The first annual Guelph Cultural Arts Festival was well-received among the Guelph community

Friday, March 23, 2012


On March 10th, Guelph hosted its first annual Cultural Arts Festival, and it certainly won’t be its last. The festival aimed to connect the Guelph community with the University of Guelph through the arts and the foundation for that bridge has definitely been started.

The day began with several workshops on creative arts that were led by noted set designer and theatre instructor Pat Flood, author and professor Catherine Bush, Director, Playwright, and teacher Ron East, and Principal of Chrysalis Consulting Lin Grist. The workshops were well attended; only two hours into the festival and already a great interest in the arts can be seen.

The morning workshops were followed by a few afternoon performances and a round table discussion on the importance of the collaboration between the city and the university to foster a greater interest in the arts.

After a reception at City Hall, where the public was welcomed to mingle with participants of the festival, the day ended with a Musical Showcase and Open Stage in the eBar. Musicians from the university and the Guelph Community came and performed remarkable renditions of some household favourites and original work.

The Guelph Cultural Arts Festival was an amazing success that showed that we have talents that should be nurtured and encouraged. There are several avenues for artistic expression that remain unknown to the public including the Storytelling to Change the World initiative running right now and facilities such as 40 Baker Street where people from all avenues of life are welcomed to come and create art with no cost or judgment.

The arts should be remembered and embraced by our community and not pushed to the wayside as it often is. The arts are one of the things that drove our community in the past and will continue to if we allow it.

Nana Opoku is a student at the University of Guelph and a dedicated volunteer at thecannon.ca

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