artsVest™ brings year-long training and $35,000 in matching funds to Oakville’s arts and culture community

Information session for arts and culture groups takes place February 15, 2017

artsVest, a matching incentive and sponsorship training program designed to create partnerships between businesses and arts and culture groups, is coming to Oakville.

The program is offered by Business for the Arts, a national charitable organization that strengthens arts and culture in Canada by building partnerships between the private and cultural sectors. With funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Canada, $35,000 in matching funds will be delivered to local arts organizations.

The Town of Oakville will help administer the program, and provide meeting space for an information session and sponsorship workshop on February 15 from 1-5 p.m. at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Culture Centre. The workshop will be immediately followed by a reception to celebrate the launch of the program.

“Council believes in building bridges and helping establish relationships between various communities and organizations in Oakville,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “By encouraging partnerships between businesses and cultural organizations, the artsVest program helps to foster creativity and culture for everyone to enjoy.”

artsVest works directly with small to mid-sized arts organizations, equipping them with in-depth training, tools and mentorship relationships with private sector businesses. As an added incentive, artsVest participants can apply for matching grants. For every dollar raised in sponsorship, Business for the Arts will match it – doubling their sponsorship opportunity.

“Business for the Arts is thrilled to be bringing the artsVest program to Oakville,” says Aida Aydinyan, vice president of Business for the Arts. “The generous funding and support from the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Government of Canada and the Town of Oakville speaks volumes to the importance and power of building relationships between the sectors. We look forward to seeing the incredible impact these arts organizations and businesses will have in the town over the next year.”

Arts and culture groups can learn more about the program and apply to participate on the artsVest page.

Snowfall warning in effect for: Burlington – Oakville

From Environment Canada:

3:29 PM EST Sunday 11 December 2016
Snowfall warning in effect for:

Burlington – Oakville
Halton Hills – Milton
Mississauga – Brampton
A significant snowfall of 15 cm is expected.

Snow has gradually become heavier across Southern Ontario this afternoon. The snow is expected to intensify further into the evening hours and continue rather heavy at times until well after midnight. It is forecast to become lighter towards morning before tapering off near dawn around the Golden Horseshoe and a little later in the morning farther east.

Commuters can expect a slow go of it on Monday morning as roads are expected to be snow-covered or slushy and potentially slippery. The only exception may be right along the Lake Ontario shoreline where roads may be wet with temperatures slightly above the freezing mark.

This snowfall is attributed to a developing low pressure area which is over Missouri late this afternoon and is tapping moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. It will track across the Great Lakes later tonight before heading into New England on Monday.

Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. There may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.

Snowfall warnings are issued when significant snowfall is expected.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports to #ONStorm.

Oakville releases 2017 Budget documents

Staff recommends 1.83 per cent overall tax increase

“The draft budget is consistent with Council’s commitment to keep property taxes in line with inflation,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “It provides the funds necessary to enhance the town’s infrastructure and deliver the high-quality services our residents expect, while keeping our financial future strong, stable and healthy.”

On November 15, 2016, town staff presented Oakville’s proposed 2017 operating and capital budgets to the Budget Committee, achieving Council’s direction to keep the total property tax increase in line with inflation. Town staff recommended a 2.8 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill for an overall property tax increase of 1.83 per cent when combined with the estimated regional and educational tax levy. The proposed increase would see residential property taxes increase by $15.14 per $100,000 of assessment meaning that the owner of a home assessed at $700,000 would pay an additional $105.98 per year or $2.04 per week.

In the town’s Draft 2017 Operating Budget, staff is recommending a $308.5 million operating budget to provide a wide range of programs and services including maintenance of roads and community facilities, fire services, transit, parks and trails, recreation and culture, senior services, libraries, and a host of other important services. Continue reading Oakville releases 2017 Budget documents

Oakville Ballet’s premiere performances inspire the next generation

After two sold-out premiere performances held mid-September, Oakville Ballet along with Oakville School of Classical Ballet are set for another inspiring year of classical dance, offering up fresh inspiration for the next generation.

“Our young dancers, along with our talented and inspirational guest artists, performed so wonderfully,” said Amanda Paterson, Artistic Director Oakville Ballet.  “The final performance was the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination, a key element in our training with these talented young dancers.”

Oakville Ballet premiered The Kingdom of the Shades excerpt of La Bayadère, and Paquita – Grand Pas Classique and featured over forty young dancers from Oakville and surrounding regions, as well as four professional guest dancers. Klaus Bytzek, the patron and supporter of the production said, “It was such a pleasure to watch these young dancers perform with not only extreme talent but pure joy.” Bytzek continued, “I was also a delighted to hear the audience during intermission and at the end of the performance so inspired by the dancers and the production.”

The performances took place at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts and featured a live orchestra led by world-renowned conductor Judith Yan, Artistic Director for the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading Oakville Ballet’s premiere performances inspire the next generation

Dancers from around the world join Oakville Ballet


Dancers from Asia’s premiere ballet company, the Hong Kong Ballet, will be joining the talented members of the Oakville Ballet as they combine two of the most iconic classical ballets at its premiere performance in September.

Oakville Ballet will premiere The Kingdom of the Shades excerpt of La Bayadère, and Paquita – Grand Pas Classique as the inaugural performances in September. Adding to the celebration of talent, technical ability, and joyous determination of the young Oakville Ballet dancers will be guest artists Markham born Jessica Burrows and Swedish born Lucas Jerkander, both currently with the Hong Kong Ballet Company.

Born in Markham, Jessica graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School in 2009 and danced with the National Ballet of Canada for a year before joining Hong Kong Ballet in 2010 as a member of the Corps de Ballet. She was promoted to Coryphée in 2015.  She has performed many feature roles with the Company including Red Skirt soloist in In Light and Shadow, Kitri’s Friend in Don Quixote and the Russian Doll and Egyptian Doll in The Nutcracker to name but a few. She also danced in the world première of Pär Isberg’s Pinocchio.

Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, Lucas Jerkander trained at The Royal Swedish Ballet School and was a member of Slovenian National Ballet in 2007. He joined Hong Kong Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2014, was named Coryphée in 2015 and became Soloist in 2016. With Hong Kong Ballet, Jerkander has danced featured and main roles including Gepetto in the world première of Isberg’s Pinocchio. Before joining the Company, he danced lead roles in Balanchine’s Apollo and Serenade, Bournonville’s La Sylphide, Dawson’s Giselle, Kylian’s Svadebka, Mukhamedov’s Don Quixote and The Sleeping Beauty and Vamos’ Romeo and Juliet and The Nutcracker.

“It is a delight to welcome dancers of their caliber to our production,” said Amanda Paterson, Artistic Director Oakville Ballet. “We know this exciting performance featuring such marvelous physical athleticism from young dancers will serve as not only a moment of celebration but also inspiration to other young dancers.”

Complementing each of the performances will be a live orchestra featuring the colourful rhythmical scores of Ludwig Minkus led by world renowned conductor Judith Yan, Artistic Director for the Guelph Symphony Orchestra.  Adding to the compliment of talent will be Concertmaster Lynn Kuo.  Based in Toronto, Lynn is the Assistant Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, in addition to performing with the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.   Former Oakville School of Classical Ballet dancer Sharlene Wallace, one of Canada’s most prolific and influential Celtic/lever harpists, will be contributing her talents as the performance’s harpist.

There will be two performances, September 16th and 17th, both of which have been made possible by the participation and support of the Bytzek Family of Oakville.  Tickets are on sale now at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts.