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1230 - 5/4/2022 7:47:09 AM  

Silence Guelph Presents Early May Fundraiser "Keep Hope Alive Festival"
Silence Guelph Presents Early May Fundraiser "Keep Hope Alive Festival"

For Immediate Release - May 3, 2022

Silence Guelph Presents Early May Fundraiser "Keep Hope Alive Festival" 

Even before the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, live-event DIY spaces like Silence were struggling both to provide musicians and artists with rewarding opportunities and fair fees, but also just to keep their doors open. Over the past decade, music venues in Ontario have been closing at an alarming rate. Toronto alone saw the closure of more than 40 music venues between January 2017 and May 2019. In 2020, over 22 more were forced to shutter. 
Silence  is determined to remain open, and to continue the work of fostering a supportive environment in Guelph for creators and audiences alike. 

Riffing off of improviser extraordinaire  William Parker ’s adage that  in order to survive we must keep hope alive,”  Silence’s  Keep Hope Alive Festival  is a celebration of unexpected convergences, new connections, and persistence in the face of unbelievable odds! Their 4-day event, running from  Thursday May 5th through Saturday May 8th , will bring together some of Canada’s finest and most adventurous musicians, writers, performers, and creators in combinations that have never been seen or heard before. A number of the ensembles feature nationally-renowned Guelph-Wellington based artists including:  Kevin BreitMatt BrubeckTom KingJeff BirdCarey WestClaire Whitehead, Nicole Marchesseau,   Joe Sorbara   and   Daniel Fischlin .  As well, there are of course highly-acclaimed artists from beyond the region: from KW:  Gerard Yun , and from Toronto: Bob Wiseman Rebecca HennessyMichael Herring and more.

A full program of festival events with the complete artist line-up can be found here.

“I have been a participant in creative improvised music for the last fifty years. Travelling worldwide, playing in a wide variety of places from philharmonic halls to jazz clubs and cultural centres. One of my favourite places to perform is Silence. It is an incredible performance place in Guelph, Ontario, The motivation for this centre is love and respect for the arts and the artist. It is a unique and very personal experience for both the artists and the listener.” ( William Parker , Musician, New York City)
By purchasing a ticket or festival pass, patrons will be able to help a precious artspace in downtown Guelph to survive - a unique resource where artists and audiences freely explore, experiment, and incubate new practices and community connections.  

$25 for individual performances
$250 - Festival Pass (Includes a donation to Silence and comes with a Charitable tax receipt)  
Order  Tickets online.
Address for festival performances: Silence, 46 Essex St, Guelph, ON N1H 3K8

About Silence:  An independent, charitable arts venue located in downtown Guelph, Silence is dedicated to providing space for adventurous creative music and art for the good of our community. Silence operates as a gallery space for visual artists and often hosts multidisciplinary events and installations that also provide a dynamic atmosphere for the many concerts and festivals, workshops, rehearsals, and community gatherings that take place within their walls. Silence draws artists from across North America and beyond. In 2019 they hosted over 600 performers and program participants and almost 5,000 audience members.

A New Look For A New Chapter - and a "New" Board:

The exterior of the building which houses Silence has a new look, thanks to artist Lucy Bilson. It was designed and painted in conjunction with a two-month long exhibition which the venue is hosting Feedback Loop, created by students from the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation. 

As part of the process of pandemic recovery, Silence has gone through a significant board restructure and we are so excited to welcome a new Chair of the Board, Joe Sorbara along with new members Alyssa Woods, Gerard Yun, and Cathy Nosaty. Continuing in their roles are Bob Harris, Treasurer and Daniel Fischlin, Artistic Director. For more information on the Silence Board, please visit:

A Note About Safety @ Silence
Silence is maintaining, if not enhancing, precautions for its performers, audiences, volunteers, and staff— including regular wipedowns throughout the space and equipment (esp. mics); enhanced masking protocols; high-quality HEPA air filtration (running on 11); ongoing vaccination checks for all people in the space; and reduced capacity.

Let’s keep this community safe as Silence relaunches! Their full COVID-19 Policy is available here

“Over the years, Silence has proven to be an invaluable resource for the musical community as well as for visual artists, filmmakers, dancers, poets, and various other creatives in Guelph and beyond. It is a unique venue that welcomes not only polished performances, but also embraces the spirit of experimentalism that is vital for continued artistic growth. Long live Silence!”(Matt Brubeck,  Musician, Guelph)  

“SILENCE is totally unique. I hope that it will be in Guelph for a very long time continuing the difficult work of developing its connections at home and weaving them together with so many artists from different places. I am myself one of those artists whom they served beautifully. I am also an arts organizer, so I understand how hard SILENCE  has  been working to serve. I hope that SILENCE can continue its important work for many years to come.” ( Patricia Nicholson Parker  (Founder and Artistic Director, Arts for Art,  Vision Festival  [New York City])

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