Find general updates and information regarding COVID-19 on the Culture Days 2020 page.

Community Organizer Guide

In light of COVID-19, your role as a Community Organizer might be a little bit different, but this doesn’t mean you can’t get your community excited about the celebrations! As we look to concentrate on online and Do-It-Yourself events, Community Organizers can play an important role in making the transition as easy as possible for members of their community and making sure Culture Days is successful in 2020. Find the text highlighted in yellow for special information related to this year. We hope you can still use most the information below to bring your community together.

You can find the latest info about our response to the crisis here

Since its inception in 2010, community organizers have become vital contributions to the success of the Culture Days weekend in hundreds of cities and towns throughout Canada. Community organizers come in all shapes and sizes but essentially, it is any person, organization, or group that acts on the opportunity to mobilize people and support to bring Culture Days to life in their community. Across Canada, municipalities, arts councils, tourism agencies, Business Improvement Associations, and enthusiastic volunteers have all stepped forward as community organizers.

There are no hard and fast rules for mobilizing your community around Culture Days—but it does start with the inspiration and vision to make a difference! Organizing around Culture Days often involves identifying the talents and resources in your community and then encouraging collaboration and sharing to maximize the positive impact. Culture Days is an ideal opportunity to shine the spotlight on your arts and cultural community.

This guide will provide you with a number of actions you can take as a community organizer to get people around you involved in arts and culture during Culture Days.

Orange Shirt Day, Quesnel, BC, 2018 Photo: Patty Kimpton

Connect with Your Provincial or Territorial Representative

Time frame: January - October (Ongoing)

  • Connect about campaign strategies, resources, and network connections
  • Share your local plans for marketing and promotion
  • Share your local success stories, photos, video and other content
  • Share your challenges
  • Help provincial staff identify event organizers’ needs and what tools or resources could assist you
  • If in-person gatherings are currently prohibited in your area, make sure to connect through virtual meetings or simply by phone and/or e-mail

Promote Events Registration

Time frame: April - August

  • Be the central point of contact for local event organizers
  • Distribute news from your provincial/territorial Culture Days office to your local event organizers (newsletters, social media, etc.)
  • Introduce artists and cultural groups to each other
  • Distribute useful resources to potential organizers
  • Identify potential hub locations. While in-person events may not be taking place, hubs can still play an important role and allow you to highlight some of the programs happening in your community
  • Secure local promotional partners (can be used as incentive for registration and setting local deadlines)
  • Organize networking sessions for artists and cultural groups. There are many ways to hold sessions and meeting online, check out our Online Programming resource (coming soon) for a list of platforms

Planning and Producing

Time frame: April - End of September

In 2020, Culture Days is a 4-week long event: September 25th and October 25th

  • Choose a local deadline for registration (if offering local marketing promotion)
  • Make a local planning timeline for your community’s Culture Days events
  • Secure and organize a hub location
  • Plan and organize a local kick-off event. While it may not happen in person, your launch can be held online so you can still give Culture Days the kick-off it deserves.
  • Direct event organizers to national or provincial staff for assistance with registration and questions

Marketing, Public Relations and Communications

Time frame: April - End of September

General Communications (April-July):

  • Be the central point of contact for local event organizers
  • Disseminate a Call for Participation
  • Direct local event organizers to the Participation Guide and other resources
  • In a time where organizers are asked to adjust because of public health restrictions, communication becomes very important in making sure their Culture Days programs are a success, as they may need a touch more assistance from their Communtiy Organizer.

Public Relations (August and September):

  • Identifying key local stories, sharing these with provincial staff
  • Be a spokesperson about local Culture Days events to media
  • Distribute press releases to local media
  • Follow-up calls with local media

Marketing (September):

  • Produce local event guide, such as a brochure or pull-out section of newspaper.Because people may not be physically attending events, it is useful to make event guides available digitally.
  • Produce local advertisements (print, online and/or broadcast) promoting local events
  • Produce other marketing hand-outs such as postcards, stickers, etc.

Share Your Experience

Time frame: August - October

Pre-Event:

  • Share marketing and PR plans with provincial staff to optimize and bolster promo and reporting

Post-Event:

  • Complete survey
  • Report value and impressions of all local marketing to provincial staff
  • Report local successes and challenges to national or provincial staff
  • Submit examples of marketing collateral, photos, video and other samples that demonstrate what occurred in your community
  • Report attendance at local events to national or provincial staff

Shine the Light

Time frame: August - October

  • Encourage local Mayor and/or city council to make official proclamations - find the template here.
  • Encourage local Mayor and/or city council to speak about Culture Days in council meetings
  • Invite local elected officials to Culture Days events
  • Report on your local Culture Days successes to local Mayor and/or council

You can always contact national Culture Days staff or your provincial representative for further guidance and support!