Micro-Grant, Massive Success

Written by CJ Cooper and GAC Staff

On August 4th, I (Preetam) attended the “Women In Music” celebration at Onyx (12 Wyndham St. N. 2nd Floor) as both a fan of those involved, and as a representative of Guelph Arts Council who were one of the funders of the event. Organizer and local musician CJ Cooper was a successful applicant in the first round of the City of Guelph-funded Micro-Grant program, an initiative that sees funds awarded via two streams—one administered by Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition and the other by Guelph Arts Council. For those interested, applications for the second round of funding will be coming in the fall, so please keep an eye on GAC’s social media, website, and eNews in the coming weeks for further information. Reflecting on the event itself, the music and the energy in the room was wonderful, and I was very impressed with how organized the entire evening was. I was also encouraged by the number of local businesses supporting the arts with their various contributions. All in all, it was a beautiful celebration of local artists, and we are very happy for you to read about it as seen through the eyes of the organizer, CJ Cooper:

Photo Credits: Chloe McDonald

What started as a small idea for an inclusive concert quickly turned into a wonderful night of music, empowerment and uplifting women in the community.

I was graciously awarded a grant from Guelph Arts Council to orchestrate a show that I called “Women In Music”—a style of show that I have personally been a part of in Toronto and wanted to bring to Guelph. 

As a professional musician of over ten years, I owe a lot to this city. Countless venues, mentors and opportunities have brought me to where I am today. My main goal for this show was to give back and highlight just a small portion of the incredible women accomplishing great things in Guelph.

Claire Whitehead, Mikalyn Hay, Madison Galloway and D’Eve Archer performed amazing solo sets at Onyx Nightclub on August 4th. Entry to the show was free and donations were accepted on behalf of the Guelph-Wellington Women In Crisis Shelter. 

Over 15 businesses were involved in this show. Some,like Sarmazian Bros Flooring and Guelph Today, offered sponsorship, while others—including several female-owned businesses like Red Brick Cafe, Royal Cat Records, Ms Meri Mak and Consign Your Curves—donated door prizes.

Cindy from the Women In Crisis Shelter spoke at the event and when all the donations for the evening were tallied, over $700 was raised for the shelter. The attendance for the show far surpassed my expectations and Guelph continues to be one of the best cities for live music and supporting of the arts. 

I want to especially thank Guelph Arts Council for the grant without which it wouldn’t have been possible to run this show. I hope to collaborate with them again in the future and to run more events, showcasing more up and coming artists, donating to new charities and creating a safe space for people to come together and enjoy a night of music.If you’re interested in being a part of an event like this, I can be reached at [email protected]. I look forward to connecting with the community even more.

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