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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 Quinte Arts Council


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?

Profiling artists in the Umbrella – in particular, the recent issue that was dedicated to Arts in Isolation- the COVID-19 issue. Artists were asked a series of questions relating to their experiences since this pandemic hit. It is a very personal, moving and insightful issue and we are so grateful to the artists for sharing their stories with us.

After the pandemic hit, the QAC launched #QuintePerforms, to facilitate connecting Quinte artists with audiences online. At the end of each of the 7 days the video with most “likes” and “shares” received a cash prize of $500. Many musicians participated and thousands of likes and shares ensued.

Out of that sharing came the idea to create a community for artists on Facebook – Cultivating 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?

The QAC is currently updating our 5 year strategic plan as COVID-19 has impacted everything we do. In March after COVID-19 hit, the team started working from home. The first two weeks we all seemed to be in shock. What really pulled us out of it, and pulled us together was art. Musicians playing in their living rooms, galleries going online – we were watching everything and it was healing. It really inspired the team.

We worked long and hard to gather and share resources and support; we were learning zoom, reaching out to artists and learning all of the new ways of sharing documents from home; we took too many online courses and adapted to the ongoing weekly changes. Most importantly, we looked at the programs and services that we deliver and made adjustments there. The space at the QAC is currently transitioning into a place for professional development for artists. How we share and deliver our art is changing – that pivot will require education and support for artists. The roundtables are also an opportunity for artists to share with the QAC how they need support going forward. We are here in this together; we are here to support, promote, and cultivate creativity in our artist community – now more than ever, the QAC is dedicated to advancing the arts in this community.



Janet Jarrell was born and raised in Belleville, Ontario. After high school, she headed West to go to school and live in British Columbia. She studied Business, majoring in marketing and economics. Her education includes strategic planning, legal studies and finance for nonprofits. She moved her family back to the Belleville area in 2002. She is a Professor of Communications and Business Computer Applications at Loyalist College in Belleville.

Janet was a Supervisor with the Municipal government in Economic Development and Tourism in British Columbia. She worked in the government at the Provincial level in Ontario with experience as a team lead at the courts and in the Social Services sector. She has training and work experience in Clarifying Community Engagement, Crisis Prevention and Intervention, Accessibility, Adult Education and Supportive Approaches to Innovative Learning.

Janet is engaged in her community as Chair for five years of Options for Social Growth, as President of the Justice Studies Board at Loyalist and 15 years with the Board of Directors for her local soccer association. She currently sits on the City of Belleville Arts and Culture Review Team. Janet is an artist in her own right as a published author in books, magazines and poetry. She has extensive experience as an editor-in-chief and associate editor which helps with the publication of the Umbrella. She spent over ten years profiling local artists for print, writing historical pieces and building and maintaining lasting relationships with the artistic, cultural and heritage community. All of this education and experience combined make for a balanced and very organized team leader who garners respect, responsibility and strategic vision for the Quinte Arts Council.

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: