An estimated 2 million Canadians come out to celebrate arts and culture
TORONTO, September 29, 2014 – Over 7,500 free arts and cultural activities in some 873 Canadian cities and town, were hosted by artists and cultural organizations of all types this past weekend during the 5th anniversary Culture Days weekend on September 26, 27 & 28. Giving the public unique and fun opportunities to explore the inner workings of the world of artists and cultural organizations through free, hands-on, behind the scenes and interactive activities, Culture Days has become a highly anticipated event across Canada every year. The initiative has grown by more than 60% since it launched in 2010.
Organizers estimate that some 2 million Canadians participated in Culture Days activities over the three days, up from last year’s attendance of 1.7 million.
“It’s quite remarkable to see how, in such a short time, Culture Days has become a formidable annual celebration in so many places across Canada,” commented Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival and Chair of Culture Days’ National Board of Directors. “The 5th Anniversary event this past weekend clearly highlighted the vital role artists and cultural organizations play in the lives of Canadians, and we are thrilled that Culture Days has become a mainstay collective opportunity across the country to affirm and broaden those relationships.”
After the fourth edition last year, 52% who of those who had participated in previous Culture Days events reported that their experience inspired them to attend more arts and cultural activities throughout the year, while 33% said they became a fan of an artist or cultural organization as a result of their Culture Days experience. For more details on Culture Day impact, please click here. Results from independent research for the 2014 weekend will be released later this year.
The weekend celebrations launched on Friday, September 26 with some 20 kick-off events including a first-time event in Canada called Conduct Us featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). Hosted by Marci Ien, Co-Host of CTV’s Canada AM and TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian, members of the public were invited up on stage in Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall to conduct the full TSO after Colm Feore, CP24 Breakfast Co-Host Steve Anthony and Barenaked Ladies bassist Jim Creeggan stepped up to the podium themselves to get the exciting event underway.
Twitter lit up all weekend long with enthusiastic Culture Days participants sharing their experiences. Here are a few selections of the thousands of tweets:
Props to the 75+ participants in #KoernerHall Free for All. It took guts & hutzpah and the results were amazing! Mervon Mehta @mervon
Today’s crew rockin’ #culturedays & Cairo Under Wraps WKND! Kiron/ROMkids @ROMKids
Two things we love: culture & autumn leaves. #CultureDays @MBCultureDays The Forks @TheForks
Tried out my painting skills with guidance from Kimberly Kiel @ArtYouCanBuy #artwalk2014 #iheartculture @culturedays Catherine Folstad @CatFolstad
About Culture Days
Culture Days is committed to reaching the goal of having all Canadians in every community declaring “I Love Culture” and making culture a daily habit.
Founded in 2009, Culture Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. Through an annual three-day national celebration each September, hundreds of thousands of artists and cultural organizations in hundreds of cities and towns come together and invite Canadians to participate in free interactive and behind-the-scenes activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion.
As a leading national voice for the active and engaged cultural life of all Canadians, Culture Days provides support, tools and resources to a wide variety of artists and cultural organizations to help them unite the country through engagement in culture. Culture Days was initiated by four Founding Partners: The Canadian Arts Summit, Culture pour tous (producer of Journées de la culture), Canada Council for the Arts and The Banff Centre. National partners are Sun Life Financial and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. National Broadcast Partner is Bell Media (CTV). National Creative Partner is BT/A. Federal Government support is provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Provincial Partners are: Government of British Columbia, Government of Alberta, SaskCulture, Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Arts Council, Government of Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, Government of Québec, Government of New Brunswick, Government of Nova Scotia, Government of Prince Edward Island, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Government of the Northwest Territories.