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F*ck Perfect – Creating Brave Spaces at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word

By Garreth Arenburg-Duchesne

This year’s Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) took place in Guelph from October 13 - 19. As part of the festival, Guelph Arts Council partnered with Art Not Shame to run a F*ck Perfect workshop. This collaborative art-making experience is typically offered as a 13-week program that has been co-created by Michelle Peek founder of Art Not Shame, a non-profit community based arts organization in Guelph.

Michelle has a passion for both mental health advocacy and for the arts. When interviewing Michelle, I asked her what the values of the organizations are, she responded “one thing that’s really important for (Art Not Shame) is knowing that no space is truly safe for everyone, we strive for a safer space, a brave space, an anti-racist space, a space for all abilities, genders, sexualities, body shapes and sizes, and above all space to practice radical self-love where we can learn and un-learn together.”

Michelle Peek. Founder of Art Not Shame, a non-profit community based arts organization in Guelph.
Photo credit, Nik MacMillan

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Guelph Chamber Choir's New Artistic Director Charlene Pauls Delighted With First Concert

By Brenda Lewis

"I felt the positive energy in the room, and felt buoyed by the music throughout the afternoon." 

These are the words of Charlene Pauls, Guelph Chamber Choir (GCC)'s new Artistic Director after conducting the well-established choir and their guest artists for the concert "Bob Chilcott's Five Days That Changed The World and Other Works" on the bright, lovely stage of Harcourt Memorial United Church last Sunday afternoon, October 27th.

Charlene Pauls GCC conductor2
Charlene Pauls, Guelph Chamber Choir's New Artistic Director. Photo Credit, Sandra Pitts

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Meet the Artists Behind Guelph Arts Council Fall/Winter Exhibition Series

By Garreth Arenburg-Duchesne

Guelph Arts Council has a wonderful lineup of Fall/Winter exhibitions by members Judith Elsasser, Brian Johnston, and Jay Lefler from November through to December at 10C Shared Space. The series of exhibitions highlights themes of people, portraits, and peers. We wanted to learn more about their art practice and share what inspires them as artists and facilitators.  Through e-mail correspondence and sit-down conversations, here’s what all three artists had to say.

What is Art Oil on Canvas 30x42 inches
Painting by Judith Elsasser. Courtesy of the artist.

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“Late Nites with Guelphites” at Folk Music Ontario Conference

by Doris Folkens

The Folk Music Ontario Conference is an annual event that brings together people from around the world to celebrate Canada’s folk music industry. This includes artists, concert promoters/presenters, media, festival artistic directors, music publicists, music industry organizations, and anyone else involved or interested in folk music.

At the 2019 conference, local Guelph musicians hosted a private showcase (in a hotel room) for the first time, taking the opportunity to promote our own talent on a national/international stage. Guelph is home to a number of accomplished and award-winning musicians, and this venue promoted ours as a music city. The room was decorated with Guelph-related swag: Hillside Festival posters, “I heart downtown Guelph” T-shirts, vintage books, and toques. Thanks to some wonderful local businesses, we were able to offer our patrons complimentary beverages (from Laza Catering and Wellington Brewery), as well as the hugely popular “Honorary Guelphite” buttons (donated by Silence), and we did our part as responsible Guelph citizens by setting up recycle bins up and down the hallway of the hotel.

Jane Tannis Laura photo credit Shari Campbell
Jane, Tannis and Laura. Photo credit: Shari Campbell

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