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Recipient Named for the 2018 Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award

Guelph, ONDecember 18, 2018 – Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce that the 2018 Youth Opportunities Award goes to Queer Youth Arts Guelph, a group seeking “to make Guelph a more inclusive city for everyone,” and more specifically “to provide a platform for youth to speak their minds in creative ways.”

Led by three Centennial Collegiate Grade 12 students, Victoria Johnson, Charlotte McAren-Cayer, and Carling Serran, the group requested assistance in presenting an arts showcase event in February 2019 to coincide with winter Pride. They are inviting young queer artists aged 13 to 20 from all backgrounds and skill levels to submit a wide range of art, including film, painting, photography, music, creative writing, even stand-up comedy. Geared specifically to youth, the showcase will put “their voices in the spotlight,” rather than being included “as an afterthought”. It will also encourage youth to participate in order to engage with young artists around them, and even inspire some to create and exhibit art for the first time.

The award jury commended Queer Youth Arts Guelph for an original, innovative idea that is very much in the spirit of the Youth Opportunities Award, filling an identified gap and encouraging young people to engage in the arts. Jury members also appreciated that this showcase is a “youth-led queer arts project for youth!”

Established in 2009 to take the place of a previous youth awards program dating back to 1982, the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award is intended to encourage programs that will initiate, enhance or expand opportunities for children and youth in Guelph and Wellington County to experience or become engaged in the arts. Funds for the award come from the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Fund managed by The Guelph Community Foundation.

For more information about the Youth Opportunities Award program and Guelph Arts Council, please visit guelpharts.ca, phone 519-836-3280, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or drop by our office at 10C Shared Space, 42 Carden Street, Guelph. For more information about the Queer Youth Arts Guelph showcase, visit  https://www.instagram.com/queeryouthart/


About Guelph Arts Council:
For over 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 sponsor Meridian.

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View recipient photo: Charlotte McAren-Cayer, Carling Serran, Victoria Johnson

Kiwanis Festival Gala Celebrates 10th Anniversary

by Paul Baker


The annual Kiwanis Festival Gala celebrates in 10th anniversary Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm at the Guelph Youth Music Centre.

In  its 38th year, the Guelph Kiwanis Festival began its current format in 1981, and offers performance and adjudication opportunities to about 3000 young people each year.  Over 160 students received awards and scholarships in 2018, valued at over $13,400. 

The Festival is a non-profit event, and all monies raised are used to cover Festival expenses and cash awards.  Student registration fees have been held at a relatively low level to encourage participation - we have made only occasional modest increases in registration fees over the years, in line with other Kiwanis festivals in similarly-sized Ontario communities. 

Registration fees only cover about 1/3 of total Festival costs, and the Festival relies on sponsorships, programme ads, and most importantly, the Festival Gala in February each year to raise the funds required to operate the Festival. 

Those attending the Gala will enjoy an elegant evening of beautiful music, live and silent auctions, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a chocolate fountain, wine & beer, and raffle and door prizes.

For tickets and information, please contact Festival Coordinator Heather Fleming at 519-821-4365 or visit www.gkmf.ca

Guelph's Silence Collective Record CD with Groundbreaking Instrument Invention

by Brenda Lewis


A strange and entirely new acoustic instrument has inspired renowned Guelph improvisational musicians "The Silence Collective" to record a new CD project: “Apprehension Engine - The Murmuring”.

Mark Korven playing Apprehension Engine
Mark Korven playing Apprehension Engine (photo courtesy of the artist)

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When you support Guelph Arts Council, you support people like Jay S. Lefler Rosenberg

by Jane Litchfield


At this giving time of year, we especially thankful for our donors. When you support Guelph Arts Council, you support people like Jay S. Lefler Rosenberg.

Jay S. Lefler Rosenberg is a warrior -- a mental health warrior, that is. He is also a painter and graphic designer, and one of those people who makes connections wherever he goes. He is a trained peer support worker. And, he is open about his personal journey with mental illness. His latest initiative, “Coming Full Circle,” brings all that together.

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Guelph Black Heritage Society Announces New Heritage Hall Rehearsal Studio



The Guelph Black Heritage Society is pleased to announce that we will be opening a new, inclusive music rehearsal space for rent in the basement of Heritage Hall. The space will feature a PA system, full drum kit, piano keyboard, and microphones, as well as gender-neutral washrooms and a kitchen for patrons to use.

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The initiative was proposed by GBHS volunteer and local musician Laura Bailey, who identified a lack of inclusive rehearsal space geared toward diverse musicians who are women, people of colour, LGBTQIA, gender non-binary, and more. “There are very few rehearsal spaces for bands in general,” said Bailey, “and the ones that do exist are usually very male dominated. Some have even taken the whole ‘man cave’ thing to a new level.” Her vision for this new rehearsal space is to “create a safe and welcoming place for musicians who might not be able to find that elsewhere.” She believes that the historic building—a church built by refugee slaves from the Underground Railroad—makes Heritage Hall the perfect place for a diverse array of people to make music.

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