The Digital Culture Hub features video presentations from 10-30 minutes long offering tutorials, lessons and demonstrations from Guelph-based performers, authors, artists, musicians, and more. The videos will be available for the month of Culture Days and are free to access.
For the past three years, the City has hosted an in-person Culture Hub and Makers Market to mark Culture Days celebrations. Due to COVID-19, this year’s hub will be fully digital and last an entire month instead of one weekend.
Digital Culture hub presenters
Christine De Vuono
Visual Arts: Soap carving
Christine is a multimedia artist focusing on drawing, sculpture, collage and photography. Her artistic practice is endurance based and gravitates towards merging elements of science, human development and art. The materiality of her work highlights antiquated practices, reintegrated into contemporary technologies, emphasizing the disparity between past and present, the ideal and the real. Her work is to be shown in London, UK (October 5-30, 2020), and has been shown at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, the Boarding House Gallery in Guelph, Propeller Gallery (Toronto), St. Brigid’s Centre of the Arts in Ottawa, as well as at College Royal and Zavitz Gallery at the University of Guelph. She completed a Bachelors of Arts (Honours) in Studio Art from the University of Guelph in 2018, and has previously studied at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Craven College in the United Kingdom.
Jessica Eusebio of Project Easy Living
Environmental Sustainability: Food waste, gardening and backyard chickens
Jessica is an environmental nut who loves spending time in nature, living intentionally, minimally and carefully with her kids and partner, in their small, 900 sq. ft., 1950s semi-detached home, in a dubbed hipster city, riding public transit, raising chickens, refusing plastic and keeping those around her up-to-date on sustainable living. She encourages an eco-lifestyle in her spare time by eating at restaurants that dish-up fresh, organic, local foods and craft beers.
Jamaican-Canadian artist Joni NehRita writes songs about unity, hope and social justice. Her jazz-tinged brand of soul is infused with rhythms & sounds from her Afro-Caribbean background. A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, she has a gift for writing infectious, well-crafted songs that are deeply personal.
This year NehRita releases her 4th full-length album, “Love & Protest” which is
is a marked step further toward global roots/world music. She has played festivals & concerts (both as a solo artist & backing other artists) in North America, Australia, England, France, Germany & Oman. She has also sung with the KW Symphony & Hamilton Philharmonic.
In addition to being a performer, NehRita has been a music educator for 20 years, teaching both privately as well as in workshop/masterclass format. She has been a guest teacher at Wilfrid Laurier University, Seneca College at York, has given jazz & improvisation workshops at high schools throughout Guelph and KW and has been a workshop facilitator at the music conference Folk Alliance International.
Last year, NehRita added being a TED KitchnerEDx speaker to her career highlights.
infectiously soulful. socially charged.
Visual Arts: Silkscreening
Jenny Mitchell is a Guelph-based multi-disciplinary artist specializing in drawing, silkscreening and storytelling. She was the City of Guelph’s inaugural RBC Market Mornings Artist in 2014, and operates The Golden Bus, a mobile, collaborative arts space. Jenny is currently the Volunteer and Mobile Studio Coordinator for CFRU, and has released 11 albums of original music, giving her skills in audio recording and music production.
The Golden Bus:
Golden Throats Karaoke:
Music: Music theory
Greg Denton is a Guelph based musician and visual artist. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and a Master of Fine Art (MFA) from the University of Guelph where he subsequently taught painting classes in the School of Fine Art & Music for 20 years. Key among his works are “anyone lived…” a sequence of 400 portraits of Guelph citizens made as a commission for the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre (now The Art Gallery of Guelph) and currently housed in public meeting rooms at Guelph City Hall and “100 Portraits/100 Poppies” created under the City of Guelph Artist in Residence program to mark the 100th anniversary of John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Field”.
As a musician Greg has fronted a number of local bands including Dry Tickle, The Trembling Brides, The Gnashvillains, The “Scare” Quotes, and his current ensemble The Greg Denton Probable Cause Acoustic Trio. He has guested as a side-musician for Richard Laviolette & The Oil Spills and contributed banjo to the album “All of Your Raw Materials” released on the “You’ve Changed Records” label. He also contributed banjo to Lewis Melville’s album “Noah’s Work” and Jessy Bell Smith’s “The Town”. He has hosted two “roots-music” radio programs on CFRU 93.3 FM, “Sugar In the Gourd & “This Un-Godly Hour” (2005-2013) and has hosted the very popular Cornerstone Campfire Sessions acoustic song-circle and jam for the past 15 years.
Greg has taught banjo at Folkway Music and he has taught workshops in understanding chord progressions and song structures at Guelph Music. He currently teaches private lessons in banjo, flat-picking guitar, ukulele, basis music theory, learning to play by ear, and navigating fretboard instruments.
Performing Arts: Audition prep and monologue technique
Jen is one of the founding members of The Downtown Theatre Project, Guelph’s newest theatre company that provides edgy, inspiring and offbeat theatre in an intimate setting. An actor and producer for many years, Jen has recently turned to directing as well where her first two shows, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche and Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties had sold out runs. Selected acting credits include Donna in Mamma Mia, Ruth in Calendar Girls and Shirley in the one-woman show Shirley Valentine.
Performing Arts / Literary Arts: Spoken word
Kevin Sutton is a writer, spoken word performance artist, workshop facilitator, communications professional, and community organizer. He is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Guelph, and hosts The Great Pause on CFRU 93.3. His work with at-risk youth has led him to diversity, equity, and inclusion work helping organizations nurture supportive professional environments where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Kim Davids Mandar
Literary Arts: Creative writing
Kim Davids Mandar’s writing appeared in Sustenance (Anvil Press, 2017), Rhapsody (Vocamus Press, 2018) and Prairie Fire (Winter, 2018). Kim co-hosted Bookish Radio and is currently completing her MSc thesis. She is the editor of In|Appropriate, a collection of interviews with Canadian authors (Fall 2020, Gordon Hill Press).
Nathan Coles of Hellion Ton
Music: Soundboards, tech and equipment
Nathan Coles is a born and raised in Guelph. Singer/songwriter, artist, audio tech, music teacher, and creator who has been performing for some 25 years both nationally and internationally. As a solo performer or fronting his band Nathan Coles Outfit, A Trio Esque Nathan Coles, and is now bringing his material to life under the handle of Hellion Ton. Rumour has it that it’s always a charm to catch his live performances in which ever form it’s in.
Braeden and Hayley from The Making Box
Performing Arts: Improv
The Making-Box is your hub for improv education and live comedy. Since 2013, they have empowered thousands of individuals and organizations through improv training and delighted many more at their one-of-a-kind live comedy events. In 2016, they were nominated for both Innovation Guelph’s Start-Up Of The Year and The Guelph Chamber of Commerce: Community Spirit Award. In 2017, they championed Canada’s most funded theatre Kickstarter and launched Guelph’s first storefront comedy theatre and improv education centre. In 2018, they were nominated for Guelph’s Community Innovator Award and added a satellite classroom in Kitchener-Waterloo. Since March, they’ve started teaching improv online (around the world) and outdoors (in a park near you).
Literary Arts / Visual Arts:
Painting, creative writing and poetry for children
Marnie Dallan is a full-time visual artist living in Guelph since 2006. She is a painter and self-published children’s author/illustrator with a background in graphic design. Marnie’s recent series of vibrant oil paintings excite and spark the imagination. They are a brilliant creation of her subconscious and ability to play. Marnie has exhibited in many solo and group shows across Ontario and has collectors throughout Canada. One of her most recent projects was self publishing her first children’s book, Everyday Me. When she is not painting or writing her next children’s book you may find her songwriting and jamming with friends in her cozy studio.
Jay Wilson of Jaywalking Guelph
Performing Arts: Storytelling and historical tours
Jay became a storyteller by accident. With a long and varied career as an actor and arts administrator: National Tap Dance Co. Of Canada, Gravenhurst Opera House, and Theatre Collingwood, to name a few, Jay started Pandora’s Sox in 2010, a puppet entertainment company for children and seniors. It was during a tour of the Ottawa region with the Puppets-Up International Theatre Festival that Jay found himself entertaining seniors on a regular basis and during this time the Greek Mythology theme began to be replaced by Vaudeville routines. Then suddenly it happened, the puppets took a short break and Jay was left standing there…puppet-less. What to do? Tell a story, recite something and so it began.
During the days of Vaudeville, elocutioners travelled with performance troupes. Their particular knack? Telling stories or reciting things. No props, no costumes, no magic, burlesque, music or pratfalls, just talking.
And so it began for Jay. Both children and seniors responded enthusiastically to the poetry recitations and storytelling and since then Jay hasn’t looked back. His head is literally filled with tales, poetry and chunks of text. Jay lifts text off the page and makes it come alive through recitation.
Jay’s latest project is JayWalking Guelph, telling tales which he finds in old newspaper stories, unconventional research and obscure, forgotten writings. These storytelling strolls allow Jay to recount the stories in the place where they actually happened, creating a unique theatre experience with no carbon footprint. Nature takes care of the scenery, lighting and sound effects and all that remains after a story are the memories for those who witnessed the event.
Steph Clarke of Guelph Tool Library
Environmental Sustainability: Stencil making
Steph Clarke is the program coordinator for the Guelph Tool Library, and looks forward to teaching courses in clothing repair, silkscreening, and beeswax wrap making this fall thanks to funding from the Canadian Red Cross. She has also worked in costume design for community theatre (GLT, RCMPI, CCP), served as the Market Mornings Artist in 2018, and has her own patch making business, Steph Sew Sublime.
The Guelph Tool Library is a member-based lending library of over 900 tools that can be borrowed for a low yearly fee. The Guelph Tool Library also offers workshops and programs throughout the year focused on repair, reuse, and other types of skillsbuilding. The Guelph Tool Library recently relocated to the Old Quebec Street Shoppes in Downtown Guelph.