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GAC NEWS: Guelph Arts Council Announces Doors Open Guelph 2017 Sites

Doors Open Guelph is a day-long celebration of Guelph's finest buildings, creative spaces, and artistically or architecturally relevant sites. Presented annually by Guelph Arts Council since 2002, the program showcases and celebrates Guelph’s hidden gems, as well as our great resources, businesses, and creative spaces.
The 2017 event will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 10 am to 4 pm. Site details are posted at guelpharts.ca/doors-open-guelph#thisyearsevent, and listed below.
On average, Doors Open Guelph attracts 6,000 people to its sites each year, 25-50% of whom are visitors to the city. Since its inception, Doors Open Guelph has been part of Doors Open Ontario, an Ontario Heritage Foundation province-wide initiative that was also launched in 2002 to celebrate community heritage. Doors Open Guelph has had the distinction of being the kick-off event for Doors Open Ontario, opening the province-wide initiative for several years.
Doors Open Guelph’s success is due to the enthusiasm and hard work of volunteers who serve as tour guides, sweeps, greeters, counters, researchers, sign crew, and more. Join us as a volunteer and help make Doors Open Guelph a true community celebration. If you’re interested in lending a hand please contact Sarah Goldrup at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 519-836-3280.
2017 Site Listing
St. George's Anglican Church
99 Woolwich Street
This church opened in 1873, replacing two earlier versions located in St. George’s Square. It was designed by Henry Langley, architect of many Ontario churches, including three in Guelph. A revival of the English Gothic medieval parish church, different roof lines indicate the different areas of the nave, choir, and sanctuary. A special feature is the 23-bell carillon donated by Arthur Cutten.
Canadian Pacific Caboose 436994
99 Woolwich Street
(Located on siding close to St. Georges Church)
Built in 1941, this wooden-body caboose served the Canadian Pacific Railway for more than 40 years. For the past 23 years, it has been beautifully restored by members of the Guelph Historical Railway Association who most recently completed the exterior renovation. Inside is now a railway museum on wheels, reflecting the glory days of railroading in the mid-20th century.
Brothers Brewing Company
15 Wyndham Street North
(Ground floor of the New Petrie Building)
The ground floor, once A. B. Petrie’s Pharmacy, Tamblyn Drugs, and the Apollo Restaurant, is now the new brew pub created by the Proveau Brothers. The brew tanks at the back pipe the beer to storage in a huge basement cooler, when it is pumped directly to the bar taps. The decor features heritage elements like tin ceiling tiles, Petrie formaldehyde bottles, and the Apollo furniture.
The New Petrie Building
15 Wyndham Street North
This Second Empire-style building was designed by John Day in 1882 for pharmacist A.B. Petrie. Constructed of limestone and timber, the New Petrie Building is one of only three remaining buildings in Canada with a stamped galvanized iron facade. The upper floors were intact when purchased by Tyrcathlen Partners, retaining the elements of the Oddfellows, the adjoining door to the Cutten Kelly building, and Mr. Petrie’s office and safe.
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate
28 Norfolk Street
In 1827, John Galt gave the highest hill for the building of a Catholic Church. Opened in 1888, with the towers added in 1926, the church was designed by Joseph Connelly in French Gothic tradition. It has many elements of traditional European cathedrals with beautiful stained glass windows, locally-quarried limestone walls, and unique carvings. From 2006 - 2015, a $12 million renovation restored the interior and exterior features.
The Albion Hotel
49 Norfolk Street
The present building was made of locally-quarried limestone in the late 1850s and its structure is supported from the basement by 18-inch timbers. In the early years, the beer was made from water piped from a spring on Catholic Hill. The entrance to the water tunnel can still be seen in the basement. Many spirited stories from the Prohibition era emanate from the Albion.
46 Essex Street
Built as a car repair garage in 1950, the space has housed several businesses. In 2015, new owners did extensive repairs and upgrades to create a unique arts space consisting of a main room with an intimate space for performances and the smaller “Sound Sanctuary” used for music therapy and a collection of international instruments. Guelph artist Janet Morton created the unique chimney made of cassettes.
The Armoury
7 Wyndham Street South
Constructed in 1909 of red brick highlighted with limestone trim, the Armoury was designed by federal architects David Ewart and T.W. Fuller. Its castellated towers, battlements, and heavy wooden gate give
the impression of a medieval fortress. The Officer’s Mess contains a collection of art and memorabilia of the 11th Field Regiment. A basement gun park and impressive parade area showcase the Regiment’s 160 years of service.
Ker Cavan
22 Stuart Street
“Tyrcathleen” was built in 1855 for Reverend Arthur Palmer according to plans attributed to Sir Charles Barry, architect of Britain’s Houses of Parliament. In 1926, H.B. Higginbotham enlarged the original house with enclosed galleries, remodeled the northern half, and renamed it, Ker Cavan. The present owner has renovated and modernized the house and added his unique collection of sheep and soap artifacts.
Ker Cavan Coach House
26 Stuart Street
Henry Higginbotham added the Coach House to the Ker Cavan property in 1928. It was built to house cars with living quarters for the chauffeur and gardener above the garage. A potting room and greenhouse were attached along Palmer Street. The garage doors are now replaced with windows, and the building has been renovated as a residence.
London House
80 London Road West
This unique house was built in 1893 for John Sully, a local businessman and politician. Many fine features remain intact, including the decorative slate roof, the leaded glass windows, and the original burled oak woodwork inside. The present owners have restored many of the original exterior and interior features.
Macdonald Hall: School of Business and Economics, University of Guelph
74 Macdonald Street
Macdonald Hall was built in 1903 as the women’s dormitory for students at the Macdonald Institute. Designed by George M. Miller, it was the oldest residence at the University of Guelph. Now renovated to LEED silver certification, it contains flexible gathering spaces, classrooms, and offices. The 1903 gymnasium and dining room have been transformed into modern learning areas while keeping some original features.

The Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Excellence in Manufacturing
700 Woodlawn Road West
Linamar is a $5 billion company with 55 manufacturing facilities located across the world. The Centre, named after Linamar’s founder, provides innovative product and process technology where workers are trained in leadership and information. It features eco-friendly design elements like an open concept atrium foyer, retractable skylights, extensive use of recycled materials, a reflective pond and dual living walls.
600 Southgate Drive
RWDI is a Canadian-based firm of consulting engineers and scientists who tackle complex problems in the built environment with innovative thinking, collaborative problem solving and a passion for expanding the boundaries of the possible. Climate engineering, building performance and environmental engineering work together to create buildings and infrastructure that are resilient to extreme weather, hospitable, and sustainable. The Guelph headquarters feature state-of-the-art wind tunnels and a water tunnel.
Trails Open – The Toronto Suburban Railway (100th anniversary)
The End of James Street East
The most advanced interurban electric railway in North America arrived in Guelph on April 14, 1917, and served for 15 years until 1931. See the railbed of the TSR (now a popular trail), one of its powerhouses, and where the TSR brought a wetland to ruin. 25-minute guided hikes led by members of the Guelph Hiking Trail Club set out from the end of James St. E, at 10:30, 11:30, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00.

About Guelph Arts Council:
For forty years, Guelph Arts Council has been dedicated to supporting, stimulating and promoting arts and culture in Guelph. Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by The Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph. We also acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and our annual sponsors Meridian and Gary Stewart of CIBC Wood Gundy.

Find the original press release here.

Re•Vision - The Power of Story

By Sarah Goldrup

Dr. Carla Rice is at the heart of the hustle and bustle at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph. Re•Vision is also the home of REDLAB (Re-Visioning Differences Mobile Media Arts Lab), a mobile multi-media lab that facilitates digital storytelling and research-based drama workshops that has existed on campus for over five years now.

Born out of Dr. Rice’s previous research and clinical practice working with women who struggle with issues around body image and disability; Dr. Rice began to develop an arts-based method within a therapeutic context, exploring art as therapy. Through partnerships with activists, artists, and community members, she began to work towards creating a space to have conversations about experiences of difference and disability.

Eventually, Dr. Rice began to question how the ‘art as therapy' method and perceptions around ‘disability arts’ was limiting the possibility of the work by being seen as a therapeutic endeavour. Moving away from frameworks that suggested or were used as a tool to fix someone who is thought of as broken, Dr. Rice began to explore the storytelling method that is central to Re•Vision and REDLAB today.

Dr. Rice and her team have developed an arts-based research approach that works to share and celebrate stories of difference. Exploring a method of art as research, where the production of art and the experience of art create the knowledge and data which is academically analysed and applied to other theories. The work often blurs the boundaries between research and participant, as well as artist and non-artist. REDLAB workshops are open and organic but always come back to focus on one of Re•Vision’s core areas; difference and disability, body image including issues around fat and aging bodies, feminism, as well as Indigenous and Inuit issues.

Dr. Carla Rice believes that by opening up a space to have conversations about these issues, by sharing and celebrating the contributions that marginalized individuals and groups make to culture and society, individuals can be empowered in their personal stories. Through rejecting the negative single story of disability or difference, we can show how these marginalized communities and bodies are vital to our culture and society. By celebrating difference and sharing diverse experiences, we can discover common issues. Dr. Rice hopes that discovering our similarities to marginalized individuals and groups can lead to changes in law and policy, social and cultural perceptions, care and treatment, as well as societal structures and systems.

During our discussion Dr. Rice referenced Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talk, The Danger of the Single Story, which warns of the importance of rejecting the single story:

“I've always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar… Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

GAC Bids a Fond Farewell to Ella Pauls

By Nan Hogg

Friends and colleagues of Ella Pauls gathered at River Run Centre on January 25 to honour her contributions to the cultural life of Guelph and wish her all the best in her retirement. Staff and members of Guelph Arts Council were among those on hand to thank her for her support over many years.

Ella’s connection with Guelph Arts Council goes back to the late 1980’s, first as a volunteer in the GAC office. In the fall of 1989, she took on a staff position in the River Run Fundraising office, which GAC was managing in fulfillment of one of its founding objectives of helping to bring a performing arts centre to Guelph.

Two years later, she joined the staff of Guelph Arts Council where she spent the next six years helping many local artists and arts organizations and becoming very familiar with the arts scene in Guelph.

In 1997 she was ‘loaned’ to River Run Centre and then hired as that venue’s Supervisor of Development and Communications in time for the grand opening later that same year. She concluded her career in another new civic building, Guelph City Hall, as the Manager of Cultural Development for the Department of Culture and Tourism.

Those of us at Guelph Arts Council will especially miss her wise input as an ex officio member of our board of directors. Her wide knowledge of the Guelph arts community and her ability to ‘see the big picture’ were invaluable. Any time Ella started a sentence with “Have you thought about…” we knew that we should pay careful attention.

Ella, your friends at the GAC wish you much happiness and some great adventures in the years ahead.

GAC News: Celebrating 150 Years of Volunteerism - Mural Project

The Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington, in partnership with Guelph Arts Council, is pleased to announce Celebrating 150 Years of Volunteerism, a mural project that celebrates Canada’s 150th and Guelph and Wellington County’s spirit of volunteerism. The Volunteer Centre is now accepting proposals from Guelph/Wellington artists for mural projects that engage volunteers from the Centre’s member agencies in the process of design or production. The original work will be reproduced on metal and mounted at 46 Cork St. E. in Guelph, home of the Volunteer Centre, for Canada’s sesquicentennial.


Proposals from artists are due March 15, 2017. The full details of the Call to Artists are posted at volunteergw.ca and guelpharts.ca, and artists may submit proposals online.


“Capturing the talent of a Canadian artist to create a mural celebrating volunteerism will act as a lasting legacy in our community” says Christine Oldfield, Volunteer Centre Executive Director. “It’s really a tapestry of connections: from showcasing Canadian talent through the arts, to highlighting the strength of volunteer engagement, to the creation of a mounted large-scale reproduction of the completed artwork, the project expresses and honours Guelph and Wellington County's history of exceptional dedication to civic engagement and volunteerism.”


The Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington and Guelph Arts Council are grateful for project support from The Guelph Community Foundation and Ontario150.


About Volunteer Centre Guelph-Wellington:

The Volunteer Centre works to build a vibrant, healthy and resilient Guelph and Wellington County by fostering volunteerism and sharing information about essential human services .


About Guelph Arts Council:

For forty years, Guelph Arts Council has been dedicated to supporting, stimulating and promoting arts and culture in Guelph. Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by The Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph. We also acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and our annual sponsors Meridian and Gary Stewart of CIBC Wood Gundy.

To view the original media release click here.

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