Our in-the-schools program, Girls and Guitars, addresses a gender imbalance in the music industry that currently favours males (70%) over females (30%) who are the performers, executives, critics, agents, and managers of music-related fields.
Indigenous Culture: Another in-the-schools program that Hillside offers involves one-hour sessions for elementary and high-school students led by an Anishinaabe storyteller.
Hillside also teaches songwriting courses in ballad-writing, protest songwriting, and a special course for female-identified students as part of Girls & Guitars.
We feature Youth Showcases at both of our festivals that highlight the prodigious talents of local community musicians and singers.
And we highlight under-represented groups at both of our festivals. At our winter festival, for instance, we offer a popular performance series. Last February (2019), we produced The Sound of Light, which featured black artists in six different venues. In February 2018, we produced Queers on Quebec Street. And every year since 2011, we have been showcasing women musicians in our Girls & Guitars series.
We are an accessible festival, having made sure long ago that we only ever use accessible venues, that our office is accessible, and that our website is, too. In 2014, we won the City of Guelph Accessibility Award from the Barrier-Free Committee.
We are also an environmental festival. In 2019, we became carbon-neutral after more than 30 years of green initiatives and at least 5 years of measuring every centimetre of our carbon footprint. We have won multiple awards for our green initiatives, from the International Clearwater Award (2019) to 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 2008-2019.
Since 2014, we have been named as a Festival of Distinction by Festivals and Events Ontario. And in both 2017 and 2018, we were one of six finalists for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
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.