Government of Canada supports festivals in Guelph

July 15, 2021

2019 Hillside Festival photo courtesy of Ryley Remedios                                                                                Photo credit: Ryley Remedios. Pictured: 2019 Hillside Festival.


Arts and culture inspire us and bring us together.  They also strengthen our communities and economy.  For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit cultural organizations hard.  Many are facing exceptional financial pressures as they adjust their programming or cancel events.  During these difficult times, the Government of Canada is committed to maintaining its support for cultural organizations.

In addition to being wonderful cultural showcases, festivals are important economic drivers and celebrations of communities across the country.  That is why today, Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, announced a $164,700 investment for local festivals in Guelph on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Arts Presentation Funds and the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Fund.

The Hillside Community Festival of Guelph celebrates musical creativity through artistic expression, community engagement, and environmental leadership.  It has received an investment of $80,000 for its Hillside Homeside: A Weekend of Audio Tourism.  This year’s festival will run virtually from July 23rd to July 25th including a wonderful array of music, dance, art, literary reading workshops and collaborative musical jams.

The Guelph Jazz Festival showcases excellent and unconventional live music that reflects the world we live in and has received an investment of $28,400. Running July 25th and July 26th, their outdoor event, Arborienteering, will allow you to listen to performers on the grounds of the Arboretum at the University of Guelph. This year’s Guelph Jazz festival, scheduled for September 16th-18th, is also being imagined in new and unconventional ways to continue to celebrate live music and artists.

The City of Guelph’s Live from the River Run performances focus on supporting local artists and connecting with audiences in our community and beyond.  At the same time, their Guelph Gathers festivals offer a variety of programming to cultivate civic pride and celebrate our city and its people.  The city will receive $45,000 in support of these events.

Additionally, the Guelph District Multicultural Festival is receiving $11,300 through the Local Arts and Heritage Festivals component of the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program. These investments will help ensure they can continue to inspire thousands of Canadians while bringing us together in celebration of diversity, culture and the arts.



“Our government understands the reality and challenges facing festivals since the onset of the pandemic. That is why we quickly began to search for solutions. Our investments reflect our commitment to supporting festivals and celebrations that showcase our communities, diversity and talented Canadian artists. We hope Guelph residents can attend festivals again in the near future.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Thank you to everyone working so hard in the arts and cultural sector for continuing to look for creative, engaging and innovative ways to deliver programs to Guelph, and now the much broader community. I am delighted to announce this funding to support their critical work of providing artists a venue to perform, instruct, and give audiences a reason to celebrate during these very difficult times.”
– Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“One of the things we have missed most during the pandemic is live performances, and their unique power to inspire and connect us. With this funding, we are glad to be able to encourage people to rediscover their love of the performing arts while safely reconnecting with each other through online and outdoor programming.”
–Mayor Cam Guthrie, City of Guelph

“It is our duty to serve our mission in our community by delivering great art and instruction, but without ticket sales, we have been unable to program and plan to realize our creative ambitions.  Canadian Heritage’s Support for Workers fund allows us to hire the artists whose music, dance, and literature give us the hopeful ideas that will sustain us and help us imagine the world anew.  It also allows us to hire the technical production people who facilitate that art, bringing out its full, nuanced audiovisual richness. This funding is our oxygen. It feeds into and recharges a life support system for artists and technical production crew. We couldn’t be more grateful as this funding ensures our cultural workers stay alive and well during a challenging time.”  
– Marie Zimmerman, Executive Director of Hillside Festival

"The last year has provoked us to conceive of live music events that can be engaged safely while still enriching lives, and our site-specific event-piece in the University of Guelph Arboretum, Arborienteering, is a special example. The Support for Workers in the Live Arts and Music Sectors Program has offered generous and timely support to help us execute it, and to employ 20 artists and support workers in the process."
–Scott Thomson, Artistic and General Director of Guelph Jazz Festival

"We thank the Federal Government for its ongoing efforts to sustain our organization and our Multicultural Festivals over the years. Your valuable support during this challenging period has helped us take new strides by launching several successful and engaging virtual programs including 2 virtual Festivals in 2021. On behalf of the Multicultural Festival, I’d like to express our sincere gratitude for your support, which will ensure our 2022 Guelph Multicultural Festival is a grand success."
Cinthuja Leon, Executive Director of the Guelph and District Multicultural Festival


Quick facts

  • The Canada Arts Presentation Fund provides financial assistance to organizations that stage professional arts festivals or performing arts series and organizations that offer support these preforming arts series and organizations.
  • As announced in the Federal Budget 2019, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund received an additional $8 million in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, to support the delivery of more arts events across the country.
  • This additional funding enabled more Canadians to see, hear and celebrate the talents of Canadian artists and have access to artistic experiences that reflect Canada’s diversity. It also helped promote the talents of Canadian artists in more communities across the country.
  • Through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, Canadians have access to a variety of professional artistic experiences in their communities.
  • The Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program was created to help celebrate community – both its past and its present. This program increases opportunities for local artists, artisans, heritage performers or specialists to be involved in their community through festivals, events and projects. It also allows local groups to commemorate their local history and heritage.


Additional Resources

Canada Arts Presentation Fund

Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage 


Media Contact

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Lianne Cassidy
Executive Assistant to MP Lloyd Longfield
Member of Parliament for Guelph