Current Music & Art

Turkwaz and Nauroz Tanya
Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 8 pm
Tickets $25
Click here to purchase tickets.


Turkwaz is a unique combination of four musician/singers, immersed in diverse traditions from mysterious Sufi devotional love songs, to rousing Thracian dance music. Each performer brings a special flavour to the group. Maryem Hassan Tollar draws on her Arabic language heritage, Jayne Brown and Sophia Grigoriadis bring their experience with Greek music to the mix and Brenna MacCrimmon adds her Turkish fascination.They have a long-standing collective interest in Balkan traditions and add Albanian, Bulgarian and Macedonian and whatever else strikes their fancy to their repertoire. The love and respect they have for the traditions they draw from are clear but they are not afraid to arrange the tunes in new and unexpected ways to give them a fresh spin.

Maryem Tollar

Maryem Tollar is a renowned Egyptian-Canadian vocalist, known for her world music performances as well as original compositions. Her voice has been heard on the theme of CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie and A.R. Rahman’s Bollywood hit, Mayya Mayya. Tollar was the featured vocalist in Tafelmusik’s 2016 production of “Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee Houses” and more recently she performed the world premiere of Christos Hatzis’ piece “Syn-Phonia – Migration Patterns” with The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Inuit throat singer Tiffany Ayalik.

Brenna MacCrimmon

Brenna MacCrimmon is a Toronto-based interpreter of Turkish and Balkan songs – an adventure that began with a trip to a local public library’s vinyl collection in 1983. She has studied and performed with many notable masters of the traditions in both Turkey and the USA. She works in a diverse range of musical projects, travels frequently to perform and teach and thinks you can never stop learning.

Sophia Grigoriadis

Sophia Grigoriadis, is a musician and teacher. Over the past 30 years her study of Greek, Balkan and Middle Eastern singing and percussion has led her to compose, perform and tour with many Toronto world and fusion ensembles.

Her love of teaching and sharing her musical passion extends to all ages: as Church Choir Director of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, as Music teacher from Preschool to Grade 8 at Metamorphosis Greek Orthodox School, and to young children through her Clapping Land music studio, where her compilation world music CD Sound Adventures — Global Music for Children garnered the Parent’s Choice Foundation Silver Award.

Jayne Brown

Since making the switch from classical to folkloric singing, Jayne Brown has been learning, performing, travelling and recording with several ensembles, including Latin American ensembles, Nazka and Ilédé, Macedonian band Staro Selo, and Mediterranean mash-up bands Maza Mezé and the Maryem Tollar ensemble. For the past couple decades, Jayne has been concentrating her efforts on Greek folkloric song, studying in both Greece and Toronto. Jayne balances her time between music and her psychotherapy practice.

Visit for more information.


Nauroz Tanya



Nauroz Tanya is a Kurdish-Canadian composer who began music lessons at the age of six. His father was one of the pioneers in the theater and early television revolution, and through him, Nauroz developed a great interest in music and art.

After completing a degree in music, Nauroz composed music for chamber ensembles, performed in piano solos, orchestras, and short and full-length movies showcased in Europe, Australia, US, and Canada. He wrote music for media and television in France, Germany, and Sweden where he lived for several years and attended the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg. He worked as an assistant administrator for the Guelph Symphony and administrator for the Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra. He studied piano with Dr Joseph Ferretti, and composition with Dr. Glenn Buhr. He currently studies with Linda Catlin Smith.

Along with his medical studies, Nauroz continues composing for various orchestras around the world, most recently focusing on the issues of immigration and diaspora.


Art Exhibition

Stefan Berg: Prints

May 26 – June 29
Opening Reception: June 3, 7-9 pm

“Recording”, 2016, 14×14 inches, linocut, $460

 Stefan Berg works in the form of the wordless novel using lino-block prints to create sequential single-image narratives. His work has been exhibited in Canada and the United States, and has received positive reviews from The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. “Architecture Of Music” is Berg’s second wordless novel, a series of 50 images in response to Glenn Gould and the notion of solitude. His previous work, “Buddy Bolden’s Last Parade” was published in 2008 by the Porcupine’s Quill, a series of 70 images depicting the culture of New Orleans parade music and the legend of Buddy Bolden.

Past Events
Ron Shuebrook and Peter Johnston: Selected Works
From March 3 – May 7, 2017About the Exhibition:

This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see a concise selection of the rigorous and contrasting abstractions by these two prominent visual artists who live and work in Guelph.

About the Artists:

Ron Shuebrook is a Canadian artist, educator, and writer who has been exhibiting his work regionally, nationally, and internationally since 1965. He has been represented for many decades by the Olga Korper Gallery in Toronto as well as, more recently, by Renann Isaacs in Guelph. His paintings and drawings have been collected by more than sixty public institutions and corporations as well as by numerous individuals. Shuebrook is a Professor Emeritus and former President of OCAD University, as well as former Chair of the Dept. of Fine Art and founding Coordinator of the MFA Program in Studio Art, University of Guelph.

Peter Johnston is a sculptor who has worked in a wide range of materials and is perhaps best known locally for his commissioned copper wall in the entrance of the River Run Centre in Guelph. He has taught at Queen’s University and the University of Guelph and was represented for many years by Klonaridis Inc. in Toronto. Currently with bcontemporary in Hamilton, he has works in many public and private collections, including commissions for Minto Place, Bell Canada and Sony.

Ron Shuebrook and Peter Johnston
Kissing the Ground: Barbara Dametto
 kissing the ground (1)About the exhibition:“I chose the title, ‘Kissing the Ground’ for this art exhibit because it reflects my gratitude of nature- the primary source of my inspiration.The ground is both life giving and devouring. It is where I plant my seeds and establish my roots. It is what supports my feet as I walk my path. It is the place where I go to when I fall down. It is what is pulled out from under me when life unravels. It is what cradles me when I am in awe and when I am broken. On many occasion, I have pressed my face into the forest floor, smelled, tasted, surrendered and learned to see that which cannot be seen. Hear that which can not be heard.After having just lived in the forest for the past 8 years, I consider nature (and the ground) to be my best friend and teacher. I am forever thankful for all the signs, symbols, solace and small objects of beauty that now abide in my work.””There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.”


About the artist:

Barbara (Eva) Dametto is a visual artist, dancer, actor/playwright, expressive arts practitioner and educator. She received her formal education at the University of Waterloo (B.A. dance, kinesiology, theatre), York University (B. BarbEd. fine arts education), and Fleming College (expressive arts). Over the years she has worked in Toronto, Port Hope, Peterborough and Bancroft as a dancer, choreographer, painter, actor, clown, teacher and yoga/meditation instructor. What inspires and motivates Barbara to create visual art is her desire to allow spirit to move through her without judging, directing or predetermining the outcome. Her bold and colorful images flow onto the canvas with the use of acrylic paint and mixed media- mostly found in nature. Her work can be described as intuitive expressions of personal impressions, experiences and dreams. Her paintings are not a destination but rather a journey inward. Barbara’s work illuminates her belief that when one is in alignment with what excites them most- creativity flows effortlessly and endlessly.

Barbara’s work has recently been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Bancroft (Landscapes of the Spirit, September 2015) where she co exhibited with two other Canadian artists. She is also the recipient of several awards of honourable mention for two dimensional designs in recent juried shows at the Art Gallery of Bancroft.

The Works of Guelph’s own Lewis MelvilleArtist’s Statement:

In late 2014 and early 2015 I created a series of paintings based on freely interpreted images relating to the history of law for an exhibit at the Waterloo County Courthouse Law Library. Several of these paintings will be on display during the Silence exhibit.For the past year I’ve been preoccupied with the subtle

aerial view number 1interaction of light, shadow, and colour in closely-viewed subjects. I’ve chosen to work in oils on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, hardboard, cedar panels, and bas-relief wood constructs. Working in a small size augments the details of brushwork (and other implements) in thickly applied oil paint. The smaller the painting, the closer one approaches the image, the greater the relative effect of depth and texture. Close viewing also has the added consequence of causing the surrounding environment to disappear from the viewers field of vision, thus potentially minimizing visual and other distractions in a physical space.Over one hundred small paintings and several large images were created and mounted in carefully selected frames. The visual content is rather more evocative than subjective. No attempt has been made to accurately describe a particular narrative or visual event, but rather to use pigments and brushes to express all the random experiences that I’ve accumulated over the past few years.The show will be changing week-by-week for the duration of the exhibit.
In the closing week a retrospective of older works in a variety of styles and media will be on display.About the artist:

Lewis Melville is a Guelph, Ontario, musician composer, producer, and visual artist. A former botanist specializing in plant anatomy, he spent much of his scientific career imaging and illustrating various aspects of tlewis at work 2he structure and ultrastructure of plants. His artwork has appeared in books, scientific publications, and on the covers of numerous music albums. In 2015 he created 30 paintings with subjects relating to the history of law for a solo exhibit at the Waterloo County Courthouse. His role as a producer and musician has taken him around the world, and his work in Mali, West Africa is featured in the documentary film “The Road to Balaya” by award winning Canadian film producer Bay Weyman. Lewis currently performs with Tannis Slimmon, the Banjo Mechanics, the Woodchoppers Association, the Hoofbeats, the Vertical Squirrels, and as a solo artist. He has appeared on hundreds of albums (Skydiggers, Rheostatics, Barenaked Ladies, Cowboy Junkies, etc.) and has four albums of his own. Lewis perceives sound as a visual landscape of colour and light in motion.

Music Set Free
Interview by Barb Minett with Daniel Fischlin and Martha Nandorfy about Silence
morning music (tom king)
“Silence is not just a concept but a physical space dedicated to presenting sounds and musical practices that are diverse and challenging through concerts, workshops and improvisation sessions. Founded in 2012, it has presented over 350 performances, workshops, screenings and installations. No you are not in New York City but Guelph Ontario!”
Read the full article here.

The Works of Donald Chrétien, First Nations Artist
Art Exhibition and Sale
The unique style and impact of Aboriginal fine artist Donald Chrétien springs from his combined passion for colour and woodland-style expression. His ongoing exploration of his heritage has him concentrating on distinct features of Ojibwe clans acrylic on canvas.His works are exhibited in some of the most interesting corners of North America. His Vancouver Olympics installation piece, titled: Ngashi Nijii Bineshiinh or Mother, Friend, Small Bird, is on permanent display in Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum and stands 12 feet high by 80 feet long.

Over his 30-year career, Donald has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to giving back to his community. For the Union of Ontario Indians, he produced artwork for a package of educational resources dealing with Indian Residential Schools. “Little Butterfly Girl”, tells the story of a child who was taken from her First Nation and brought to a Residential School. The illustrations depict the harsh reality of losing one’s self and spirituality to abuse and forced religion.

Donald’s art can also be seen at Owen Sound’s Grey Roots Museum, where it has been on exhibit since July 2010. The Good People: Know Our Stories, Know Us relates the history of the Anishinaabe and gives a greater understanding of First Nations spiritual beliefs. This collaboration led to Chrétien providing the illustrations for Basil Johnston’s next book, “Walking in Balance” — ten traditional Anishinaabe stories told in both Anishinaabe and English.

The Top 10 Live Music Venues in Guelph

April 7, 2016 – The Culture Trip

Silence makes Danielle Subject’s list of the best live music venues in Guelph!

“From buzzing bistros and venues to tucked away local secrets, these ten live music spots cultivate Guelph’s prominent and thriving music scene. In a tight-knit city known for its passion and support for local artists, there are a variety of options available for even the most particular music fan.”

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“Water·Earth·Sky·Spirit” – Pieter Zantinge Art Exhibition March-April 2016

Pieter Zantinge at Silence 2016 (1)Born in the Netherlands, Pieter immigrated to Canada as a young child and came to love Northern Ontario through regular camping trips with his family. Almost immediately he began to express his love of water, sky and flatland through drawing and painting. Pieter’s main artistic work expresses his love and respect for the north with colourful abstracts.

“Over the past several years, most of my work has been inspired by the landscape of Northern Ontario. They are not literal depictions but emotional translations. I see the broad washes and saturated colours as the life and breath of day, describing the spirit of a place under the constant change of light. Effects are produced by using a simple atomizer with which I spray inks, watercolours and acrylics onto paper or canvas. Starting with wet on wet, I move to plain water to cause intentional and accidental runs, giving a layered depth to the background. This is overlaid with the sharp edges of cut shapes which represent basic forms of various moments observed or felt.” – Pieter Zantinge

Pieter studied at the Doon School of Fine Arts (under Tom Cayley), the Ontario College of Art and Design, and the University of Guelph. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and sold to collectors in the Netherlands, North America, Brazil and Scotland.

Kevin Breit performs Solo Fundraiser For Silence


Kevin Breit

Juno-award winning guitarist Kevin Breit performs a solo concert on February 27, 2016 as a fundraiser for Silence.

Breit, who has performed with the likes of Norah Jones, Céline Dion, Cassandra Wilson, and Harry Manx, appreciates the intimacy and community focus of Silence’s programming and performance space. “I think Silence is an amazing community space where art, dance, music, and spoken word come together and are appreciated,” said Breit.

Attendees will also participate in an auction of a unique musical instrument and several pieces of art. Breit has donated his ‘banjola’, a one-of-a-kind eight-string banjo. “I am truly honoured to offer an instrument I have owned for 13 years as an auction piece,” said Breit. Several celebrated artists have also contributed beautiful artworks. Attendees have an opportunity to bid on works by Colin Carney, Alison Judd, John Kissick, Stu Oxley, Gina Rorai, Don Russell, Ron Shuebrook, and David Urban.

Silence is proud to announce Eigenworks as a sponsor of this event. Eigenworks specializes in win/loss analysis for enterprise B2B companies. Founder and CEO of Eigenworks Alan Armstrong has been a member of Silence’s Morning Music community since 2015. He has witnessed firsthand the power of music to create community and the importance of supporting artists to build sustainable and fulfilling careers.

The fundraising concert entitled “A Breit Evening of Sound at Silence” takes place on Saturday, February 27 at 7pm (doors; music at 8pm) at 46 Essex St, Guelph. Advance tickets are available on Eventbrite for $60. Only a limited number of tickets are available. Individuals who are unable to attend the concert but who want to contribute to the fundraising event can make a donation on Eventbrite.

Shift logos w yellow crop

January, 2016

Silence Presented Innovated Artists Through Concert Serie

Guelph, ON—Silence presents SHIFT, an exciting series of concerts until June to spotlight some of the most innovative, groundbreaking, and risk-taking musicians across four streams: new music, world music, singer-songwriter, and classical music.

The artists in the SHIFT series demonstrate diversity in gender, ethnicity, and age. “We are excited to present such diverse artists who exhibit the highest levels of innovative artistry,” said Daniel Fischlin, Chair of Silence’s Board of Directors. “SHIFT includes many local musicians, but also those from the GTA, St. Catharines, and Ottawa. There is music for everyone.”

Some highlights of the SHIFT series include highly-praised vocalist Maryem Tollar who sings both traditional Arabic music and her own songs at Silence on February 13, 2016. Singer-songwriter David Sereda combines his skills as a musician and actor with humour and candour at Silence on February 28, 2016. Jerzy Kaplanek, member of the Penderecki String Quartet and Wilfred Laurier University Professor, performs violin at Silence on April 2, 2016. Toronto-based percussionist Germaine Liu presents her improvised and physically-engaged style at Silence on May 8, 2016.

The SHIFT series takes place at Silence (46 Essex Ave, Guelph). Door admission is $15 or pay-what-you-can. SHIFT is funded by the Ontario Arts Council. Information about specific SHIFT concerts can be found on Silence’s website ( under “Events.”

Since its foundation in 2012, Silence has presented and co-presented over 350 concerts, workshops, screenings, and special events to the broader Guelph community—at no cost for artists. Silence is a not-for-profit arts organization that is unbiased in regard to genre, culture, class, and tradition; the organization fosters risk-taking, innovation, and experimentation in all forms of music and sound, as well as other artistic expressions presented in the space.

On January 29, 2016, Georgia Simms led an IICSI “Thinking Spaces” reading session with dance improvisation at Silence. Listen to a brief interview and see some of the dance improv in action!

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Thinking Spaces with Georgia Simms from Improvisation Institute on Vimeo.

Learn more about the instrument collection of Gary Diggins, Silence board member and musician. Read here. Article in the Guelph Mercury by Andrew Vowles.


Advisory Board member Martha Nandorfy and former Administrative Director Florence Borshy-Desroche explain to Guelph Mercury‘s Troy Bridgeman what makes Silence unique. Read here.

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Thanks to Matthew Fava and Ben Grossman for capturing the mission and significance of Silence in this article from the Canadian Music Centre-Ontario’s Winter 2015 Notations! Read here.

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Thanks to Guelph Life and Dawn Matheson for this really interesting piece about Silence, but also about the history of the building at 46 Essex! Read on.

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Andrew Vowles explores the exciting changes and possibilities on Essex St—home to Silence, Heritage Hall, and near the Boarding House. Read the Guelph Mercury article here.

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“Arts and humanities exploration energizes Guelph changemakers” by Andrew Vowles. Read the Guelph Mercury article here.