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How to Start Your Career in the Arts? Making Community Connections

by Fan-Ling Suen

As an emerging artist, starting a career in the arts can be both exhilarating and daunting.  Becoming a professional artist is tough. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016 only 35% of women aged 25-34 with a Bachelor's Degree in Art found a job that matched their studies.

One of the challenges of being a young artist today is often that your career path does not take a particularly conventional route. One of the potentials perks of being a professional artist is having more control over shaping your career path, but how to start begs its own question.

This is where mentorship programs can play an important role in supporting emerging artists in the beginning stages of their career. The mentor and mentee relationship formed between an established and emerging artist is not only an invaluable experience for both parties, but also an important piece in building and strengthening an intergenerational community of local artists.

To share first-hand experience of the important role mentorship plays in the arts, we asked KIAM –Guelph artist duo and business owners of Art in the Ward, to share a few words about their past experience as mentors in the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project – a joint program between Guelph Arts Council and the University of Guelph.

KIAM. Amanda left and Kiel Wilson Ciocci right resized

Amanda & Kiel (KIAM) Wilson-Ciocci

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Walking Tours, Workshops & More

Doors Open Guelph and the AGM + Sharefest are just the beginning of Guelph Arts Council’s programming this spring. Get ready to fill up your calendar and invite your friends!

Historical Walking Tours begin Sunday, April 28

On the same weekend as Doors Open Guelph, Guelph Arts Council launches its 2019 season of Historical Walking Tours. The tours begin on Sunday April 28 at 2 pm with Where Guelph Began, which leaves from Juice Inc., 25 Waterloo Ave., at the corner of Dublin Street. Cost is $5/person in cash to the guide, or online through the guelpharts.ca event calendar. New this year: buy a six-tour pass (valid on any dates) and get one tour free.

Guelph Museum at night

Guelph Civic Museum at Night; Photo courtesy of Guelph Museums - Kyle Rodriguez

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Annie Sumi Kicks Off Doors Open Weekend

by Preetam Sengupta

As we look forward to Doors Open this weekend, we spotlight an artist that will be helping to kick it off with her concert at the Guelph Civic Museum for Fourth Friday. Fourth Friday will lead right into Doors Open After Dark, a free event is aimed at creating opportunities to connect, explore and engage the community with history in unique ways. Visit guelphmuseums.ca for the full line-up for this art-filled and interactive evening.

In 2016, when Annie Sumi was deciding where she wanted to live, she was given the advice to check out Guelph by her good friend (local musician and GAC member) Tannis Slimmon. In doing so, she discovered a lovely couple who were looking for a tenant to help with chores on their urban farm, so there began Annie’s life in our Royal City, feeding chickens...and writing beautiful music.

Annie Sumi

Photo by Fraser Parkes

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Guelph Arts Council Launches Historical Walking Tours Season

Guelph, ON – April 25, 2019 – On the same weekend as Doors Open Guelph, Guelph Arts Council launches its 2019 season of Historical Walking Tours. The tours begin on Sunday April 28 at 2 pm with Where Guelph Began, which leaves from Juice Inc., 25 Waterloo Ave., at the corner of Dublin Street. Cost is $5/person in cash to the guide, or online through the guelpharts.ca event calendar. New this year: buy a six-tour pass (valid on any dates) and get one tour free.

For over thirty years, Guelph Arts Council has promoted the cultural heritage of Guelph by offering six different walking tours on selected Sundays from April to October (excluding July). Delivered by a dedicated group of volunteer heritage enthusiasts, the tours are an opportunity for tourists and locals to learn about Guelph’s history while taking in the beautiful architectural and natural features of the city.

Available on each tour, and at Guelph Arts Council, The Bookshelf, and Guelph Civic Museum are tour-specific booklets of historical information and architectural drawings, perfect for self-guided tours and keepsakes. The booklets are $5 each. Downloadable booklets are also available.

Each tour starts at 2 pm and runs approximately two hours. Tours run rain or shine, with cancellations only in extreme weather. For tour dates, descriptions and departure locations, please view our PDF brochure.

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 519-836-3280 to arrange a private, customized tour perfect for your club, students, or business group. All proceeds benefit Guelph Arts Council.

Historical Walking Tours are sponsored by Sleeman Breweries and Downtown Guelph Business Association.

About Guelph Arts Council:
For over forty years, 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.

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