Guelph Musicfest


Season 14 — May 29 & June 5, October 3 & 16, 2020

from the director

As COVID-19 shuts down the performing arts around the world, orchestras, opera houses and individual musicians are turning to the internet to offer people music they need for hope and humanity.

Guelph Musicfest is following the trend of online performances and as the festival’s 14th season looms, he is introducing Digital Musicfest. There will be four concerts at the Guelph Youth Music Centre but split into pairs—May 29 & June 5, then October 3 & 16. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that by government restrictions won’t shut down the festival or the GYMC and its acoustically ideal Recital Hall but the backup dates should help, along with the all new DIGITAL MUSICFEST.

The festival is full speed ahead, but in a nod to virus anxiety, Digital Musicfest will let you buy a ticket to enjoy a video of the live performance online for 7 days after the concert. You will be able to enjoy inspiring chamber music in the perfect acoustics of the GYMC Recital Hall or from anywhere on their phone, tablet or computer!

Regular tickets to the live concert will also include a Digital ticket plus a $10 discount coupon to the Wooly, Miijidaa or Borealis Guelph (the Neighbourhood Group of restaurants has been a longtime supporter of Guelph Musicfest). If a ticket holder is feeling ill or gets nervous about coming to the live concert, the Digital ticket still lets them enjoy the music at home, and as many times as they want for 7 days. You can also buy just a Digital Ticket and enjoy the music from anywhere! Digital ticket holders will be emailed a link to experience the concert online and get the printed program in PDF format (the video will not be downloadable, and digital tickets don’t include a food discount coupon).

If you have series tickets, you will hear all the concerts. Last season was an introduction to delayed Musicfest concerts when violinist David Gillham became ill just before his June recital and the performance took place in November.

In another nod to public concerns, the maximum number of tickets for the live performances will be limited to 120 or less (vs the normal hall capacity of 170) to allow the seating to be more spread out for comfort and safety. And the concerts will still take place even if the audiences need to be restricted to as few as 50, with the digital tickets making up for the lost live ticket sales.

There was already a dry run for making video and high-quality audio recordings of a Guelph Musicfest concert. Last December, a special Festival Trio Encore concert repeated the regular 2019 series performance by Gee, violinist Sadie Fields and cellist Paul Pulford. The purpose was to record a CD, but a simultaneous video showed that you can really have the live concert experience online.

Thanks for supporting Guelph Musicfest and my efforts to keep the music alive!


Ken Gee, founder/director
…the music poured through us like balm. The subsequent concerts lived up to the excitement of that first note and we found ourselves looking forward to each Friday night. The hall was perfect. We all know that lots of work goes on in the background but believe me when I say that we are all in your debt for the programming of performers and repertoire. Thanks to all of your volunteers and for giving us this gift of hope in the midst of a chaotic world.
Sheri Cabena
…I was tremendously impressed. I am most grateful for all that you are doing to expand the appreciation of the arts in our city. I had purchased the CD’s that you kindly made available for the concerts and am so pleased with them. Truly, music of this caliber lifts the soul to great heights! I feel blessed.
Susan Bentley

Special thanks to June Davis and family—Emory, Deirdre and Eric—for their past support in memory of Richard C. Davis (a true lover of music who believed in Guelph Musicfest)

Guelph Musicfest is generously supported by the Neighbourhood Group

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There is a $10 food discount coupon for any of the above Guelph restaurants on the back of every Musicfest ticket (excluding Park Grocery).

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© 2020 guelph musicfest | ken gee, artistic director contact