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Join Us for a Brewery Tour… and our Annual General Meeting

(Because what meeting wouldn’t be improved by beer?!)

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

April Artful Pledge Update: Volunteer!

by Sonya Poweska, Melissa Gobeil, and Katie Wilde

In their article, Volunteers and Donors in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2010 , Hill Strategies reports that in 2010, 764,000 volunteers contributed approximately 97 million hours of their time to support the work for arts and culture organizations. This amazing contribution of time not only allows organizations like Guelph Arts Council do our work, it also helps create a bridge between our organization and the community.

You may not know that our Board of Directors is made up entirely of volunteers who give their time and expertise to our organization. We also have volunteers helping the in the office with resources, and other arts admin, as well as renewing and revitalising underused space, and assisting us to run major events.

As in previous years, our recent crew of over 100 Doors Open Guelph volunteers were incredible! Welcoming locals and visitors from out of town, guiding them through the sites with tales of history, community, and creativity, they made this free community event happen, and we couldn’t have done it without them.


Melissa Gobeil

While I am not an active volunteer in this community at the moment, I have experienced the benefit of working closely with an amazing group of volunteers while working with the Guelph Arts Council (GAC).

In addition to our recent work with the incredible Doors Open Guelph volunteers, the steady and ongoing support of GAC’s volunteer Board of Directors is a constant reminder that spaces, projects and organizations are fueled by a shared passion, and given lift by the innate generosity of spirit seen amongst these volunteers. Volunteers lend their expertise, time and other precious resources to bring incredible feats to life and it feels about time for me to join their ranks again.

My own volunteerism took place in my twenties when I worked with children in Peru, India, and Ghana; and while I’ve had a long respite, it feels about time to kick something more local into gear. I’m not sure how it is going to look exactly, but I do look forward to finding a group whose work resonates and seeing what I can do to lend a helping hand


Katie Wilde

Although I was sad to have to give up my regular weekly volunteer shift at 10 Carden, I am pleased to still be involved helping the rotating community art program run while the original coordinator is on leave.

When I first moved to Guelph just over a year ago, I hardly knew a soul, and didn’t have a job besides my own work as an artist (not exactly lucrative enough to live on just yet). I needed to find out where the people were! Through the Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington, I came across the Host position at 10 Carden, whose motto is “Creating Space for Change”. I have met so many wonderful people through my volunteer work there, from the other volunteers, to the co-workers, event attendees, members, and staff.

It’s been an honour to assist the art program coordinator, and a pleasure to work with the artists who bring in new work each month. Volunteering is a great way to build skills and relationships, while building community.

If you’d like to know more about 10 Carden’s art program, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Celebrating 30 Years of Guelph Studio Tour on guelpharts.ca

By Katie Wilde

This year, the Guelph Studio Tour celebrates 30 successful years. Since 1985, Guelph artists have breathed life and warmth into one crisp autumn weekend each year, by opening their studio doors to the public. Each year, new artists are juried into the Studio Tour group, alongside artists who are long-time members and have become staples of the tour. In 2014, forty diverse and talented artists opened their studio doors.

If you've never been on the Guelph Studio Tour, let Chelsey Rae Hooker, a volunteer with Guelph Arts Council, tell you what it's like:

"To see a piece of artwork hanging in a gallery is lovely. You can appreciate the techniques applied, the subtle nuances, the medium used, and contemplate which pieces speak to you in some profound and personal way. To see artwork within an artist's studio however, you learn so much more about the person who created it. The entire setting is essentially a reflection of their personality and their process as an artist that has taken years to develop. To anyone who has never taken part in the Guelph Studio Tours, I urge you to come out and meet these wonderful individuals in person. I can honestly say that the artists I met throughout the day were kind, welcoming, and genuine people and we should all devote a little more time to supporting them, even if that just means coming out and shaking their hand at an event. To all the artists who opened their doors to the public, I simply would like to say thank you."

Many members of the Studio Tour are also members of Guelph Arts Council. We will be celebrating our mutual cultural treasures this year, by featuring Studio Tour members on the front page of guelpharts.ca. We encourage you to visit regularly to discover new artists throughout the year. Click on the mini profile to see more works by the artist, and discover who they are. Then, in the fall, go on the Studio Tour and wish them a Happy 30th Birthday!



March: Learn! An Artful Pledge Update

In 2015, the staff here at Guelph Arts Council aremaking a commitment to stand behind the arts and support the production of creativity, artistic activity, and the cultural sector here in Guelph. Each and every month, we will invite you to join us as we make a pledge to support our community by investing our time and resources into the sector that we know and love.

Don't forget that April is Volunteer and we need you, Guelph!


March was Learn. Here's an update from staff on what Learn meant to us:


Melissa Gobeil, Creative Spaces Coordinator

Your brain is plastic. Well, not exactly made of plastic, but it is flexible nonetheless! Modern research tells us that our brains are malleable organs that continue to grow new neural pathways throughout our lives as we learn and experience new things. We’ve also learned that because of this plasticity, we can heal our brains too.

When we embark upon learning something new and bump up against mental walls, it means we are on the path to learning! That frustration that you feel when learning something new feels too hard, means that you are in the process of making new pathways in your brain. This may feel terrible, but it is absolutely good for you. So, the next time you find yourself frustrated that you can’t get something right off the top, remember that you have challenged your brain to grow and that that is an amazing thing.

In case you need another reason to dance or play music, we also know that frequent participation in these kinds of cognitive and physical-activities can reduce the risk of dementia as we grow older. Activities that require split-second rapid-fire decision making, such as dance, are the best for growing your brain’s neural connectivity, so challenge yourself!

In February, Guelph Arts Council (GAC) president Cynthia Kinnunen hosted a Ukulele Fundraiser for our organization which drew an adventurous crowd. After seeing Owen Pallet perform at Hillside Inside, I headed over to the fundraiser (with my mind blown) and took the black & white checkered ukulele that was handed to me. It was fun, not too challenging, and it felt pretty good.

With all of this brain health on the mind, I decided to continue on my own at home, to see what I could do. I learned a few songs this month and discovered that it’s that it is nearly impossible to be in a bad mood when you are playing ukulele. While I can’t really say why that is, I do know that playing and singing, even if not all that well, just feels good, and that’s reason enough for me

I hope you also discovered something new this month!


Katie Wilde - Office Manager, Membership Coordinator

I am one of those people who wants to try everything. In university, we were supposed to stick to one artistic stream. I managed to weasel my way around this and finished my degree with an exhibition that incorporated drawing, painting, performance, sculpture, installation and media. In the spirit of full disclosure I should mention that it took me an extra year to graduate.

In high school, when I was more involved in music, I mostly played flute. But I wanted to join jazz, so I picked up sax. And I loved grandiose movie music so I minored in French horn. And there was a big string bass that had been lying around unused for years, which seemed like a shame, so I played that too. I was a big fan of Metallica, so in grade ten I got cheap electric guitar for my birthday. Was I very good at any of these? I had a lot of fun, let’s put it that way.

I’m a hoarder of shallow skills. When you have enthusiasm for so many things, it can be hard to focus on one and continue to grow, or to return to something that was the flavour of the week… 10 years ago.

I’m also a hoarder of information, things I’d like to return to later and brush up on. One particular area I’ve always meant to return to is writing music. This month, I settled for writing out music. I had learned how to do this during my high school music education, but I couldn’t remember how to transpose music for clarinet, and sharps still scare me.

So I turned to the internet for help on my idea to turn a Canadian folk song written for piano (which I found in the free bin at the Guelph Youth Music Centre) into a simple flute/clarinet duet.

It’s amazing how fast I was able to find helpful charts and tips to determine the key signature, tell me how much to shift the notes, and what mistakes to look out for.


march learn music transposed

Learning a new skill, or building on a dusty old one can be as easy as picking a small challenge for yourself, and seeking out the resources. Sometimes, these resources are as convenient and free as Googling from your couch. Other times, it’s much more valuable to sign up for a class or workshop, and learn directly from an awesome teacher while making new friends.

Now it’s time to try out the duet with my friend, who hopes to return to her clarinet after many years of it collecting dust on the shelf.

Go forth and learn!

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