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Guelph Arts Council Celebrates 2014 at AGM

by Patti Broughton

The GAC kicked off its 40th anniversary celebrations at its Annual General Meeting on May 21. Appropriate for a celebration was the venue, Royal City Brewery on Victoria Road. We discovered that our members were happy to join us in our excursion out of downtown, and that a couple of beer kegs make a great podium!

AGM 2015 photocred Angela Delodder

Photo credit: Angela Delodder

President Cynthia Kinnunen noted that GAC's long history of community involvement and support is thanks to the incredible energy and passion found in a truly artistic community. Despite some turnover in 2014 among staff and Board, numerous important activities took place. Cynthia thanked all GAC staff, Board and volunteers and noted specific achievements in 2014, including a fresh new look and website, as well as the complexities presented by the Creative Spaces project. She concluded by inviting members to get involved as Board, committee or event volunteers, in order to help GAC continue to support Guelph's arts community.

cynthia  AGM 2015 photocred Angela Delodder

Photo credit: Angela Delodder

The AGM was attended by Sonya Poweska, the GAC's Executive Director from 2012 to February 2015. Cynthia extended a very special thank-you to Sonya for all of her hard work and dedication to the GAC.

New Executive Director Patti Broughton shared a little bit about her background, described the GAC's activities during 2014, and thanked the GAC's Board, staff, members and supporters.

The official business of the meeting concluded with the election of the 2015 Board of Directors. All current members of the 2014 Board continue with their terms in 2015: Valerie Blackmore, Angela Delodder, Daniel Harland, Nan Hogg, Cynthia Kinnunen, Carla McLean, Ella Pauls (ex officio) and Perrin Valli. We extend a warm welcome to new Board and Executive Committee member Gabriella Vegvari, who joins GAC as Board Secretary.

Gabriella has lived in Guelph for 48 years and considers it her hometown, even if she wasn’t born here. She has worked at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 1999. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Waterloo, in history and music, as well as a Master of Arts degree in musicology from the University of Western Ontario. For most of her life her creativity has been expressed through piano and voice until almost six years ago, when she discovered new avenues of creative expression through stained and mosaic glass, as well as Saori-style weaving. Gabriella believes every person has a creative spark within themselves – discovering how to express it is the first part of a person’s artistic journey.

Welcome to the Guelph Arts Council team, Gabriella!

Missed the AGM? Contact us to request a hard or electronic copy of the 2014 Annual Report.

Vote by Proxy at our AGM on May 21 at Royal City Brewing Co.


If you can't make it to our AGM, please use our proxy form! Must be a Guelph Arts Council member to vote. You can become a member or renew your membership online at your convenience. We accept cheque and credit by mail, credit over the phone, cash in person, and PayPal or credit card online http://www.guelpharts.ca/index.php?option=com_osmembership&view=plans&id=1&Itemid=178

The Guelph Arts Council invites you to kick off its 40th Anniversary year.

2015 Annual General Meeting
Thursday, May 21
7 pm
Royal City Brewery
199 Victoria Road S
Followed by a Brewery Tour

In keeping with May’s Artful Pledge theme of Explore, we’re heading out of the downtown core to host our AGM at a new local business, Royal City Brewery. For a sneak peak of the brewery tour, check out royalcitybrew.ca

Also new is Patti Broughton, the Guelph Arts Council’s Executive Director. From St. Catharines via St. John’s, Patti is thrilled to be back in her home province and joining the Guelph arts community. Come out and meet Patti at the AGM.

Join us on May 21 for a little exploring, a little celebrating and a little brewing.

RSVP to (519) 836-3280 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All are welcome to become a Guelph Arts Council member at the meeting. Find out why you want to do that at guelpharts.ca/get-involved

Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award Recipient Grateful for Mentorship Opportunity

by Patti Broughton and Erica Gatten

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that one of the award recipients was Ed Video. This should have been Guelph Film Festival and has been updated.

Nathan Gatten wants youth to discover the value of arts mentorship within our community. To that end he applied for the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award, which he was honoured to receive, along with Guelph Film Festival and The Children's Art Factory, in December 2014.

The award made possible an enriching new series of free "Try-It" arts workshops for Guelph-Wellington youth with mentoring by Frances Hahn and Taylar Dobbie at STUDIOHERE in Fergus.

Each aspiring artist (aged 15 to 23) approached the mentorship with very specific, personal goals. Mentors Frances Hahn and Taylar Dobbie listened carefully, honouring these goals and presenting new opportunities. They expanded on skills in teaching sessions, then supplied each with one-to-one mentoring, arts materials for their individual projects as well as resources for related upcoming events to support and inspire each artist in continuing on their paths. Nathan spoke of his personal experiences with mentorship to the group and how it helped him grow as an artist and become a part of the arts community.

Based in Fergus, Nathan is an artist with strong roots in the Guelph-Wellington arts community. When a rare metabolic condition and autism spectrum limited his access to formal education, he discovered he was surrounded by a community rich with artistic mentorship opportunities. Artist friend and mentor Meredith Blackmore introduced Nathan to oil paint in 2010 and he found an open and evolving freedom in colour. His oil paintings encompass a wide range of subjects including beloved pets and Canadian wildlife, pop cultural icons, current events, and some near and distant landscapes. Nathan is excited to explore the merging of art and science in his new celestial series based on Hubble photographs.

Through his work with community mentors, Nathan has been able to connect with others by sharing his art in local cafés, businesses, public spaces and homes across Canada and the U.S. He encourages those feeling limited and isolated to continue to find ways to reach out with hope and creativity.

In order to thank those involved in the GAC Youth Opportunities Award project, Nathan was inspired to inquire about taking out an ad in the Wellington Advertiser. Rather than take his money, the paper recognized Nathan’s success as a great story, and featured a story and article in the paper: http://www.wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/index.cfm?articleID=25890

Nathan extends special thanks to the Guelph Arts Council and project partner and friend Meredith Blackmore and STUDIOHERE in Fergus, for their generous support and dedicated efforts. Meredith’s mentorship set him on his path and inspired his vision for this project.

He also gratefully acknowledges Judith Rosenberg for her ongoing faith and confidence as well as his family, 10 Carden and all who create possibilities for a more diverse, vibrant and resilient arts community. He hopes to support more unique opportunities for arts mentorship and shared experiences within his community in 2015.


Nathan Gatten's art may be seen at the Eden Mills Arts Festival May 23 & 24 (11am - 5pm) along with a showcase of many other visual artists, and dance and musical performances. Free admission. edenmillsartsfestival.com

A Warm Welcome to Our New Executive Director, Patti Broughton!

The Guelph Arts Council's Board of Directors is pleased to announce the successful completion of its Executive Director search, and welcomes Patti Broughton to the role.

"We're thrilled to have someone with Patti's skills join our organization. She brings experience as a cultural manager and communications professional to the role, as well as a passion for the arts," says Board Chair Cynthia Kinnunen. "As we begin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of GAC, we look forward to promoting the achievements of GAC and the arts community with Patti, and focusing on our bright future."

Patti is a cultural manager and public relations specialist born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario. She holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, with a specialization in Arts Administration, and a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations from Niagara College. She began her Masters of Business Administration at Memorial University in St. John's and will continue this fall at Laurier University.

In her 20-year career, Patti has held positions with Centre for the Arts - Brock University, Shaw Festival and St. Catharines & Area Arts Council. Most recently, she managed the Colony of Avalon Foundation, a cultural tourism site in Ferryland, Newfoundland. Her professional interests include not-for-profit governance, finance, programming, public relations and fund development.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with the Guelph Arts Council's Board of Directors, staff and membership to lead one of Canada's most established community arts councils into the future" explains Patti. "I look forward to working with Guelph's artists and arts supporters to ensure a culturally vibrant city, and to getting to know and working with new colleagues in the community, business and government sectors."

Welcome, Patti!

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