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GUELPH Celebrating 40 Creative Years

Venture Guelph Publications Ltd.


Congrat ulat ions


on your


A NNI VER SAR Y Proudly working together to create lifelong opportunities for participation and belonging through creative experiences.

The City’s Culture, Tourism and Community Investment department offers a diverse range of services and programs to support community well-being and prosperity, and to foster a sense of place and pride in Guelph. Guelph Farmers’ Market Guelph Museums Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership Market Square

Public Art River Run Centre Sleeman Centre Visit Guelph, Tourism Services Community Investments

2015 2013

GUELPH Arts Guelph is produced by Venture Guelph Publications Ltd. in collaboration with the Guelph Arts Council (GAC). Entirely funded by advertising sales, a portion of the proceeds are directed back to the GAC. Arts Guelph is designed to entice you to further explore the diverse arts and culture

On behalf of Guelph Arts Council’s (GAC) Board of Directors and staff, we would like to thank Venture Guelph Publications Ltd. for supporting this initiative, which celebrates GAC’s 40th anniversary and our wonderfully rich creative community. This publication offers a unique platform to showcase the talent and skills that are located within our own community, and advances GAC’s commitment to championing Guelph’s creative community. It also looks back on the achievements of that community over the years, and recognizes other anniversaries that are taking place this year. In 1974 Guelph's City Council, recognizing the transformative potential of arts and culture and the creativity of Guelph citizens, had the foresight to pass a resolution directing the Mayor to establish an arts council for the community. One of Ontario’s first community arts councils, Guelph Arts Council was established in 1975 for the purpose of stimulating, encouraging and coordinating the development of arts activities in Guelph. Over the years, GAC has been building the cultural heart of the city by assisting with the development of new organizations such as Macdonald Stewart Arts Centre (now Art Gallery of Guelph), Guelph Chamber Choir,

opportunities in Guelph and neighbouring areas. This digest is also available free of charge in digital form at

Celebrating Arts & Culture Celebrating 40 Creative Years

Mike Baker, Owner and Publisher. Venture Guelph Publications Ltd. Guelph ON. 519-824-1595

Guelph Civic Museum, Guelph Youth Orchestra, Royal City Musical Productions, River Run Centre, and many more. GAC enriches the lives of Guelph's residents and visitors by connecting them with artists and arts organizations and creating opportunities for personal inspiration. We have also shared knowledge, space and administrative services with arts and culture groups, while offering professional development support through awards and workshops. GAC has been a voice for the arts in larger community endeavours, increasing awareness of the role the arts play in creating vibrant communities where people want to work, live and play. Together with its supporters and members, GAC will honour its legacy by continuing to support and champion the arts, making Guelph one of Canada's great creative cities. As a charity, we are supported by the City of Guelph, the Ontario Arts Council, The Guelph Community Foundation– Musagetes Fund, The Elevator Project, and program sponsors, donors and members. If you believe in what


we do and would like to help us carry out our mission, please become a member or connect with us at an event, via email, or stop by our office at 147 Wyndham Street North, Suite 404. Donations are gratefully accepted online at, or by calling 519-836-3280. Once again we would like to thank Venture Guelph Publications Ltd. for their support. We would also like to congratulate all the creative people in Guelph that work so tirelessly to contribute to the unique character that defines this city. Sincerely,

Cynthia Kinnunen President, Guelph Arts Council

Patti Broughton Executive Director, Guelph Arts Council


ARTS Guelph • • 2015

Congratulations to the Guelph Arts Council (GAC) on 40 years of arts leadership! Over the past four decades, the GAC has played an essential role in Guelph and the surrounding region, launching many successful arts initiatives and events. From its beginnings, the GAC has supported the development of dozens of arts organizations and hundreds of artists in and around Guelph. It has been an advocate for the arts, helping to establish the River Run Centre, and contributing to the City of Guelph’s Recreation, Parks and Culture Strategic Master Plan. The Ontario Arts Council has been pleased to support the GAC from its earliest days. On behalf of our board and staff, please accept our best


wishes for your anniversary year and beyond. Sincerely,

Rita Davies Chair, Ontario Arts Council

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2014-15, OAC funded 1,709 individual artists and 1,078 organizations in 204 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.1 million.

On behalf of the City of Guelph, I am thrilled to offer congratulations and best wishes to the Guelph Arts Council on the occasion of your 40th anniversary. Many visitors and new residents are surprised and impressed with Guelph’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Whether it’s visual art or the performing arts and music, Guelph has exceptional offerings for a city our size. The Guelph Arts Council has played an important role in this as a champion of local arts and culture for the past four decades. The Guelph Arts Council has helped shape our city in significant and positive ways. Thank you for your contributions over the past 40 years, and here’s to the next 40! Sincerely, Cam Guthrie Mayor, City of Guelph Advertising Sales & Project Management: Venture Guelph Publications Ltd. staff. Editor: Heather Grummett. Production Design: Linda Carey.


Cover Photos: Guelph Symphony Orchestra Gala, photo supplied; Happy making pianos, photo by Ian Findlay; Guelph Youth Singers with conductor Markus Howard, photo supplied by GYMC; Artist paints, photo by Melissa Gobeil.

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ARTS Guelph • • 2015 6

The Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG) is one of Canada’s premier public art galleries. AGG features art by Guelph’s leading visual artists and brings national and international art to Guelph. Through an innovative program that makes contemporary visual culture accessible, AGG engages the broad and eclectic regional community and positions art in an ever-changing cultural landscape. AGG (formerly Macdonald Stewart Art Centre) was established in 1978 through a provincial act as a not-for-profit charitable organization. AGG operates today with the support of our founding partners: the University of Guelph, the City of Guelph, and the Upper Grand District School Board. With support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and our sponsors, AGG achieved a major construction project in the summer of 2015 that included the restoration of the gallery’s iconic front porch and the reconstruction of a barrier-free accessibility ramp at the north entrance to the building. The art collections at AGG have grown from 150 works in 1978, to more than 9,000 in 2015. The gallery houses two collections: the AGG Collection of contemporary Canadian and

international art, and the University of Guelph Collection of Canadian and international art since the 15th century. Keystone Group of Seven paintings, The Drive (circa 1916) by Tom Thomson and Morning Light, Lake Superior (circa 1927) by Lawren Harris, each originally purchased for the bargain basement price of $500, are among the most valuable and beloved works in the historical collection. The Sculpture Park at AGG is the largest sculpture park at a public gallery in Canada, featuring 38 permanently sited sculptures by prominent Guelph, Canadian, and international artists. For 37 years, AGG has thrived due to the support of countless individuals and organizations, including our visionary sponsors and deeply committed volunteers. AGG’s Volunteer Association operates The Gallery Shop at AGG, featuring unique pottery, glass, and metalwork by regional artists, and soapstone sculpture by Inuit artists. The Art Rental & Sales program offers over 150 original works by Guelph artists. Located at 358 Gordon St (at College Ave), AGG is open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 5pm. Admission is free.

The Art Gallery of #Guelphie taken at the opening of AGG on September 17. Photo by: Dean Palmer

Art Gallery of Guelph

Guelph StudioTour celebrates 30 years During my first Guelph Studio Tour a gentleman who was purchasing my work told me that he had recently tried to bid on a painting of mine at an auction and lost, describing the event like the “fish that got away”. As we chatted we realized that his company had recently purchased art from a close friend of mine. Days later, he called to say that my painting looked great hanging in his dining room. This one painting had formed new connections beyond the first studio visit. Now there was a connection between me and the other artists in his collection, and between each piece hanging in his space. Myself and the other artists on the tour share similar stories–which reveal the value of having an art collection. The value goes beyond the dollar–it shows its worth in quietly telling the world a little bit more about its owner, where they’ve been and what’s important to them. The Guelph Studio Tour started 30 years ago, in 1986, with a close-knit group of 17 artists who opened their studios to the public as a way to show and sell their work. The tour started as a walking tour in the downtown, bringing energy to the shops and restaurants. Today, the Guelph Studio Tour involves 42 artists representing a great diversity of disciplines.

With 30 years of building blocks in place, the thing that remains a constant is that the Guelph Studio Tour stands for authenticity, connection and community…history and art combined have a way of doing that. Jessica Masters

Guelph Chamber Choir enters its 35th season The Guelph Chamber Choir was founded in 1980 to foster the development and appreciation of choral music in Guelph and the surrounding area. Consisting of highly talented, but largely amateur singers from a wide range of occupations, the choir is in its 35th season. With four or five concerts in its regular series, the choir’s repertoire ranges from Renaissance masters to newly commissioned works, from classical repertoire to Broadway arrangements, and from masterworks for choir and orchestra to choral gems for unaccompanied voices. Gerald Neufeld has conducted the choir for 33 years, accompanied at the piano for many years by Alison MacNeill. 2015-16 season at



Forty years ago when Guelph Arts Council was formed by Guelph City Council, one of the mandates was to “bring a performing arts centre” to our city. Twenty-two years later River Run Centre opened its doors. The many hurdles and setbacks that were encountered never deterred a resolute Citizens Committee for the Performing Arts Centre, which, on recommendation of the Arts Council, had been established by City Council. The Arts Council then managed the donations to the fund-raising campaign and provided administrative assistance to the committee, which, with great help from the broader community, worked diligently to bring about the splendid centre we enjoy today. In 1978 the city-owned Speed Skating Rink, a rather grand limestone structure on the banks of the Speed River, was designated as the site for the new facility. It was downtown, near restaurants, across the street from parking and was very near the spot where John Galt erected Guelph’s first building, the Priory. The skating rink had been built in 1882 and, although disused, was still standing. The original design for River Run incorporated the rink. However before Moriyama + Teshima, Architects could start work, that building was destroyed by fire. Its stone façade was dismantled and reconstructed to form a near-by outdoor amphitheatre.

Moriyama + Teshima, Architects worked with ARTEC, acousticians and theatre consultants, to design a main performance hall seating 800, a smaller multi-use hall for 250 and Canada Company Hall, which doubles as a lobby as well as a handsome gathering space for receptions and conferences. It was felt that the main hall should have

been named “The Wow Hall”. The audience was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the warm wood and gleaming brass that they often just stopped and said “wow”! Since opening on October 4, 1997, the building has hosted an average of 450 events a year. Construction cost for River Run was $14 million with $5.5 million being raised by the Citizens Committee. The city, provincial government and federal government provided the remainder. River Run is owned and operated by the City of Guelph. Find out what’s on at the River Run Centre this season by visiting Nancy Coates, Chair, Building Committee, Citizens Committee for the Performing Arts; and founding President, Guelph Arts Council

Photo supplied by: GAC

ARTS Guelph • • 2015

History of the River Run Centre

40 successful years It’s a great pleasure, on behalf of the City of Guelph’s Culture, Tourism and Community Investment department, to congratulate Guelph Arts Council (GAC) on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. The community of Guelph is proud of its reputation as a pulsating, vibrant cultural hub. As we celebrate with GAC, we are reminded of its vital role in fostering an animated and lively environment that has made it possible for arts and culture to thrive. Over the past four decades, GAC has worn many different hats to support the creative work of artists and arts organizations in our community: • Incubator • Partner • Communicator • Instigator • Collaborator • Educator • Supporter • Administrator • And the list goes on… All these different roles contribute immeasurably to our community wellbeing. In addition, the Council’s steadfast role as a go-to cultural resource for anyone in the community remains a vital asset to Guelph. As part of our partnership with GAC, we look forward to continuing our work together to maximize our resources, share information and facilitate new initiatives. Milestone celebrations–at their best– serve as springboards for renewal and revitalization. It is thrilling to work alongside GAC as it envisions which hats it will wear to best serve the community over the next 40 years. Onward…to the next 40! Ella Pauls, Manager, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, City of Guelph

A celebration of Guelph Arts Council’s 40th Anniversary November 19, 2015 River Run Centre – 7:00 pm A retro evening of wine & art pairing tickets $30 or $50 (with $20 tax receipt) purchase tickets at or or call (519) 763-3000

From a celebration of life, to a place in Guelph’s History With rich history spanning over 160 years, Woodlawn Memorial Park has become a place to gather, to rest and remember, reflect and find comfort. Full of beautiful art work, landscape and scenery, Woodlawn’s tranquil beauty offers an escape for the living– truly an outdoor museum.

To learn more about the history of Woodlawn Memorial Park, visit or find us on Facebook.

(519) 822-1271 762 Woolwich St., Guelph 9

Time to remember the power of art

ARTS Guelph • • 2015

This has certainly been a year to remember in Guelph, as our community has marked several significant


Ruth Abernethy, which now sits at the top of the hill at the Guelph Civic Museum. Guelph’s local visual arts community reflected on the impact of In Flanders Fields through their own paintings, photographs, textiles, stained glass, milestones. ceramics and jewelry. Remembering In At Guelph Museums, we have spent Flanders Fields juried art show was 2015 commemorating the centenary of touching and inspiring, and is now the writing of In Flanders Fields by captured in a catalogue of the same Guelph-born doctor, soldier and poet name. John McCrae. As the commemoration of In Flanders The exhibition space at McCrae Fields coincides with Guelph Arts House National Historic Site was Council’s 40th anniversary celebration, completely transformed earlier this we are reminded of the power of art–in year, creating a gallery filled with our community and in our world. images, artifacts, stories, and interactive John McCrae was an accomplished experiences that trace McCrae’s life– physician and a respected soldier. Yet, from his birth in the modest cottage on it is the 15 lines of poetry he wrote in Water Street, through his formative the midst of the Second Battle of Ypres, years in Guelph, his studies and during the First World War, that medical work in Toronto and Montreal, resonated with the world and that he his adventures on the Lord Earl Grey is best remembered for. expedition of 1910, and his military Through his words, he shared a service overseas. powerful and moving image of New museum experiences were the battlefield; offered a glimpse of the presented at McCrae House, including anguish of war; and inspired a the introduction of backyard theatre movement of remembrance. So simple, with a new, one-act, original play by yet powerful, his poem, that one Don Macrae, A Night in Flanders. hundred years later, across Canada The community embraced the and around the world, it is recited in 100th anniversary of the writing of In remembrance, still evoking an Flanders Fields, planning their own emotional response. commemorative activities–the most That is the power of art. And, ambitious of which was the that is how one artist from Guelph commissioning of a John McCrae made a difference in the world. statue by renowned Canadian sculptor Tammy Adkin, Manager, Guelph Museums

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Since it opened in 2001, the Guelph Youth Music Centre (GYMC) has been the arts hub of the community. The unique facility is an exciting cultural focal point for children of all ages and backgrounds in the Guelph/Wellington area. As a non-profit organization, the GYMC is dedicated to education, enrichment and fostering the development of youth through music and the arts. The GYMC believes every child should have the opportunity to engage in a recreational activity of his or her choice. It’s hard to visit the Centre and not be inspired by the sound of music or enchanted by visual arts, drama or dance flowing throughout its halls. Through a variety of programs, provision of space to partner organizations and outreach into the community, the GYMC enriches many lives every day. The Centre directly benefits more than 2,000 children from the community weekly through various programs, and in 2014 more than 12,000 Guelph and area residents were engaged at the GYMC through various programs and events. Some of the programs the Centre offers are: • Do Ri Me - Professional artists visit the classrooms of kindergarten to grade eight students to provide an interactive workshop. The program works to enrich the arts curriculum through a comprehensive music program, allowing students to acquire fundamental music skills and stimulate their activity, while providing study guides for teachers. • High Notes - As a choir for children with special needs, this program is designed to

help children, youth and young adults find their voice and experience community, friendship and acceptance through song in a safe and nurturing environment. • Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra Combines the energy of the GYMC and the Guelph Symphony Orchestra to bring a high quality of orchestra that aims to enrich the youth of Guelph and the surrounding communities. Other programs include GYMC String Orchestras, Kid’s Chorus, Medieval Madness and more. The Centre is also host to many resident groups for music, arts, drama and dance. Volunteers are also a vital component of the GYMC. They literally built the Centre, devoting more than 20,000 hours of labour over six years. Today, volunteers continue to help repair the building, paint walls, fix lights, assist with special events, and much more. We are proud to be an essential part of the Arts Community in Guelph. ”The Guelph Youth Music Centre is the unequivocal musical heart of Guelph.” Tracey Clarke-Rankine, Director, Guelph School of Music. For more information visit or call 519-837-1119.

Photo supplied by: Guelph Youth Music Centre.

ARTS Guelph • • 2015

Making the arts a work of life at the Guelph Youth Music Centre

GuelphYouth Singers celebrates 25 years

Congratulations on 40 Years of serving Guelph Arts organizations!

75 Cardigan St., Guelph 519.837.1119

Photo by Dean Palmer

Over the decades, the Guelph Arts Council (GAC) has been instrumental in the birth and development of many local arts-related organizations and initiatives that have enriched our beautiful city. Guelph Youth Singers (GYS–also initially known as Guelph Children’s Singers) is one such organization. GYS was formed in 1991 as a joint project of GAC and the Guelph Chamber Music Society. Comprised of four main auditioned choirs and several specialized choral groups, GYS brings together children and youth ages six to 19+ for a musical adventure like no other. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, GYS will host an anniversary concert series to include the annual Winter and Spring concerts, with the addition of three Sunday afternoon bonus performances. Under the expert guidance of founder and long-time artistic director, Linda Beaupre, and now Markus Howard, GYS has more than fulfilled its mandate of choral excellence. It has released three CDs over the years. All GYS choirs perform annually in the Guelph Kiwanis Festival, and have won the trophy for the Best Choral Programme every year since 1996. They have also distinguished themselves at the provincial and national levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, winning several provincial and national first prize awards. GYS continues to provide our community with a special place where children can enjoy singing and grow in their ability to sing. They can thrive as they learn together more about music, the arts and culture.

If you love to sing ....... Guelph Youth Singers is holding auditions. Hear us at our winter concert, Snowforms, Dec. 5, 2015, 7 p.m., Harcourt Memorial United Church. To book an audition call

519-821-8574 or visit the GYS website at


ARTS Guelph • • 2015

Guelph Arts Council partners with Downtown Guelph


The Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) has a long and proud tradition of working with the Guelph Arts Council, and we congratulate them on this auspicious anniversary. They are great to work with, and it’s always a pleasure to do so. GAC is an organization with vision and passion that has always been a strong and steady voice for the place of Arts in our city. We know that a vibrant Arts community is good for Guelph. It’s good for our hearts and minds, and also good for our collective prosperity. Artists make a significant contribution to the local economy, and many artists, musicians, dancers, and actors ply their trade in Downtown Guelph. So it is vital to the DGBA to do all we can to support the work of the Arts Council, their events and activities, as well as their individual members. Art on the Street, the annual juried art show, has been the most tangible evidence of this partnership. We use the strength of each organization to put on a first class event that thousands flock to each July. Art entrepreneurs, as well as brick-and-mortar shops of all kinds, find that having throngs of people in front of you is the best sort of marketing opportunity there is. For some of our businesses it’s among their top sales days of the year. Downtown property owners have also partnered with the Arts Council on the HATCH project–“pop-up” art installations in vacant storefronts. I love the whimsy, the fun, and the engagement that these works bring to the street. They are small but important ways that we illustrate how, by working together, business and the arts build a sense of place. This is not new, nor is it unique: every desirable place on earth has a strong component of culture, and most people want to live and do business in a place that

has strong support for the arts. Downtown Guelph shines in this respect–but we are not resting on our laurels. We are looking to up our game, and build our partnership with the Arts Council to bring more soul to the heart of our city. The first 40 years have been great; here’s to the next 40 being even better. Marty Williams, Executive Director, Downtown Guelph Business Association

The Guelph Creative Arts Association The Guelph Creative Arts Association (GCAA) was formed in 1948 as an association of existing art and craft guilds, writers, potters, painters, weavers, and more. The GCAA mission is to promote all levels of visual arts in Guelph; provide opportunities for artists to display their work; provide learning opportunities via workshops; participate in developing artistic environments; and to encourage amateur and professional artisans in developing their talents. The Guelph Arts Council (GAC) has consistently been a great resource to GCAA members and the Association in pursuing that mission. Longstanding GCAA shows include “Expressions”, a juried show for members which is held in the fall, and has run since 1948. Held in the spring, "Painting on the Green “ began in 1960 and is open to all levels of artisans with prizes awarded by a Juror. Both these events have been held in a variety of venues over the years. In 1970 the first “M’Art in the Mall” was held, emphasizing crafts, which later became “Made for You”, and most recently has become “Holiday Market” held the - continued on pg 16

Congratulations Guelph Arts Council! Thank you for being such an integral part of our community for 40 years!


ARTS Guelph • • 2015

15th season for the Guelph Symphony Orchestra


In an era where arts and culture are deemed secondary or even unnecessary; we are fortunate to live in a city that truly believes and knows differently. Every day, my partner and I are grateful that Guelph Symphony Orchestra brought us to this unique and remarkable city. Simon Irving founded the Guelph Symphony Orchestra in 2001. Now in its 15th season, we have grown from a chamber ensemble with one concert in its inaugural season, to a 55-member orchestra with a wide variety of programming–performing music from Bach to Stravinsky, Mozart to Philip Glass–with out-reach activities and social events that take place throughout the year. This season, the GSO opens with a Ballet-Opera-Symphony Gala at the acoustically superb River Run Centre, featuring dancers Selene Guerrero Trujillo and Dylan Tedaldi from the National Ballet of Canada, the up-and-coming opera superstar Brittany Renee Robinson, and two award-winning choirs from University of

Guelph and Laurier University. The orchestra continues the season with six more concerts, including an anticipated debut at Guelph’s Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate with Mozart’s Requiem and a free performance of Saint-Saën's Carnival of the Animals at the Guelph Civic Museum. The GSO has been able to sustain this rapid growth and development not only because of the dedicated personnel and supporters within the organization, but more significantly, because of the desire, the need, and the encouragement from our community. Happy 40th Birthday, Guelph Arts Council– we owe it to you for leading the way. On behalf of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, thank you for consistently playing this most vital role in our community. We look forward to celebrating the next milestone birthday with you! Judith Yan, Artistic Director, Guelph Symphony Orchestra

Debbie Near, winner, with Randy Hobson, chair–Painting on the Green 2015, and Ivan Stocco, juror. Photo supplied by: Guelph Creative Arts Assoc.

was Guelph Artisans Store, which is now located in Old Quebec Street Shoppes. Operated by GCAA members, Guelph Artisans continues to actively provide local artisans an opportunity to display and sell their works. GCAA has enjoyed a collegial relationship with GAC for 40 years. GAC has been promoting our events to the ten days before Christmas, in Old Quebec St. public and artists, providing a valuable Shoppes concourse. resource for all things artisans need, want, or In 2015 a new show, “Inspired”, will be held dream of having. in November at Kloepfer Gallery and is open to We look forward to GAC thriving and all GCAA members. continuing their role as the catalyst for all In 1992, The Eaton Centre approached GAC aspects of Guelph’s cultural well-being for to offer a storefront space to showcase the another 40 years. work of local artisans. GAC met with GCAA Kathy Lawrence, GCAA President 2015 executive to take on this project. The result

Wyndham Art Supplies–serving Guelph’s creative community In the fall of 1991, when Otto, Marg and Chris Ahlers were contemplating a new creative business venture, namely an art supply store, the question of location naturally became a big one. While Otto and Marg were living in Burlington, and Chris in Toronto, it was Guelph that soon became a serious contender. There was a family connection with Guelph, as Marg's father, Victor Langton, had graduated from Ontario Agricultural College in 1930, and her sisters from the University of Guelph many years later. Chris had a close friend who transferred from Ontario College of Art in Toronto to Guelph to complete his fine art degree. So the trio decided to visit Guelph to get a sense of the vibe of the city, and more importantly, its arts scene. After doing some research and conducting focus groups, it became clear that Guelph was indeed the place to establish Wyndham Art Supplies. While the fine art program at the University of Guelph was a vital element, it was a combination of factors that won them over. A short list would include: an impressive inventory of heritage architecture, a thriving downtown, wonderful natural

amenities, and a rate of engagement in 'creative industries' that is significantly higher than the national average. The number of arts groups in the city was then, and still is, impressive–from informal artists' clubs, to long-standing guilds and associations, to the many festivals and studio tours that call Guelph home. Enter the Guelph Arts Council (GAC). Wyndham Art Supplies was fortunate enough to be located right across the street from the GAC office on Upper Wyndham back in 1992, and now, at their 'new' location, just half a block down. From the beginning, Otto, Marg and Chris had regular contact with Council folk. For our part we have been pleased to sponsor GAC programs, including, most recently, Art on the Street and Historical Walking Tour booklets. Both Wyndham Art Supplies and GAC have been, and will continue to be, dedicated to serving Guelph’s creative community. We congratulate GAC on their 40th anniversary and look forward to working together for many years to come. -supplied by Wyndham Art Supplies



We are delighted and proud that the Jane Graham Memorial Award remains alive and well a decade after Jane’s death. Too often such awards become dormant after some years as enthusiasm wanes even though funds may still exist. The ongoing success of Jane’s award is predominantly due to the leadership we have received from the Guelph Arts Council, the excellent selection committee, and the enthusiasm of the arts community. Each year one member of our family has participated in the selection committee, and meeting the recipients has been a wonderful, rewarding experience-in several cases leading to long-term friendships. We realize that the amount of the award is somewhat modest, but each of the recipients has pointed out that the most important aspect is that it is a recognition of their ability and their desire to explore new aspects of their artistry. When the award was instituted, we were somewhat naïve regarding the scope of what fine art entailed. We have been impressed that the applicants have included potters, blacksmiths, bead workers, and mixed-media artists, alongside painters; it appears the definition of fine art is infinite. It has been a pleasure to interact with the artists, observe the wide uses they have made of the award, and subsequently to follow their careers as they continue to strive to take their work to the next level. In every case, the artists have been the type of person that Jane would have respected and appreciated; she would have been pleased to see these individuals recognized and would have been delighted with their successes. We want to thank all of those whose donations contributed to establishing the trust

fund for the award. We are indebted to the Guelph Arts Council and The Guelph Community Foundation for their enthusiastic and professional management of the award and to those who have served on the selection committee. We look forward to continuing to see the Jane Graham Memorial Award prosper for years to come.

"Even just applying for an Award helps artists to define their ideas. They ask themselves, what would I do if there were a bit more flexibility here, more time and resources? Receiving this Award sent me many messages: this will happen, there is a community here encouraging you, an idea path is worth following. It’s a great process and you can’t possibly predict its domino effect." Meredith Blackmore, Jane Graham Memorial Arts Award Recipient, 2009

“Like Sisters” by Meredith Blackmore.

ARTS Guelph • • 2015

“April Window” by Jane Graham.

The Jane Graham Memorial Award:family reflections

Guelph Arts Council’s role in cultural development Looking back over the 40 years that encompass the history of Guelph Arts Council (GAC), I hope it goes without saying that Guelph’s cultural life has blossomed and indeed grown exponentially during this time period. From my perspective as one who has been involved in GAC for most of its history, what stands out is the number of organizations and projects that GAC has helped get off the ground. When I tried to come up with a list, I lost count but figure that there was an average of at least one a year for each of the 40 years. I won’t even try to list all of the organizations and projects that GAC helped seed in one way or another. I can say that they cover a broad crosssection of the local arts and cultural scene. Perhaps mention of a few will remind Guelphites of just how involved GAC has been over the past 40 years. GAC’s role was to assist in getting an organization or project started, but to then step back and let community members take over for the longer term. As a result, GAC’s catalytic role has often got lost in the mists of time! How many people today know that River Run Centre started as GAC’s Civic Centre Committee? In fact, that was one of GAC’s founding objectives, and later included administrative support for the citizens’ committee which, among other tasks, co-ordinated the fundraising campaign hat eventually led to the opening of River Run in 1997. Or who remembers that Guelph Youth Singers was a joint project of GAC and Guelph Chamber Choir, starting back in the early 1990s, leading to what is now a nationally-acclaimed youth choir? And, earlier still, that GAC assisted in the establishment of Guelph Chamber Choir and Royal City Musical Productions? There is also Guelph Tourism Services, which has been part of the City of Guelph since 1996, but got its start in the late 1980s as Guelph Tourism Connection.

GAC similarly took the lead for the City’s Millennium project in 1999-2000. The result was the installation of John McEwen’s Millennium Time Sculpture on the banks of the Speed River adjacent to River Run Centre. In 2007, GAC partnered with the City and the University in the Shakespeare–Made in Canada Festival. Other key partnerships have resulted in such varied community ventures as Guelph Studio Tour, Guelph Artisans, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival (now Guelph Dance), Doors Open Guelph, Spark of Brilliance, Art on the Street, Focus on Nature and many, many others. What better tribute to 40th-year celebrations than to recognize the wide-ranging cultural development role–largely unsung–that GAC has played, and to acknowledge that. Sally Wismer


If you are looking to experience a wide variety of artists, all at one event, Guelph has a great selection of festivals and shows running throughout the year.

ARTS Guelph • • 2015 20

In the 1960s, downtown Guelph was falling to the demands for modernism and “progress”, as the impressive grandeur of St. George’s Square’s limestone buildings fell into rubble and were replaced by ugly concrete boxes. A local real estate agent summed up the mood, “let’s face up to harsh realities. Old buildings stand in the way of progress.” The demolition of beloved buildings like the Customs House, Central School and the old Guelph Collegiate shocked the city. Such widespread destruction seemed to awaken a new attitude that recognized that the precious treasures of the past were disappearing. When the dome of the Carnegie Library crashed under the wrecking ball in 1966, Guelph citizens raged and wept. They found a voice for their concerns in the work of Gordon Couling, an artist and professor of Fine Arts at the newly formed University of Guelph. A mural painter and stained glass designer, he became passionate about capturing Guelph’s fine stone buildings in art and photography. He gave illustrated lectures about Guelph’s heritage to many city groups both in the city and across Ontario. He led bus and walking tours to raise awareness of the importance of the old stone architecture. In 1977, to celebrate Guelph’s 150th birthday, the Guelph Arts Council commissioned him to research and conduct walking tours of historic Guelph. In honour of Gordon Couling (who died in 1984), those first two tours, Where Guelph Began and Downtown Walkabout were revived in 1985 to 1987 and led by Terry Crowley. Over the intervening years, four more tours have been developed: • Slopes of the Speed, 1990, written by Florence Partridge, illustrated by Ida Seto • Altar and Hearth in Victorian Guelph, 1994, written by Florence Partridge, illustrated by Ida Seto (now divided into upper and lower sections) • Brooklyn and the College Hill, 1998, written by Florence Partridge, illustrated by Andy McLennan

• Ward One Guelph, 2010, written by Terry Crowley, illustrated by Robin Baird Lewis. Every Sunday from April to October devoted tour guides offer the tours, attracting an average of 400 to 500 people per year, both visitors to Guelph and new and long-time residents. Some tour guides love pointing out the details of architecture and the facts of the city’s history; some love to tell the romantic, comic and tragic stories of our buildings, people and heritage. For two hours, participants learn about our beautiful city–awareness that helps advocacy when our heritage is threatened by ignorance or greed. For the past thirty-eight years, passionate guides have shared the stories that matter to Guelph’s unique sense of place and help to save our buildings and landscapes from becoming only a plaque on a pile of stones.

Susan Ratcliffe, Historical Tour Guide, Guelph Arts Council

Kazoo! Fest Kazoo! is a Guelph-based artist-run organization made up of musicians, visual artists, and community organizers with a strong interest in showcasing innovative new music and art as a way to strengthen communities and bring people together. Since 2006 the Kazoo! music series has hosted over two hundred shows and has been influential in debuting some of the best new independent music in Canada as well as showcasing local musicians. Kazoo! Fest takes place April 6 to10 2016. Programming includes music, visual art, literary events, multimedia performances, and more.

Jane’s Walk in Guelph. Photo by Annie O’Donoghue, suppliedby the Guelph Civic League.

Footsteps through history–raising awareness of our community stories

Art on the Street Art on the Street is an annual art sale and exhibition that takes place in Downtown Guelph. Organized jointly by Downtown Guelph Business Association and Guelph Arts Council, this event takes place annually on the second weekend of July and features more than 100 artists from Guelph and the surrounding area. As a juried show, artists from across Ontario submit applications to be reviewed by an expert panel of practicing artists. Artists working in a variety of media are selected and are invited to present their work as part of the day. With over 5,000 attendees coming to Guelph to connect with Art on the Street, it is a great event that really speaks to Guelph’s love and support for the arts.

The Potters’Market The only outdoor market of its kind in Ontario, the Potters’ Market features the work of potters from across Ontario. This two-day weekend event is held in late May and is located at the limestone ruins of the historic Goldie Mill, on the Speed River in Downtown Guelph. Visitors have a great choice of unique, handcrafted pieces in a wide range of styles, materials and techniques.

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Guelph Jazz Festival The Guelph Jazz Festival was founded in 1994 by a small group of friends who shared a love of jazz and a commitment to the community of Guelph. The festival is held every September at various locations throughout the city, with a mainstage tent downtown. The Festival has consistently garnered high praise from international jazz critics for presenting the most compelling and innovative accomplishments in jazz.

Hillside The Hillside Festival is a three-day, five-stage event with a broad artistic vision that emphasizes diversity


Guelph Musicfest With a series of concerts running over several weeks in May and June, Musicfest showcases high quality chamber music performers, many of whom have graced stages around the world. Performances are held at the Guelph Youth Music Centre in Recital Hall, which offers some of the finest acoustics in the region. Built of stone and wood, it was designed to especially showcase chamber music.

ARTS Guelph • • 2015

Guelph Film Festival


The Guelph Film Festival screens outstanding documentaries addressing local and international issues. The programming focuses on social justice, the environment and our community. The festival includes global documentaries, short videos, visiting directors, panel discussions and programming for children.

Guelph Fringe Festival With a long history of theatre and performance art, Guelph welcomed the first Guelph Fringe Festival in the fall of 2015. This cutting edge performance festival is a celebration of arts, performance and connecting artists with their audience.

Eden Mills Writers’Festival The tiny village of Eden Mills is the story-book setting for devoted readers to experience the joy of being read to by new and familiar authors, and to be inspired by new ideas and perspectives. Founded in 1989, thousands attend the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, which has become a nationally acclaimed and widely respected literary event. Readings are heard from adult authors, young adult, and children’s authors. The Festival also features Publishers’ Way, where publishers, booksellers, magazine producers, and non-profit groups showcase their wares. Live music entertains between reading sets and refreshments can be enjoyed in the tented food court.

With fond childhood memories of visiting a blacksmith shop at a local pioneer museum, Graeme Sheffield decided to teach himself blacksmithing as a creative way to relieve stress from his job. Two years later, as a new member of the Guelph Studio Tour, he applied for the Jane Graham Award. “I’m very glad to have been awarded the Jane Graham Award when I did. It gave me the boost I needed to launch me in the direction I wanted to go as an artist. Ten years later, I run a successful artisan blacksmithing business full time. My passion for the art remains strong. It defines me.” Graeme Sheffield, Blacksmith

Celtic scrolls by Graeme Sheffield.

of culture, musical heritage and style, age, geography and influence. Hillside takes place every July on Guelph Lake Island. Performers range from well-seasoned professionals to passionate newcomers. Previous line-ups have embraced styles and influences such as indie, rock, folk, hip hop, blues, jazz, world, electronic, and reggae. Every year the island comes alive with music, workshops, artisans, food vendors, and spoken word and hand drumming performers.

Creating Unique and Inspiring Restaurants

let’s Eat! Downtown Guelph |

Downtown Guelph

Arts Guelph 2015  
Arts Guelph 2015