FAQ

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What is Culture Days?
When is Culture Days?
What types of events are eligible?
When can I register my Culture Days event?
What do I need to know regarding Culture Days and COVID-19?
Do I have to offer programming for the entire run of Culture Days?
Where does Culture Days happen?
Is the Culture Days celebration all that Culture Days does?
Who can present Culture Days events?
How do I sign up as an organizer?
How do I create an event?
What is the annual theme, and is it mandatory?
What is a Culture Days hub and how do I create one?
Does Culture Days program its own events?
Does Culture Days provide funding?
Can I charge admission for the event I’m organizing for Culture Days?
Do artists and creatives participating in Culture Days get paid?
What kind of support can I expect from Culture Days?
How do I find events to attend?
Why can’t I find any events in Quebec?

What is Culture Days?

Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture. At the end of each September, Culture Days programs invite the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities. Millions of people attend thousands of participatory arts and culture events across the country.

The purpose of Culture Days events are to provide the public barrier-free opportunities to participate in arts and cultural experiences, with the aim of inspiring continued future involvement in the cultural life of local communities.

The Culture Days National organization is a non-profit, charitable organization established in 2011. The national organization works with provincial and territorial partners and a wide network of thousands of event organizers—from grassroots volunteers to major institutions— whose combined efforts make this cross-country initiative a success. We provide marketing and industry development resources and manage an annual multi-tiered advertising and promotion campaign that connects thousands of Culture Days events by a common thread. Find out more about our history on our About page.

When is Culture Days?

Culture Days takes place September 24 - October 24th, 2021 across Canada.

Traditionally, Culture Days takes place annually on the last Friday of September and the subsequent weekend. In 2020 and 2021, due to COVID-19 and its impact on the arts and culture sector, Culture Days expanded to a 4-week run of in-person and online activities.

In Alberta, Culture Days celebrations are expanded through September to accommodate Alberta’s Month of the Artist. More details about Alberta Culture Days.

In Quebec, our affiliated organization Les Journées de la Culture runs a mirror initiative during the same timeframe with a separate listing of available events.

What types of events are eligible?

To be eligible, an event, activity, or online program must:

  • Be related to arts and culture and be participatory in nature;
  • Be free to attend or offer Pay-What-You-May admission;
  • Take place within the Culture Days dates, and be registered on the Culture Days site.

Read more details about eligibility in our Participation Guide and consult our Programming Ideas resource for inspiration.

When can I register my Culture Days event?

Registration for Culture Days opens May 2021. You can still review events and online activities from 2020.

To receive the latest information, be sure to subscribe to the national and provincial newsletters.

What do I need to know regarding Culture Days and COVID-19?

We remain committed to supporting organizers in adhering to COVID-19 public health guidelines and changing government restrictions. We encourage organizers to approach program planning with flexibility and to consider organizing online experiences. national and provincial offices remain in place to assist you in your planning. Please reach out to us anytime!

You can find information about our response and how COVID-19 affected the celebration last year on this page.

To receive the latest information, be sure to subscribe to our national and provincial newsletters.

Do I have to offer programming for the entire run of Culture Days?

No. Organizers are not expected to offer programming for the entire run of Culture Days which extends for 4 weeks in 2021. As long as you are offering one program, you can participate!

The 4-week extension accommodates those who may not be able to present programming for the traditional Culture Days weekend due to delays or resource crunches, while also allowing more time for audiences to engage with an increase of online programming. The extension also allows for other existing programming in October to be included in the system.

Where does Culture Days happen?

Culture Days happens across Canada, in hundreds of cities, towns, First Nations, and rural areas. In Quebec, our affiliated organization Les Journées de la Culture runs a mirror initiative on the same weekend.

Is the Culture Days celebration all that Culture Days does?

While the Culture Days celebration is an important part of what we do and the culmination of our efforts to celebrate arts and culture, it’s not all that we do. Throughout the year, Culture Days continues to connect the public to arts and culture through research, blog series, interviews, webinars, and other special projects. Culture Days is also active on social media, sharing inspiring stories, advocating for arts and culture sector support, and engaging with audiences across the country.

Who can present Culture Days events?

Anyone and everyone in Canada can participate! Culture Days is an opt-in event with a low barrier for participation. If you wish to present an arts and cultural program or event, ensure it’s free and accessible to the public, then register it (for free!) on the Culture Days website—and you’re on your way!

All events and activities must be hosted or organized by a Canadian-based organization, artist, or individual. Organizers are welcome to involve or collaborate with International artists or participants in their programs.

How do I sign up as an organizer?

Before you can register events as an organizer you must create an account, which you can do here. Once you have signed up, you will have access to all the functionalities of your account through your Dashboard.

How do I create an event?

To create an event, go to your Dashboard, click on Events and follow the instructions. You can find more detailed information in our Planning Your Event resource or download our step-by-step guide to creating an event.

What is the annual theme, and is it mandatory?

Each year, Culture Days invites organizers to think about arts and culture through the lens of a particular theme. However, events are not obligated to fall under the theme. In 2021, Culture Days has chosen the theme RE:IMAGINE— exploring new ideas and innovation in arts and culture while committing to building tangible change in the sector and society. More details TBA.

What is a Culture Days hub and how do I create one?

A hub is a group of Culture Days events that are related, whether geographically or thematically. The hub’s page displays all of the events together. You can create a hub through your Dashboard and then invite other events to join it. Find out more about hubs here.

Does Culture Days program its own events?

Culture Days does not typically program events—the creative control belongs to organizers and communities! During the registration process, Culture Days does review, approve, and publish events, but only to check that they meet the basic requirements and are not violating any policies.

Some provincial Culture Days offices do organize specific events and programs. We encourage you to visit your region’s page (click ‘Regions’ in the main menu) to learn more about their work.

Does Culture Days provide funding?

Culture Days does not provide annual direct funding for programs or events. Depending on your province or region, there may be funding available in support of organizing Culture Days programming. We recommend contacting your provincial office for more details, or connect with us at info@culturedays.ca.

In Alberta, most Alberta Culture Days events are supported by grants through the Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and the Status of Women. You can find more information about the program here, or contact albertaculturedays@gov.ab.ca.

In Saskatchewan, many Culture Days Saskatchewan hubs are supported through SaskCulture’s funding program. You can find more information about their opportunities here, or contact saskculture.info@saskculture.ca.

Can I charge admission for the event I’m organizing for Culture Days?

Culture Days events must be free to attend or offer optional Pay-What-You-May admission.

Culture Days is committed to advocating that arts and culture are accessible to everyone, and believes that free admission is one useful tool for reducing barriers to access for audiences while providing audience development opportunities for organizers. However, Culture Days also recognizes that producing arts and culture events incurs expenses, and therefore has no restrictions on soliciting Pay-What-You-May admission or the collection of donations. You can read more about our policy here.

Culture Days upholds the importance of paying artists and presenters for their time, expertise, and contributions to arts and culture programming. Since Culture Days is not the producer or programmer of events, decisions regarding payment are left to event organizers. However, we strongly encourage all organizers to compensate their artists fairly. Please consult professional associations such as CARFAC for their fee guidelines for paying artists equitably.

Culture Days allows for the collection of donations and Pay-What-You-May admission to events. Read more about our policy here.

What kind of support can I expect from Culture Days?

Culture Days makes a number of resources available to organizers to help them plan and organize their events. Culture Days also provides organizers with customizable templates for marketing and promotional materials, which can be found in your Dashboard. Our teams work to bring organizers together and foster connection and collaboration between groups and communities. Culture Days also runs an annual cross-country advertising and public engagement campaign, helps organizers promote their events, distributes surveys and research, and hosts the event listing platform to get eyes on activities.

How do I find events to attend?

By visiting our Events page, you can access the search tool that will allow you to look up events by location or keyword.

Why can’t I find any events in Quebec?

In Quebec, our affiliated organization Les Journées de la Culture runs a mirror initiative on the same weekend, with a separate events listing, which you can find here.