About Us

Photo Credits: Guelph Arts Council

We are one of Ontario’s first arts councils.

Guelph Arts Council was established following a City Council resolution of September 9, 1974 directing the Mayor to form an arts council for the community. On May 6, 1975 the charter was established and this new organization had a goal to stimulate, encourage and coordinate the development of arts activities in Guelph.

Over the years, the Arts Council has been involved in many aspects of the cultural heart of Guelph, including assisting with the development of new organizations such as Macdonald Stewart Arts Centre, Guelph Chamber Choir, Guelph Civic Museum, Guelph Youth Orchestra, Royal City Musical Productions, River Run Centre, and many more.

It has provided a link between artists and arts organizations and the community, helping to share information about arts and cultural offerings. It has provided occasional space and administrative help to arts and culture groups as well as professional development support through awards and workshops.

The Council has been a voice for the arts in larger community endeavours and helped to increase awareness in the public eye. It has played an incredibly important role in our Guelph community over the years. The Council will continue to build on this foundation to continue to be a relevant and vital supporter of and champion for the arts in Guelph.

Championing and growing opportunities for Guelph’s creative community through communications, resources for learning, and cultural programs and partnerships.

To cultivate a vibrant city that integrates the arts into all community building.

Our values are rooted in our belief in the intrinsic value of artists and the arts, and their ability to inspire positive transformation for individuals and communities.

Advocacy: We champion artists’ rights and freedom of expression
Creativity: We believe creativity enriches the human experience
Community: We believe the arts are an essential part of vibrant, sustainable communities
Inclusiveness: We support and respect all artistic endeavours and embrace diversity, accessibility, integrity, and a role for the arts in affecting social change
Collaboration: We believe collaboration builds stronger communities.

Strategic Goals

  1. increase opportunities for the creative community to learn, work, and thrive in Guelph
  2. grow connections and collaboration in the arts and between community sectors
  3. advocate for and support:
    1. economic investment in the arts
    2. cultural initiatives, including cultural planning and creative spaces, that enhance Guelph’s economic development and quality of life
  4. increase the engagement of residents and visitors with Guelph’s artists and arts programs
  5. promote understanding and respect for:
    1. the value of the arts for individuals and communities
    2. the diversity of creative practice.

Guelph Arts Council is governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors representing a cross-section of the community, including the arts, business, legal, and communications.

View Guelph Arts Council's 2019 Annual Report

View Guelph Arts Council's Statement on Systemic Racism

Guelph Arts Council Indigenous Territorial Acknowledgment

The land we create on today, and all of Turtle Island, has been under the stewardship of Indigenous peoples, and has been the site of Indigenous creativity, since time immemorial. Guelph Arts Council recognizes that the land we work on and are inspired by are ancestral lands of the First Peoples and the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. We offer respect to the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of this land – past, present and future. We recognize the significance of the Two Row Wampum Treaty in characterizing our promise of peace and friendship as we journey side by side. We also recognize our responsibility to truth and healing as we strive to build new relationships and a new future. We commit to elevating Indigenous voices through our work. We are grateful and honoured to have the opportunity to gather, celebrate, create, and learn on this land.



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