Kingston Arts News

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Over 200 Culture Days Activities registered in Ontario

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There are 202 Culture Days Activities registered in Ontario and we’re still counting!

Wondering what you can do for Culture Days? On September 24 to 26, 2010, Canadians everywhere will participate in thousands of free events that bring creators and the public together to celebrate the creative vitality of our communities. The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is one of the many arts and culture organizations across the country taking part in the Culture Days movement. Find out more by visiting

To be included in Culture Days, your activity should be:

  • Free
  • Interactive or participatory
  • Between September 24 and 26, 2010
  • A celebration of arts and culture

Five tips to get you started:

Tip #1 – Just register the outreach activities you are already doing

Organizations don’t need to develop a completely new event to join Culture Days. Existing outreach or arts education programs can be included in Culture Days. 

  • Example: Your gallery hosts five artist talks a year. Simply schedule one of those talks during Culture Days.

Tip #2 – Cross-promote and enhance your ticketed events

Add a free Culture Days activity before, after or adjacent to your ticketed events taking place during September 24-26. Activities such as artist talks, backstage tours or demonstrations can enrich the audiences’ understanding of the work they are about to see and draw new people to your main attractions.

  • Example: Hold an “instrument petting zoo” for kids before a concert. Orchestra players explain how to handle and make sounds on the various instruments in the symphony.  

Tip #3 – Remember your creative process can be as interesting as the final product

As artists, we put our hearts and souls into our art works yet most of the time we only show the final product.  Witnessing the creative process in action can cultivate the public’s understanding and appreciation of your artistic labour as well as develop a deeper enjoyment of the finished work.

  • Example: Open your dance rehearsal to the public and encourage questions and dialogue between the audience, performers and choreographer.

Tip #4 – Invite the public to join in

Encourage the public to give your art form a try with hands-on activities. The public will develop an appreciation of the technical challenges of art-making and may discover their own creative impulses.

  • Example:  Invite people to get their hands dirty throwing clay on a wheel at your pottery studio.

Tip #5 – Make new connections! Collaborate with other artists and arts workers

Collaborate with artists, arts organizations, municipal cultural staff and community facilities in your local area to plan and schedule activities.  Pool your resources, venues, talent and time to collectively build the Culture Days movement in your community and attract larger crowds to events.

  • Example: Culture Days working groups have formed in Peterborough, Ottawa and London where early registration numbers are high and plans are well underway. Read more on this blog post  

Build momentum in your community with a Culture Days info session

Do you want to learn more about Culture Days? So do other people in your community. Info sessions are a great way to bring together arts and cultural workers in your region or within a professional arts association to find out about Culture Days and to brainstorm ideas.

Read about a great info session that took place in Peterborough.


As OAC’s Culture Days Animator/Coordinator, I am available to work directly with art service organizations, community arts councils or other local arts groups to help organize and facilitate an info session.

Aubrey Reeves
Culture Days Animator / Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council
t: 647-258-5077|  f: 416-969-7441  |
Toll-Free: 1-800-387-0058 ext. 5077


Visit the Culture Days blog for more tips and ideas
Read more examples of participatory activities, the 8 things municipalities can do, tips on finding venues and much more. Share your thoughts or ideas with us!   

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