Arts Council launches artist relief fund

As part of a suc­­cessful fundraiser for Guelph artist Sue Richards on Sept. 13, Guelph Arts Council announc­ed that it is in the process of establishing an artist relief fund to assist local artists who are dealing with debilitating health issues.

The creation of the fund is in response to a growing com­mu­nity realization of the plight of self-employed artists whose health can leave them unable to work and, unfortunately, also unable to collect employment insurance or other government benefits. For some time, the coun­cil, in its role as a resource to and advocate for artists in the Guelph area, has been ex­ploring opportunities to pro­vide emergency financial assis­tance to artists who find them­selves in that position.

Thanks to a recent anony­mous donation, the council is able to proceed.  A partnership is being established with The Guelph Community Founda­tion, which will manage the fund, and detailed criteria are being developed. Eventually, the annual interest from the fund will be used to make awards.

Guelph Arts Council executive director Sally Wismer noted it would take some time to build the fund to the point where enough interest is generated. The council “will be looking for donations to ensure that we can increase the fund as quickly as possible.”

Anyone interested in mak­ing a donation or more infor­mation should con­tact Guelph Arts Council at 519-836-3280 or email gac­ For more infor­mation about the council, visit www.guelph­arts.­ca/guelphartscouncil.