In past years, we have raised money that went directly to the creation of a pedal-powered stage in the Children’s Area, for example. The Rainbow Stage in this area has amps and speakers and microphones and lights—like any of our other four stages—but we wanted to power that technical production using bicycles that generate and store energy. This way, Hillsiders not only got to participate in the creation of the sounds and lights of the stage by pedaling the bicycles, but they also got to do so in an environmentally-conscious way that helped to shrink our carbon footprint. This initiative was part of the larger greening of our festival that has been underway since 1984 and includes such ventures as dishwashing (we don’t have any throwaway dishes on site), free water, the digging of compost pits on-site, tree planting, and the shuttle bus which runs back and forth from downtown Guelph to Guelph Lake Island during the festival.
We certainly didn’t commit to environmentally sustainable practices to garner recognition; we did it because we deeply care. Over time, however, we have been graciously recognized for our efforts. We have won the International Clearwater Award (2019), Best Green Operations (Canadian Music Week 2016), and the Honour Roll Award from Grand River Conservation Authority, their highest distinction, for “a sustained record of achievement over an extended period of time.” We have also won the Best Greening Award from Festivals and Events Ontario from 2008-2020. For this we are very appreciative, and this continues to humble us as each year we strive to leave Guelph Lake Island in better shape than we found it!
Hillside is a registered charity! Our registration number is 12949 3292 RR0001.
Income tax receipts will be issued by email for any donations over $20.