What is Culture Days?
Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture. Every Fall all across Canada, 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?
The next national Culture Days celebration will take place September 20th through October 13th, 2024 for three glorious weeks of colour, creativity, and community.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation occurs on September 30, 2024. This day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools and their families, and endeavours to acknowledge and better understand the history and harms done. Public commemoration is a vital component of the reconciliation process, and Culture Days is committed to marking and honouring this important day.
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.
When can I register my Culture Days event?
Registration for Culture Days opens each year in the late-Spring. 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 - organize events that can be adapted to outdoors, self-guided, or reduced capacity. Our listing also supports digital programs and events! National and provincial offices remain in place to assist you in your planning. Please reach out to us anytime!
Do I have to offer programming for the entire run of Culture Days?
No. Organizers are not expected to offer programming for the entire 3-week run of Culture Days. As long as you are offering one program, you can participate!
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 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 [email protected].
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 [email protected].
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.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation FAQs
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR) honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools and their families, endeavours to acknowledge and better understand the history and harms done and, as individuals and members of our communities, engage in actions which advance Truth and Reconciliation.
Accordingly, Culture Days has set September 30, 2023 aside to create space exclusively for events organized to commemorate the NDTR, including those aimed at sharing First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit experiences and perspectives celebrating the creative and cultural expressions of Indigenous people and communities.
In order to ensure that Indigenous voices and participation are central to any event planned for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, there will be additional questions for organizers to answer during the registration process. If the proposed event does not appear to appropriately and meaningfully reflect the above, Culture Days may contact the event organizer for more details.
What types of events can be included in the Culture Days listing for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30th, 2023?
An event or activity that appropriately and meaningfully centres the voices and experiences of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, and helps to advance Truth and Reconciliation in your community; the event should commemorate the spirit and aims of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and/or celebrate and encourage the sharing of creative expressions and perspectives of Indigenous communities.
Does the event have to be Indigenous-led to be registered as a NDTR event?
Your event or organization does not have to be Indigenous-led to register, however, the activity must be developed and/or carried out in partnership with Indigenous community members or partners. It is essential to centre the voices and experiences of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities as part of the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation process.
Can I register an event on September 30th that is unrelated to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?
No. If you are hosting a single event on September 30th that is unrelated to the aims, spirit, and commemoration of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it can not be included in the Culture Days public listing. This decision was made by Culture Days to recognize that public commemoration is a vital component of Truth and Reconciliation. Accordingly, Culture Days has set September 30, 2023 aside to create space exclusively for events as described above.
What if I have an event spanning multiple days that includes September 30th, but my event is not related to Truth and Reconciliation? Can I still register it?
Yes. However, your event on September 30th will not appear on the Culture Days public search and event listing for that day only. All other occurrences of the event will appear in the listing.