Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award Recipient Grateful for Mentorship Opportunity

by Patti Broughton and Erica Gatten

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that one of the award recipients was Ed Video. This should have been Guelph Film Festival and has been updated.

Nathan Gatten wants youth to discover the value of arts mentorship within our community. To that end he applied for the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award, which he was honoured to receive, along with Guelph Film Festival and The Children's Art Factory, in December 2014.

The award made possible an enriching new series of free "Try-It" arts workshops for Guelph-Wellington youth with mentoring by Frances Hahn and Taylar Dobbie at STUDIOHERE in Fergus.

Each aspiring artist (aged 15 to 23) approached the mentorship with very specific, personal goals. Mentors Frances Hahn and Taylar Dobbie listened carefully, honouring these goals and presenting new opportunities. They expanded on skills in teaching sessions, then supplied each with one-to-one mentoring, arts materials for their individual projects as well as resources for related upcoming events to support and inspire each artist in continuing on their paths. Nathan spoke of his personal experiences with mentorship to the group and how it helped him grow as an artist and become a part of the arts community.

Based in Fergus, Nathan is an artist with strong roots in the Guelph-Wellington arts community. When a rare metabolic condition and autism spectrum limited his access to formal education, he discovered he was surrounded by a community rich with artistic mentorship opportunities. Artist friend and mentor Meredith Blackmore introduced Nathan to oil paint in 2010 and he found an open and evolving freedom in colour. His oil paintings encompass a wide range of subjects including beloved pets and Canadian wildlife, pop cultural icons, current events, and some near and distant landscapes. Nathan is excited to explore the merging of art and science in his new celestial series based on Hubble photographs.

Through his work with community mentors, Nathan has been able to connect with others by sharing his art in local cafés, businesses, public spaces and homes across Canada and the U.S. He encourages those feeling limited and isolated to continue to find ways to reach out with hope and creativity.

In order to thank those involved in the GAC Youth Opportunities Award project, Nathan was inspired to inquire about taking out an ad in the Wellington Advertiser. Rather than take his money, the paper recognized Nathan’s success as a great story, and featured a story and article in the paper:

Nathan extends special thanks to the Guelph Arts Council and project partner and friend Meredith Blackmore and STUDIOHERE in Fergus, for their generous support and dedicated efforts. Meredith’s mentorship set him on his path and inspired his vision for this project.

He also gratefully acknowledges Judith Rosenberg for her ongoing faith and confidence as well as his family, 10 Carden and all who create possibilities for a more diverse, vibrant and resilient arts community. He hopes to support more unique opportunities for arts mentorship and shared experiences within his community in 2015.


Nathan Gatten's art may be seen at the Eden Mills Arts Festival May 23 & 24 (11am - 5pm) along with a showcase of many other visual artists, and dance and musical performances. Free admission.

A Warm Welcome to Our New Executive Director, Patti Broughton!

The Guelph Arts Council's Board of Directors is pleased to announce the successful completion of its Executive Director search, and welcomes Patti Broughton to the role.

"We're thrilled to have someone with Patti's skills join our organization. She brings experience as a cultural manager and communications professional to the role, as well as a passion for the arts," says Board Chair Cynthia Kinnunen. "As we begin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of GAC, we look forward to promoting the achievements of GAC and the arts community with Patti, and focusing on our bright future."

Patti is a cultural manager and public relations specialist born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario. She holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, with a specialization in Arts Administration, and a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations from Niagara College. She began her Masters of Business Administration at Memorial University in St. John's and will continue this fall at Laurier University.

In her 20-year career, Patti has held positions with Centre for the Arts - Brock University, Shaw Festival and St. Catharines & Area Arts Council. Most recently, she managed the Colony of Avalon Foundation, a cultural tourism site in Ferryland, Newfoundland. Her professional interests include not-for-profit governance, finance, programming, public relations and fund development.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with the Guelph Arts Council's Board of Directors, staff and membership to lead one of Canada's most established community arts councils into the future" explains Patti. "I look forward to working with Guelph's artists and arts supporters to ensure a culturally vibrant city, and to getting to know and working with new colleagues in the community, business and government sectors."

Welcome, Patti!

Join Us for a Brewery Tour… and our Annual General Meeting

(Because what meeting wouldn’t be improved by beer?!)

The Guelph Arts Council invites you to kick off its 40th Anniversary year.

2015 Annual General Meeting
Thursday, May 21
7 pm
Royal City Brewery
199 Victoria Road S
Followed by a Brewery Tour

In keeping with May’s Artful Pledge theme of Explore, we’re heading out of the downtown core to host our AGM at a new local business, Royal City Brewery. For a sneak peak of the brewery tour, check out

Also new is Patti Broughton, the Guelph Arts Council’s Executive Director. From St. Catharines via St. John’s, Patti is thrilled to be back in her home province and joining the Guelph arts community. Come out and meet Patti at the AGM.

Join us on May 21 for a little exploring, a little celebrating and a little brewing.

RSVP to (519) 836-3280 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All are welcome to become a Guelph Arts Council member at the meeting. Find out why you want to do that at

April Artful Pledge Update: Volunteer!

by Sonya Poweska, Melissa Gobeil, and Katie Wilde

In their article, Volunteers and Donors in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2010 , Hill Strategies reports that in 2010, 764,000 volunteers contributed approximately 97 million hours of their time to support the work for arts and culture organizations. This amazing contribution of time not only allows organizations like Guelph Arts Council do our work, it also helps create a bridge between our organization and the community.

You may not know that our Board of Directors is made up entirely of volunteers who give their time and expertise to our organization. We also have volunteers helping the in the office with resources, and other arts admin, as well as renewing and revitalising underused space, and assisting us to run major events.

As in previous years, our recent crew of over 100 Doors Open Guelph volunteers were incredible! Welcoming locals and visitors from out of town, guiding them through the sites with tales of history, community, and creativity, they made this free community event happen, and we couldn’t have done it without them.


Melissa Gobeil

While I am not an active volunteer in this community at the moment, I have experienced the benefit of working closely with an amazing group of volunteers while working with the Guelph Arts Council (GAC).

In addition to our recent work with the incredible Doors Open Guelph volunteers, the steady and ongoing support of GAC’s volunteer Board of Directors is a constant reminder that spaces, projects and organizations are fueled by a shared passion, and given lift by the innate generosity of spirit seen amongst these volunteers. Volunteers lend their expertise, time and other precious resources to bring incredible feats to life and it feels about time for me to join their ranks again.

My own volunteerism took place in my twenties when I worked with children in Peru, India, and Ghana; and while I’ve had a long respite, it feels about time to kick something more local into gear. I’m not sure how it is going to look exactly, but I do look forward to finding a group whose work resonates and seeing what I can do to lend a helping hand


Katie Wilde

Although I was sad to have to give up my regular weekly volunteer shift at 10 Carden, I am pleased to still be involved helping the rotating community art program run while the original coordinator is on leave.

When I first moved to Guelph just over a year ago, I hardly knew a soul, and didn’t have a job besides my own work as an artist (not exactly lucrative enough to live on just yet). I needed to find out where the people were! Through the Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington, I came across the Host position at 10 Carden, whose motto is “Creating Space for Change”. I have met so many wonderful people through my volunteer work there, from the other volunteers, to the co-workers, event attendees, members, and staff.

It’s been an honour to assist the art program coordinator, and a pleasure to work with the artists who bring in new work each month. Volunteering is a great way to build skills and relationships, while building community.

If you’d like to know more about 10 Carden’s art program, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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