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JOB OPPORTUNITY: Manager of Programs & Operations

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, volunteers, and members as Manager of Programs & Operations. Within a small staff team, the successful candidate will work closely with the Executive Director to achieve organizational goals.

The successful candidate will be passionate about art and community, contribute to GAC’s mission with their creative vision and administrative acumen, and support and promote Guelph’s creative community by managing GAC programs, communications, and operations. Specific duties will include:

Communications: championing GAC members and programs, and supporting awareness of the value of the arts, through e-newsletters, social media, and guelpharts.ca; maintaining guelpharts.ca; supporting the development of communications plans

Programs: supporting the creation, development, implementation, and evaluation of GAC programs and events, including volunteer recruitment and management

Membership: processing memberships, managing renewals, delivering member benefits

Operations: maintaining financial records, administering invoicing and payments, banking, and financial reporting; maintaining electronic and hard files

Strong interpersonal, communication, organizational and computer skills are required, including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite. Experience with social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, is also required. Knowledge of accounting software, preferably Quickbooks, is a strong asset. The ideal candidate will have a background in the arts, and be knowledgeable about the issues, opportunities and challenges in the sector.

This position is 35 hours per week. Some evening and weekend work is required. The salary range for the position is $31,000 - $34,000, dependent on experience. This position could accommodate a job share opportunity. Anticipated start date is March 1, 2019. Guelph Arts Council is located in downtown Guelph, Ontario.

Please submit your resumé with cover letter by email only no later than 12:00pm on Friday, February 8, 2019. Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Send applications to:

Patti Broughton, Executive Director
Guelph Arts Council
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Guelph Arts Council invites applications from all qualified individuals. We are committed to employment equity and welcome applications from women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, Indigenous persons, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

When you support Guelph Arts Council, you support people like Abby Nowakowski and Ahmri Vandeborne.

by Jane Litchfield 


These two young artists are out to change the way people look at the world around them. Both in their final year at University of Guelph’s Studio Art program, they create collaborative artwork together as Ahmri + Abby. They help people notice things they walk by every day, but never really see, like a perfectly square little hole in the wall, or bricks peeking through a crack in plaster. “If you take time to pay attention to your surroundings, you may find something beautiful,” Abby says.

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Ahmri Vandeborne and Abby Nowakowski (image by Jane Litchfield)

Separately, they also explore how people interact with the world around them. Ahmri’s work as an interdisciplinary artist is based on the environment, the landscape, and the human impact on nature. She grew up in an environmentally conscious family and studied geography and environmental science along with her art studies to inform her practice. “I’m interested in why humans do what they do,” Ahmri says. For example, she is interested in the way some people look at climate change and say, ‘I can’t do anything about it,’ and the psychology behind that.

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This past spring I thought I had an opportunity to do something about that. I knew that The Porcupine’s Quill press in Erin was for sale, and circumstances seemed to make buying it a possibility. Nothing came of those negotiations in the end, but my friend Shane Neilson and I had already put so much work into preparing for that purchase, that we decided to venture out on our own and found a brand new, nationally distributed, literary publisher.

And so Gordon Hill Press was born, with Shane as the editor and me as the publisher.

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Jeremy Luke Hill, co-founder of Gordon Hill Press (image courtesy of the artist)

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I had the opportunity to attend the Baker Street Redevelopment open house on November 29 at the River Run Centre. The vision for this mixed-use private and major institutional development is as a northern anchor for the downtown. It will provide a high profile location for a new main branch of Guelph Public Library, a residential tower, an institutional partner, commercial space, an urban square, and parking. I went to the meeting as the Director of Guelph Arts Council, which advocates for and supports cultural initiatives, including creative spaces.

GPL new library Windmill concept drawing
Artist's Rendering:  Baker District
Winter view of public square from library.   
Windmill Developments, Urban Equation, Diamond Schmitt and DTAH Architects

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When European settlers came to Turtle Island and began marrying the First Peoples here, an entirely unique nation was born. The children of these first marriages had to uncover their own place in this world. It was a complicated task, to balance the almost oppositional heritages passed down to them, and then to pass their distinct new culture down to their own children.

Navigating the territory between the old ways of Indigenous ancestors and the new ideas of the European immigrants was by no means easy. At times, attempts at forging an identity in the country were a brutal endeavour. Villages were burned down, leaders were hanged, battles were waged, and children were snatched away to residential schools. Despite repeated attempts to stifle the emerging culture, the young people proved resilient. But still, it is difficult to build a brand new culture, especially in the face of such resistance.

And so we, the Métis, beaded ourselves into the fabric of Canada’s history.

At this point, many Indigenous women were decorating clothing and items with dyed porcupine quills, which mostly limited them to making geometric shapes and designs. However, Métis children learned from the Grey Nuns (soeurs grises) how to do French silk embroidery, which emphasized the delicate floral patterns that were very popular in Europe.

A purple quillwork and beadwork flower by 4 Sisters Métis Beadwork.

The Métis combined this new design knowledge with the traditional quillwork used in the communities of the First Peoples. From this blend, the distinctive Métis beadwork style emerged. They would use coloured seed beads to create vibrant, textured images of flowers, which stood out from the styles that had existed prior. Thus, the Métis became known as “the flower beadwork people.”

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