Guelph Arts Council offers free workshops to help creative workers and businesses recover from pandemic losses

Guelph, ON – October 15, 2020 – Guelph Arts Council is offering four free online workshops to help visual artists, musicians, performing artists, writers, arts organizations and venues rebuild their careers or businesses in response to the pandemic.

“The pandemic has been particularly hard on creative workers and businesses, many of whom depend on in-person events for their livelihood,” says GAC Executive Director Patti Broughton. “Even before the pandemic, many lived with precarious incomes. We’re excited to be able to offer these workshops to help them cope.”

All four workshops are free for Guelph Arts Council members, and GAC is now offering free memberships to Guelph-Wellington artists of all disciplines, arts businesses, and not-for-profit arts organizations through December 31, 2020. Broughton says GAC is grateful for membership funding from the Guelph Community Support Fund and the City of Guelph Emergency Fund. Members are encouraged to register for workshops quickly as some have limited free spots.

GAC extends a special invitation to BIPOC, newcomer, Deaf, disabled, youth, and/or 2SLGBTQ+ artists to sign up for free memberships and these events.

The workshops are:

Creating a New Audience on LinkedIn, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-noon

Many creative small businesses don’t consider a LinkedIn page, but this free social network can be a great place to grow your audience. Presented by Guelph marketing agency 2H Media, this hands-on workshop will lead participants through creating a basic LinkedIn company page from scratch. Free GAC member promo code: GAC75

Contracts and Commission: The Business of Art, Oct. 29, 3-4:30 p.m. 

A common error when creating a business in the arts is failing to understand your rights, your worth and how to protect both. Samir Baijal, Artistic Director at Hillside Festival, will help participants understand their legal rights and prepare them for the business side of any creative business. Presented by Business Centre Guelph-Wellington. Free GAC member promo code: creativebusiness (limited spots); 10% discount code: businessartcouncil (limited spots).

Art Business in Digital and Physical Spaces, Nov. 5, 6:30-8 p.m.

A round-table style discussion about how artists, curators, musicians, and creatives use digital and physical spaces to deliver and create projects, programs, exhibitions, sales and shows. Sharing their tips and challenges will be: James Gordon, Guelph city councillor and singer-songwriter; Michelle Miller, local handcrafted art jeweller; Sally Frater, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Guelph; and Lynne McIntee, publicity chair at Guelph Little Theatre. Followed by a Q&A. Presented by Business Centre Guelph-Wellington. Free GAC member promo code: creativebusiness (limited spots); 10% discount code: businessartcouncil (limited spots).

Career Rebuilding: Making Money with Your Creative Business, Nov. 12, 3-4:30 p.m.
Creative businesses have unique challenges. Learn from industry experts about building and structuring your creative business. Amanda Wilson-Ciocci, owner of The Monarch & Co., will discuss the systems and support you need to get organized for your business launch and/or growth. Aron Murch and Matthew Herchel, Digital Strategists at 2H Media, will cover Shopify and digital marketing for art businesses. Musicians Braden Phelan and Liv Cazzola of Guelph duo Tragedy Ann will share their insights on finding new ways to reach your audience. Presented by Business Centre Guelph-Wellington. Free GAC member promo code: creativebusiness (limited spots); 10% discount code: businessartcouncil (limited spots). 

This workshop series is presented in association with GAC’s Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project, with support from RBC Emerging Artists Project.

For more information about these workshops contact Guelph Arts Council 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 call 519-836-3280. Due to COVID-19 recommendations, GAC is currently open by appointment only. Phone messages are checked daily.

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GAC Fall Exhibition @ 10C Shared Space – Call To Member Artists

GAC Artist and Organizational Members are invited to submit a proposal for a solo exhibition either for the month of November or December in the main floor gallery space at 10C Shared Space, GAC’s home at 42 Carden.

Please submit a short exhibition proposal to Patti Broughton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Include a brief description of your work, which month you are available to exhibit (November or December) and what you would like to showcase. Please include 3-5 images of your current proposed work. If selected and the work is a good fit for the space, you’ll be asked to provide more details including timelines, additional images, and what costs you anticipate. Please note, artists will be paid an exhibition fee.

Low-relief work that can be installed using the existing hanging system is appropriate for the space. Please contact us if you have questions about the type of work the space can accommodate.

The gallery space at 10C will be open to the public for viewing by appointment during the November and December exhibitions and will be promoted online through GAC’s social media channels.

Monthly Musical Member Video – Jenna Kessler

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 multidisciplinary artist Jenna Kessler, who released an EP earlier this year. People may also have seen Jenna’s illustrations on this summer’s Taste Detours recipe book called “Little Bites: Tastes from Isolation”. We know autumn just started, but the lyric video for “Forest Black and Warm” features some beautiful winter scenery, and also a cameo from a four-legged friend!

Jenna Kessler
For the last decade, Jenna Kessler has been working as a farmer and illustrator, cultivating a relationship with the land and memorializing plants and landscapes in her paintings. In between, she was carefully crafting a collection of songs that reflect her unique, artistic vision of the world and careful attention to detail. Her poetic new EP, A Still Life, is the culmination of these reflections in musical form. These piano-driven songs are written through the observation of a quiet moment, translating that feeling of stillness into melody and harmony. The intimate themes are decorated with surprise ragtime twists, staccato horn lines, soaring cello sections, and howling harmonies.

Visiting Jenna Kessler’s website will allow you to learn about this multidisciplinary artist’s music as well as other creative endeavours. You may purchase Jenna’s latest EP on Bandcamp, where we like to remind you each month that they have committed to continue forgoing their share of artist sales on the first Friday of each month until the end of the year. That means you have three more months after this one to put a little more money in the pockets of Jenna Kessler and many of your other favourite musicians.

And now, sit back and enjoy this relaxing and beautiful lyric video for Jenna Kessler’s “Forest Black and Warm” 

Jane Graham Memorial Award Now Accepting Applications

By Ahmri Vandeborne

Guelph Arts Council is currently accepting applications for the Jane Graham Memorial Award, until October 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm for paper applications and 11:59 pm for online applications. In memory of Guelph visual artist Jane Graham, this award was established so that local visual artists from Guelph or Wellington County can develop their professional development portfolio and seek out opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to pursue.

GAC appoints a volunteer award jury with representatives from the local visual arts community, past award recipients, GAC, and the Graham family, and this year, award recipient(s) will be notified in late Fall 2020.

We connected with the 2019 award recipients, Annie Burgess and Jagdeep Reina, to talk about their experience with the application process and using the award funds, as well as how COVID-19 affected their plans. They also provided advice for artists planning on applying this year. Burgess requested assistance to help with the costs of the Intermediate/Advanced Pottery-Throwing course at Haliburton School of Art & Design, Fleming College, to help her move towards her goal of blurring the line between craft and fine art as well as to better her skills as an instructor. In pursuit of expanding his artistic practice in textiles, Reina requested funds for spinning classes with local artist Alisa McRonald, with a long-term goal of making a “phulkari,” an embroidered textile art form that is almost a lost art in the villages of Punjab.

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Annie Burgess with her barnacle mugs ready to be bisqued.

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