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Culture Days and libraries have been fantastic partners since the beginning, with over 200 Culture Days programs registered in libraries across Ontario last year alone. These natural community gathering places offer opportunities to engage directly with artists and art-making. Past events have included everything from poetry writing, to crafting workshops, to cultural dance performances

Culture Days @ Toronto Public Library

We have partnered with the Toronto Public Library and local artists to produce pre-programmed activities throughout September and digital programming to be hosted over the course of the Culture Days festival.

Stay tuned for links to blog posts, digital activities, or online programming.

Sage Tyrtle,  Ballet Creole, Paulina O’Kieffe Anthony, Living Hyphen, Naomi Smith
Sage Tyrtle, Ballet Creole, Paulina O’Kieffe Anthony, Living Hyphen, Naomi Smith

Meet our Artists:

Sage Tyrtle

Sage Tyrtle is a professional storyteller who tells stories all over the world. Her stories have been featured on NPR and CBC radio and she is a Moth StorySLAM winner who has also appeared on the PBS tv show Stories From The Stage. She is a First Person Arts Story Slam winner. She teaches The Art of Storytelling in schools, to individuals, and in corporate settings.

Sage Tyrtle will lead a kids storytelling and fairytale program, using prompts to invite the kids into the creation of a contemporary fairytale.

Save the Date: Sept 26th, 10 am -10:30 am

Ballet Creole

Ballet Creole was founded in 1990 by Patrick Parson, a Trinidadian-born dancer, choreographer, drummer and educator. The company is committed to creating a dance legacy in Canada through performance and educational projects. Ballet Creole’s versatile dancers and musicians perform traditional and contemporary dance and music from around the world, with a particular emphasis on the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.

Performers from Ballet Creole will combine structured contemporary dance technique with the physicality of traditional movements derived from the African Diaspora. Discover the dance traditions and their surrounding folklore through a live demonstration, movement tutorial, and a Q&A with the performers.

Save the Date: Oct 1st, 6-7 pm

Living Hyphen

Justine Abigail Yu is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Living Hyphen, an intimate journal that explores what it means to live in between cultures as part of a diaspora.

She is an award-winning writing workshop facilitator whose work with Living Hyphen has been featured on national and local media outlets including CTV National News, CBC Metro Morning, Radio-Canada International, CBC Ontario Morning, and CityTV’s Breakfast Television. She is also a freelance writer whose work has been featured in publications such as Intermission Magazine, Metro News Canada, African Business Journal, and Makeshift Magazine.

Living Hyphen will lead participants through a digital writing workshop specifically for BIPOC storytellers of all ages and writing levels.

Save the Date: Oct 7th, 7-8:30 pm

Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony

Paulina is a well-recognized and accomplished spoken word artist and arts educator. A member of the League of Poets, some of her high level accomplishments include being featured in When Sisters Speak on stage at the St Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts (2017 and 2019), producing the Words by the Water Literary Festival and representing Toronto as a national team finalist in the Canadian Festival Of Spoken Word both in 2015 and 2017.

Paulina’s role as an artist educator and spoken word artist has allowed her to teach, support, engage and inspire youth in a way that is outside of an education system that sometimes presents barriers to learning for young people simply because alternative methods of education are not available.

Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony will be leading a poetry and spoken word workshop for young adults.

Save the Date: Oct 15th, 5-6 pm

Naomi Smith

Naomi Smith is actively involved in sharing traditional teachings with audiences, focusing on the ways of the Indigenous people of the Woodlands and Northeastern region from a historical and contemporary perspective often through the story of beads.

Her artwork embraces ancestral designs in the form of bags, adornment, and accessories using quillwork, beadwork and other indigenous methods and materials. Naomi’s work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally. She has shown at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington DC, New York City, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and participates in numerous events throughout the year.

Naomi Smith will be hosting a virtual bracelet-making workshop based off of traditional beading techniques.

Save the Date: Oct 24th, 11 –12:30 pm

Please note, online programming presented in partnership with the Toronto Public Library’s celebration of Culture Days will not be available for replay.

Toronto Public Library is committed to accessibility. For acommidation requests please call 416-393-7099 or email [email protected]

Culture Days @ the Library programming is made possible thanks to the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Library Association.