From Friday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 26, Canadians across the country will be discovering their community’s vibrant arts and culture scene during the first annual Culture Days event (Journées de la culture in Québec), the nation’s largest weekend-long arts and culture celebration. With more than 4500 family-friendly activities offered by thousands of individual artists, groups and organizations in every province and territory, Culture Days 2010 marks the biggest event of its kind in Canadian history.
Free activities include hands-on workshops, drop-in classes, outdoor excursions, guided tours, demonstrations, seminars, panels and behind-the-scenes experiences available in a wide range of disciplines including music, dance, visual arts, film or video, theatre, literary, architecture, new media and heritage. Some activities were created brand-new for Culture Days; others were existing events that have opted to join the national movement. Canadians can get their arts and culture fix by searching for activities in their area on the Culture Days website.
An initiative that brings the Canadian public and artists and cultural groups closer together, Culture Days was launched to celebrate the creative vitality of every community across the country. Inspired by the 13-year success of Québec’s annual Journées de la culture event and its efforts at democratizing culture, Culture Days was also spurred on by the success of the annual Alberta Arts Days – which took place Sept. 17 to 19 this year – as well as the pilot project spOtlight in southern Ontario.
“The Culture Days movement has resonated with the arts and cultural right community across the country beyond our wildest expectations,” says Antoni Cimolino, Chairman of Culture Days’ national Steering Committee and General Director of Stratford Shakespeare Festival. “Since we announced an open call for everyone to join the movement just five months ago, thousands of individual artists, organizations, associations and public and private funders have embraced Culture Days as a fun opportunity to welcome the public into our world and to become more familiar with what we do.”
Culture Days is a volunteer-driven, grassroots movement led by arts-lovers, cultural aficionados and the arts and cultural sector in collaboration with municipalities, public funding agencies, provincial governments and the private sector. In coordination with a national Steering Committee, volunteer provincial Task Forces have rallied professional and community-based cultural organizers to offer activities during the celebratory weekend, and, in conjunction with a complementary national promotional campaign, are promoting the event to the public at the regional and local levels.
Visit culturedays.ca to search for activities in your area and plan your Culture Days outings.