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Engaging with Arts and Culture...Together, and More Often

Jesse Jones

Sep 29, 2022

From the Culture Days Network
Some of my thoughts after Week 1 of Culture Days 2022
Some of my thoughts after Week 1 of Culture Days 2022

I grew up around theatre and music, which formed an appreciation for culture as I witnessed people bonding through the experiences. So, partnering with Culture Days to help encourage people across Canada to experience all of the above and so much more is a true pleasure. The talent and unique backgrounds that make up our population need to be celebrated, and I am hopeful that this year even more than last year’s 3.4 million participants get the opportunity to experience Culture Days.

I had a great time kicking things off with Culture Days at Dance Together Unionville. There was something really amazing about seeing people come together in the spirit of art and culture. People from all different walks of life, sharing space again, live in person, with a respect for each other that really honoured what we’ve been going through the last couple years; it was hopeful, inspiring and motivating. I got a chance to connect with new people, share stories and even saw some familiar faces I hadn’t seen in a long time. All because this Culture Days event united us all.

I also got the chance to check out Juno award winning Jazz pianist Joe Sealy playing a show at the beautiful St. Paul’s United Church in Brampton. What an intimate vibe that was! It’s not too often one can say they got a chance to see a legend like Joe Sealy playing in such a unique environment. I wouldn’t have known about this if it weren’t for Culture Days, and it was an amazing way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

School Shines with Street Art Event with 6IX Academy in Toronto
School Shines with Street Art Event with 6IX Academy in Toronto

As I left the events, I pulled out my phone to see what other organizers were offering across the country: from a Nuit Blanche-inspired ‘Illuminate Arts Festival’ in Fredricton, New Brunswick, a special multi-hub showcase of Downtown Culture Days events in Winnipeg, “We Are All Electric Beings” at the Art Gallery of Regina - activities examining our special relationship with plants - and a solar-powered, self-guided, open-air alleyway art gallery in Revelstoke, BC, I could see the magnitude of what Culture Days represents at my fingertips, and it was a warm feeling. The amount of expression and sharing that is happening makes me certain the positive energy is having an impact on the ground level in each community (for some proof, just check out the #CultureDays tag on Instagram). And I know many of us feel this is a time when we could all use some positive energy.

Free arts and culture events right at our doorsteps - an opportunity for us to get back outside either solo or with friends, family and explore again. I’m looking forward to what the next couple of weeks have in store. In the next few days, I am planning to attend the Commemorate Truth & Reconciliation concert at Koerner Hall, events and tours with the 6IX Academy students, and to check out the Museum of Bad Art virtual event. My biggest hope is that Culture Days events inspire us all to get out there to experience arts and culture more regularly, and see that action as an essential part of our lives that activates positive energy and pride in our communities.

Follow Jesse @iamjessejones and @CultureDays on Instagram for more.

Hero image courtesy of the Dance Together Festival