by Elizabeth Dent
When the chips are down and your arts organization has to decide whether to weather the storm or fold…where do you go? Guelph Arts Council!
Ed Video was in crisis in 2005 when I started. I spent hours on the phone with Sally Wismer, first setting up for the Guelph Arts Council (GAC) to be our charitable trustee, so we could receive a life-saving grant offered by the Musagetes Foundation, and then on how to become a charity ourselves. It helped us to develop new revenue streams and to broaden our community base of support. This kind of support was extended to other organizations I volunteered with, and is something that is critical to help young or faltering organizations to determine whether they really can make it. Sometimes the answer really is no, but for Ed Video it wasn’t, and that is very much thanks to the kind support of the Guelph Arts Council.
At different times GAC has offered a program called Schmoozefest that provided networking for artists and arts organizations, with the chance to book a two-minute slot to promote your events and activities. I was never sure that this extended the audience for Ed Video, as we are something of a niche market, but I participated when involved with Theatre Guelph, Guelph Little Theatre, and Royal City Musical Productions. I know that audience development and networking helped those organizations immensely.
My fondest memory of Schmoozefest is being at Borealis for Ed Video, and being surprised by my mother reading an excerpt from her first fiction novel. She was about 84 at the time and she chose the most risqué portion of her book. The crowd ate it up. For my mother, that response gave her the focus to complete three novels in the series. It gave her then-unpublished work a forum and pushed her to publication. As a writer, she bloomed.
This is just my experience, as one person who works and plays in the arts. Thanks to the Guelph Arts Council for supporting our community for the last 40 years!
– Elizabeth Dent, Executive Director, Ed Video Media Centre
Thank you, Ed Video, for helping us celebrate our 40th anniversary, and for all you do to make Guelph a rich artistic community!