A Community Festival Of Hope To Overcome Today’s Setbacks
“It’s a crucial moment right now to be rallying around arts spaces. Musicians and artists carried so many of us through these past few years and sustaining reliable venues and systems of support for them now, more than ever, is essential,” says Scarlett Raczycki, Executive Director of Guelph arts venue “Silence”
Even before the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, live-event DIY spaces like “Silence” were struggling both to provide musicians and artists with rewarding opportunities and fair fees, but also simply trying to keep their doors open. Over the past decade, music venues in Ontario have been closing at an alarming rate. Toronto alone saw the closure of more than 40 music venues between January 2017 and May 2019. In 2020, over 22 more were forced to shutter.
Silence is determined to remain open, and to continue the work of fostering a supportive environment in Guelph for creators and audiences alike.
Riffing off of improviser extraordinaire William Parker’s adage that “in order to survive we must keep hope alive,” Silence’s Keep Hope Alive Festival is a celebration of unexpected convergences, new connections, and persistence in the face of unbelievable odds!
Their 4-day event, running from Thursday May 5th through Saturday May 7th, will bring together some of Canada’s finest and most adventurous musicians, writers, performers, and creators in combinations that have never been seen or heard before. A number of the ensembles feature nationally-renowned Guelph-Wellington based artists including: Kevin Breit, Matt Brubeck, Tom King, Jeff Bird, Lewis Melville, Carey West, Claire Whitehead, Nicole Marchesseau, Joe Sorbara and Daniel Fischlin.
Tickets sell for $25 for individual performances or $250 for a Festival Pass (Includes a donation to Silence and comes with a Charitable tax receipt). Silence is located at 46 Essex St, Guelph, ON N1H 3K8
Read the full program of festival events with the complete artist line-up and order Tickets online at: https://www.silencesounds.ca/keep-hope-alive-festival
Silence Is …
An independent, charitable arts venue located in downtown Guelph, Silence is dedicated to providing space for adventurous creative music and art for the good of our community. Silence operates as a gallery space for visual artists and often hosts multidisciplinary events and installations that also provide a dynamic atmosphere for the many concerts and festivals, workshops, rehearsals, and community gatherings that take place within their walls. Silence draws artists from across North America and beyond. In 2019 they hosted over 600 performers and program participants and almost 5,000 audience members:
“Over the years, Silence has proven to be an invaluable resource for the musical community as well as for visual artists, filmmakers, dancers, poets, and various other creatives in Guelph and beyond. It is a unique venue that welcomes not only polished performances, but also embraces the spirit of experimentalism that is vital for continued artistic growth. Long live Silence!” (Matt Brubeck, Musician, Guelph)
A New Look For A New Chapter – and a “New” Board of Directors
The exterior of the building which houses Silence has a new look, thanks to artist Lucy Bilson. It was designed and painted in conjunction with a two-month long exhibition which the venue is hosting Feedback Loop, created by students from the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation.
As part of the process of pandemic recovery, Silence has gone through a significant board restructure and we are so excited to welcome a new Chair of the Board, Joe Sorbara along with new members Alyssa Woods, Gerard Yun, and Cathy Nosaty. Continuing in their roles are Bob Harris, Treasurer and Daniel Fischlin, Artistic Director. For more information on the Silence Board and Staff, please visit: https://www.silencesounds.ca/ourcommunity/
Keeping This Community Safe as Silence relaunches!
Silence is maintaining, if not enhancing, precautions for its performers, audiences, volunteers, and staff— including regular wipedowns throughout the space and equipment (esp. mics); enhanced masking protocols; high-quality HEPA air filtration (running on 11); ongoing vaccination checks for all people in the space; and reduced capacity. Their full COVID-19 Policy is available here.