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What's on in October

October is one of the best months of the year. The summer seems reluctant to depart, and there's every reason to grab a friend or strike out on your own to enjoy some cultural and artistic fun offered by our members.


Bums in seats

Don't miss the first annual Guelph Fringe Festival!

The majority of the performances will be held at the Guelph Black Heritage Society (83 Essex St), with one at To Be Determined Theatre Co.(123 Woolwich). With six different plays, each performed several times over the weekend, you'll definitely be able to catch something. Guelph Fringe Festival is “unjuried, uncensored and open to all voices.” Currently run by 100% volunteer power, the festival passes on 100% ticket proceeds the artists. Part of their mandate is also to champion audiences, keeping ticket prices to $10. They are still looking for volunteer ushers and ticket takers so please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Some of the performances include true stories, such as BorderLine Me, by award-winning artist Robin Zee, which ”tells the affective story of how Robin Zee overcame a childhood of abuse and human trafficking, liberating herself from all of the labels imposed on her as a result of her past.”Veronica Appia- The Theatre Reader Magazine

Another must-see is the two-nights only Fringe Double Feature, Two Shows for $10:

By Paul Hutcheson


By Zabrina Chevannes

Kevin Nunn, director of Guelph Fringe, says Fringe Fest can be like a “treasure hunt. Fringes are much sought-after opportunities for artists, and they bring their best performances to these shows.” Go to Fringe, keep an open mind, and you never know what you'll discover! It could be the next big thing, and you have the chance to see it for only $10. See full lineup here https://www.facebook.com/guelphfringe/events?key=events

There's a lot going on at the River Run Centre - have a browse and make some plans.

Guelph Chamber Choir is still offering season tickets. Did you know that tickets for students and people under 30 are only $10? Their soaring voices will give you goosebumps!

Guelph Youth Singers are joined by Suzuki String School of Guelph and SATB (SopranoAltoTenorBass) to kick off their 30th Anniversary celebrations with "Heartstring" on October 25 http://guelpharts.ca/event/heartstring



Shoes on feet

Guests coming for Thanksgiving? Walk off that turkey on Sunday afternoon, and show off Guelph to your friends and relatives. You'll learn a secret or two about the history of this town, to be sure. This is your last chance to go on a Guelph Arts Council Historical Walking Tour in 2015. Catch Tour V: Brooklyn and the College Hill this Sunday October 4, and Tour VI: Ward One Guelph the following Sunday, October 11. Tours meet at 2 p.m. and last about 2 hours. Cost is $5 for person. Tour V meets at 108 Water Street (John McCrae House), and Tour VI meets at Tytler School. For tour descriptions see http://guelpharts.ca/gac-programming#walkingtours

Take the Guelph Studio Tour this month, and discover local art and artists in their natural environment. October 16-18, 2015. These people are fantastically skilled, and so friendly. You'll never regret an outing to the Studio Tour. This yearthey feature an incredible set of 42 local artists opening their doors, putting their work out there to be discovered, and their faces out there to meet and greet you. Go, ask questions, get behind the scenes, and take home some beautiful work! Although thankfully the carols have yet to strike up in the shopping centres, it is not too early to pick up a present for the loved ones, or even a present for yourself.
Keep an eye out for new HATCH artists exhibiting in Downtown Guelph.


Day trippin'

Fall is the perfect time for a weekend jaunt to a nearby village. Grayce Perry is holding an open studio in beautiful nearby Elora,

The Elora Fergus Studio Tour is on this coming weekend, and features many artists from Guelph and Wellington County http://guelpharts.ca/event/elora-fergus-studio-tour-2

Guelph artist and educator Grazyna Adamska-Jarecka will be showing her work at Homer Watson Gallery in Kitchener. Join the artist for her opening or closing events for a more intimate and involved experience, or drop in during gallery hours http://guelpharts.ca/event/echoes-of-growth-art-exhibition

Local artists Nancy Farrell, Barbara Shaw and Barbara Bryce present a month-long exhibition of painting and glass, INTRIGUE3, at the Bartlett Gallery in the beautiful Alton Mill.


Get your groove on

Visit Silence for an evening show, or start your week right by joining them for Monday Morning Music. You can even see an exhibition of visual art while you're there.


Feast your eyes

Guelph Arts Council's visual artist members show off their work at Guelph Civic Museum during Wall of Art: Celebrate, running October 6-January 10. Wall of Art is a quarterly juried exhibition of GAC members. Artists are paid exhibitor fees, and the work is displayed for three months, including a Fourth Fridays opening which is free to attend.

The newly renovated Art Gallery of Guelph boasts four fascinating exhibitions in addition to their ART/CRAFT show, which is a fundraiser featuring work for sale by prominent local artists. Get collecting!

In its 67th year, Expressions is a juried art show and public exhibition held each fall by the Guelph Creative Arts Association. Enjoy fine examples of paintings, photography and craft artistry.

Last chance to see Brenna Stalford at renann isaacs contemporary gallery


Hone your skills or learn something brand new

Life Drawing Days, Young Artists 1&2, , and other classes from Guelph School of Art.



October is truly a month to Engage and Celebrate!

It is the year of anniversaries! As we celebrate our 40th here at GAC, and Guelph Youth Singers Celebrate 25, Guelph Studio Tour turns a grand 30 years old.

We encourage you to support and celebrate our local artists and our cultural economy by going out and enjoying what's on offer, buying a ticket, bringing a friend, or taking home a piece of art that’s within your means.

To celebrate its 25th, GYS is having a party and YOU are on the guest list

by Guelph Youth Singers

Guelph Youth Singers turns 25 this year. Where has all the time gone! It all began in 1991 when Guelph Youth Singers (GYS – also initially known as Guelph Children’s Singers) was formed, as a joint project of Guelph Arts Council and the Guelph Chamber Music Society. Comprised of four main auditioned choirs and several specialized choral groups, GYS brings together children and youth ages 6 to 19+ for a musical adventure like no other. The GYS program as a whole provides choristers with weekly instruction in vocal technique, music theory, sight singing and choral choreography. In addition, participation in up to five major concerts each year, workshops and competitions and, almost every season, a tour or exchange for the senior choir. The program is demanding and the commitment of choristers and their families is substantial. The results, however, are priceless.


2884 GYS 30 by Dean Palmer

Photo by Dean Palmer, courtesy of Guelph Youth Singers


“I received such an exceptional musical education with GYS. From sight-reading, harmonizing, performing and technique, I learned about dedication, precision and execution.” (GYS alumna)

In addition to the comprehensive educational and musical experience these choristers receive, there are less tangible but equally important aspects of social development, community and confidence building. They are gaining skills that transfer into real-life scenarios outside of music, skills that alumni speak of extensively when asked about their GYS experience. Its existence adds richness and beauty to our community, our province, and our country.

Under GYS Founder and Artistic Director, Linda Beaupré – one of the most respected musical educators and conductors in Canada – the choir evolved into a high-quality, artistically and musically respected choral ensemble for youth in Guelph and area. Linda crafted a program that built musicianship, music literacy and community alongside developing a joy for singing.

Upon Linda’s retirement in 2013, one of Canada’s most dynamic choral leaders, Markus Howard, took over as artistic director, conductor and choreographer for GYS. The choir’s excitement is electric as we move into this next phase of an incredible musical journey. Markus brings to GYS his extensive background as a conductor, educator, and adjudicator. His work with world-class musicians, including the Canadian Opera Company and numerous professional choirs, as well as his talent working with musical theatre and jazz, brings a fresh perspective to the choir. GYS is energized to be evolving as this new musical direction adds another fantastic layer to an already well-established ensemble.


2884 GYS 16 by Dean Palmer

Photo by Dean Palmer, courtesy of Guelph Youth Singers


To celebrate its 25th, GYS is having a party and YOU are on the guest list. Join us in the season-long festivities as we celebrate our favourite music from the past quarter century, and blaze a musical trail of new melodies and lyrics that will have you coming back for the next 25 years. Guest artists, newly commissioned music, spectacular collaborations, alumni participation and many more surprises highlight a year that will leave you breathless. Join these amazing young musicians as they sing their hearts out and remind us why Guelph Youth Singers is a cornerstone in the musical life of our community. You don’t want to miss the party!

Here’s what to expect:

Concert One: “Heartstring,” Sunday, October 25, 2015, 3 p.m. at Dublin Street United Church

Harrow Fair, with Miranda Mulholland (Great Lake Swimmers, Belle Star) and Andrew Penner (Sunparlour Players), and string players from Suzuki String School of Guelph will join GYS Choir III and SATB Choir (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in a fresh melding of voices and strings.

Concert Two: “Snowforms,” Saturday, December 5, 2015, 7 p.m., Harcourt Memorial United Church

Markus Howard, artistic director & conductor, and Heather Fleming, Choir I conductor, will showcase all GYS choirs in our annual Winter concert. The perfect way to start off the holiday season and set the stage for a happy 2016.

Concert Three: “Honour Song,” Sunday, February 21, 2016, 3 p.m., The Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Excellence, Tech Hall

A new musical partnership and friendship for Guelph Youth Singers with the Wiiji Numgumook Kwe Drum Circle will highlight Canadian Aboriginal music and culture and introduce our singers and audience to a previously unexplored sound, rhythm and repertoire.

Concert Four: “The Mythical Forest,” Sunday, April 3, 2016, 3 p.m. Guelph Youth Music Centre

Markus Howard, will write, direct and conduct this special children’s concert to be performed by GYS I and II choristers. Costumes and props will add drama, excitement and fun to this production, which will be a favourite for our young singers.

Concert Five (the Finale): “Bountiful: A 25th Celebration,” Saturday, May 28, 2016, 7 p.m. River Run Centre

This 25th Anniversary Spring Concert will both honour our foundation and usher GYS into the next 25 years. The concert will also feature a performance with GYS alumni.

Don’t Miss a Performance (this is a special season)!

Only $99 for all 5 performances. It’s like attending one concert for free! Tickets are available to the public on October 1 at the River Run box office: 519-763-3000, riverrun.ca. Single Ticket Prices: $25/Adult; $20/Senior & Student and $5/eyeGO

How to Make Your Vote Count for the Arts

by Katie Wilde

Editorial by Jennifer Joiner

This is a two-part article. The first half provides information on the current election, including: why the arts should matter to voters and candidates, how to take action as a citizen, parties' positions on arts and culture, and the local candidates' contact information.

The second part is an editorial by local artist Jennifer Joiner, which provides some insight into the issues facing artists and the sector at large.

The Canadian Arts Coalition has put together a Toolkit to help any and all citizens engage with this issue, and to help bring arts issues to the forefront of the election and build awareness in the politicians who represent us. The toolkit offers useful contact information, sample letters, social media primers, arts facts, and is very easy to use.

What can I do?

  1. Make sure you're registered to vote, know where your polling station is, and make plans to vote early or get to your station on time. http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx
  1. Know your candidates and their parties' positions on the arts. We've summarized the responses gathered by the CAC below.
  1. Ask your MP candidates to commit to the arts, to fight for culture in the federal budget, and to speak up to their party leaders on your behalf. Send them a letter, email, or tweet (samples provided in toolkit) to remind them that, if they are to represent you, they should represent your values - and you've made them aware that arts and culture matter to you.
    Not sure how to start the conversation? Here are some questions you can ask your candidates.

Help yourself to this social media primer from CAC.

The Canada Conference for the Arts also provides information, infographics, tips, and ArtsVote buttons. We have some in the office, come pick them up free during office hours!


Think the arts are just a 'nice-to-have', and not an important election issue? Could you say the same about issues of economics, health, society, children, or public safety?

Think again.


Culture is an ECONOMIC issue.

  • The arts made the government three times as much money in taxes as they spent on the arts.
  • GDP: Culture is a larger contributor to the GDP than the accommodation and food industry, and the agriculture and forestry industry.



Culture is an issue of PUBLIC SAFETY.

  • You are far more likely to become a victim of local crime than terrorism. Investments in your own community often depend on federal arts funding to create and sustain arts programs for criminal offenders, at-risk youth, and victims of crime. These programs help to foster positive behaviour and coping skills, creating a safer Canada for all.

Arts Education for At-Risk Youth results in Better Academic Outcomes, Higher Career Goals, and More Civic Engagement: http://arts.gov/news/2012/new-nea-research-report-shows-potential-benefits-arts-education-risk-youth#sthash.1i6AgiLm.dpuf

"According to the 2009 GSS, about 7.4 million Canadians, or just over one-quarter of the population aged 15 years and older, reported being a victim of a criminal incident in the preceding 12 months." "In 2013, four individuals were arrested on terrorism-related charges in Canada... Both alleged plots were detected sufficiently early that there was never a risk to the public." http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2010002/article/11340-eng.htm#a



Culture is an issue of CHILDREN, education, and our future.

  • Citizens who are children now "will soon be leading Canada’s growth in terms of cultural, social and economic development"
  • more funding in the arts means parents and schools will have more opportunities, and be better able to afford to give children formative experiences in the arts which instill:
  1. discipline
  2. learning skills
  3. better brain function (cognition, language, math, critical thinking)
  4. teamwork
  5. responsibility
  • Mitigate the 'risk' in 'at-risk youth', and give every child a chance



Culture is an issue of HEALTH.

People who attend arts activities have been shown to be significantly healthier,(4) have lower anxiety and be less subject to depression. (5)

  • preventative measures reduce the burden on our health care system
  • happier, healthier individuals contribute to more positive family, school, and workplace environments

http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2011/05/04/jech.2010.113571 http://www.hillstrategies.com/content/arts-health-and-well-being


Culture is a SOCIAL issue.

"The arts are how we speak to each other across our vast geography. Our arts and cultural organizations express the Canadian values of diversity, tolerance and multiculturalism. They are a critical building block as Canadian children build shared citizenship and understand one another." http://www.canadianartscoalition.com/resources/society-and-the-arts

The arts are a critical avenue to

  • Indigenous voices
  • understanding our history, our identity, and informing the direction of our future
  • free speech and social justice
  • multiculturalism
  • providing a support system for people living with any degree of poverty or mental health issues


"There are many ways to find out about a given party’s stance with regards to arts and culture. You may explore their past policies, you may scan past statements. You can also ask direct questions to parties and candidates."- CAC

The Canadian Arts Coalition has provided a summary of party responses to five important questions about the future of arts in Canada, which we repost with permission here. We have inserted the name and contact information of each local candidate below their party. This information along with the toolkit is available to help you reach out to the candidates.


Green Party of Canada

The Green Party’s Strong Communities platform was released on September 9. Its main commitment is to reverse the $117-million cut to CBC/Radio-Canada, and to invest an additional $168-million and $315 million every year thereafter to rebuild the CBC and Radio-Canada’s local coverage and capacity. Other elements of the platform are more detailed the Green Party’s answers to the Coalition’s questionnaire.

In its answers to the Coalition, the Green Party supports all recommendations from the Coalition’s last pre-budget brief, including a gradual increase of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Parliamentary appropriation. The Green Party commits to increase the CBC budget and guarantees funding for the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada. The Green Party also proposes to explore tax measures for professional artists and to guard our cultural sovereignty in trade negotiations.

In addition to answering the Coalition’s questionnaire, the Green Party also provided a short video from their spokesperson on Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Jo-Ann Roberts.

Read the answers

View the video


Gord Miller - Green

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Conservative Party of Canada

The Conservative Party has not yet provided answers to the Coalition’s questions. If you talk to your Conservative candidate, consider asking him/her about the Coalition’s questions.

For more information, you may also:

Gloria Kovach - Conservative



New Democratic Party

In its answers to the Coalition’s questions, the NDP says it is aware of the need to invest in the Canada Council and in market access, and intends to clarify its positions in its full platform. The NDP’s answer on the CBC is quite elaborate: it includes a commitment to cancel the $115 million cuts and iterates the party’s track record with regards to support to the CBC.

Read the answers

For more information, you may also:


Andrew Seagram
500 Willow Road


Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal Party promised $380 million in its cultural platform, released, on September 22. The Liberal Party proposes to double investment to the Canada Council for the Arts to $360 million per year from $180 million, to invest $150 million in new annual funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, to restore international cultural promotion programs, and to increase funding for Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board by $25 million per year.

In its answers to the Coalition’s questionnaire, the Liberal Party proposes to exercise leadership in market development, in partnership with Canada Council for the Arts and targeted departmental programs. It proposes to undertake a review of the Broadcasting Act and the Copyright Act. The Liberal Party also has detailed plans for the CBC, including the reversal of the $115-million cuts. Other areas of interest for the Liberal Party include cultural infrastructures, fiscal measures for artists, the Copyright Board, the audiovisual sector, Library and Archives, museums, as well as a commitment to re-establish the long-form census.

Read the answers

For more information, you may also:


Lloyd Longfield
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.218 Silvercreek Parkway North
Unit 21
Guelph, ON
N1H 8E8



Tonight, the local candidates debate hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce will be held at Cutten Fields from 6-9 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. It will also be broadcast live on Rogers television. http://www.guelphchamber.com/attend/event_calendar/#id=1493&cid=119&wid=701

Artists are the professionals bringing to society all the benefits outlined above. Let's remember how difficult it can be to make a living in this field, and why we need the support of our federal government to sustain the health of the individuals working in this broad sector. Below is an editorial from a local artist, who shares her perspective on the issue of government support for artists.

"Creative people exist in every corner in society. We admire exploration of the hypothetical. We enjoy seeing successes that come from figuring out new ways of working. Societal support of the arts through government is an engine for opportunities for creative minds to realize explorations. Yet arts support is less sustained than for other sectors, such as industry, health, and science, where results seem more pragmatic. This appeal to politicians is to show support for the arts sector is also pragmatic.

We know we need our poets, songwriters, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, composers, writers, painters. What is the nature of that need? A musician once said to “Sing for the song.” It is everything. And so a song is invented, or reinterpreted, and lyrics can call back old days or give meaning to today. The song can be beautiful, terrifying, comforting, joyful, or melancholic. We think of song as culture, an expression of us. We derive our sense of our place in the world from our culture.

We get a lot out of what artists do. We go to concerts, plays, movies, art shows, museums. But as much as we appreciate artists, the majority are primarily supported by their families and jobs outside of their training. Very few can make a livable income from their art, even when able to derive some income from collectors, fans, occasional grants, fellow artists, and the few arts jobs available. Realistic support for the arts must be both a public and private matter. Consistent government support for cultural institutions and directly for individual artists is hugely important. Artists are workers in a money-economy. Artists’ rights are to be recognized:on the right to be paid, on decent wages, on copyright, on small business assistance.

Making it in Canada is possible but there are some significant barriers, such as the too-small secondary market (even primary) for visual artists, or the poor investment and distribution/market of feature films. Canadians rarely see their stories in popular film, or even documentaries now. Well-known musicians can be busy performing in a good year, win awards, and still only just manage to make a modest living. Government support for such institutions as opera, ballet, the symphony, art museums, and post-secondary art departments do keep many Canadian artists employed and engaged with their fields, which always requires an international give and take to be at the top of their art. Just as for the elite athletes in the recent Pan Am Games, Canada is wealthy enough and interested enough to help talented people train to a high level in the arts.

Canada has many good novelists, poets, musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, playwrights, filmmakers - most making ends meet with outside jobs, or living low, but producing. Artists tend to be even better with more sustained careers. Necessary to a high level of work today is to be engaged beyond our borders. But we are nevertheless a secondary nation still looking to New York and other major arts centres who set the pace. For example, too few of even our established, well-known visual artists can sell to collectors outside our country. To engage with and to compete in an international context, Canadian artists need their government to bump them up into view.

The appeal to you, our political representatives, is to understand and recognize the arts as well as you do other sectors in our country. It is an industry of course, generating income directly and also in tourism. The arts help us understand each other, to live in equanimity, and also to create a Canadian way of interacting on this globe. Please remember and act with the knowledge that the arts in Canada are vulnerable."

Jennifer Joiner, Artist

Guelph Arts Council invites artists to apply for Round 2 of HATCH [pop-up art-space]

Guelph, ON – September 10, 2015 - In partnership with City of Guelph, Downtown Renewal and Downtown Guelph Business Association, Guelph Arts Council invites professional and emerging artists to apply for the second round of HATCH [pop-up art-space], a creative spaces project that connects artists with free temporary art spaces around downtown Guelph.

Properties donated in this round include window exhibition and installation spaces at Market Commons, the former Guelph Jewellers, Budd's Department Store, and 10 Carden.

"The HATCH project brings life to storefronts in transition," says Marty Williams, Executive Director of the Downtown Guelph Business Association. "I love the sense of whimsy, the clever re-use and re-imagining of what has been and what might be. It adds another element, another colour to the Downtown Guelph palate. It is the antithesis of boring old craft-paper-covered windows."

Each Artist Application will be juried and successful applicants will be matched with an appropriate and available space for approximately 30 days. Artists will be provided with free space and paid artist and installation fees. Permitted uses and available dates for each property will vary - details are included in the online application.

The deadline for applications is Monday, September 21, 11:59pm. Successful applicants will be notified September 24-25, 2015. Projects will be installed in the first week of October.

Application Deadline: Monday, September 21, 11:59pm.

Apply Online: www.guelpharts.ca/hatch-pop-up-art-space

For more information artists may contact: Melissa Gobeil, Project Coordinator, Guelph Arts Council, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 519-836-3280 (office)

HATCH [pop-up art-space] is supported by The Elevator Project, Guelph Community Foundation - Musagetes Fund, 10 Carden, City of Guelph, Ed Video and Hunch Manifest.

For 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 (OAC), an agency of the Government of Ontario, which last year funded 1,737 individual artists and 1,095 organizations in 223 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.1 million.


For more information, contact:

Guelph Arts Council
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or call 519-836-3280

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