BC Culture Days is now accepting applications to the 2024 Ambassador Program.
Unfamiliar with Culture Days? Read about our organization here.
Deadline to apply: March 4, 2024 at 11:59PM PST
The 2024 BC Culture Days Ambassador Program invites emerging artists of all disciplines (from visual and media artists to dancers, musicians, poets, writers, actors, and more) located in B.C., to develop, coordinate, and present a free community-based event in their local area for Culture Days 2024 (September 20 - October 13, 2024). This year’s ambassador event series will explore the theme of intercultural celebration, offering creative activities that honour and amplify cultural understanding, cultural collaboration, cultural connections, and/or cross cultural exchange.
Five emerging artists from across the province will receive artist fees and a production budget totalling $2,000 to present their community-engaged event during Culture Days (between September 20 - October 13, 2024). The activity should encourage public participation and must be free for the public to attend. Successful applicants will also participate in a paid 3-month mentorship ($1,000 total for approx. 8 hrs/month) with an established artist starting in May, and act as a Culture Days media spokesperson for their community from August-October.
Given the importance of regional representation for this program, priority will be given to applicants from outside Metro Vancouver and/or from rural or remote communities. Artists who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, a Person of Colour, disabled, Deaf, hard of hearing, crip, chronically ill, mad, trauma-impacted, neurodivergent, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ are encouraged to apply. *Please note, this is not an exhaustive list of disability and related identities.
Applicants are asked to include an event proposal in their application that answers the following:
Describe your event idea—what can attendees/the public expect to do at your event?
What is your proposed location or venue?
How long will the event be? (e.g. one hour, half a day, etc.)
Explain how your activity/event will be interactive? Describe how the activity will employ art and creativity to engage the public.
With which community organization would you like to collaborate? (e.g. a local arts and cultural organization)?
How does this event address and embody the series theme of intercultural celebration? How does it promote cultural understanding, cultural collaboration, cultural connections, and/or cross cultural exchange?
What steps will you take to make this event inclusive to all cultures and abilities?
*We strongly encourage applicants to review previous ambassadors events to explore the range of programming that has been offered in the past. Visit the bottom of this page for more examples of past events and to read about our past ambassadors. You can read testimonials from our ambassador alum here.
BC Culture Days acknowledges that it carries out its work on the land of Indigenous nations throughout British Columbia. We are grateful for the continuing relationships with Indigenous people in B.C. that develop through our work together. We acknowledge and raise our hands to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, on whose unceded and ancestral lands we operate our main offices.
About the Program
Formal Ambassador Responsibilities — throughout the program, the ambassadors will be:
Networking and mobilizing
- Networking with the local community to share knowledge and spread awareness of Culture Days, reaching out to community members such as individual artists, arts organizations, cultural organizations, heritage organizations, and businesses encouraging them to offer activities during Culture Days.
- Networking with fellow ambassadors, BC Culture Days staff, and arts and culture representatives through monthly virtual check-ins and periodic workshops (in Event Planning, Accessibility, and Indigenous Relations and Allyship).
- Registering, coordinating, and presenting a free Culture Days activity for the public. Ambassadors are responsible for managing their own project budget and time schedule.
- Collaborating with at least one organization in the local community that will assist with the facilitation of the ambassador’s public event (e.g. arts centre, municipality, arts council, community collective, cultural society, friendship centre, neighbourhood association, and so on).
- Receiving media training to prepare for the role of BC Culture Days spokesperson.
- Acting as a spokesperson and media contact for BC Culture Days from August to October. The ambassador may be asked to participate in either in-person or virtual TV, radio, and newspaper interviews on behalf of BC Culture Days.
- Participating in a paid 3-month online or in-person mentorship with an established artist (with at least 15-20 years of professional experience).
- Engaging in a professional relationship with the artistic mentor, focusing on building diverse skills in relation to artistic practice, professional development, community engagement, and more. Read this blog to learn about last year’s mentorship pairings.
- Providing regular updates and communicating with BC Culture Days staff about their work, event planning, and mentorship.
- Completing a final report by October 31, 2024.
- Submitting an impact statement one year after completion of the Ambassador Program and mentorship.
We invite you to apply if you meet all the following eligibility requirements:
- Reside in B.C. (minimum 12 consecutive months) AND are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada
- Self-identify as an emerging artist
- Are in the early stages of your artistic career
- Devote a minimum of 24 hours per week to your art practice
- Have demonstrated experience in actively engaging your community through the arts
- Are available to participate in a mentorship from the months of May-August 2024
- Are available to act as a spokesperson in your community during the months of August-October 2024, with the understanding that your image, bio, and artistic process will be shared on the BC Culture Days website and social media channels (i.e. artist spotlights, project documentation, event promotion etc.)
- Have strong communications and time management skills
- Are not applying on behalf of an organization or business
- Have not been previously engaged as a BC Culture Days ambassador
We strongly encourage applicants with:
An interest in Culture Days and its mandate to:
- FOSTER appreciation and support of the artistic and cultural life that is lived, created and expressed across the country in urban, suburban, and rural areas alike;
- PROMOTE direct interaction between creators and the public, as a key to increasing understanding and appreciation of art and culture;
- and AFFIRM that every citizen is the guardian of the cultural life of his, her, or their community.
How to apply?
Please complete our online application by March 4, 2024 at 11:59PM PST.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to join a one-on-one Zoom interview with BC Culture Days staff in mid-March.
If at any point during the application process you require support or assistance, please email us at [email protected].
If you wish to complete a PDF version of the application form or prefer to submit your application as a video or voice recording, please contact us to communicate your specific needs.
Have questions or need more info about the program? - Watch or listen to this recording of our 2024 Ambassador Program Info Session
For more information about Culture Days events and event examples continue below.
Culture Days Activity Examples
Culture Days activities are free, low-barrier, and participatory events that encourage everyone to get involved in arts and culture in their communities. A Culture Days activity should involve some hands-on or behind-the-scenes element; it should allow participants to play a part in the creative process or offer something beyond a typical audience experience. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Community arts workshops: e.g. about dance, music, photography, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, weaving, beading, theatre, etc.
- Collective creations: e.g. collaborative mural, artwork, song, photography or video project, community exhibition, etc.
- Cultural storytelling, sharing, and teachings: e.g. weaving, beadwork, tapestry, traditional dance, percussion, music, and so on.
- Interactive art projects relating to food, cultural heritage, cultural practices, social practice, environmental practice, and more.
- Interactive performances: e.g. poetry sessions, open mics, audience participation improv, and more.
- Collaborative discussions, panels, and artist talks.
Past ambassador events have included everything from community art projects, poetry cafes, community murals, and beading, drumming, and weaving workshops to pop culture cabarets, animation and comic tutorials, storytelling projects, printmaking and ecoprinting workshops, interactive art exhibitions, and more!
“The program proved to be immensely empowering. It propelled me, as an artist, to venture beyond my customary routines and circles, fostering broader engagement. It also bolstered my confidence in orchestrating events and getting myself out into the public world.” - Lindsey Tyne Johnson (2023 Ambassador in Kamloops)
“The program is a great opportunity to connect with the wider community and other artists. The monetary support of the Ambassador Program is helpful to free up space to work on the ambassador project and other role responsibilities as well as develop new artistic skills. The mentorship component is invaluable for growth, and the ability to recommend an ideal mentor to BC Culture Days really allowed me to make a pointed choice about where I’d like to expand my artistic practice.” - Alex Chen (2022 Ambassador in Victoria)