History of the Elora Arts Council

The Elora Arts Council is a non-profit organization committed to the encouragement and promotion of the arts in Centre Wellington.

1956elora
Plein Air in Elora 1956
I

n the spring of 1985, a large group of people gathered at the Elora Mill Inn to inaugurate The Elora Arts Council (EAC). At that time there were already numerous arts related activities established in the area. All the arts were alive and well. The new Arts Council sought to build on these and other initiatives in a growing artistic community. 

 Since 1985, the Elora Arts Council has endeavoured to provide opportunities for all artistic disciplines:

  • In its founding year, EAC assumed the operation and funding of the INSIGHTS Juried Arts Show, which predated EAC by five years. In 1986, the show expanded to include new disciplines. The exhibition took place over the period of one month at the Wellington County Museum’s Exhibition Hall. Since 2002, the duration of INSIGHTS has been extended, and the show can be viewed throughout the summer; 
  • In 1987, an annual Youth Concert was initiated, providing an opportunity for young musicians to gain experience in performing before an audience. These concerts have now expanded to two a year; 
  • In 1987, EAC organized the first Elora-Fergus Studio Tour with 18 studios participating. In the autumn of 2005, the number of studios taking part has grown to 40;
  •  In the fall of 1988, EAC acquired the Yamaha Grand Piano, presently housed in the Exhibition Hall of the Wellington County Museum. This has enabled many musical activities to take place in the community; 
  • The advent of the grand piano made possible the development of the non-profit Gallery Concert Series at the museum. The Gallery Music Group was formed in November 1988. Six low cost concerts are offered per year, in conjunction with the Wellington County Museum. This group remains affiliated with EAC; 
  • In September 1989, EAC sponsored and organized Youth Arts Classes in co-operation with the Wellington County Museum. These classes continue to flourish, now entirely under the auspices of the museum; 
  • The Elora Writers’ Festival was initiated in 1994, and has continued to attract many well-known authors to an afternoon of readings in early summer. In 2003, the Elora Writers’ Competition for youth and adults was added, and over 100 entries were received from across the world. The Writers’ Festival now features two distinct events and continues to grow;  
  • Puppets Elora was founded with support from EAC in 1994. The group visits many schools, performing original plays written for and by the participants. This independent organization is affiliated with EAC;
  • In 2002, a new committee was formed called Art In Public Places, with the purpose of enriching the exteriors and interiors of our community with visual art. To date this committee has worked with Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus. In 2006, EAC will augment visual art in the Township of Centre Wellington’s municipal building, through loans and acquisitions as well as placement of existing art. 

In addition to these annual events, EAC organized annual sculpture shows from 1998 to 2002. From 1997 to 1999, it sponsored film festivals in conjunction with the Gorge Cinema. Art in the Park was an important summer exhibition for EAC from 1989 to 2000. The group gave support to a Children’s Choir in 1996, and co-sponsored a study on Sustainability of the Arts in Centre Wellington in 2004. In addition to these activities, annual innovative fund raising events were supported by many artists in the community.

In 2004, the Elora Arts Council, an entirely volunteer organization, was awarded the Cultural/Arts Award of Merit, sponsored by the township of Centre Wellington Cultural Affairs Committee, recognizing EAC’s “significant contribution to Centre Wellington’s cultural environment”.

Recording these activities continuously over the years has been Communiqué, the newsletter of EAC.

In addition to these annual events, EAC organized annual sculpture shows from 1998 to 2002. From 1997 to 1999, it sponsored film festivals in conjunction with the Gorge Cinema. Art in the Park was an important summer exhibition for EAC from 1989 to 2000. The group gave support to a Children’s Choir in 1996, and co-sponsored a study on Sustainability of the Arts in Centre Wellington in 2004. In addition to these activities, annual innovative fund raising events were supported by many artists in the community.

Recording these activities continuously over the years has been Communiqué, the newsletter of EAC. At present, it is a quarterly publication.

In 2004, the Elora Arts Council, an entirely volunteer organization, was awarded the Cultural/Arts Award of Merit, sponsored by the township of Centre Wellington Cultural Affairs Committee, recognizing EAC’s “significant contribution to Centre Wellington’s cultural environment”.