2023 Pay it Forward Arts Fund Recipients

The second iteration of the Pay It Forward Arts Fund is underway after a very successful first round of the award in 2022. Last year’s recipients were local artists Alexa Collette and Maeve Hind, whose community project can be read about here and the results of which will be shared soon, so please stay tuned.

The Pay It Forward Arts Fund helps local artists in any discipline to fund art projects that pay it forward and benefit the community. The award could take many forms by using the arts to heal, give a hand-up, help build self-esteem, beautify our environment, or enrich and improve others’ lives.

The award is the gift of artist Barbara Salsberg Mathews and her husband, Bruce Mathews. It is designed to encourage artists to rise to the challenge and pay it forward by using their talents to benefit others and the Guelph community.

Guelph Arts Council wants to congratulate this year’s recipients, Maya Larose and Shannon Kingsbury. 

Maya Larose

Photo Courtesy of Maya Larose

Maya is a Knowledge Keeper, Drum Maker, Personal Support Worker, Officiant, End-of-life Doula and Community Weaver. She is the founder and facilitator of Turtle Drum Circles and Spirit Drum Workshops. Recently, Maya co-founded and led the intergenerational Community Earth Choir Community Project for Guelph Dance Festival. 

Maya has devoted her life to being in service and is endlessly grateful to Spirit and to the many different forms of teachers who have helped in defining her path and gaining the skills needed to fulfill her passion. 

Shannon Kingsbury

Photo Credits: Ema Suvajac

Shannon (she/her) is a singer, songwriter, harpist and music educator. She has collaborated with artists across several disciplines and genres in both site-specific and conventional performances, often marrying music with dance, spoken word and visual arts. Her musical works include two solo albums and an EP with Ondine Chorus.

Along with Sue Smith, Shannon founded and co-directed Ondine Chorus, a group devoted to the creation and performance of new vocal works and a cappella arrangements. Smith and Kingsbury also co-curated Spring Awakes!, an annual happening between 2012 – 2018 that provided performance artists with a unique opportunity to draw inspiration from and in turn support the re-naturalization of Ignatius Jesuits Centre’s Old Growth Forest

As a Music Educator, Shannon delights in mentoring children, youth and adults through her teaching studio, Kingsbury Music. Her gentle and creative approach has made her a sought-after coach and presenter with many youth-oriented arts organizations including Guelph Dance’s Arts Explosion camps and Creativity Greenhouse. 

Follow along to see how their community project comes to fruition.

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