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Be a Tourist in Your Own City- Q & A with Kesia Kvill, PhD candidate in Canadian and food history

By Fan-Ling Suen

The city of Guelph is a cultural landscape - steeped in rich history, old stories, and architectural heritage. Many of us may not know the origins or layered histories behind our community, but learning the stories that shape our city can inform our present relationship to our communities, offer new perspectives within our neighbourhoods, and create a stronger connection to the spaces and places we call home as Guelphites. Even though cultural history is a collection of narratives, it’s also personal. So we interviewed Kesia Kvill, Guelph Arts Council’s Historical Walking Tour Guide, a local Guelphite, and PhD candidate in Canadian history to give us her scoop on Guelph’s history. 

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Kesia Kvill, Guelph Arts Council Historical Walking Tour Guide and PhD candidate in Canadian and food history

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Guelph Arts Council Celebrates Success of Doors Open Guelph

Guelph, ON April 30, 2019 – On Saturday, almost 4,000 Guelph residents and out-of-town visitors came out to tour the thirteen sites offered at Doors Open Guelph and Trails Open 2019.

Among the many highlights of the day were:

  • Lineups for tours of the extensively restored heritage buildings that are now Spring Mill Distillery
  • Dramatic and scandalous stories told where they happened with Guelph theatre artist Jay Wilson at Gow Bridge
  • Downtown public art, gallery and artist studio walking tours with artist collective Ahmri + Abby highlighted Guelph’s arts community and the resources of PIN and The Guelph Community Foundation
  • A peak inside Aberdeen House, a heritage home renovated to become one of Guelph’s most energy efficient homes, presented in partnership with eMERGE Guelph
  • Family fun at Diyode Community Workshop and The Victory School
  • Walks with Guelph Hiking Trail Club from the Marcolongo Heritage Farm to Hall’s Pond, the most important natural area within city limits
  • Introductions to some of Guelph’s important heritage buildings, including Lornewood Mansion, The Sovereign, Provincial Offenses Court, and Heritage Hall
  • A popular bicycle tour of several sites, organized and guided by Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation
  • An amazing partnership with Guelph Museums with Doors Open After Dark on April 26 at the Civic Museum, which featured interactive art and history installations, and launched the 2019 Doors Open Ontario season of events.

Doors Open Coordinator Susan Ratcliffe said: “This year’s Doors Open Guelph was a wonderful experience for visitors, sites, and volunteers. We were delighted to have the opportunity to engage artists and new partners in telling Guelph’s stories and sharing its special places. We thank the site owners and all the volunteers for their commitment to our city’s rich heritage. And we thank Guelph’s residents and visitors for their ongoing interest in our city’s resources and stories.”

Doors Open Guelph is one of Guelph Arts Council’s longest-running programs. Its success is due to the enthusiasm and hard work of volunteers who serve as Steering Committee members, site captains, tour guides, sweeps, greeters, counters, and researchers. This year over 200 volunteers pulled together to open the doors of Guelph’s remarkable places.

Guelph Arts Council thanks its event partners, including City of Guelph, Guelph Museums, Ontario Heritage Trust, Destination Guelph Strategic Co-investment Project, and Downtown Guelph Business Association, Doors Open media sponsor Guelph Mercury Tribune, site sponsors Grinham Architects and Williams & McDaniel Property Management, all participating sites, and its Steering Committee and event volunteers.

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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Open Mic in Guelph - Have a Slammin’ Good Time

by Samah Qaderi

Show off your talents or come out and enjoy one of Guelph’s many open mic venues! Scattered around the city, there are plenty of bars, community spaces, and coffee houses who regularly open their doors to poets, singers, and songwriters to share their craft of sound, song, and words. Open-mic is an opportunity to perform with your band, serenade a crowd, show off your hidden talent, or to just have fun with some friends. Whatever the reason is, check out Guelph’s open mic spots, and listen to the voices of Guelph.

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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.

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Amanda & Kiel (KIAM) Wilson-Ciocci

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