Community Building Fund Grant Supports County Arts Lab Launch


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PICTON – In the fall of 2021, the Prince Edward County Arts Council (County Arts) received a $50,000 grant from the Government of Ontario’s Community Development Fund – Operating Stream. This grant, provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, funded staff costs, operating costs and equipment upgrades. The funding was instrumental during a difficult but exciting time in the organization’s history, helping County Arts deal with significant pandemic-related revenue losses as they launched the new County Arts Lab.

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“The Prince Edward County Arts Council provides a strong collaborative voice for more than 300 artists as it promotes, incubates and sustains vibrant engagement in the arts at the local level,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Fifth. “Staff and programming funded by a $50,000 Community Development Fund grant will encourage further expressive work and economic benefit in the Bay of Quinte.”

The County Arts Lab offers a wide range of artist-focused and community-driven programs in a central location in the Picton Armory Building. The Lab’s first session of community arts classes launched in February, with offerings for residents of all ages led by experienced local artist instructors. A sliding scale pricing system and other financial aids help ensure that courses are financially accessible to all members of the community.

The lab is also home to Art for Well-Being programming, which began this month with a series of free visual arts workshops prioritizing access for residents most at risk of experiencing isolation issues. social and mental health. An annual month-long artist residency program (scheduled for June 2022) and the Activate Arts program, providing free or affordable meeting space for artistic activities, addresses a long-standing need for creative space and of studio in the county. This OTF grant covered costs related to salaries, rent and software, playing a key role in helping County Arts maintain and expand programming for artists and the community at large during and beyond the pandemic.

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“In early March 2020, we were about to hit send on our first grant application to help us realize our vision for the County Arts Lab,” said Janna Smith, County Arts Executive Director. “Our focus has quickly shifted to staying afloat while adapting our programs/events and responding to emerging pandemic-related needs and challenges for artists, arts organizations and the wider community in Prince Edward County. Two challenging years later, and with community healing and unity in mind, we couldn’t be more thrilled to launch the County Arts Lab. We sincerely thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting our efforts to create more space and opportunities for artists and art learners to pursue their creative pursuits and discover the joy and proven social and health benefits of artistic creation.

The mission of County Arts, formally incorporated as the Prince Edward County Arts Council in 1986, is to enrich the community by actively supporting and promoting the arts and artists as an essential part of life in the county of Prince Edward. To learn more and sign up for the County Arts Lab mailing list, visit

County Arts would also like to thank the growing list of County Arts Lab founding partners who donated over $5,000 to support the launch of the lab, including Wayne McNulty and Don Pinder, the Huff Family Fund/The County Foundation, and the John M. & Bernice. Parrot Foundation.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s premier granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112 million was invested in 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy, vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s not-for-profit sector. In 2020-21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping not-for-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID‐19. Visit to learn more.


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