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Guelph Arts Council announces Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund

By Patti Broughton

Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce the launch of the Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund. The Guelph Arts Council Artist Relief Fund was first established in 2008 with donations made in support of artists whose health left them unable to work and, often, whose self-employment disqualified them for government benefits. In 2009 Sue Richards was the first recipient of relief from the fund. Additional donations to the fund were made in her memory in 2014. A gift from her estate now gives GAC the opportunity to relaunch the program.

The Sue Richards Artist Relief Fund provides emergency financial relief to local artists living with debilitating health issues. The fund supports self-employed artists whose health impacts their ability to work and who may face related unexpected expenses. Applications are reviewed in confidence on an ongoing basis by the Guelph Arts Council Artist Relief Fund Committee. Up to $1,000 per eligible applicant is awarded on the basis of need, within the limits of the funds available annually.

Described by her many friends as vibrant, creative, and courageous, Sue Richards was an artist, community builder, and advocate. She helped establish the Hillside Festival, the community art project Art Jam, the Breast of Canada calendar fundraising initiative, and Blog Guelph. Art Jam, initiated in 1998, created an arts space in the former Torrance Public School. The project opened up the artistic process to individuals and groups with no training or background in the arts. In 2008 Sue was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and she died August 2, 2014.

More information and the application form can be found at or by calling 519-836-3280.


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