LSM Newswire

Friday, June 11, 2010

Guelph Jazz Fest wins Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

Guelph – After being shortlisted for the third time, the Guelph Jazz Festival & Colloquium has won the prestigious Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for 2010. The organization was presented with the $50,000 prize Thursday evening at a ceremony at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. One organization is selected annually from a shortlist of six.

In a passionate speech commending artists and arts professionals in attendance for their tireless and sometimes unrecognized efforts improving the lives of others with art, Premier Dalton McGuinty quoted John Updike saying “what art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.”

The festival is recognized across the country for its contribution to arts in Ontario, as well as internationally for its long history producing and presenting diverse and innovative programming. “As I’ve said before, the festival is about the music, yes, but it’s also about reinvigorating public life with the spirit of dialogue and community,” says Artistic Director Ajay Heble, who accepted the award last night. “I see the work we do as arts organizations as being more than just about programming; it’s about trying to build alternative visions of community and social cooperation, and offering a kind of testing ground for new ways to establish visions of how we can live together, new ways to see and hear the world.”

The Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts is awarded to professional artists and not-for-profit or commercial arts organizations for outstanding achievement and contribution to arts and culture in the province. The Guelph Jazz Festival is the only arts organization in Ontario to be shortlisted three times for the award.

Founded in 1994, The Guelph Jazz Festival presents innovative jazz and creative improvised music. The Festival commissions, produces, and presents unique performances reflecting the highest standards of excellence and diversity, and makes these performances accessible through an annual festival, educational and outreach programs, concerts and special events. Running September 8th to the 12th, the 2010 festival will offer a tribute to the ECM jazz recording label and its very own Nuit Blanche. From sunset to sunrise, festival venues will be transformed into active sites of all-night community spectacle. Evolving from similar events in Paris, St Petersburg and Berlin, other Nuit Blanche events have taken root in cities like Cairo and Montreal. This will be the first of its kind in the city of Guelph. Festival organizers are busy programming an integrated series of all-night performances and multi-media events with jazz and improvisation at their core.

The full artistic program will be launched June 23rd.

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