History of Arts Council (ARIEL)

History of Arts Council (ARIEL) (1)

The History of Arts & Culture in Elliot Lake

Arts and culture have always been important parts of Elliot Lake. In the 1960’s and 70’s, the Elliot Lake Centre developed arts programmes that attracted teachers and students from all over North America.  When the centre restructured in the 1980’s to act as a funding organization for arts & culture in the region, Sault College offered local arts programming for a number of years.

In the 1980’s and 90’s the Arts Council of Elliot Lake and District (ACOELAD) functioned as an umbrella organization (similar to ARIEL), promoting arts groups and events, offering facilities for rent and scheduling a calendar of events. ACOELAD also went on to initiate arts & culture programming and projects – in particular, children’s summer arts programmes. ACOELAD dissolved in 2001 due to funding issues and lack of volunteer support. White Mountain Academy of the Arts was established in the 1990’s as a private art school that encompassed traditional native studies with contemporary art practice. Until it’s demise in 2006 due to lack of funding and low enrolment, it offered part and full-time studies, summer art classes, an art reference library, artist residencies, an art gallery and an art supply store.

The Deer Trail Studio Tour was an annual event and ran for sixteen years before the board dissolved in 2008. It was a draw for tourists, and an economic boon for Elliot Lake and the surrounding municipalities. The Deer Trail Studio tour gave local artists and artisans an outlet to display their work, and residents a chance to appreciate the art being created in their community. These were the organizations that offered leadership in arts and culture throughout the years. At the same time, there were, and still are, a number of arts groups and guilds that provide diversity to the community in arts and culture. ARIEL’s goal is to bring all these groups together so that collectively we will continue to provide this much-needed leadership.

ARIEL Founding History

The ArtsCouncil (ARIEL) is a not-for-profit umbrella organization created to serve and support the local Elliot Lake arts community. The primary objectives include coordination and promotional services, collaboration, advocacy, grant assistance, networking and clerical services.

ARIEL was established in July 2008 and became fully incorporated the following year. The organization is run by a Board of Directors who represents local community art and culture groups. Final approval on all major projects is subject to a majority rules vote.

ARIEL receives funding to support programs through municipal, provincial and federal government agencies. They earn revenue through membership fees, fundraising initiatives and the management and operation of a local co-op art gallery. The organization as a whole relies heavily on volunteerism to operate both day to day and in the long term.