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Guelph Arts Council Announces Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund

'Hug' by Sue Richards

'Hug' by Sue Richards

Guelph, ON December 12, 2019 – Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce the launch of the Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund. The Guelph Arts Council Artist Relief Fund was first established in 2014 with donations made in memory of Guelph artist Sue Richards. A gift from her estate now gives GAC the opportunity to relaunch the program.

The Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund provides emergency financial relief to local artists living with debilitating health issues. The fund supports self-employed artists whose health impacts their ability to work and who may face related unexpected expenses. Applications are reviewed in confidence on an ongoing basis by the Guelph Arts Council Artist Relief Fund Committee. Up to $1,000 per eligible applicant is awarded on the basis of need, within the limits of the funds available annually.

Sue Richards credit James Gordon

Sue Richards - photo by James Gordon

Described by her many friends as vibrant, creative, and courageous, Sue Richards was an artist, community builder, and advocate. She helped establish the Hillside Festival, the community art project Art Jam, the Breast of Canada calendar fundraising initiative, and Blog Guelph. Art Jam, initiated in 1998, created an arts space in the former Torrance Public School. The project opened up the artistic process to individuals and groups with no training or background in the arts. In 2008 Sue was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and she died August 2, 2014.

More information and the application form can be found at guelpharts.ca or by calling 519-836-3280.

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Two Recipients Named for the 2019 Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award

Guelph, ON December 5, 2019 – Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce that the 2019 Youth Opportunities Award will be shared between Guelph Tool Library, which offers affordable hands-on programs aimed at building resilient communities, and Simone Racine, a Grade 11 student at John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute who has been actively involved in the Guelph Youth Council. Both recipients will offer interesting, quite different opportunities for youth in Guelph and Wellington County to become engaged in the arts.

Guelph Tool Library submitted its application for “That’s Sew Sustainable,” a sliding-scale cost, multi-week course for youth that will focus on the “sustainable use of textiles for clothing and creative projects.” Co-ordinated by local artist/facilitator Stephanie Clarke, the course will introduce participants to sewing basics, repair and re-fashion, textile exploration, and patterns and printing. In the process, they will be able to explore new ideas around textiles, and gain a better understanding not only of the mechanics of sewing, but also the fabric industry and how these factors “interact with artists, communities, and the environment.” The award jury commended Guelph Tool Library for its encouragement of meaningful discussions on disposable clothing, quality construction and creative repair.

Simone Racine requested support for a “Positivity Stone Workshop” for which she will gather together a diverse group of teenagers who are interested in opening the conversation about anxiety and mental health. As part of the activity, the participants will decorate stones with positive messages and then place their stones in various locations around the city, beginning the positivity cycle which will be reinforced by others finding the stones and posting photos to Instagram. The jury particularly liked that this was a youth-led project, and appreciated both Simone’s acknowledgement that anxiety is an issue for youth, and her recognition that self-expression through art and discussions about mental health can help “make this world a better place.”   

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 in engaged in the arts. Funds for the award come from the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Fund managed by the Guelph Community Foundation. In 2019 Guelph Arts Council is grateful for additional support from Polestar Hearth Bakery.

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.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or drop by our offices at 10C Shared Space, 42 Carden Street, Guelph.

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Christmas Harmonies Abound With Concerts by Two Local Vocal Groups

By Brenda Lewis

Change is afoot in the snow! Beloved seasonal trio Boreal introduces a talented new band member as they perform two “Songs For The Snowy Season” concerts over two days at the River Run Centre from Dec 20-21. The group now consists of two local award-winning singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon and Katherine Wheatley, and they welcome Angie Nussey who has taken over for Guelph singer-songwriter Jude Vadala.

2 Boreal skates web
From left to right, Angie Nussey, Tannis Slimmon and Katherine Wheatley. Photo credit Nicky Campbell.

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“Win/Win” at Boarding House Gallery

By Evangeline Mann

“Win/Win” is an exhibition featuring the colourful, multimedia artwork of six emerging artists at Boarding House Gallery in Guelph from November 15 to November 30, 2019. It is also the culminating project of the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project (GEAMP) — a joint initiative run by Guelph Arts Council and the University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM), with support from the RBC Emerging Artists Project. I was the SOFAM student co-ordinator for this project, and it was also an experiential learning course that counted toward the credit-requirements for the completion of my art history degree.

Geamp fall web
From left to right. Evangeline Mann (GEAMP student co-ordinator), Heather Caruso, Yulia Balobanova, Elly Grant, Carolina Benitez, Claire Stewart, and Bree Leggett

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