WORDS: Oriana Duinker
IMAGES: Symphony Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia, a small but mighty province, is bursting at the seams with culture. Our province celebrates many cultural traditions that have deep roots in Nova Scotian history, including those of the Mi’kmaq, Acadians, Gaels, and African Nova Scotians. Likewise, we enjoy an exciting contemporary cultural scene with first-class musical and dance ensembles, galleries, theatre companies, arts and craft makers and cultural organizations.
With such a rich cultural heritage, Nova Scotia and Culture Days are a perfect fit. But participation in Culture Days has been hit or miss in Nova Scotia, with only a few organizations and municipalities hosting the majority of activities in recent years. As part of the Culture Days Innovation Labs, I’m spreading the Culture Days call for participation far and wide here in Nova Scotia, hoping to increase the participation of cultural organizations and artists, as well as the public.
A quick note about me: I have a background in music, history, and museum studies, as well as work experience with Ontario Culture Days, so I am very interested in encouraging Culture Days participation here in my home province. As a full-time parent, I’ve taken on this volunteer role to act as a regional representative of Culture Days and to provide resources to activity organizers in the community.
In order to activate NS Culture Days this year, my goals are to support organizations already taking part in Culture Days while also working to increase participation and awareness of Culture Days across the province. I’m connecting with organizations who are already participating, hoping they can help me establish new relationships with future champions for Culture Days in Nova Scotia. Some of my activities in support of these organizations has been assisting with activity registration, organizing the distribution of Culture Days marketing materials, and helping promote activities through local media.
I have tried to spread the Culture Days call for participation as far and wide as possible, and I’ve found that provincial arts umbrella organizations (such as Arts Nova Scotia, the Association of Nova Scotia Museums, and Visual Arts Nova Scotia) have been my most valuable resource. By taking advantage of their well-established lines of communication to members (through newsletters and social media), I have tried to reach many individual artists and organizations across the province with Culture Days’ call for participation.
After the Culture Days weekend, I’ll be collecting feedback from activity organizers, as well as statistics on participation, to take stock of the NS cultural community’s interest in Culture Days as a province-wide initiative. I hope this feedback can be used to determine if adequate community support exists to justify a more structured and managed implementation of Culture Days in Nova Scotia.
There are some very exciting events being planned for Culture Days in Nova Scotia this year, and it has been wonderful to see organizations integrate Culture Days with their regular programming. I’m personally looking forward to Symphony Nova Scotia’s Culture Days events, which the orchestra incorporates into their annual Symphony Week to mark the beginning of their new season. A long-time Culture Days participant, Symphony Nova Scotia will offer interactive performances at various Halifax Public Library branches over the weekend, including the family-friendly Classical Munchkins program and performances by the Symphony Nova Scotia Library Players, as well as the full orchestra.
This year is shaping up to be the biggest and best Culture Days weekend yet in Nova Scotia, and we encourage all Nova Scotians to come out and experience all of the culture that our amazing province has to offer!
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