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:
- Thrives on generosity, solidarity, and collaboration;
- Values the cultural life of urban and rural communities alike;
- Encourages the use of shared resources; and
- Is produced with a unifying spirit, bringing together the best energies in the country.
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.
In 2017, Culture Days was granted charitable status (BN: 822013033RR0001), allowing the organization to better meet their mission and more effectively engage Canadians. To donate, visit our Canada Helps page.
Please consult the Culture Days Reports page.
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
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.