As part of Culture Days’ extensive survey efforts, we collect feedback from hundreds of event organizers from across Canada every year. The information helps our organization determine the successes, challenges, and opportunities facing a broad section of the Canadian arts and culture sector. By sharing this feedback, we hope to encourage better peer-to-peer learning and connection through our network.
The information below was gathered through two channels: Our 2019 Organizer Survey, and the results of focus groups and one-on-one interviews with selected organizers from across the country as part of Culture Days’ Digital Strategies Fund project.
Culture Days thanks the Canada Council for their generous support through the Digital Strategies Fund, which has enabled us to undertake in-depth consultation with the organizer network in 2020.
Please note: all of these consultations took place before the COVID-19 outbreak. We will be continuing our outreach and consultation through 2020-21 as the sector responds. Starting September 25th, 2020, our surveys will be live on our website.
Our organizer survey is distibuted to our network every year following the Culture Days celebrations. In 2019, we had 355 respondants who provided us with important feedback regarding many aspects of Culture Days and its operations. All of the data and quotations below were directly taken from the results of this survey.
[What I like the most about Culture Days is] promoting and celebrating arts and culture all together across Canada.
[Culture Days] helps bring together our community groups around a central idea.
[What I like the most about Culture Days is] the depth and breadth of local events, and the accessibility mandate.
66% of organizer claim they felt connected to the national Culture Days campaign. Here is how they felt about specific support provided by Culture Days:
The most motivating factors for participation
Digital Strategies Fund Research
As part of our Digital Strategies Fund project, we have conducted more in-depth research through consultations with selected community organizers within the Culture Days network. 30 individuals were involved in this process, through focus groups and one-on-one interviews conducted by an independent research consultant. All of the data and statements below have been compiled from the results of these sessions and the report provided to Culture Days by the consultant.
We asked select community organizers what they thought Culture Days needs to understand specifically about the development of arts and culture in their local regions. Some common statements include:
- Rural communities are very different from urban communities; their differing resource needs should be considered as much as possible.
- Organizers prioritize the payment of artists, and are looking for ways to build greater commitment to it.
- More support is needed to grow networking capacity at the local levels.
- A stronger community presence from organizations like Culture Days would be beneficial.
- Programming should appeal to all community cultural groups; inclusive programming is important, and should be supported with resources.
- Working with other organizations, groups, and businesses is important for success. Hubs work, and finding more ways to collaborate is key!
With respect to your [community organizers’] local goals and priorities, what are the challenges you face in terms of reaching them?
A majority (17 of 30) of municipalities measure the impact of arts and culture engagement with the primary indicators being:
- Participant counts
- Participant satisfaction
- Event counts
- Anecdotal stories
What areas of engagement should Culture Days prioritize to help organizers achieve success?
Reflecting on all the different ways in which you engage with Culture Days, what areas would you suggest we explore when considering an expanded scope of support?
The organizers involved in this research are working intentionally to be inclusive. However, a little over half of them remain dissatisfied with the representation of cultural sub-groups in their community during Culture Days. These organizers would like Culture Days to assist in bridging relationships with local groups, and provide programming best practices and planning tools.
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions about the above information? We’re always open to feedback from the network. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Organizer Feedback”.
Our next steps
- We are working on a new survey strategy that includes testing the viability of more localized survey tools (2020) and creating a plan to scale them out as a wider service.
- Creating benchmarking tools for community organizers to be able to better measure and track the impacts of arts and culture in their communities.
- Building an interactive data map of all historic Culture Days events, so communities can access information about past arts and culture events.
- Working with our Provincial partners on targeted, localized promotional initiatives.
- Building professional development resources targeted to rural and mid-sized communities.
- Developing a Communities of Practice platform/toolkit aimed at facilitating direct connection and knowledge sharing between organizers across Canada.