THE ELORA ARTS COUNCIL

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Chair Riki Weiland accepting the Cultural Arts Award of Merit in 2004

‘This award recognizes an individual, group, organization or business for a significant contribution to
Centre Wellington’s cultural environment through distinguished service or artistic achievement’

In the spring of 1985, a group of people gathered at the Elora Mill Inn to inaugurate The Elora Arts Council. At that time there were already numerous arts related activities established in the area.  All the arts were alive and well. The new Arts Council sought to build on these and other initiatives in a growing artistic community.

 

Since 1985, the Elora Arts Council has sought to provide opportunities for all artistic disciplines.

§ In its founding year, EAC assumed the operation and funding of the INSIGHTS Juried Arts Show, which predated EAC by five years, and in 1986 expanded it to include a numbers of new disciplines. For many years the Exhibition took place over the period of one month at the Wellington County Museum and Archives; since 2002 the show has expanded to two months in the summer. This show is considered the largest and longest run art exhibit run by a non- institutional group in Ontario.

§ In 1987 it started an annual Youth Concert, an opportunity for young musicians to gain experience in performing before an audience. These concerts have now expanded to two a year.

§ In 1987 it organized the first Elora-Fergus Studio Tour with eighteen studios participating. In 2005 their number has grown to 40+.

§ In the fall of 1988, EAC acquired the Yamaha Grand Piano, presently housed in the Exhibition Hall of the Wellington County Museum. This has enabled many musical activities to take place.

§ With the advent of the Grand Piano, the Gallery Music Group was formed in November 1988, with the advent of the Grand Piano. Six non-profit concerts a year are offered in conjunction with the Wellington County Museum. This group remains affiliated with EAC.

§ In September 1989, EAC sponsored and organized Youth Arts Classes in conjunction with the Wellington County Museum. These continue to flourish, now entirely under the auspices of the WCM.

§ The Elora Writer’s Festival ‘Words By The Water’ was initiated in 1994, and has continued to attract many well-known authors to an afternoon of readings. In 2003, a Writing Competition for youth and adults was added, and over 100 entries were received from across the world. The Writer’s Festival now features two distinct events.

§ Puppets Elora was founded with support from EAC in 1994 and has continued to flourish, with original plays now being written for this group. This independent organization is affiliated with EAC.

§ In 2002, a new committee was formed called Art In Public Places, with the purpose of enriching the exteriors and interiors of our community with the vibrancy and beauty of visual art. To date this committee has worked with Groves Hospital to embellish the corridors and lobby with rotating art displays. In 2005 EACH has been asked to bring the vibrancy of original art into our Municipal Building, through loans and acquisitions. In 2008, we expanded this program to include the Board Rooms at the Sportsplex, Fergus.

Aside from these annual events, EAC organized annual sculpture shows from ’98 to 2002. In ’97, ’98 and ’99. I t sponsored film festivals in conjunction with the Gorge Cinema. Art In The Park was an important summer exhibition for EAC from 1989 to 2000. gave support to a Children’s Choir (1996), co-sponsored a study on Sustainability of Arts in Centre Wellington 2003-4 . In addition, annual innovative fund raising events have been held with the cooperation of many artists in the community.

Recording this activity continuously over the years has been Communiqué, the newsletter of EAC, with issues since 1985. At present it is a quarterly publication.

Almost every issue of Communiqué has featured the profile of an artist, musician or person important to the arts. In 1997, 48 interviews were compiled into the first book entitled ‘Profiles’, now no longer in print. In 2005, an expanded publication of 73 profiles was undertaken

In 2004 the Elora Arts Council, an entirely volunteer organization, was awarded the Cultural/Arts Award of Merit, sponsored by the township of Centre Wellington Cultural Affairs Committee, recognizing its ‘significant contribution to Centre Wellington’s cultural environment’.

 In 2005, EAC celebrated its 20th Anniversary with the publication of the book Profiles II

In 2010, we CELEBRATE OUR 25TH anniversary of promoting the arts in our community.

In 2011, we added a window on Geddes Street, Elora, as a venue for the display of three dimensional art. Also, our Profiles since 1985 were added to the township’s website. We also nominated 2 houses arts -related a) to A.J. Casson’s Elora stay and b) to Percy Runnells for A listing on the Heritage Register.

In 2013, we elected a new Chair, Barbara Lee at our AGM. We arecontemplating a new and more inclusive web page and analysing finances.
We welcome two new associate members: the Elora Community Theatre and The Elora Poetry Centre..

In 2014-15 we have two new board members and are concentrating on budgeting, acquiring charitable status and possible new educational programming.

2015: OUR 30th ANNIVERSARY YEAR: We are celebrating with the Anniversary Lecture Series: five lectures on various aspects of the arts by artists with strong relations to our community. And continuing the Artists'Picnic in September, a free event to all artists.

2016: EAC initiates the four day Elora en Plein Air, Grand River Painting Festival, May 19-22. Three Lectures are very sucessful. We support a Youth enterprise "Tutu in You". A membership committee is formed.

2017: In January we start a new youth project: Cushion Concerts, introductions to musical instruments with MC Peter Skoggard and his musical friends. Held at the Elora Centre for the Arts the third Sunday of the month during the school year, for students 6-10 years old.

We continue to bring opportunity for artists and musicians to Centre Wellington. We welcome new ideas and opportunities. Please contact us through address and email on main page.

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