Culture Days takes place on the last Friday in September and the following weekend every year.
2018: Sept. 28, 29 & 30
2019: Sept. 27, 28 & 29
2020: Sept. 25, 26 & 27
Culture Days is a cross-country, volunteer-based initiative that involves thousands of cultural organizations and independent artists. Culture Days believes that every individual — regardless of age, location or experience — has the right to access and participate actively in arts and culture. It is a celebration of Canadian cultural inclusivity, diversity and creativity open to everyone.
When Culture Days was launched in 2009, the dates were chosen to align with the pre-existing Quebec event, Les Journées de la culture, so that we could build a truly national public awareness and participation campaign linking every province and territory. The dates of Les Journées de la culture were decreed by the Quebec National Assembly to be held every year on the last Friday of September and the subsequent weekend. By extension, Culture Days in all other provinces and territories have followed the same dates.
With any fixed-date event such as Culture Days, scheduling overlaps occasionally arise whether with local or provincial celebrations, anniversaries, festivals and events or with the dates of faith-based holidays that move according to the lunar cycle. In 2017, a portion of the Culture Days weekend intersected with the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur which started at sundown on Friday, September 29 and ended 25 hours later at nightfall on Saturday, September 30. As an event that welcomes participants of all faiths and cultures, Culture Days regrets this unfortunate alignment of date however unavoidable it is. Many communities, aware of the overlap, took special measures to schedule the majority of their activities on the Friday or Sunday of the Culture Days weekend to be inclusive of those observing Yom Kippur. We applaud these efforts and the dedicated work of hundreds of community and activity organizers across the country who organized thousands of volunteer-led events with the aim of being free and accessible to everyone.