Last week, on June 22, 2010, some 25 people joined the bi-weekly telephone information session for a roundtable on community organizing. Amazing reports were heard from communities across the country that have taken up the Culture Days vision and made it their own:
- Simone Georges from 4th Line Theatre was on the line representing the Peterborough Culture Days committee. They’ve received some funding from the Community Futures Development Corporation in Ontario to hire a part-time coordinator who will coordinate, archive and chronicle Culture Days activities in Peterborough until the end of September. How did this group start? Read more on the Culture Days blog.
- The London Arts Council and the Ottawa Arts Council are spearheading the movement in their respective Ontario communities. Both organizations reported that it was a “no brainer” to get involved with the national movement. Read their suggestions for generating interest and organizing your community.
- Sheila McKinnon, from the City of Surrey, BC was happy to report that the Culture Days timing is just perfect for them. A decommissioned fire hall has been converted in a new cultural centre; it will be officially inaugurated during the Culture Days weekend with activities at the new centre covering the full 3-day period.
- Crystal Kolt, Cultural Coordinator of the Flin Flon Arts Council was on the line but with so many people on the call, unfortunately, Crystal didn’t get a chance to make her report. Fortunately, you can read her6 Tips for Community Organizers on the Culture Days blog.
- Liesl Jauk, calling from the City of Richmond, BC, is running a local campaign to let people know about Culture Days, remind them of any deadlines, and to help promote activities in the area. The City will also produce its own programming for Culture Days. The Richmond Cultural Centre will be a hub where artists will be invited to join with city-operated activities. (Remember, if you have space to share with artists and other activity organizers, add your name to this list of venue operators.)
- Also on the line were some people who are interested in seeing Culture Days take root in their community (but official plans or working groups have not been developed yet). Anna Rose from Stouffville (ON) reported that the idea is still in its early stages in her community, but following this telephone meeting, with all the templates and resources available, she thinks they’ll hit the ground running now. Eliza Hemingway, from Chemainus (BC) described her ambitions for this first year of Culture Days as modest, but challenging for the context she is working in. “I would just like to try to get artists out of their studios, into one venue for year one. […] We already have two restaurants on board, and a few people with outdoor spaces.”
Read part 2 of community updates from this call, from the London Arts Council (ON), Ottawa Arts Council (ON), Town of Kindersley (SK), City of Burnaby (BC).
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