By Janet Jarrell, General manager
The arts are alive and thriving, and you and I are the beneficiary.
In 2002, I returned to the Quinte area after living on the West coast for almost 15 years. I moved into an old stone house that was built by my ancestors sometime in the mid 1800’s and naturally became interested in the rich history that this area has to offer. After settling in, I was eager to venture out on road trips to visit some of my favourite childhood places.
Of course, the childhood memories do not always match up with the adult reality, and thus I found myself lost many times! This is how I met people – friendly people, who would cock their head to the side when I told them where I was going and say something like ‘oh my dear, I think you mean the third concession ’ – and then off I would go with a new list of directions that did not sound like the GPS at all. In all my travels, I was amazed to see all the changes – all the growth that this area has experienced.
These road trips took my family in many different directions, and (just ask my kids) many stops to ask the locals for more direction. I was rediscovering the wonders we sometimes take for granted. Like the Sandbanks beach, Algonquin park, the many conservation areas, hidden gems, cheese factories, antique barns and antiques in barns!, artisans, blacksmiths and an explosion of wineries in the area. This area truly has everything the larger urban city centres enjoy, and yet we maintain a quieter, more relax pace of living.
I began writing and contributing stories to local magazines about all the places and people I was rediscovering and about the history behind this community as well. I also began to focus on the arts, featuring and profiling an artist for the cover of local publications. We are truly blessed with talent and I was happy to promote in any way I could. I have recently been named the general manager for the Quinte Arts Council. For over 50 years, the QAC has been dedicated to fostering and supporting the arts in this community and being an advocate for the arts. It has recently undergone a rejuvenation and I am honoured to work with this enthusiastic team and board of directors as we do our part to keep the arts alive and well.
“For over 50 years, the QAC has been dedicated to fostering and supporting the arts in this community and being an advocate for the arts. It has recently undergone a rejuvenation and I am honoured to work with this enthusiastic team and board of directors as we do our part to keep the arts alive and well.”
Centrally located and simply massive in size, this area boasts a balance of rural and urban living. From Prince Edward County all the way to Bancroft, from Brighton to Napanee, everywhere you turn there is new business, more people and an influx of cultural activity. It is the cultural activity that the QAC will highlight on a weekly basis in this column.
Every community within these boundaries is alive and thriving with art – live performances in music, theatre and dance, writing, film, photography and galleries filled with paintings, carvings, glass work and fibre art. Take in as much of this variety as you like – not only will you be rejuvenated but your life will be full and richer as well.