Skip to main content

Community Spotlight: Yorkton, SK

Culture Days

Aug 7, 2023

Meet our Organizers Series

As a continuation of the Meet our Organizers series, the Community Spotlights tell the stories of unique communities from across Canada and how they have adopted Culture Days as their own. This Blog series unpacks the different ways in which these event organizers bring their communities together through arts, culture, and heritage experiences.

Wheat Straw Weaving at the Yorkton Brick Mill. Photo courtesy of Shannon Bowler
Wheat Straw Weaving at the Yorkton Brick Mill. Photo courtesy of Shannon Bowler

With deep-running roots in farming and early railway production, Yorkton has a rich tradition of community cooperation and cultural pride. Located in south-eastern Saskatchewan, the city has a vibrant arts, culture and heritage scene—boasting many visual and performing arts organizations plus an exciting collection of festivals and events. It is a place where good things happen.

Every year, Culture Days Yorkton invites its community to partake in meaningful and creative arts and culture experiences. Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Angelina Kardynal, coordinator of Culture Days Yorkton, to learn more about the expansive collection of activities offered highlighting the distinct, vibrant, and dedicated creative community in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Can you tell us about Culture Days Yorkton and how the local community participates?

Each year we extend an invitation to the Yorkton community to consider how they would like to participate in Culture Days and celebrate local creativity, artistic expression, and heritage. The response from local arts and culture organizations and individual artists is always enthusiastic and positive!

The programming that is offered each year showcases a wide range of traditional art forms including dance, music, and cultural practices. The activities that are developed by event organizers aim to bring hands-on and interactive experiences to the community.

Culture Days Yorkton has become an important opportunity for the community to experience and participate in multiple forms of creative expression.

How has the Yorkton community adopted Culture Days?

For our local community, Culture Days Yorkton provides an opportunity to come together and connect with others who share similar interests and values, while fostering a sense of belonging. This has been possible, in part, thanks to our continued partnerships with local organizations.

Artwork on display for the Yorkton Mill tour. Photo courtesy of Shannon Bowler
Artwork on display for the Yorkton Mill tour. Photo courtesy of Shannon Bowler

We have built relationships and collaborated with the Yorkton Arts Council, Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, Yorkton Public Library, Yorkton Tribal Council, Yorkton Brick Mill and more—allowing for event organizers and community participants to gather in local spaces and places.

A community favourite includes the many events hosted at the restored Brick Mill. Thanks to our partners from the Yorkton Tribal council, we have held events there that encourage attendees to appreciate the diverse heritage and traditions of this area.

This year in particular, we are very excited about our partnership with the Parkland Mall as we will have a dedicated Event Hub for all-things Culture Days Yorkton. This partnership will benefit event organizers and community participants by providing a venue in an accessible, visible location. It is also a great indoor space that can provide shelter from the unpredictable elements of fall in Saskatchewan.

Yorkton has been recognized as a Top Participating Community—a Culture Days National campaign that recognizes communities across Canada for their dedication and efforts. Being recognized on the same level as some larger cities, what does this mean for the work of artists, the community, and event organizers in Yorkton?

We are very proud of the recognition that Yorkton has received at both the provincial and national level!

It is an honour to be acknowledged alongside many of these larger cities. However, we must admit that we are not particularly surprised that the community of Yorkton has risen to the occasion and has embraced this opportunity to celebrate what truly makes our community special. Yorkton is the home to many people of varied backgrounds, and our strength as a community is our ability to embrace and celebrate the diversity of the people and their talents.

Courtesy of Culture Days Yorkton
Courtesy of Culture Days Yorkton

What advice would you share with first-time Culture Days organizers in Yorkton?

One of the key pieces of advice that we offer to new and returning event organizers in Yorkton is to consider looking at the opportunities and experiences that they are already sharing with our community and think about how this might fit into the Culture Days celebrations.

In what ways have you been witness to the connective power of the arts in your community?

We aim to invite community members of all ages to participate in community installations and projects.

For example, in 2020, we invited the community to participate in a communal art installation that asked participants to add words of hope and inspiration to the piece. Then in 2021 and 2022, community members created woodland houses using found items in nature. These beautiful houses were displayed along a local ravine so community members and attendees could spend time spotting the houses along the trial.

There have been so many wonderful and memorable arts and culture experiences over the last several years that have brought the community together. We look forward to many more!

Be sure to check out all of the exciting events happening in Yorkton this Culture Days including the Culture Days Yorkton Hub at Parkland Mall!