The smallest businesses with 0-4 employees are the most likely to miss the repayment deadline (49%)
  • Even among the 47% of small business owners who indicate they will meet the 2023 deadline, half say they will struggle to do so, and two-thirds would like to see an extension of the repayment deadline.
The numbers are daunting and immediate action is necessary to support small and local businesses. Therefore, we are calling upon the Federal Government to Extend the full CEBA program deadline:
  • Extend the CEBA repayment deadline to the end of 2024 or 2025.
  • Extend the 33% (up to $20,000) forgiveness deadline for businesses.

We thank you for your consideration and review and encourage you to act on this impending issue that will dramatically impact the state of our businesses and our BIA. For more information and links to all survey results, please click through below.

Read More or Download the Letter Now

Provincial and federal governments to offer financial support for grape growers and beekeepers affected by extreme weather

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help the grape growing and beekeeping sectors offset extraordinary costs caused by significant grapevine and bee colony losses due to extreme weather conditions in 2021-22.

Two new AgriRecovery initiatives will provide up to $5 million for eligible grape growers and up to $5 million for eligible commercial beekeepers.

Click here to read more.

Welland a good fit for casting company Linamar, says CEO

Welland is a good fit for Linamar’s new 27,870-square-metre Giga casting facility, says the company’s chief executive officer, Linda Hasenfratz.

“We were looking to be within a certain radius of our customer base … with a combination of where we saw labour and land availability. Cost was also a factor,” said Hasenfratz.

She said the company evaluated a few options as it searched southern Ontario.

Click here to read more.

GNCC issues call for EDI Advisory Committee members

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) is dedicated to creating an inclusive and equitable environment where every voice is heard and valued. To further our commitment, we are looking for passionate individuals to join our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Committee.

Members of our EDI Advisory Committee will play a pivotal role in shaping our culture and driving meaningful change. They will collaborate with Board members and senior leadership to develop and implement strategies that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of our organization.

Click here to read more.


Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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Welland, Ontario L3B 3X4

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