GAC Awards & Funds

Jane Graham Memorial Award

Applications for 2023 are now open! Please submit by November 1st, 2023

Jane Graham was a much-loved and respected visual artist living and working in the Guelph area for many years prior to her death in 2005. Donations in her memory made possible the creation of the GAC Jane Graham Memorial Fund at The Guelph Community Foundation. Through the fund, GAC offers an annual award for a visual artist(s) to pursue professional development opportunities.

Research and Renewal Award

Applications for 2022 have closed, stay tuned for fall 2023 applications

In February 2021 Guelph Arts Council staff were approached by supporter Jason Nadon, who shared an idea for an award for Guelph artists that would bring together artistic creation with themes of heritage and community. This award will provide artists with the funds to research and interpret local stories and histories, to engage with Guelph residents through their artistic projects, and to build community connections. 

Pay it Forward Arts Fund

Applications are now closed.

The award is the gift of artist Barbara Salsberg Mathews and her husband, Bruce Mathews. It is designed to encourage artists to rise to the challenge and pay it forward by using their talents to benefit others and the Guelph community.

Guelph Arts Council is presenting a new opportunity for all artists, musicians, writers and creators in the Guelph-Wellington Community to submit applications for the Pay it Forward Fund. The fund totals $5,000 per year for the next three years and will support one or more projects per year. This award will help local artists, in any discipline, fund art projects that pay it forward and benefit the community. 

Youth Opportunities Award

Applications have ended. Please stay tuned for applications to open in 2024.


Guelph Arts Council’s Youth Fund was initially established as a result of the financial success of Youth in Performance presentations that Guelph Arts Council sponsored between 1980 and 1990. Additions to the fund were made over the years, and awards were extended to graduating Guelph high school students in recognition of talent, excellence and creativity in the visual or performing arts. In 2005, the awards program was discontinued and Guelph Arts Council began to assess how best to support youth in the arts. At the same time, in order to get the best return on investment, the capital of the fund was turned over to The Guelph Community Foundation to manage. Commencing in 2009, through funds generated from Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Fund, Guelph Arts Council offers an award(s) to initiate, enhance or expand opportunities for children and youth to experience or become engaged in the arts.

If you have any questions about the Youth Opportunities Award please contact [email protected]

View our Past Recipients

Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund

Deadline: Ongoing

The Guelph Arts Council Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund provides emergency financial relief to local artists living with debilitating health issues. This fund was created in response to a growing community realization of the plight of self-employed artists whose health leaves them unable to work. Guelph Arts Council provides this relief, within the limits of the funds available annually, through donations made in honour of the late Guelph artist Sue Richards and a 2017 bequest from her estate.

If you have any questions about the Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund please contact [email protected] 

‘Hug’ by Sue Richards

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