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You’re invited to the 36th Annual Highlights of the Festival Concert & Awards Ceremony - Friday, May 12

By Heather Fleming

Festival Coordinator

For the past 36 years, the Kiwanis Music Festival of Guelph has been providing performance opportunities for young, aspiring musicians in our community that are second to none. Every spring, venues across the city resound with the musical offerings of talented, young performers. Professional adjudicators offer constructive feedback and encouraging critique to performers of all ages and levels in a wide variety of disciplines including piano, strings, voice, brass & winds, recorders, guitar, harp, pipe organ, digital piano, speech arts, chamber music, choirs, bands, and orchestras.

It has been my pleasure to serve as the Festival Coordinator for the past eight years and as an assistant before that for several years. Every year, I am amazed by the incredible musicianship and talent displayed by all the developing musicians I have the pleasure of hearing. From the tiniest little 5-year-old string and piano players to the experienced teenagers ready to head off to post-secondary degrees in classical, jazz, and theatre programs, it is very evident that everyone is so dedicated to their craft and has worked so hard to develop their technique and prepare for their performances. Our local teachers, as well as the parents and the performers themselves, are to be commended for their dedication and hard work. Some 150 teachers encouraged their students to participate in the Festival this year, and there were over 900 entries. If we count all of the performers in the choirs, bands, and orchestras, we can estimate that approximately 2,500 performers participated in the 2017 Festival! The Kiwanis Music Festival is the largest youth services program in the arts in our community.

Every year, students look forward to the Festival with great anticipation. Participants get to experience the opportunity of performing for an appreciative audience, listening to other performers, and having the benefit of receiving valuable feedback from professional adjudicators. Aspiring young musicians need performance opportunities to work toward, and the Kiwanis Music Festival provides this valuable experience. Receiving constructive critique from a professional musician other than one's teacher can be very inspiring and educational. It is also wonderful to watch the camaraderie that develops between solo competitors and members of ensembles as well. Music is the universal language, transcending race and culture, and helping young performers develop empathy, tolerance, and appreciation for the incredible uniqueness of each other.

On Friday, May 12 at St. George’s Anglican Church at 7:00 PM, the Highlights of the Festival Concert & Awards Ceremony will be taking place. The entire community is invited to attend this stunning concert featuring some of the finest performers heard during this year’s Festival. A wide variety of disciplines and styles will be represented by various ages and levels, and each performer is sure to impress! Over $13,000 in scholarships will be awarded to some 160 deserving soloists and ensembles as selected by this year’s adjudicators. Tickets are available in advance through the River Run Centre Box Office or can be purchased at the door on Friday evening. $15-Adults, $10-Seniors/Students, $5-Children 12 & Under.

Hope to see you there!

GAC JOB OPPORTUNITY: Communications & Events Assistant (Summer Student)

Guelph Arts Council (GAC) is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that supports and champions arts and culture in Guelph. We are currently seeking a dynamic individual to work with staff and volunteers as a Communications & Events Assistant.
Do you have a strong working knowledge of social media strategy, online marketing and communications, and events? Do you have a passion for the arts and community?
The successful candidate will support and promote Guelph’s creative community through event support, communications and administration. Specific duties will include: preparing for Art on the Street (June 24); online communications including writing, editing and posting; website maintenance; assisting with office relocation; assisting with program delivery; reception; and other administrative duties.
Strong organizational and computer skills are required, including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite. Experience with social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, are also required. Some administrative and/or customer service work experience is an asset.
The position will begin Monday, June 19 and end August 4, 2017. The hourly rate is $11.40 and the position is 30 hrs/wk. Guelph Arts Council is located in downtown Guelph, Ontario.
The successful applicant will be a student aged 15 – 30 who intends to return to full-time education in the fall. Please submit your resume with cover letter by email only no later than Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Guelph Arts Council invites applications from all qualified individuals. We are committed to employment equity and welcome applications from women, persons with disabilities, people of colour, Aboriginal people, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

Send applications to:
Patti Broughton, Executive Director
Guelph Arts Council
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

View PDF of job posting.


Charities’ annual general meetings don’t have a reputation for being super exciting, but you won’t want to miss this one! GAC’s Annual General Meeting will be held at 7 pm at Silence Sounds, 46 Essex St, on Wednesday May 17. Yes, we’ll vote on a few motions, welcome new Board members, share some notes on our 2016 year, and thank some VIPs. Oh, and we’ll present our new strategic plan for 2017-2019 (kind of important!). But the business portion of the meeting will be wrapped up lickety-split, and followed by an open mic session. Come and share the great things you or your organization have been up to! We’ll ask you at the door if you have anything to share, and you’ll have a three-minute limit when you’re called up. Don’t forget to bring your business cards or brochures to share too.

Everyone is welcome to attend, share, and network. However, GAC members must be current (paid up, that is) prior to May 17 in order to vote. Not sure if you’re current? If you get an AGM invitation from us in the mail around May 8, and there’s a renewal form in it, please send it back immediately (or – better yet! – renew online). If you don’t get an AGM invitation from us in the mail, you have not been a current member in the recent past. There are benefits to joining the 300(ish) voices of GAC, and not just that you get to vote at the AGM. If waiting around the mailbox sounds like a drag, just give us a call at 519-836-3280 or shoot us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We love to hear from all our members – whether current, lapsed, or wannabe.

Whatever your member or non-member status, we hope to see you on May 17 at Silence. There’s no charge to attend, but please RSVP online so we know how many people to expect.
Proxy forms are available: Download/print proxy form

GAC News: Guelph Arts Council Celebrates Success of Doors Open Guelph

On the occasion of Guelph’s 190th, Saturday’s sunshine brought out over 8,000 Guelph residents and out-of-town visitors – record attendance for the event’s 16-year history – to the fourteen sites offered at Doors Open Guelph and Trails Open.
Among the many highlights of the day were:
  • tales of ghosts and gangsters at The Albion Hotel
  • record attendance of 1,700 at the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate
  • lineups for a peek inside some of Guelph’s historic treasures, including The New Petrie Building, Ker Cavan, and The Armoury
  • a glimpse into the fascinating worlds of renowned Guelph innovators RWDI Consulting Scientists and Engineers and The Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Excellence in Manufacturing
  • a special 185th Birthday celebration at St. George’s Anglican Church
  • artist’s talks with Peter Johnston and Ron Shuebrook and hands-on art experiences at Silence.

Doors Open Coordinator Susan Ratcliffe said: “This year’s Doors Open Guelph was a stunning success. We thank the site owners and all the volunteers for their commitment to our city’s rich heritage in buildings, arts, landscapes and industries. And we thank the visitors for being so patient and cheerful even with the long lineups at the popular sites.”
Doors Open Guelph is one of Guelph Arts Council’s longest-running programs. Its success is due to the enthusiasm and hard work of volunteers who serve as tour guides, sweeps, greeters, counters, researchers, sign crew, and more. This year over 150 volunteers and site participants pulled together to open the doors of Guelph’s remarkable places.
Doors Open Guelph 2017 was generously sponsored by Downtown Guelph Business Association, Grinham Architects, and media sponsor Guelph Mercury Tribune.
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, 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.

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