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Join thousands of creators and event organizers for Canada’s largest cross-country celebration of arts, culture, and creativity.

What is Culture Days?

Culture Days is an annual national celebration of arts, culture, and creativity!

Every year, thousands of free events are connected under a three-week national campaign to encourage people across Canada to engage with, participate in, and support arts and culture in their communities. Culture Days will take place September 20th through October 13th, 2024.

Read through our Culture Days 2023 highlights page to find out more about last year’s record-breaking festivities and visit our About Culture Days page to learn about the work we do as an organization.

Who can participate?

Anyone can organize an event and participate in Culture Days! From grassroots community volunteers, public libraries, and independent artists and collectives, to major arts, culture, and heritage institutions, specialty festivals, and municipalities—everyone is invited to take part!

Get inspired by unique and creative collaborations between sectors and disciplines with our Blog Series. You can also learn more about the Culture Days organizer experience from across the country with the “Meet the Organizers” Blog Series, or check out our Video Profiles to get to know friends from our network and folks from the sector.

Thousands of organizers have helped Culture Days become Canada’s largest celebration of arts and culture. View our historic map to see their immense impact and all Culture Days events since 2010.

Curious if Culture Days celebrations already take place in your area? Get in touch with your regional office. You can also check out last year’s full events listing, view the list of communities with the most Culture Days activities in 2023, or check out our historic map to see all events since 2010.

The Art and Craft Hive in Newmarket, ON. Photo by Nina Blinova
The Art and Craft Hive in Newmarket, ON. Photo by Nina Blinova

Event eligibility and how to participate

If you are organizing an event for Culture Days, or have an existing event you would like to include in the celebrations, it must meet the following criteria for inclusion:

1. The arts and culture event is participatory.

  • This means that your event should involve some hands-on or behind-the-scenes element; it should allow participants to play a part in the creative process or offer something beyond a typical audience experience.

2. It takes place during the designated Culture Days event run, September 20th - October 13th, 2024.

  • As long as the event occurs at least once over the course of the Culture Days dates, it will qualify.
  • While Culture Days takes place over a three-week time period, you do not have to program for its entirety to qualify. As stated above, whether your program runs once or a dozen times, you are a part of Culture Days!

3. It is registered on the Culture Days website. Registration for Culture Days 2024 will open in the Spring of 2024.

  • This is how the public will find your event–register it for free!
  • Activities can be registered as 2 different event types: In-person events or Online activities.

Never miss a thing! Sign up for our Newsletters to be the first to know when Event Registration opens.

4. It must be free for the public to attend.

There should be no mandatory cost for entry to any Culture Days event—this ensures that all events are open and accessible to the public. Organizers may choose to also have a Pay-What-You-May (PWYM) option for admission, or solicit donations. Read more about our PWYM policy.

If you have questions about whether your event is eligible or not, send us a note at [email protected]

Commemorate Truth & Reconciliation 2023 event at Koerner Hall, Lisa Sakulensky Photography
Commemorate Truth & Reconciliation 2023 event at Koerner Hall, Lisa Sakulensky Photography

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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, since 2022, Culture Days has set September 30 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 are 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. Find more information on our National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Resource.

Benefits of registering your events

To get started, create a Culture Days account. Once confirmed, you’ll gain access to your very own Dashboard (a kind of online toolbox) where you can find registration forms with step-by-step instructions, special resources, and more.

Registering your event allows you to:

  • Connect your event directly to thousands of others happening during the Culture Days 3-week run.
  • Tie your event in with the Culture Days advertising and marketing campaign, which brings in over 500 million impressions annually. Our teams also use this listing to strategize public relations and pitch to media outlets. Find customizable templates and digital promotional tools in your Dashboard.
  • Take advantage of our website’s geo-locating search and map system, which delivers your event listing directly to potential audiences.
  • Connect with new audiences. Millions of people across Canada participate in Culture Days events; through our system, you can tag events based on discipline, artform, language, theme, and accessibility, helping you find new and engaged audiences.
  • Get on our radar! We’re always looking to boost interesting activities to the public eye, and the event listing is the first place we go to find them. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and tag us as you plan your events! Visit your Region’s page in the top menu to find more local social media info.
Artist Ally Gonzalo for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg and Manitoba Culture Days. Photo by Ian McCausland
Artist Ally Gonzalo for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg and Manitoba Culture Days. Photo by Ian McCausland

Creating a Culture Days hub

Culture Days hubs are collections of events and programs that are connected geographically or thematically where audiences can expect to easily find various arts and culture-themed activities and experiences in a concentrated area. Through the hub registration system, individual events can be linked to one another to form a hub with its own web page.

Some examples of Culture Days hubs include:

  • A public library hosting many different types of events
  • A Main Street or downtown public plaza that’s hosting various events along a walkable corridor
  • A Nuit Blanche-style event with installations covering a large footprint across downtown
  • An arts organization presenting a series of online events centered aroufn the same theme

Why create a hub?

Creating a Culture Days hub is a great strategy to increase awareness, attendance, and participation while:

  • Forming new partnerships with other community organizers
  • Optimizing how you showcase the varied arts and cultural activity in your area
  • Developing networking opportunities and strengthening long-term partnerships with fellow arts and culture organizations, artists, community members, and advocates
  • Increasing the likelihood of attracting additional media coverage, VIP guests, and cultural influencers
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation installation designed by artist Reagan Lowe. Photo courtesy of Saskatchewan Craft Council.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation installation designed by artist Reagan Lowe. Photo courtesy of Saskatchewan Craft Council.

Pay-What-You-May policy

Culture Days updated its free admission policy in 2019 to include a Pay-What–You-May (PWYM) option for entry to Culture Days events. In doing so, Culture Days affirms its commitment to free admission as a means to reduce barriers to access, but recognizes that producing a Culture Days event incurs expenses—PWYM offers an avenue for cost recovery for organizers while keeping free admission as a requirement for participation.

It is expected that all proceeds collected by individuals or organizations through PWYM go towards event production costs, paying artist/presenter fees, or supplementing promotional or advertising expenses. PWYM should never be utilized to deny a member of the public access to an event, nor can it be used to enforce paid ticketed entry.

If you are organizing an online Culture Days program in 2023, the participating artist(s) can ask for donations through various platforms that enable a PWYM model for live streams or online programs. You are also welcome to include links to any other site to collect donations. Read more about this in our Online Programming resource.

If you are an organizer, there is now a checkbox in the registration form allowing you to list that your event accepts PWYM donations for admission.

Culture Days Resources

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