The pandemic has been especially challenging for artists and arts organizations and Guelph Arts Council is so grateful for what we have been able to achieve throughout 2020 and 2021 thanks to partners and donors. 

“GAC’s values are rooted in our belief in the intrinsic value of artists and the arts. We believe that artists’ work inspires positive transformation for individuals and communities,” GAC Board President Laurel McKellar says.

As we emerge from the pandemic into a more digital world, we are building a future for GAC that is more diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive. “As a small charitable, non-profit organization, we continue to depend on individuals and organizations for support,” McKellar says.

Adaptations & achievements

Here’s some of what community partners and donors helped GAC achieve as we adapted to new realities in 2020 and 2021: 

  • We secured project grants for COVID-response and recovery initiatives, including free memberships and webinars. We continue to research, curate and share resources for artists to support pandemic recovery.
  • We transitioned programs to digital platforms: Art on the (Virtual) Street and Digital Doors Open Guelph
  • We launched our new digital cultural hub at Guelph Arts Hub visitors can access an arts and culture event calendar, read Guelph’s arts stories, discover program offerings, find resources, and browse artists’ profiles in a member directory. The hub also features an online store for local artists’ work, including visual art and craft, music, and performances. 
  • We continue to facilitate a mentorship program for emerging artists and are developing an Artist in Residence project with 10C Shared Space to amplify Indigenous artists’ voices. We are committed to increasing access to our services, with the goal of diversifying our artist network and ensuring inclusiveness.
  • We continue to focus on advocacy to increase decision-makers’ and residents’ support for the arts and appreciation of their value. 

In 2022, our 47th year, we will engage in a future-proofing and resilience-planning process. As part of it, we will engage the Guelph-Wellington arts community to seek input on our programs, services, and priorities.

This process will help us identify how we can achieve greater sustainability to continue to serve a larger community of artists in their pandemic recovery. We will also learn about artists’ and arts groups’ changing needs and how GAC, as the leading resource and voice for the arts in Guelph-Wellington, can best serve through our advocacy, services, partnerships, and programming.

Artwork by Barbara Salsberg Mathews

Arts Matter

We know that you understand why the arts matter, and that’s why we are asking you to make a donation to help grow the impact of Guelph Arts Council on the lives of artists. Every gift makes such a big difference! 

Your donation today will help us support Guelph-Wellington artists in developing professionally and promoting their work in a challenging recovery period and in an increasingly digital context.

Thanks to donors, as we look to the future, we can ensure that we have the staff and volunteer capacity, the leadership, and the financial resources required to meet the needs of local artists and arts groups and to increase Guelph-Wellington residents’ and visitors’ engagement with the arts.

Please show your support for the arts and artists in Guelph by donating online, by sending a cheque to 42 Carden Street, Unit 1B, Guelph, ON N1H 3A2, or by calling 519-836-3280. Thank you!

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