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Welcome to the twentieth instalment of Monday #MusicMatters as part of the JAMS Canada PRO Series – “Here’s What I Know”.

We caught up with Janet Jarrell for her insight into the Quinte Arts Council (QAC).

NOTE:  this article has been updated as of March 2024:

What are some of the benefits to musicians joining QAC?

One of the benefits of membership is networking. Our Cultivating Community on Facebook has been a great place for musicians to share what they are doing right now. That platform is growing.

Our members directory is a well-used resource for local organizations, groups or individuals looking for musicians to perform. And then there is the Umbrella magazine. Each issue has a section dedicated to celebrating local musicians. Further, QAC members often receive calls for submissions.

Of course there are the regular list of benefits

  • Direct mail delivery of Umbrella arts magazine, four issues a year.
  • Weekly What’s ON : Quinte Arts Calendar event e-Newsletter
  • Discounted tickets to QAC events and workshops (excluding the Luncheon for the Arts)
  • Significant discounts on ads placed in Umbrella
  • Invitations/calls for submissions to members-only shows
  • Access to your free webpage with up to 10 images, video clips, sound bites, and links to your website and social media.
  • Opportunity to submit articles and Calendar items for consideration in the Umbrella arts magazine and QAC blog
  • Promotion of your events, workshops, calls for entry, auditions, etc. on the QAC website, weekly radio updates on 91X, and weekly arts calendars emailed to members and media. Also, social media promotion via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Invitation to nominate candidates for the annual Arts Recognition Awards
  • Invitation and voting rights at the Annual General Meeting.

What are some of your plans post-COVID for musicians in Quinte area?

2024 the triumphant return of music post-Covid, and what better way to celebrate than with the third annual Jazz Festival, orchestrated by the visionary artistic director Howard Rees! Every Monday evening, Howard invites you to the QAC Cultural Hub for Jazz masterclasses, where both seasoned musicians and eager learners can immerse themselves in the rich sounds of Jazz. But the rhythm doesn’t stop there! On Friday evenings, Isaac Akrong of the African Art Institute leads captivating African drumming sessions, infusing the air with the vibrant beats of the continent.

As the summer sun warms the streets, get ready to groove to the soulful sounds of Bluesfest, returning with renewed vigor and passion. And that’s not all – keep your ears to the ground for exciting news: plans are already underway for an Indie Music Fest slated for 2025! This burgeoning event promises to showcase the diverse talents of local musicians, offering them a platform to shine and connect with audiences. Post-Covid, the music scene is not just back; it’s thriving, offering boundless opportunities for both seasoned performers and emerging artists alike to captivate audiences and enrich our cultural community.

What are some of the grants for musicians and do you offer assistance in applying?

Arts education is a large part of what the QAC does and a program that we are dedicated to growing. Each year, the QAC provides grants to bring musicians into the classrooms of our local schools. Educators submit applications to request funding for artist fees to provide instruction on performing arts activities that support the Ontario curriculum.  Students have the opportunity to be educated by professional artists and groups, develop their talents, and learn school subjects in an interactive, inspirational and entertaining way.

(the in-school grants for musicians is not well known as far as I can tell – note Jeanette, we often have 4 or 5 times more applications than grants – i.e. – if we give out 4 grants – we have received 20 or more applications. It is a very well used program.)

What is your vision for QAC moving forward? How has COVID-19 impacted QAC & how has QAC pivoted?

Looking ahead, our vision for arts and culture is one of inclusivity, sustainability, and profound community impact. We are committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, has access to the transformative power of the arts.

Accessibility lies at the heart of our mission. We believe that cultural enrichment should be within reach of all individuals, regardless of barriers. To this end, we are dedicated to providing grants to musicians, offering financial support that enables them to share their talents within the schools. Additionally, we extend bursaries to graduating students, fostering the next generation of artists.

Community lies at the heart of everything we do. We believe that the arts have the power to unite us, bridging divides and fostering a sense of belonging. That’s why we feature musicians in every issue of Umbrella Arts Magazine, shining a spotlight on local talent and celebrating the vibrance of our community. Additionally, we leverage platforms like What’s On Quinte and our weekly Cultivating Creativity column to promote music events and showcase the diverse array of cultural experiences available in our region.

Moving forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to making the arts accessible to all, promoting sustainability, and leveraging the transformative power of culture to enrich our community and beyond. Together, we can create a future where creativity thrives, and the arts are a source of inspiration and empowerment for generations to come.


Janet Jarrell (she/her) is a dynamic arts administrator and seasoned educator, blending her passion for the arts with a background in business. As the Executive Director of the Quinte Arts Council (QAC) since 2018, her expertise in strategic planning, not-for-profit finance, and marketing has elevated the QAC’s impact and reach.

Janet is a published author, showcasing her literary talents in books, magazines, and poetry. Her role as Editor-in-Chief significantly contributes to the success of the QAC’s acclaimed Umbrella publication, a cornerstone program for the QAC.

With over fifteen years dedicated to profiling local artists, crafting historical narratives, and fostering enduring relationships within the artistic, cultural, and heritage communities, Janet has cultivated a strong local network. This network plays a pivotal role in securing partnerships, sponsorships, and driving community-building initiatives for the QAC.

Janet is the Co-Chair for the Alliance of Arts Councils of Ontario, actively fostering a platform for resource sharing, partnerships, and collaborative efforts with Arts Service Organizations across the province.

In addition to her role at QAC, Janet serves as a community partner with the City of Belleville Economic and Destination Development Committee. Her commitment extends to academia, where she contributes as a part-time Professor at Loyalist College. Additionally, Janet has demonstrated her dedication to community growth through a five-year tenure as Chair of Options for Social Growth.

Janet’s commitment is unwavering, driving the strategic vision of the Quinte Arts Council forward and ensuring that the arts remain a vital and thriving presence in the community. Her multifaceted contributions to education, community engagement, and arts advocacy underscore her dedication to the cultural vibrancy of the region.

Find out more about Quinte Arts Council on their website Quinte Arts Council and on their Facebook page @quinteartscouncil.


Look for more JAMS Canada PRO Series “Here’s What I Know” Monday #MusicMatters here on our website and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In.

Some contributors also responded with videos – please subscribe to our JAMS Canada YouTube channel: