Millions of Canadians engage in thousands of free activities and performances hosted by artists, cultural organizations and municipalities in communities across Canada. From Nunavut to New Brunswick, and from British Columbia to Baffin Island – and all points in between – we share all the inspiration, artistry, creativity and expression that reflects the mosaic of Canadian culture.
As a leading national voice for an active and engaged cultural life, we provide marketing and industry development resources that lead to greater cultural engagement. The Culture Days national awareness campaign culminates in a three-day celebration of the arts starting on the last Friday of September.
To see our community come together in celebration of the various cultures was a dream come true for me. To have each and every aspect of our community presented, and enjoyed was so rewarding.
-Anne Wilson, Elbow & District Museum, Saskatchewan
Every Culture Days weekend features thousands of free, hands-on, interactive activities where the public can discover the world of artists, creators, heritage experts, architects, curators, designers and other creative professionals in their communities.
With thousands of activities promoted through culturedays.ca, our digital channels, and national media partnerships, we drive a multi-level national awareness campaign designed to inspire and catalyze greater public arts participation in all Canadian communities.
Culture Days is a collaborative initiative that welcomes public participation. Everyone has a part to play in Culture Days whether you’re already passionate about the arts or interested in discovering something new.
See the impact of Culture Days in the Reports page.
Culture Days aims to:
Culture Days believes that every individual — regardless of age, location or experience — has the right to access and participate actively in arts and culture.
Culture Days also believes that the arts and cultural sector makes a vital contribution to the economic and social development of Canada and contributes to the overall health of the country.
People who had never participated in the arts before found it exciting and rewarding, finding a side of themselves they did not think existed. To us, that is what Culture Days is all about.
-Pam MacKenzie, Consolidated Artist Group of 7s (North Bay, ON)
Culture Days was created in response to the growing recognition that a vibrant arts and cultural sector contributes directly to a healthy and stable society.
In 2007, inspired by the success and impact of Quebec’s Journées de la culture weekend, leaders of Canada’s largest arts organizations (as participants in The Canadian Arts Summit commissioned a feasibility study to assess the viability and appropriateness of launching an annual cross-country celebration of arts and culture.
Journées de la culture, a three-day event produced annually by Culture pour tous since 1997, is an internationally-recognized Canadian model for promoting public participation and engagement, that:
In April 2008, the Summit participants voted and agreed unanimously to initiate and support a strategic collaboration with Culture pour tous, producer of Journées de la culture, to encourage and facilitate a similar event across Canada. The Banff Centre in Alberta was also a key participant, serving as national secretariat assuming all relevant fiduciary responsibilities.
Conceived as a citizen-focused volunteer initiative, Culture Days was also seen as a timely Canadian initiative in the global context responding directly to issues addressed by the UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, of which Canada is a founding member.
Initiated by The Canadian Arts Summit, Culture Days was endorsed and supported from its early beginnings by Founding Partners the Canada Council for the Arts, Culture pour tous and The Banff Centre. Since its official launch in 2010, Culture Days has generated enthusiastic interest, participation and support from a rapidly growing network of artists, organizations, municipalities, as well as the private and public sector and media across the country.