Guelph Jazz Festival Finalist for Arts Award

May 16, 2008 - News Release

The Guelph Jazz Festival - started by a University of Guelph professor 15 years ago - has been shortlisted for a 2008 Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

This is the first year that both an individual artist and an arts organization will be honoured with the provincial prize, which is administered by the Ontario Arts Council.

"It's an honour for us at The Guelph Jazz Festival to be short listed for this prestigious award," said U of G English professor Ajay Heble, who founded the festival in 1994 and has served as Artistic Director since its inception.

"And it’s particularly gratifying, too, to see such recognition for the absolutely vital role that arts and culture play as drivers of social innovation, and in building vibrant, creative, and sustainable communities across the province."

The winning arts organization will be awarded $50,000 and finalists receive $2,000. Others finalists in the arts organization category are Coach House Books, Hot Docs, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation and Réseau Ontario.

"The Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts recognize the vital contribution that artists and arts organizations make in communities across Ontario," said Aileen Carroll, culture minister. "This year's finalists exemplify the creativity that drives innovation and progress in our province."

Over the years, the Guelph Jazz Festival has evolved into a world-class venue for jazz performance and education. It has been hailed as “one of the most visionary” musical events in Canada by the Globe and Mail and received the prestigious Lieutenant-Governor's Award for the Arts.

U of G's schools of Fine Art and Music, Languages and Literatures, and English and Theatre Studies, as well as the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, the Central Student Association and various other U of G departments, are among the festival's sponsors.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1