Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Holidays!

The Miniatures Fundraiser was a big success! We raised enough money to make some big improvements to our first floor gallery over the holidays. Thanks to these funds raised, and to a grant from the Trillium Foundation, the first floor will be painted, and new reception desk installed and new gallery furniture can be purchased. We are really excited for this facelift!

WCAC offices will be closed starting December 19, and reopen on January 4. This closing is to allow time to make the above improvements, and to let our staff and instructors share a special holiday with their loved ones. The Board of Directors and staff of WCAC wish you all the best this holiday season, and look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!

If you haven't already, please pick up the miniatures you purchased before we close for the holidays. If you don't, we will keep them safe over the holidays and have them ready for pick up in January.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

KW loses a talented poet

Mr. Green was a frequent visitor to the Button Factory, finding inspiration here and from the resident group Pat the Dog. He was a talented poet and actively provided programming in the Uptown Waterloo area. He will be missed.

GREEN, Mark Edward
(aka: Marcus, Mr. Green and Dr. Poetry) Passed away suddenly on Sunday, November 29, 2009 at the age of 40. Mark will be sadly missed by parents, Guy and Brenda Green of Port Elgin, brother of Christine (Jim) Schieckoff of Baden and Trevor (Beverly) Green of Riedsville. Proud uncle and will be missed by his nieces and nephew, Megan, Erin and James Green and Rachel Schieckoff. Mark hosted "The Smokin Word" for CKMS radio station and he also hosted an open mike night at the Whole Lot-A Gelata in Waterloo. Mark had a passion for poetry and was in the midst of writing a book of his poems. His goal in life was to make the world more beautiful.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Miniatures for Sale

The Miniatures Fundraiser runs until December 18! Get your miniatures now, for only $30!
We need to reach a target of 50 miniatures sold. All proceeds will go to gallery improvements and updating our programming spaces.
Thanks to all our participating artists - your contributions are beautifully executed!
Do your last minute holiday shopping at the Button Factory's Miniatures sale.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Remembrance Day

For Remembrance Day here is an interview with Harry Watts, artist, writer and Second World War veteran. 

Harry's book, The Dispatch Rider, is available at 
The Spitfire Emporium, 666 Victoria Street North 
(the place with the airplane on the roof). 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pecha Kucha

On October 23rd the Waterloo Community Arts Centre held its first successful night in a speakers series that is part of the worldwide network known as PechaKucha. The idea is to make a presentation with 20 slides and have them on screen for 20 seconds each. This gives the presenter 6 minutes and 40 seconds to do their talk.

Thanks to all our presenters:

Crystal Bradford
Liam Kijewski
Ashley Snell

And thanks to all those who showed up and a special thanks to Andrew the Bartender.

a small sample of what was seen.....

The People Have Chosen

One hundred and five visitors have cast their votes for a final winner from the Annual Juried Show.
Congratulations Kathleen Poste for your painting "Cows at the Fence".
It was clearly the People's Choice!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Juried Show reception was a hit. We had 83 visitors attend. We had great food from Seven Shores Cafe, and wonderful jazz from Jazz Cafe Noir. Peter Etril Snyder, one of our jurors, assisted me in welcoming everyone. These were the winners announced:

1st Place - Erwin Rummel, for his "Corn and Green Peppers"
2ns Place - Kathleen Poste, for her "Tree Island"
3rd Place - Pat Kalyn, for her "June 31st Rhapsody"

Honourable Mentions go to:
Jim Heldmann, for his "Another Winter in Philipsburg"
Wendy Albrecht, for her "Night Bird"
Teri Keenliside, for her "Winter Morn"

Congratulations to everyone! There is one more prize yet - the People's Choice Award will be announced right here at the end of the month.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Annual Juried Show on Now!

The Jurors have finished their work, and the selected paintings are on the walls. Come to the Button Factory, October 2 to 30, to see Rhythm of Life, our annual juried show. This year's jurors - Peter Etril Snyder, Robert Achtemichuk, and Marshall Ward - have selected 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes, and 3 honourable mentions. The winners will be announced at the reception this Friday, October 9, 5pm to 7pm.

This year's reception will feature jazz music by Jazz Cafe Noir and food from Seven Shores Cafe.

Participating Artists are:

Wendy Albrecht
Rouaida Al-madrmani
Jane Bayne
Nicole Coviello
David Crow
Sanela Dizdar
Adele Figliomeni
Frances Gregory
Jim Heldmann
Carol Hughes
Pat Kalyn
Teri Keenliside
Linda Kellar
Jean Marshall
Kathleen Poste
Don Routly
Erwin Rummel
Dawna Saba
Ann Vandenberg Sczyrba
Gail Vanderzee
Nicole Waddick
Brian Whitfield
Leandra Zarnow

Monday, September 28, 2009

Painting Contest, Word on the Street 2009

The Button Factory, Neruda Productions and Latin Life Magazine were at Victoria Park on Saturday for the Word on the Street festival. We hosted a painting contest for kids aged 5-14. The winner will have their painting featured on the front cover of the next issue of Latin Life! Other prizes included a Chapters gift card, and a night at the movies! We had 45 entries, and the decision was tough.
The theme of the paintings: fall.
The winners: Oliver and Eric!

Monday, September 21, 2009

10 Benefits for WCAC Members and 10 Reasons Why You Should Be a Member Too!

  1. WCAC Members get 15% off all WCAC courses and workshops
  2. WCAC members get 15% off at State of the Art Supplies (84 King Street North Waterloo, ON N2J 2X4 - (519) 725-8585)
  3. WCAC members can join the Sketch Club each Wednesday morning, 10am to 12noon for $2
  4. WCAC members can attend KWSA meetings, the first Tuesday of every month
  5. WCAC members can show their works in two annual exhibits: Colours of Art members show in April, and the Annual Juried Show in October
  6. WCAC members get the Program Catalogue first
  7. WCAC members can attend the Annual General Meeting each year and vote in members to the Board of Directors
  8. WCAC members get regualar emails informing them about upcoming events and exhibition opportunities
  9. WCAC members have free access to the media lab
  10. It only costs $30 for an individual and $50 for a family for 12 months!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Take the time to read this wonderful article by our own Life Drawing Instructor, Marshall Ward.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dear Members,
It is that time of year again, where we all gather for the Annual General Meeting. The Board of Directors and I look forward to seeing you Thursday September 24 at 7pm at the Button Factory to present our annual report and financials, as well as a special tribute to our past Executive Director Sher DiCiccio.

Please look for a letter in the mail from me with the agenda and Board news, as well as a proxy voting form if you are unable to attend.
See you there!
- Lauren Judge, General Manager

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Canadian Red Cross Exhibit Opens in KW

WATERLOO, August 11, 2009 - Pictures Talk, a Canadian Red Cross exhibition showcasing 25 photos taken by young survivors of the 2004 tsunami, was unveiled today at the Waterloo Button Factory and Kitchener's Fairview Park Mall. The exhibition offers a rare glimpse of post-tsunami recovery through a child's eyes.

"The children who took these photographs are survivors of the devastating tsunami - many of them lost loved ones and friends, their homes and all of their belongings," said Karen Charles, disaster response manager for the Red Cross in Southwestern Ontario. "By providing a glimpse into the lives of these children today, the exhibit offers a unique perspective on how life returns for young survivors in disaster-affected communities. Pictures Talk gives our community the opportunity to see up close the positive effect their tremendous outpouring of support has provided to the tsunami survivors."

In 2008, the Canadian Red Cross provided young Indonesians, aged eight to sixteen years old, with disposable cameras and an invitation to photograph what represented their world today. The result is Pictures Talk, a story of hope and renewal four years after the tsunami. The exhibit is a collection of 25 striking photographs selected from more than 1,000 photos taken by 41 Indonesian children.

Pictures Talk will be on display from August 11 to 21. The exhibition is open to the general public during regular business hours, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.

Red Cross delegate, Kathy Mueller, a former newscaster in London, ON was on hand for the unveiling. Ms. Mueller has been working in Indonesia for the last year and was able to provide updates on post-tsunami recovery.

"The Waterloo Community Arts Centre is pleased to have this exhibit on display, as it uses art to take a positive step in a community's development," said Lauren Judge, general manager of the Button Factory.

Many Canadians will recall watching news on Boxing Day 2004, of the Indian Ocean tsunami and subsequent earthquakes which killed more than 225,000 people and left another 1.6 million homeless. Tens of thousands of homes, schools and hospitals were destroyed.

Canadians responded to the disaster in record-breaking numbers, donating more than $200 million to the Canadian Red Cross. These donations had even more impact when CIDA introduced a matching program, contributing another $131 million. Canadian donations have helped almost 4 million survivors rebuild their lives.

Individuals and corporations in the Kitchener-Waterloo area were especially generous, donating more than $2 million to the Red Cross to support tsunami relief and recovery.

"The response in our community was overwhelming," said Ms. Charles. "Pictures Talk is an opportunity for everyone here to see how their donations continue to touch the lives of so many people who were affected by the tsunami."
For more information about the Red Cross tsunami relief and to view the virtual Pictures Talk exhibit, please visit

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

People's Choice Award 2009

The People's Choice Award winner for this year's IMAGE photo exhibit is:
Robin Andrade for her photo "Snoop".
Robin has won a beautiful set of photo albums from
Bent's Foto Source in Uptown Waterloo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This is just a reminder that this weekend is our Artist Alley event! The alleyway between the Button Factory and the Uptown Parkade will become an outdoor art market, with artists selling original artworks and jewellery. Open 11am to 7pm.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You are cordially invited to the opening reception of IMAGE 2009- a group show of 7 local photographers at the Button Factory, this Friday July 10 from 5pm to 7pm.

Our featured photographers are:
Robin Andrade, Sara Dawkins, Geoff Lewis, Jack MacAulay, Eliseo Martell, Janet Mullin, and Deb Whissell.

Each has a unique style and uses a variety of techniques that set them apart.
From pet portraits to botanicals, you won't be disappointed with what you see in our first floor gallery this Friday evening!
See you there!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Catherine Paleczny, Sculptor and Gem of the Arts Community, contributes to KWAG and WCAC

Waterloo (Ontario), June 8, 2009 – Catherine Paleczny only recently returned to Waterloo this winter to share her talents with the community where her first interests in sculpture were nurtured. She is a living gem in the arts community that is contributing much in the way of visual arts.

At the moment Catherine has an exhibit on at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG), “Sumus Quod Sumus” (May 15 – July 5), featuring 700 works in ceramics.

“Though her practice is rooted firmly in ceramics, Paleczny's work often suggests the archeological remnants of past civilizations… She creates a volume of forms using traditional hand-building techniques. Each object, though crafted as an ambiguous, individual form, is integrated into a collective and perceived as part of a larger shape. Paleczny's "swarms" speak of movement, repetition, spatial tension, and our constant search for order and belonging in the world around us.” (

Catherine Paleczny lives and works in Waterloo. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Calgary. She has studied at the University of Michigan and the University of Western Sydney Australia and most recently earned a Master of Science in Education degree from Niagara University. She has been a resident artist at The Banff Centre, the International Ceramic Centre in Denmark and the Ceramic Sculpture Symposium in Poland and the Experimental Ceramic Work Centre in Jingdezghen China... To learn more about Catherine Paleczny, visit

The Waterloo Community Arts Centre (WCAC) is pleased to begin working with Catherine, and her colleague Becky Webster, to develop a large piece of public art to be installed at the front of the Old Button Factory, home of the arts centre at 25 Regina Street South. Catherine’s sketches show her intention to honor the history and heritage of the building, formerly a factory that produced buttons made from shells and nuts until 1944. Her work is a testament to Waterloo’s arts community and demonstrates a standard of excellence that is expected of the public art produced in our creative city.

The community’s ownership in the development of this piece is important to WCAC. The organization invited community members to participate in a fully funded press-molding workshop as part of the recent SpOtlight Festival (June 5-7), where they created the ceramic buttons that will be fixed to the final piece. WCAC hopes the finished piece will become a landmark for Waterloo’s arts and culture, and that all community members will relate to it.

WCAC is waiting for approval from the City of Waterloo for the installation before Catherine and Becky can begin assembling the sculpture on the Button Factory property. The land and building are owned by the City of Waterloo, and therefore all public art must be approved by the City before installation can occur.

Friday, May 8, 2009

These are the paintings for auction at the Button Factory. You may view the paintings at the Button Factory (25 Regina Street South, Waterloo) or email your bid to Don't forget to include your name, phone number, which painting you want to bid on, and the bid $ amount.

#7 Elora Creek
Current Bid: $150

#3 Trilliums
Current Bid: $175

#4 Snowscape
Current Bid: $200

#5 Birch Study
Current Bid: $150

#9 Forest Sunlight
Current Bid: $250

#8 Autumn Shadows
Current Bid: $250

#6 Birches, Laurel Creek
Current Bid: $200

#10 Grand River, Elora
Current Bid: $200

The paintings at the WPL branches are :
#2 Ontario Heritage
Current Bid: $220

#1 Conestoga Heritage
Current Bid: $150

Monday, May 4, 2009

The winners of this year's People Choice Award for the Colours of Art Show are Baria Fleifel for her "Mediterranean" painting, and Kathleen Poste for her "Tree Stumps" painting. Yes, it was a tie!

Friday, May 1, 2009

WCAC is pleased to announce a recent donation of 10 paintings from local artist David Allan Crow. These paintings were donated to WCAC for a silent auction fundraiser happening at the Button Factory and the Waterloo Public Library from May 1st to June 30th.

David Allan Crow grew up and studied art in England, then migrated to Canada in 1955. He studied under a number of artists, and exhibited in a number of galleries and companies. David is past president of the KW Society of Artists. Until 1991, he was a pilot with Air Canada. Now he is retired and lives in Waterloo.

David's watercolour paintings are a testament to the talen and genius in the KW arts community. He is a master with colour, and his style is unique to any watercolourist. David frequently paints scenes in and around the Grand River landscape. Two of the paintings being donated, "Conestoga Heritage" and "Ontario Heritage", were recently exhibited in WCAC's annual Colours of Art Show.

The Waterloo Public Library has generously allowed WCAC to exhibit some of these paintings at their Main and McCormick branches, to allow more community members to enjoy David's beautiful landscapes and place their bids.

WCAC's Silent Auction runs to the end of June. Each of the 10 paintings is assigned a reserve bid. To see these paintings, visit the Button Factory or WPL branches. You can monitor the bids on this blog over the next 8 weeks. All the proceeds will go towards WCAC programs and initiatives to boost our exposure within the community.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I spent my Saturday at Cambridge City Hall, as a participant in the Arts, Business and Creativity conference. This is an annual event coordinated by the Region's Small Business Centres and municipal culture developers. It is geared towards artists and community members employed by arts organizations.

The day was jam-packed, but very pleasant. Opening ceremonies and breakfast in City Hall, and the workshops were held in the Cambridge Centre for the Arts. I am ashamed to admit, this was my first time in the Centre for the Arts. It's a great facility, with so much instructional space and natural light.

The workshops were informative. In the last session we had a keynote speaker, Councillor Gord Hume from London, Ontario. He delivered a passionate speech on the Creative City report, released a couple years ago, and how municipalities can become creative communities. He inspired some dialogue on how we can affect change in our municipality by exerting some pressure on Council members at election time, and place emphasis on the aesthetics of the city and "place-making".

I kept my ears wide open during all the question and answer periods throughout the day. This is what I'm hearing:
  • Artists want affordable, safe work space
  • Artists are finding it difficult to bring awareness to the arts and culture, especially at the muicipal level.
  • It is difficult to get past the city staff, or through to Council; There needs to be a way to bring arts and culture to the forefront and at the top of the Councils' agendas
All in all, there is an obvious need for this conference, and more knowledge-sharing in our community. The people attending the workshops were thirsty for it. And it was so nice not to see the usual faces from the arts community (no offence!). It made me realize just how diverse our arts community is and who is working in the realm outside of our local arts organizations.

What the day taught me: Artists will continue to create despite the state of the economy, and our creativity will outlive even the worst of times.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

At 4:30pm sharp people started filing into the Button Factory to view the works of 31 artists. Thursday, from 4:30 to 7pm, the Centre opened its doors for the annual Colours of Art. On the second floor, 30 members exhibited paintings and drawings of various styles, subjects and sizes.

I was so impressed with the variety of pieces this year. We had 30 registrations and 62 submissions, which made for a packed catalogue for viewers to take away. We are accepting People's Choice ballots until May 2nd. I am so proud of this year's show, and I hope we've raised the bar for the Juried Show coming up in October.

On the first floor, Terry Torra presented his show, called "H2O Plus". His paintings range from an impressio-realist style to abstract. Terry celebrates the beauty of waterfalls, and brings life to the abstract explorations by making the colours jump from the canvas.

Many thanks to the Gallery Committee for their efforts in coordinating the receptions on both floors, the take-in and hanging of the artwork. It was much appreciated and you did a wonderful job!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A week ago the Button Factory was a hive of activity. I had to wade through accoustic guitars and mingling amateur guitarists to get to the reception desk. The phone was off the hook and the cash register thought it was part of the live entertainment. The 5th annual Waterloo/Wellington Guitar Summit was in full swing.

Richard Burnett brought four gorgeous instruments for display, all the way from Folkway Music in Guelph. The music store sponsored this event.

Bob MacLean, Rick Zolkower and Dunstan Morey was the workshop instructors and performers for the day. The workshops attracted a record 40 registrations! And this we had more women attend than any other year!

This was my first Guitar Summit, and my first concert since I took the position of General Manager at the Button Factory (gulp). But with the help of these gentlemen and Jim Galway, the evening's concert went beautifully.

To honour Earth Hour we dimmed the lights, and the performers unplugged. Each of the performers celebrated their mentors with beautiful performances, showing off skill and talent with the guitar that I had never seen or heard before. We kept the presentation simply, but the performances were diverse - blues, celtic and classical pieces.

I'm already looking forward to next year's summit.