Questions about a social collective now active in Guelph

In an commentary by a member of the Guelph Mercury Community editorial board, an outfit called Musagetes has encamped in Guelph to bring together a plethora of social and political activists, artists, architects, facilitators, designers and creative researchers..

Musagetes describes itself as “an international philanthropic organization that initiates artistic programs in mid-sized cities undergoing a transition of some form.“

After reading the Musagetes Manifesto, I must confess there are some questions that require answers before the average citizen can comprehend the four page document.

For starters, the author of the piece is Shawn Van Sluys, was not identified in the Mercury story as the Executive Director of Musagetes.  The omission leaves a large credibility gap in the narrative.

Van Sluys says that Guelph is now the home of Musagetes. While normally one may be flattered that the “international philanthropic organization” would choose Guelph as its global base of operations, the question remains: Why Guelph?

Allow me to assist you with this aspect. There is linkage between an outfit named 10 Carden Street that is a spin-off from the Guelph Civic League. You may recall that the province of Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded a $135,000 grant to Ten Carden to promote public participation in civic politics.

There is no mention of the source for Musagetes funding.  Who is paying the bills? What are the sources of revenue? Names of Guelph residents supporting Musagetes? Is the foundation recognized as a registered charitable organization by the Canada Revenue Agency?

Van Sluys says Guelph (along with Sudbury and two European cities), are the target communities he claims are in transition. Musagetes hopes to assist in stimulating artistic endevour and accelerate the transition of the city.

Why all this talk of policy and a grandiose plan to define “what is in transition in Guelph?”

One does not to look too far to see the path of transition in the city: It’s down the financial rabbit hole.

For five years we have endured wonk-driven policies, mismanagement, social engineering and blunders that would make John Galt blush.

We don’t need outsiders coming to our city to engage in imposing esoteric solutions to alleged problems that are not a priority.

Their timing could not be worse as the huge $118 million debt is already exceeding the lawful ceiling and has placed limits on what city council can do.

While there may be some merit in what Musagetes may offer the city, there are too many questions about its bonafides to judge whether such a contribution to our society is meaningful.

As a public service, I suggest reading the Musagetes Manifesto ( to get a handle on the organization’s purpose and mission.

You be the judge. Don’t take my word for it.




Filed under Between the Lines

2 responses to “Questions about a social collective now active in Guelph

  1. Ruby

    Just had a look at the link on that group called Musagetes.
    What a crock of nonsense.
    Wish these nutcakes would leave Guelph alone. Guelph was a nice, normal place to live until about the ’70’s when the fruitcakes started to move here.

  2. deb

    I agree with your analysis of the problems in Guelph, but not with the source. The disparate interest groups trying to get their needs met is the main reason, including the lack of the government’s interest in listening to the silent majority who is their boss.

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