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Guelph Arts Council Announces Marketing for the Creative Economy Workshop

GAC Marketing Poster Rev Oct 4 Resized

Guelph, ON – October 5, 2016 – Guelph Arts Council (GAC) is pleased to collaborate with WorkInCulture and the Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre in presenting Marketing for the Creative Economy, a workshop for the creative community, on Tuesday, October 25. The workshop is generously sponsored by Inbox Marketer, and supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The two-hour workshop begins at 4 pm at the new home of the Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre at 14 Macdonell Street, Unit 100 (former Guelph Mercury building). The workshop will be followed by a networking opportunity. Refreshments will be served. Registration is $25 for GAC members, and $35 for non-members. For more information about the workshop, or to register, visit here or phone 519-836-3280.

In this interactive session, Judi Riddolls will guide artists, culture workers, and creative entrepreneurs in telling their stories, connecting with customers, and selling their work. Riddolls, an accomplished facilitator and coach and the founder of the Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre, has developed this session to meet the specific needs of creative ventures. Each participant will receive a personal workbook, in which they will launch a marketing plan that works for them.

Patti Broughton, GAC’s Executive Director, says: “At GAC we poll our Artist members regularly on the professional development topics they need the most. Marketing has been at the top of the list, and we’re so grateful to Judi and our partners, WorkInCulture and GWBEC, and to Trillium and Inbox Marketer, for their support in the development of this valuable opportunity.”

Since 1975, Guelph Arts Council has been dedicated to supporting, stimulating and promoting arts and culture in Guelph. Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by The Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph. We also acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.


Guelph Arts Council Announces Deadline for Youth Opportunities Award

 Guelph, ON – September 27, 2016 – Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce the deadline for the Youth Opportunities Award, which is made possible through the GAC Youth Opportunities Fund at The Guelph Community Foundation. The 2016 application deadline is Friday, November 15 at 4 pm. The award’s terms of reference and application instructions are posted at guelpharts.ca/gac-awards-bursaries. Apply online here.

Local artists, not-for-profit groups, and youth are eligible to apply for programs that initiate, enhance or expand opportunities for children and youth under age 25 to experience or become engaged in the arts in Guelph or Wellington County. Local youth are particularly encouraged to apply.

Guelph Arts Council’s Youth Fund was established through the financial success of Youth in Performance presentations that GAC sponsored between 1980 and 1990. Additions to the fund were made over the years, and in 2005 Guelph Arts Council turned over the capital of the fund to The Guelph Community Foundation to create the GAC Youth Opportunities Fund. Since 2009, with revenue generated by the fund, GAC has supported arts opportunities for youth.

The amount of the award(s) varies annually. For 2016, $400 will be awarded. Decisions will be made by the GAC Youth Awards Panel and awards announced by the end of the year.

For more information about the Youth Opportunities Award and Guelph Arts Council, please visit guelpharts.ca, phone 519-836-3280, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or drop by 147 Wyndham Street North – Suite 404, Guelph.

Since 1975, Guelph Arts Council has been dedicated to supporting, stimulating and promoting arts and culture in Guelph. Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by The Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph. We also acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

The Heart of Vocamus Press

vocamus press


Jeremy Luke Hill is the heart of Vocamus Press. From his first foray into self-publishing a book for his children, to supporting those who came to him for help in their literary endeavors afterward, Hill and Vocamus Press have worked to make the literary arts and the publishing world accessible.

Vocamus Press has developed from Hill’s initial efforts into a multifaceted endeavor with both business and non-profit arms. There is Vocamus Press proper, which publishes works that contribute to the literary culture of the city of Guelph. There is also Vocamus Editions, an imprint of Vocamus Press, that promotes the literary heritage of Guelph. Then there are Vocamus Community Publications, which are books and articles that are published with the assistance of Vocamus Press on behalf of other authors and organizations in Guelph and the surrounding area. And finally, there’s Friends of Vocamus Press, a non-profit community organization that promotes local literary culture.

Hill explained the challenges of the publishing market. While it may seem that fewer books are being sold, in reality there are fewer books taking up more of the market. There is a great disparity between the dominating bestsellers and then the sheer number of micro-presses and independent publishers. “You have so much noise and oversaturation from one market,” explains Hill, which makes it very difficult for new or non-traditional artists to get exposure for their work. Vocamus Press works to create the middle ground and get the work of Guelph authors published and promoted at a high quality level. Hill noted, “If we give people a little bit of big-fish and small-pond time they are able to distinguish themselves and then go on to the traditional publishing industry.”

Hill explained that Guelph offers a unique opportunity for a strong literary community. Events like Eden Mills Writers Festival and Vocamus Press’s own Book Bash show a passion for the literary arts, and there is definitely no shortage of talent. Guelph is home to many of Canada’s best writers, the best selling children’s book author in Canada, Robert Munsch; the best selling Young Adult author in Canada, Eric Walters; a finalist for the 2015 Governor General's Literary Awards, Clifford Jackman; and the previous recipient of the Governor General's Award for fiction, Thomas King; among many other notable authors. Hill noted that he has heard Guelph described as a unique incubator space, because of the opportunities and resources here to for creatives to start their projects. However, more engagement and participation from the community at large is always needed.

The long-term dream for Hill and Vocamus Press is to create a literary arts space in Downtown Guelph at the street level. The building would have a partnered café or bar that is big enough to hold events and would specialize in launches and free readings, as well as selling locally published books. The second floor is envisioned as an office space for writers to hone their craft and where local micropublishers can pool resources and have access to equipment.

In the meantime, Hill and Vocamus Press are kept busy with their work and local literary happenings. Most notably, The Book Bash Festival is an annual celebration of Guelph books presented by Friends of Vocamus Press. It’s an afternoon of music and prizes and fun in recognition of books published by Guelph and area authors over the previous year.

The 2016 edition will be held from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Red Papaya Restaurant (55 Wyndham Street North) on Sunday, October 16. Over twenty local authors will be in attendance to introduce their books, sell copies, and mingle with the audience to chat and sign their work.

The event will be hosted by local culture maven Jen Rafter, and will include live music by teen musical phenom Madison Gallaway.

Book Bash 2016 will also be the launch event for The Rhapsody Anthology 2016, the annual collection of Guelph poetry and very short prose that Friends of Vocamus Press publishes to increase public awareness of Guelph authors.

Find more information here.

The Power of Telling Our Stories

By Lisa Browning

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. ~ Lucille Ball

Yes, this is true. Busy people, generally, know how to multi-task. We know how to prioritize and, in my case anyway, spreadsheets (or some similar organizational tool) are our best friend!

As a busy person, I try not to leave things until the last minute (although I find, perhaps to my detriment, that I function best under stress), but sometimes it happens.

Writing this article was one of those times. In the minutes before I began to write (on this, the day of my deadline), I took a few minutes in silence, to gather my thoughts … or, more accurately, to open the conduit through which the words that need to be written are often presented to me.

I am passionate about the power of telling our stories, and I have lived that passion through my business, One Thousand Trees, for the past six years. In October 2010, I published the first issue of an online monthly magazine (also called One Thousand Trees). Little did I know that this simple gesture of giving back would open the floodgates of self-expression, for me and for so many others.

Surrounding my subdivision is a trail through the woods, and I walk my dog on this trail every morning and evening. It is during those walks that most of my ideas come to me. And so it was, on one of these walks about five years ago, that I was thinking about the amazing articles that had been submitted for my magazine during its first year of publication. “Hmmm,” I thought, “maybe I should put a book together.” And so, the first anthology of women’s empowerment stories (Sharing: our stories, our selves, our success) was born. In that anthology, 24 women from across Canada, the United States and overseas told their personal stories of hope, courage, and triumph over adversity. I was amazed at the reaction, from both the writers and the readers of those stories.

I’ve come to realize that our experiences, our stories, are a map for expansion and growth.
By sharing our journey we can provide insights, offering hope and healing for others along the way.
Franziska Boon – Melbourne, Australia

A male friend, after reading a couple of the stories in that volume, suggested that I do a men’s volume. “Really?” I asked him.

“Well,” he replied, “the stories might have a different flavour than the women’s, but I think there’s a need for this.”

I had never thought of doing a men’s book, but was open to the possibility. “Are you going to write for me?” I asked my friend, telling myself that his answer would determine if I’d go ahead or not.

His answer was yes, and the first men’s volume was published in 2014.

Publishing these anthologies was an amazing experience. Among many other things, I learned about what I believe to be the fundamental difference between men and women today. The majority of the women who wrote for me indicated that the gift for them was the platform to tell their stories. The men, on the other hand, were grateful for the opportunity to be vulnerable.

I am very grateful for your book because it has offered men a place to share their personal stories
with the greater community. This is a rare offer and one that I hope continues to grow around the globe
so that more and more people can see that men are heart centred beings too and can be vulnerable.
This is a new story about men.
Grant Waldman – Duncan, British Columbia

After the first volume of Sharing was published, I started hosting Sharing Evenings, in which authors from the Sharing anthologies read excerpts from their stories, and answered questions from the audience.

A very powerful illustration of just how important, and empowering, that kind of sharing is happened during one of these evenings. Just before the evening was about to start, a man quietly slipped into the room, and sat by himself in the back row. Eyes darting back and forth, he made no eye contact with anyone. From his slightly dishevelled appearance, and obviousdiscomfort, I sensed immediately that this was a man who had experienced a difficult life.

Throughout the readings from the first two authors, he watched and listened intently. When the second author finished, he spoke. He talked of seeing people gunned down, and other atrocities he had witnessed, yet with an eloquence that I have rarely witnessed. “After listening to your stories,” he said, “I feel hope, for the first time in my life.”

Tears filled my eyes, as they did many others in the room. The power and the positive, uplifting energy in that room was palpable.

We never know how sharing our stories can connect us with another, and bring light to darkness, and hope where there was only hopelessness.

In 2013, I published the first children’s book, after being approached by a local author with a personal story about his pet. Part of that process involved working with a 10-year-old boy, Noah, who was asked to retell the original, “grown up” story for an audience of his peers. I was delighted with the result, and amazed at the fact that I had to do little, if any, editing. But more important to me was the effect this experience had on Noah.

Being involved in the Angel Project has forever changed my son Noah’s life. It has helped to raise his self-esteem and confidence, and given him an opportunity to feel proud of himself for what he has accomplished. Noah's grades have also steadily increased since the Angel Project. He also seems more outgoing and shows terrific leadership skills in initiating conversations and making new friends.
Michelle Nogueira re Noah Nogueira – Author, Angel Has Her Wings

I continue to publish my monthly magazine, the annual Sharing anthologies, and whatever children’s and other books I am asked to do, because I know, and have seen first-hand, how important it is to give others a vehicle through which they can be heard.

Lisa Browning is the creator of One Thousand Trees, the website and the magazine, and the sole proprietor of words along the path, offering writing, editing, and desktop publishing/pre-press services. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1988, and subsequently worked as an editor for over fifteen years. In recent years, she rediscovered her passion for writing, and has had essays and articles published in a variety of online and print magazines. No matter what she does, Lisa is inspired to make a difference in this world, and to help others realize their passion. For more information, visit her website.

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