The QAC Cultural Hub

The QAC Cultural Hub is the place to be in Quinte!


By Kodie Trahan-Guay

The QAC Cultural Hub

Like many, the Quinte Arts Council (QAC) took pandemic lockdowns as a chance to do renovations, creating an inspiring space for cultural gatherings, artists professional development and a space to connect the community to arts and culture.  

The QAC has been active since 1967, and the former space housed an archive of arts history. Those archiving materials include things like historic photographs, cultural plans and every back issue of 30 years of Umbrella. Thanks to a partnership with Amanda Hill at the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County, those materials are all now safely stored and digitized! 

Thanks to grant funding from the Ontario Arts Council and with ongoing support from the Parrott Foundation, the space has been transformed into a cultural hub. The hub allows for the QAC to have dedicated space to host master classes and seminars for the community to attend, for visual arts shows, a screen where digital art can be displayed, and a space to record a podcast interviewing creators in the community. Members of the QAC can apply to use this community hub to host their own events.

“Art and culture are wonderful ways of preserving and strengthening a community’s sense of place, forging an artist’s identity, and showing their creativity. Artists need a place where they can come together to connect. After emerging from the lockdowns, we realized people were missing their “third spaces” – spaces that are not work or home, where they can gather to connect and learn new skills,” says Janet Jarrell, QAC Executive Director. “We renovated the former gallery/shop space to create a third space for our artists; a community hub where they can connect. We hold master classes, professional development workshops and we still have dedicated space to use as a gallery.” 

Early in 2023, writers Joy Goddard and Linda Bond used the space to host a writers workshop, teaching their art to budding authors. Every Monday night the space is taken over by jazz musician Howard Rees as he hosts a masterclass on the musical genre. Monthly art shows open with crowds flocking to the space to see the art and speak with the artists involved. 

Artists and cultural groups are invited to apply to use the space online or by emailing the QAC team. The gallery spots are full for 2024 with an exciting lineup but there are a few spaces still open in order to use the space to host your workshop or cultural event.

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