Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Arts & Culture Issues

For this specially-themed edition of Guelph Beat, we (and by we, I mean me) will look at a few of the recent arts-related stories in the Royal City.

Red Shoes Tour arrives to help Women in Crisis

The New Red Shoes Tour pulls into Guelph this Sunday. The multi-Ontario city tour will benefit women's shelters/foundations across Ontario and promote positive up and coming female artists. The beneficiary of the show at the Albion is Guelph Women and Crisis and every single last penny in profit from ticket sales is going to the group according to tour organizer and headliner Lynzie Kent, a born and raised Guelphite and former lead singer of the band God Made Me Funky.

The name of the tour, Red Shoes, comes from a new single written by Kent specifically for the purpose of raising awareness of issues surround violence against women. Her goal with the song and the tour, she says, is help give women the encouragement and confidence that they can walk away from a bad situation and, with the help of resources like Women in Crisis, learn how to overcome it. “I want people to take with them an awareness of the issues of homelessness and abuse both verbal and physical, and I want women to take away a great feeling about themselves and their role in society, and mostly to have a great show.”

Other performers at the Guelph show will include Natasha Pasternak, Ambre McLean and Danielle Todd. Tickets will be $12 at the door. For more information on Kent and her music go to her website and for more information about Guelph Women In Crisis and the work that they do, you can go to their website at

Sandals raises the roof (and replaces it) for GLT

We don’t report much news with our MPP Liz Sandals, and since I’m the only one that works for me, I guess I’m to blame. But this piece of news fit my Arts & Culture idea nicely. Last week, Sandals was on hand at the Guelph Little Theatre to announce a $54,000 Trillium Grant bestowed upon the GLT with the intention that they get a new roof put on their 73-year-old building. As it stands now, the GLT has been spending between $4,000 and $5,000 yearly just to maintain the roof, so this money should be a load off, no pun intended. "These renovations will continue to present the wonderful live theatre that people have become accustomed to," said Catharine Collins of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Library going solo in east end

Instead of a fully-developed intersection including office and retail space, it seems that the corner of Watson Parkway and Starwood Drive will have to make due with a standalone library as the new 7,500 sq-foot branch is the only thing getting built for right now. Toronto-based developer Metrus Properties informed the city of the change to their plan last week. The new branch of the Guelph Library was meant to jumpstart development in the growing east end, which is under-serviced by retail options, including, but not limited to, grocery stores and other shopping amenities. "They still will (go ahead with other developments), but it's just a matter of timing," said City of Guelph senior development planner Chris DeVriendt. "Right now, the library can proceed with site planning only." Construction could start as early as this summer.

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