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Doors Open Guelph – Call for Volunteers

St. Georges Church

Doors Open Guelph will be held this year on Saturday, April 22, from 10 am to 4 pm. Mark your calendars for a day-long celebration of Guelph's finest buildings, creative spaces, and artistically or architecturally relevant sites. Doors Open Guelph has the distinction of being the annual kick-off event for Doors Open Ontario. 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.

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, photographers, and more. Join us as a volunteer and help make the 15th anniversary of 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.

A Sense of Wonder

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For many, the last few days and weeks have been a dark and challenging time. For a variety of reasons, the start to 2017 has been difficult. These circumstances make clear how powerful and important creative initiatives like A Sense of Wonder are to our community.

A Sense of Wonder is an on-going collaborative art project commissioned by the Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG) and led by Guelph artist Dawn Matheson in collaboration with an inspiring group of d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing youth from across Southern Ontario. Throughout a series of workshops, Matheson has documented the children’s experiences and shared them with us through a series of multimedia, performance, and video installations. The artwork gives viewers a glimpse of the youths’ perspective of the world and the chance to learn from their incredible “sense of wonder,” openness, and creativity.

A Sense of Wonder was borne from AGG Curator of Contemporary Art Dawn Owen’s personal, creative, and professional passion for accessibility in the arts. Her commitment was matched by Matheson’s. Owen says of the artist:

“Dawn [Matheson] has an incredible way of connecting with people and creating platforms on which people feel very safe to trust her and the creative process. Through A Sense of Wonder, Dawn creates opportunities for the children to learn about themselves but also to be guides and offer a lens on the world. When children see other children doing amazing things, they inspire each other in incredible ways… It’s exciting for children to teach children, but it’s really powerful for children to teach adults. Rarely as adults do we take the time to walk in someone else’s shoes.”

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At the opening of A Sense of Wonder on January 18th, many were excited to see so much positivity and inclusiveness shone on the d/Deaf experience.

It was a great pleasure and privilege to see A Sense of Wonder on its opening night and to experience not only the beautiful product of an incredible collaboration but also a moving display of community. Children, their families, and members of the d/Deaf and creative community filled the Art Gallery of Guelph. Together, they shared in an incredibly uplifting example of the power of art to share stories and experiences.

Find more information about the project at the Art Gallery of Guelph's website or Dawn Matheson's website.


Jewels of the Prairie: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Chicago

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Sept. 2-9, 2017

On October 8, 1871, a devastating fire tore through Chicago for 26 hours, destroying some 2,100 acres and most of the city’s downtown wooden buildings. In its wake, a new law was passed prohibiting wooden structures, thereby leaving a ruined city hungry for new architecture.

One of these was Louis Sullivan, an established architect who, in 1887 hired an eager draftsman named Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright has often been described as “the pencil in Sullivan’s hand.” He assisted the older architect on many projects and came to look upon him as both mentor and friend. But before long, the ambitious draftsman took the pencil into his own hands, and was designing houses for wealthy clients without Sullivan’s knowledge.

In 1893, after he was fired for his moonlighting, Wright set up his own practice in a house and studio built with money loaned to him by Sullivan and began what he called “a new architecture,” an indigenous American style free of the Victorian trappings of the past. Chicago now contains more Wright-designed buildings than any other American city (some 24 of his houses are in Oak Park alone).

Despite many personal and financial setbacks, Wright enjoyed a long and prolific career. He was that rare genius who got busier as he got older, constantly evolving and designing major projects like the Marin County Civic Centre in California and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In fact, the city has become an architectural mecca, luring names such as Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry.

The architecture of the city is significant enough to have had a style named after it ---The Chicago School --- and was home to the first skyscraper (nine stories) ever built (1884).

But it is not only its architecture that the city is known for. Music (Nat “King” Cole, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Jelly Roll Morton, Muddy Waters and Kanye West); acting (Second City spawned comedians like Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Joan Rivers; Jack Benny and John Belushi lived here, along with John Cusack, John Malkovich and, of course, Oprah) have all made significant contributions to its culture. For blues fans, the House of Blues and Buddy Guy’s Legends attract major acts. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, one of the world’s most renowned classical orchestras, performs at Symphony Centre.

It is, therefore, fitting that the Second Annual GAC Architectural Tour should have Chicago as its destination. Following their hugely successful fundraising trip to Fallingwater in Pennsylvania and the Darwin Martin House and Graycliff in Buffalo in 2016, Sharyn Seibert and Brian Lauder will lead fellow enthusiasts on a 7-day architectural and artistic excursion to view not only Wright’s masterpieces but also those of other notables such as Daniel Burnham, Sullivan and Mies Van Der Rohe. Sharyn and Brian are experienced tour leaders certified by The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), and bring an extensive wealth of knowledge and passion to all of their endeavours, whether it is architectural tours to the US, art and wine excursions to Italy, art workshops or wine tastings. Between them, their academic backgrounds span fine art, architecture, interior design, library science, English literature and sommelier training.

The adventure will feature tours of Wright’s home and studio, Unity Temple, the Robie House (Wright’s favourite), Oak Park and the Rookery Building. We will also venture further afield to view the H.C. Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin. Constructed in 1936 at the cost of $3,000,000, it was and remains to this day one of the most adventurously-designed and revolutionary office buildings ever constructed. “Wingspread,” the house Wright designed for Herbert Johnson, the company’s president, is the last of his prairie houses and, at 14,000 square feet, his largest residential building.

The Art Institute of Chicago contains one of the most significant collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings outside of France, along with the Thorne Miniature Rooms. Our trip will take in this major art gallery, a guided bus tour of the city and will include an architectural river cruise. There will be enough free time to check out the Chicago Jazz Festival (free concerts at Millennium Park), go shopping on the Magnificent Mile, or simply take in some sights on your own.

Our accommodation will be at the luxurious, historic and fully-restored Palmer House Hilton, one of the true “grande dames” of American hotels. Centrally located, it is only a short walk from Millennium Park, the Art Institute and the Santa Fe Building (home of the Chicago Architecture Foundation). Rebuilt and reopened on November 8, 1873, after the Chicago Fire, the Palmer House has recently undergone a $170-million restoration and remains the longest continually operating hotel in the country. The original hotel was a wedding gift from Potter Palmer, a wealthy real estate magnate to his French wife, Bertha Honore. A wealthy socialite, she eventually accumulated the largest collection of Impressionist Art outside France which she eventually donated to the Chicago Art Institute. For those who wish, an impressive indoor pool, fully-equipped gym and spa are available.

You will travel by luxury motor coach from Guelph. The trip will be enlivened by compelling anecdotes about Wright’s complex personal life and genius, a lighthearted trivia contest and commentary on the many architectural masterpieces we will be visiting.

You will enjoy seven elegant Palmer House breakfasts (included). Winberies, a renowned restaurant in Oak Park, will be one of our included lunches. In addition, three lunches and three dinners are included in the $2,499 for double occupancy and $3,200 for a single. This includes all tours, river cruise and museum entries. For further information please contact Sharyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Art on the Street 2017 Applications Now Open

Guelph, ON – January 20, 2017 – Guelph Arts Council is now accepting applications from artists for Art on the Street. Guelph’s popular annual art exhibition and sale will return to Quebec Street on Saturday, June 24 from 10 am to 5 pm. Applications from artists for this juried event will be accepted until March 17, 2017. The detailed artist guidelines and application form are posted here.


Guelph Arts Council offers assistance to artists in preparing their Art on the Street applications. Interested artists are invited to review the application guidelines and to contact Sarah Goldrup for assistance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 519-836-3280.

Art on the Street is co-presented by Downtown Guelph Business Association and Guelph Arts Council and features contemporary fine art and craft. The event has grown both in scale and calibre of artist since its inception in 2003 to become Guelph's largest outdoor exhibition and sale. Art on the Street spotlights multi-disciplinary talent within the regional arts community and offers a fresh-air art experience for Guelph’s residents and visitors. Each year, approximately 100 established and emerging artists showcase their works in temporary, open-air studios. Art on the Street is an opportunity to meet painters, potters, blacksmiths, jewellers, glass blowers, wood carvers, textile artists, photographers, and more, and to take home a piece of Guelph's creative culture. Art on the Street is a free event which welcomes art lovers of all ages.

Art in the Shops, presented by Downtown Guelph Business Association, will take place during the week prior to Art on the Street. Artists will be paired with downtown venues to showcase selected work. This associated event highlights both Guelph’s creative talent and its downtown business community.

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 sponsor Meridian.

View the original PDF version of this press release here.

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