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Unexpected Intersections

Temporary mural by Carlos Delgado for the 2016 Culture Days Launch at Union Station, Toronto, ON. Courtesy of Kevin Jones.
Temporary mural by Carlos Delgado for the 2016 Culture Days Launch at Union Station, Toronto, ON. Courtesy of Kevin Jones.

In 2020, Culture Days invites event organizers and the public alike to view arts and culture programming and participation through the thematic lens of Unexpected Intersections—encouraging creative and outside-the-box thinking to reveal new avenues of discovery, learning, and expression. We hope this theme inspires new collaborations to flourish. This may take shape by developing innovative partnerships, or fusing seemingly opposite disciplines to create fresh, and perhaps unconventional, programs and events.

It’s not lost on our network that the 2020 theme of Unexpected Intersections has been infused with some quite unexpected new meaning. We will be concentrating our efforts on keeping organizers updated on important changes, and supporting sector leaders in advocating for artists and cultural initiatives. Meanwhile, we will be sharing and promoting the important, exciting, and perhaps unexpected creative projects arising in the growing digital landscape. We have added some updates to our resources as the COVID-19 situation develops. You can also read more about our response to the crisis on this page.

Stay tuned to our monthly newsletter for roundups of inspiration, questions, and explorations of the many facets of the theme. For a more frequent dose of Unexpected Intersections, stay connected with our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What I like the most about Culture Days is that it brings groups together that wouldn’t normally be together.

-Organizer from Saskatchewan

Arts and culture have the power to re-shape the way we think, help us challenge our preconceived ideas and teach us to expect the unexpected.

Event Inspiration

Here are some event from the 2019 Culture Days celebrations to get you thinking about how you can approach the theme of Unexpected Intersections.


St. Catharines, ON

Poetry in Motion is a participatory piece in which the audience contributes titles or sentences that the ensemble will use to create and present a spontaneous physical “poem”.


New Westminster, BC

Presented by New Media Gallery, flex your music muscles and play a plethora of musical instruments that can be modified using computer code. Create sounds using keyboards, clarinets, a musical suit and more.


Ottawa, ON

Missing summer camp already?! We’ve got you covered, join-in on a campfire sing along, create your own forest creature, help owls find their way home, and take an art hike. Join us as we bring summer back to life!


Calgary, AB

Visitors can learn more at the history wall on display with more information about some famous people from Haiti. Visitors will have a chance to see a presentation on “Rouleauville” Calgary’s French connection. Additionally, there will be poster presentations about Caribbean Identity and famous Black Canadians.


Toronto, ON

Library of Things We Can Learn from Each Other is an evolving, public collection of community-generated information. The participatory project welcomes into circulation knowledge, skills and insights from people in the community and functions as a site to browse, borrow and lend information on an expanding range of topics from mundane to profound, abstract to instructional.

What I like the most is making connections I would have likely not otherwise made.

-Organizer from British Columbia

Public health and safety remain our highest priority, so we’re committed to adapting our online platform to be as flexible and accommodating as possible to shifting restrictions and regional variations. We encourage organizers who can do so to plan for the possibility of pivoting to digital presentations. For in-person events, we recommend taking a self-guided or pre-registered, limited capacity approach.

We’re currently working on an Online Programming resource to help you navigate how to create and host digital Culture Days events and programs. Stay tuned!

Unexpected Intersections Blog Series

This year we’ve developed a special blog series featuring writers and creatives from across Canada with stories that both highlight and celebrate Culture Days’ 2020 theme of Unexpected Intersections. New posts will be added regularly so be sure to check back for fresh content:

More inspiration!

Here are some examples we have found of people across the world exploring unexpected intersections: