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by Katie Wilde and Guelph Dance

We’re sure you know about the Guelph Dance Festival, which has been a staple source of live arts entertainment and education in our city since 1998 (read more about their history here). In case you’re not familiar with their work, Guelph Dance is a small non-profit organization that has become a nationally-recognized leader in dance. Through their annual June festival, they offer a platform for professional, emerging, and youth artists to share their vision, push creative boundaries, and engage community audiences of all ages. Each year they showcase the most innovative and exciting dance that Canada has to offer, and each year Guelph audiences broaden their cultural experiences by attending. Programming is thoughtfully curated to ensure high quality, innovative, and culturally diverse works, while the Local Initiatives project ensures that local dance artists are included in the Festival and encouraged to participate in growing the Guelph dance community. Speaking as an audience member, the festival is a thrilling combination of traditional – yet intimate – theatre performance, and brilliantly head-on experiences in alternative venues such as the Boarding House Arts studios, and of course the much-loved In the Park series.

Frog in Hand at Guelph Dance Festival In the Park series 2015. Photo by Lydia Summerlee.

Held outdoors in Exhibition Park as part of the annual Festival, the In the Park series is not only artful and eye-catching, but curated to be family-friendly in order to offer dance to people of all ages, and to teach young audiences about dance. In a unique tradition, a mobile band of musicians leads audience members from one dance performance to another around the park. It is kept as a pay-what-you-can event so that no one is turned away due to lack of funds.

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Dasein Dance Theatre at Guelph Dance Festival In the Park series 2015. Photo by Lydia Summerlee.

Many have wondered, “Can we bring dance to audiences in another park in Guelph?” Guelph Dance’s response is a resounding “Yes, with your help, we CAN! In our 2016 season, one of our goals is the successful expansion of this series to a South End park, extending our reach to new people who live in the vicinity of Hanlon Creek Park. We are interested in reaching people in neighbourhoods who care deeply about the quality of life in their part of the city.

What We Need

  • We are looking to raise $4,000 by January 1, 2016.
  • $4,000 will cover the cost of hiring dancers, technicians, and the cost of renting the park. 
  • With funding secured by January 1st, we will have the time and resources to produce this new and exciting addition to this much-loved event.

How You Can Help

  • We are asking for a suggested contribution of $10. With 400 people giving $10 each, we will meet our goal.
  • We feel confident that with your help, we can raise the needed $4,000!

The Impact

We offer In the Park as part of our Festival year-after-year because we strongly believe in the idea of bringing professional, contemporary dance to audiences in an accessible way. As a supporter of this project, you directly impact our ability to realize this important vision.”

Please consider contributing to the expansion of the In the Park Series by donating here

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Toy Guns at Guelph Dance Festival In the Park series 2015. Photo by Lydia Summerlee.

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