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Culture Days 2023 Highlights

Thank you for creating, sharing, and celebrating with us, Canada! We are grateful to have witnessed three full weeks of vibrant and meaningful expressions of arts, culture, and creativity taking place across the country. With over 3,000 events and digital activities on offer in hundreds of communities, the celebrations were replete with sparks of joy, creative curiosity, self-expression, and appreciation for arts and culture — engaging a record-breaking audience of 4.4 million participants!

Culture Days thrives thanks to thousands of organizers, volunteers, artists, creators, and performers who present free, public events during the Culture Days run. A massive THANK YOU and congratulations to all involved!

In Alberta, Culture Days celebrations ran alongside the Month of the Artist during September. The annual Journées de la culture celebrations in Québec also took place in tandem with Culture Days, from September 29th to October 1st.

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2023, David Lipnowski Photography
Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2023, David Lipnowski Photography

From comedy showcases, poetry workshops, dance demonstrations, culinary experiences, community storytelling, artist talks and beyond, programs on offer spanned a wide range of disciplines in 50 languages—the largest diversity in presenting languages we’ve seen to date! The listing is still live, so you can take a look back at the variety of events offered.

Top Participating Communities

Each year, Culture Days recognizes communities from across the country for their dedication and efforts with the Top Participating Communities list. Hailing from rural and urban communities, cities, and towns, each community is a dedicated champion of arts, culture, and creativity.

Keep scrolling to see which communities topped the charts with an impressive roster of events and activities—congratulations to all!

Download the lists

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Saturday, September 30th, 2023, marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR), federally commemorated to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools and their families. To support honouring this important day, Culture Days set the 30th aside exclusively for events commemorating NDTR, including those sharing First Nations, Métis, and Inuit experiences and perspectives, celebrating the creative and cultural expressions of Indigenous people, stories, and communities.

Public participation is vital to the reconciliation process, acknowledging our shared histories to promote a better understanding of the harms done by engaging in actions that advance Truth and Reconciliation. There were 75 meaningful in-person and online NDTR events registered across the country for Culture Days. Many of these were planned and programmed by Indigenous artists, organizations and collectives. We thank the network for their efforts and commitment in creating programming which advances Truth and Reconciliation in their communities.

Commemorate Truth & Reconciliation 2023 event at Koerner Hall, Lisa Sakulensky Photography
Commemorate Truth & Reconciliation 2023 event at Koerner Hall, Lisa Sakulensky Photography

Three Weeks in Autumn’s Embrace

Rawle Iam James is a poet, author, inspirational speaker, community builder, and BC Culture Days Ambassador Program alumni. Since he was named an ambassador in 2014, his connection to Culture Days has remained hearty. As a reflection on his time as an ambassador, Rawle wrote the poem, “Three Weeks in Autumn’s Embrace” ahead of the Culture Days 2023 celebrations.

Community Snapshots

Here’s just a glimmer of some of the spectacular events and programs that took place this year:

LUNA Fest in Revelstoke, British Columbia

Each year LUNA ARTS transforms the downtown core of Revelstoke, BC into a mind-blowing extravaganza of installation art, interactive performances, and ‘Art Alleries’. This video by Mike Graves offers a look at the creative energy bursting out of this year’s festival—a night of nocturnal art and wonder.

Culture Days in Morinville, Alberta

Events in the city of Morinville included a performance by Jingle Dancer Martina Aginas of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and Alexander First Nation’s Kicking Horse Singers, soapstone carving with artist Sarah Hall, live music, a giant colouring wall, the Morinville Centennial Community Gardens’ watermelon eating contest, and much more.

Dalnavert Museum and Visitors’ Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Culture Days Celebration Hub in Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Culture Days in Weyburn is always a veritable smorgasbord of arts, culture, and creativity! This year, participants enjoyed an evening of documentary films and dessert, making their mark on a community mural, traditional Indian dance performances, a self-guided Walk for Reconciliation and the Comfort Food Video Series—a digital program created by locals, celebrating their favorite traditional dishes.

Scugog Arts Festivities in Port Perry, Ontario

Deep Roots Music Festival in Wolfville, Nova Scotia

The Music Festival / Culture Days Hub took place during the kick-off weekend in September! It was packed with free events including a morning sing-along session, artist talks, music at the market, crafting for kids, and the much-loved Fresh Beats Rhythm Parade featuring fantastical giant puppets!

Culture365 Blog Series: Community Spotlights

As a continuation of the Meet our Organizers series, the Community Spotlights tell the stories of unique communities from across Canada and how they have adopted Culture Days as their own. This Blog series unpacks the different ways in which these event organizers bring their communities together through arts, culture, and heritage experiences.

Mark your Calendar!