Guelph Arts Council Announces New Services for Local Artists

Guelph, ON – September 23, 2020 – With gratitude for support from the Guelph Community Support Fund and the City of Guelph Emergency Fund, Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce new services and programs to support local artists affected by COVID-19.


Free Artist and Organizational Memberships:

GAC one-year memberships are now offered at no charge to Guelph-Wellington artists of all disciplines, arts businesses, and not-for-profit arts organizations through December 31, 2020. GAC extends a special invitation to BIPOC, newcomer, Deaf, disabled, youth, and/or 2SLGBTQ+ artists to sign up. GAC members are featured in the Member Directory, and member events and listings are included in our online event calendar, in our monthly What’s On Arts Listing e-newsletter, and through our social media channels. All current GAC Artist and Organizational memberships will also be automatically renewed for one year. While free memberships are now offered to everyone, pay-what-you-can donations are gratefully accepted to help us fund our programming. Tax receipts are issued for all donations over $20. Sign up for a free GAC membership online.

Live-Performance Booking Service:

GAC invites Guelph-Wellington performing artists (musicians, dancers, theatre artists, spoken word artists, comedians, children’s entertainers, etc.) to apply online if they are interested in being included in a roster of artists available for safe, live performances. GAC will create and promote an online platform for Guelph-Wellington residents to select, book, and pay for performances in their neighbourhoods, near their workplaces, or in other safe settings, in accordance with public health and safety guidelines.

Free COVID-Recovery Workshops:

In partnership with 2h media and the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington, GAC will offer a series of workshops designed to support artists in their immediate economic recovery and longer-term response to a new future. First up is Creating a New Audience on LinkedIn, offered online on Thursday, October 22 from 10 am – 12 pm. Free for GAC members. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or watch your email for the promo code.


GAC staff continue to provide one-on-one consultations with artists and arts workers by phone, online, or safely in person (by appointment). Need some help with goal setting, marketing, or making connections? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 519-836-3280.

In announcing these services, GAC Executive Director Patti Broughton said: “We are so grateful to have been able to continue to promote and support the arts in Guelph through the pandemic. Now, thanks to support from The Guelph Community Foundation, the United Way, the City of Guelph and, most recently, Oak Tree 6, we are able to enhance our support to local artists and organizations who’ve been impacted by COVID-19.”

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Guelph Arts Council Announces Deadline for GAC Jane Graham Memorial Award

Guelph, ON – September 16, 2020 – In memory of Guelph visual artist Jane Graham, Guelph Arts Council offers an annual award to a regional visual artist(s) to pursue professional development opportunities. The 2020 application deadline is Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm for paper applications and 11:59 pm for online applications. Any visual artist residing and actively practising in Guelph or Wellington County is encouraged to apply for opportunities that will be pursued after January 1, 2021. The award’s terms of reference and application instructions are posted at The award(s) will be announced in late fall 2020.

Jane Graham was a much loved and respected visual artist who lived and worked in the Guelph area for many years prior to her untimely death early in 2005. Working closely with the Graham family, later the same year Guelph Arts Council established a fund with donations made in Jane’s memory. The fund is managed by The Guelph Community Foundation. With annual fund revenue, Guelph Arts Council offers this award to support artists who wish to pursue opportunities that will contribute to personal artistic growth.

Annually, Guelph Arts Council appoints a volunteer award jury with representatives from the local visual arts community, past award recipients, Guelph Arts Council, and the Graham family. The jury reviews the applications and selects the award recipient(s).

Over the years, award recipients have included a textile artist, a potter, an audio-visual collective, a scientific illustrator, an artist blacksmith, printmaker, multidisciplinary artist, bead artist, art quilter, filmmaker, photographer, illustrator, and painters. All of these individuals have indicated that the award helped them take their artistic work to the next level.

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Monthly Musical Member Video - Mr.J

Each month we’ll feature a video from one of GAC’s musical members. If you’re a musician and have a video you’d like us to feature, please send a YouTube link our way along with a short bio.

This month, we visit another of last month’s Hillside Homeside performers – Mr. J – who has been broadcasting live performances on Facebook during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also has new recorded audio and video material coming out soon for people of all ages to enjoy. Today we visit Mr. J’s version of a song that many of us will know and love – the Peter, Paul, and Mary classic “Puff the Magic Dragon” – so we encourage everyone to sing along.

Mr. J
Mr. J has been a full-time classroom teacher for more than 15 years - and hobby musician for many more.  With an exceptional ability to command a room, Mr. J puts on a performance that gets children (of all ages) singing, dancing, and clapping along with his infectious positive spirit and songs.
Learning to play the drums in an Elementary School Marching Band led Mr. J on a lifelong passion to pursue more musical understanding. Drums led into guitar and singing - which resulted in attempting to learn how to play any instrument that became available (from the ukulele to the clarinet).
Stories, books and music have always played an integral connection between the arts. Mr. J performs read out loud books and stories with the same passion as the song.

For more information and updates on what Mr. J is up to, visit the official Mr. J website. Also, don’t forget that Bandcamp will be forgoing their share of artist sales on the first Friday of each month until the end of 2020, so please visit that platform to support many of your favourite Guelph musicians.

We’re certain this will bring many of us back to childhood, and we hope everyone remembers the beauty of imagination as we enjoy Mr. J’s rendition of “Puff the Magic Dragon”

Kintsukuroi: the art of being broken

By Mariel Clayton

I suppose it's only appropriate that, as I sit here inking the cranial sutures of a Conquistador skull with broad axe trauma (in Aztec Gold of course) ..that what's blasting on the turntable to irritate the neighbours is some 'Alternative-Progressive Metal'.

Music, Skulls, Art, Science, Sake, Traditional Crafts, Metallurgy, Poetry, Osteology, Whisky.... this merging of everything is creating a monster project, one I’m not entirely certain I have under any sort of control.

Still, the brush gently daubs an occipital bone, and my subconscious disengages to meander off-leash. It’s those moments of ‘meditation’ when everything is intensely focused, and yet, simultaneously unencumbered, that are like breaking the waters surface.

Kintsukuroi – lit; ‘Golden Repair’ is the Japanese art/craft of taking broken pieces of pottery and joining them together with poisonous Urushi lacquer and powdered gold. This gentle, deliberate process of repairing that which would be discarded, and transforming the toxic into the treasured.

Image 1 GAC Artist Bio 1 of 1 small
Artist Mariel Clayton. Exhibition Kintsukuroi: the art of being broken at 10C Shared Space. Image courtesy of KyRoJo Photography Studio

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