Skip to main content

Culture Days Webinar Series


The Culture Days Webinar Series provides insight, skill development, and knowledge aimed to help strengthen your public engagement practices. Each webinar includes presentation recordings with English and French captions, and provides downloadable resources, summaries, and tip-sheets. Here you can register for upcoming webinars or watch past recordings.

Culture Days 101 Info Session

(March 21, 2024)

In this info session, learn more about what Culture Days is all about, the benefits of participating, and how you can get involved in this year’s 15th anniversary celebrations! In this presentation, hear from Shannon Bowler, Executive Director (Culture Days National), and Mercedes Blackwood (Black Coffee Communications) and learn about the history of Culture Days, audience stats, tools, and resources available to you for getting started on your Culture Days planning!

Download the webinar summary sheets and presentation slides below:

Public Arts Equity in Action

with Shanice Bernicky and Annalissa Crisostomo (February 22nd, 2024)

In this webinar, PhD student and Resident Researcher, Shanice Bernicky and Community Consultant and Educator Annalissa Crisostomo shared actionable steps, participatory methods, and practical strategies to engage more community members in the move toward more equitable arts and culture spaces.

As a resident researcher for Mass Culture, an art support organization, Shanice developed “Spiralling Outwardly for Equity in Public Arts”. This Framework, produced in consultation with equity-seeking cultural workers, aims to assist public arts organizations develop equitable practices for employees and community members and encourage a continual commitment to equity work.

You can download the presentation slides and webinar summary below:

Last-Minute Promo for Event Organizers

with Mercedes Blackwood (September 7th, 2023)

Comms expert, Mercedes Blackwood, provided valuable tips on how to use email, social media, and IRL (in real life) promotions to maximize last-minute marketing efforts. Remember, it’s all about finding what makes your event unmissable and how to communicate it to your audience!

Your Planning and Promotion Resources:

  • For information on event and hub registration, and how to participate as an event organizer consult the Event Organizer Guide.
  • Download and create your own posters, social media assets, and other marketing materials! Explore the Brand, Logos, and Campaign Materials page.
  • Access the 2023 Culture Days Marketing Campaign Kit directly through the 2023 Marketing Kit Shared Drive.
  • View our Organizer Design Guide for guidance on building your own Culture Days graphics!
  • We recommend checking out Canva or Adobe Express for free online graphic design tools—to help build your marketing materials.

Download the presentation deck available as a PDF

Access Journey for the Event Organizer

with Creative Connector ( July 13th, 2023)

During this webinar, a guest panel from Creative Connector—Executive Director Lindsay Fisher, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Alexia Vassos, and Digital Programs Manager, Emily Cook— talked to event organizers about starting points and best practices in offering inclusive and accessible arts and culture programming in their communities.

Visit to learn more about how you can get involved with Creative Connector.

Download a written summary and tip sheet from the webinar

Promoting Your Events!

with Mercedes Blackwood ( June 29th, 2023)

Learn more about how to use Culture Days’ resources, marketing tools, and event promotion templates to communicate and reach your audiences. In this webinar, we are joined by communications expert and content strategist, Mercedes Blackwood who provides best practices on how to find your audience, successfully pitch your event, and build media relations.

Download the presentation deck from the webinar

Youth Engagement in the Arts!

with the 6IX Academy ( March 9th, 2023)

In this webinar, we hear from the Co–Founder and Creative Director of the 6IX Academy, Beckie Dileo, on how this social entrepreneurship high school program got started and introduced social activism pursuits within the arts curriculum. By providing examples of their innovative art and design youth-led projects, event and community organizers will learn insights on how to connect with, collaborate and empower youth to be active members of their creative communities.

This session also features a discussion with the panel and facilitated by York University ‘Doing Culture’ Students. We further explore how arts organizations can cultivate engagement with youth, centre their voices and support their involvement and leadership within the arts and culture sector.

Download a written overview and tip-sheet from the webinar

Download 6IX Academy’s Presentation Deck - Courtesy of Beckie Dileo

Promoting Your Event! Webinar for Organizers

with Culture Days and Mercedes Blackwood (June 29th, 2022)

You’ve planned your Culture Days event, now it’s time to get everybody excited about attending it in the fall!

This webinar guides organizers through the variety of resources and tools available on the Culture Days website, key communications, and marketing tips to help increase awareness and attendance of your events ahead of this year’s Culture Days celebrations.

Communications expert and content strategist, Mercedes Blackwood, also provides some Public Relations strategies on how to successfully pitch your event, communicate with your audiences, and build media relations.

Who Can Experience My Post? An Accessibility Guide to Everyday Social Media

facilitated by Yasmeen Nemmatt Alla (March 24th, 2022)

How can I get past the “I’m afraid I’ll get it wrong” phase and start incorporating accessibility tools into my social media practices?

For many arts organizations, individual artists, and event organizers, social media is a useful channel of communication between community members and audiences alike. Our social media practices can influence how we deliver information, who has access to this content, and the ways in which we interact with one another. Incorporating accessibility tools and methods into daily social media and communication practices is essential for the healthy and equitable growth of our creative communities.

During this one-hour presentation, demo, and Q&A with artist, communications specialist, and accessible designer, Yasmeen Nematt Alla, shared some basic do’s and dont’s of online accessibility. By guiding us through some of the accessibility tools social media platforms provide, arts workers, artists, and organizers learned how to start incorporating these tools into their daily communication practices.

Thank you to the Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Service for their work during this webinar. French captions available.

Download a written overview and tip-sheet from the webinar

To stay up-to-date with other learning opportunities we offer throughout the year, subscribe to our newsletter.

Resources Mentioned

WebAIM | Web Accessibility in Mind

Participation Guide | Culture Days

Resources | Culture Days

Bursting the Bubble: Mastering Messaging as the Pandemic Shifts

with Katie Inverarity, Cody Chomiak, and Mercedes Blackwood (Findlay) (September 8, 2021)

Is it over yet? We hope so, but let’s chat about how to promote safe, entertaining events as the pandemic shifts. Venues are opening up again and artists are beginning to reach out to audiences with invitations to in-person programming. The question is, what is the best way to message audiences as things are changing? Culture Days Manitoba and the national Culture Days office are partnering to tackle this unique situation.

How do you say, “We are back, let’s do this!” but also “Follow local guidelines and stay safe!” ? What is the best way to acknowledge that we’ve all had different pandemic experiences and that our re-entry experiences will also be different?

In this webinar, a panel of creatives and communications experts share strategies on how to create clear and effective messaging in preparation for successful and safe events and programs.


  • Katie Inverarity, Director of Marketing & Communications, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Cody Chomiak, Destination Marketing Specialist
  • Mercedes Blackwood (Findlay), Founder, Principal Strategist, Writer Black Coffee Communications Inc.

Download a written overview and presentation slides from the webinar

Hit Refresh: At-home & Online Programming 2.0

with Akshata Naik and Ian Dodds from Arts Etobicoke (June 30, 2021)

Planning at-home and online programs and events can seem daunting when your budget is modest, your audience is remote or rural, and your technical know-how is limited. However, shifting your programming can create fresh and exciting possibilities!

Through an interactive process, Arts Etobicoke found ways to connect with participants that were easy, affordable, and fun and that were achievable within our organizational capacity. Program and Gallery Manager Akshata Naik and Communications and Development Coordinator Ian Dodds share strategies on adapting arts programming for online and at-home audiences. The webinar includes an overview of their Arts in Isolation initiative and explores how digital platforms can be used to remove barriers to participation and grow your organization’s reach to engage with new audiences. Akshata and Ian also provide tips and tricks for adapting existing programs on a limited budget and developing innovative new ways to offer meaningful arts and culture experiences.

Creative Community Recovery

with Deb Borsos and Carol Palladino (March 31, 2021)

The arts and culture sector—a network known for resiliency, creativity, and collaborative efforts—has been particularly devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Arts, culture, and heritage are invaluable to community identity, and therefore play a central role in reshaping and reimagining local life. In the continuation and eventual aftermath of social, environmental, and economic disruption, how can arts and culture initiatives and organizations serve our communities as we look towards recovery?

We’ve invited Community Recovery Specialist, Deb Borsos, and Carol Palladino, President of Arts BC, to discuss disaster recovery viewed through the lens of arts and culture. This webinar will explore how the sector can contribute to shape our communities for a better post-pandemic cultural life and how important the arts and cultural sectors can be to the whole of community after disaster—COVID-based and beyond.

Download a written overview and list of helpful links from the webinar

State of the Arts: Impacts of 2020, Panel Discussion

(September 25, 2020)

Culture Days and CBC Toronto hosted a discussion examining how the Canadian arts sector has been upended by COVID-19, confronted by calls for greater inclusion and equity, and presented with opportunities in recovery as the industry faces new futures. Hosted by Ismaila Alfa and featuring:

  • Michèle Pearson Clarke, Photo Laureate, City of Toronto
  • Ian Williams, Author, 2019 winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Reproduction
  • John G. Hampton, Interim CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina.
  • Barry Hughson, Executive Director, National Ballet of Canada

Note: ASL interpreter not visible on recording.

Pro-tips from Our Peers on Going Digital

with Neil Adams and Nadine Villasin Feldman—hosted by Meaghan Froh Metcalf, Outreach and Programs Manager, Ontario Culture Days (August 19, 2020)

Planning online programs can seem limiting to those used to hosting in-person events, but doing so can actually present fresh and exciting possibilities! As a Culture Days organizer, creating digital events or programs is a great way to keep your network engaged, allows you to grow your audience, and helps remove barriers to access and participation. Absolutely, the process can seem overwhelming, but we’ve got a spectacular sector and community of friends who are kicking butt at taking things digital and are eager to share their creative ideas and strategies for adapting in-person arts-based activities with you.

In this webinar, Neil shares more about taking the Regina-based Cathedral Village Arts Festival digital for the very first time in 2020, while Nadine discusses the Myseum of Toronto’s quick pivot to online programming and virtual events.

#GetCreativeAtHome: Get Creative Festival 2020

with Stephen James-Yeoman and Damien McGlynn (July 8, 2020)

For organizations that thrive on bringing people together to participate and share live arts and culture experiences in-person, COVID-19 has certainly disrupted the normal spring/summer 2020 events calendars of arts programming, celebratory weekends, performances, fetes, and festivals. In response to the uncertainty of the pandemic and the barriers it has created, programs from across the arts and culture sector are being reimagined for remote audiences—at home, online, and out of the box.

While looking ahead to September, Culture Days is, undoubtedly, among the many who are learning to adapt to this new realm of arts participation. But how do we do this? How does one take their practice online? How do festivals remount remotely? How can we inspire more creativity at home? Our friends from across the pond will be sharing their experience of taking the Get Creative Festival remote in 2020! Last year, the Festival had nearly 1,700 events around the UK and Ireland, but this year as the Coronavirus spread across the UK, they made the responsible decision to pivot their efforts from promoting an on-the-ground festival to supporting a new creative engagement initiative “#GetCreativeAtHome”. Tune in to hear about how things went and collect valuable insight that you can apply when rethinking and adapting your own arts and culture initiatives and programs.

Damien McGlynn provided us with some tips to make online activities accessible, download them here and the presentation slides are also available here.

Breaking Attendance Barriers: Why People With Interest Do Not Visit

with Colleen Dilenschneider and Jim Hekkers (April 21, 2020)

Research shows that a sizeable portion of people who report interest in visiting museums and other cultural organizations do not actually walk in the door. What gives? The first step to motivating attendance is understanding why interested audiences do not attend.

In this webinar, guest speakers Colleen Dilenschneider and Jim Hekkers from market research and predictive technology firm IMPACTS Research & Development identify the most frequently cited attendance barriers—from difficulty planning to preferring to watch Stranger Things on the couch. IMPACTS provides an overview of the top data-backed barriers and arm webinar attendees with trend research to inform the creation of strategies to overcome each of the top barriers.

During the live webinar, attendees were asked what they are doing to remain top of mind right now while people are at home. We’ve compiled their responses here.

Art Education in the Digital Sphere

with John Dalrymple, Jay Kimball, and Douglas Friesen (July 17, 2019)

This webinar looks at current trends in online education programming, and investigates the way arts organizations create digital lessons for younger audiences. Discussion revolves around the differences between live and digital education programming, and how organizations have utilized web platforms to expand their audience.

The webinar includes guest presentations from John Dalrymple with Canada’s National Ballet School, Jay Kimball at LIVE Arts Saskatchewan, and Douglas Friesen, teacher and arts educator. Watch as they identify barriers to participation and discuss the ways they work to bring accessible arts programming into classrooms. Tune in to see how digital platforms are changing the game in arts education.

Culture Days and Get Creative Festival: Recent findings from across the pond on personal well-being and arts participation

with Dr. Daisy Fancourt and Stephen James-Yeoman (May 29, 2019)

Steep the tea, settle into a comfy chair, and tune in as we chat with our friends at the Get Creative Festival about their recent leading-edge research around creativity, expression, and ties to personal well-being. We hosted Dr. Daisy Fancourt, UCL Senior Research Fellow, and Stephen James-Yeoman from BBC Arts, who shared insights from the study and connections with the Get Creative Festival.

We hope the session will inspire Canadian arts and culture organizations and non-profits to think how they can support encouraging individual creative exploration. Take the Get Creative Feel Good Test to discover how getting creative could improve your personal well-being.

Deepening Sense of Belonging Through Arts and Culture

with Frédéric Julien (April 24, 2019)

What is belonging? How does it relate to arts and culture? And how can we strengthen belonging to each other and our communities? In 2017, Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) sought to answer these questions in Vital Signs: Arts & Belonging. Building on this report and on subsequent research findings, this webinar will explore how arts and culture programs and venues make our communities better places to live by helping people connect through shared arts experiences.

The webinar is presented by Frédéric Julien, Director of Research and Development at CAPACOA. Frédéric has been active in the performing arts for several years as an artist, an arts administrator, a consultant, an advocate, and a change maker. He has been leading research and development activities at CAPACOA for the last nine years. He is a regular speaker and session facilitator at conferences throughout Canada. He also frequently facilitates online dialogues on the state of the performing arts sector as part of the Arts in Perspective series.

Arts Participation in Canada

with Kelly Hill (March 6, 2019)

In Culture Days’ first webinar of 2019, Hill Strategies President Kelly Hill presents key findings from Hill Strategies’ recent report on arts participation in Canada, including overall attendance, active participation, and engagement by different groups of Canadians. The research is also linked to concepts of well-being through arts participation.

Kelly founded Hill Strategies in 2002, and has since worked on nearly 400 research reports and presentations on the arts and culture. He brings to the table a thorough understanding of the arts landscape in Canada.

Indigenous Cultural Programming

with Dominga Robinson (June 26, 2018)

Saskatchewan-based Arts Administrator Dominga Robinson provides background, context and insight for building lasting partnerships with Indigenous community members and producing meaningful cultural programming. Dominga discusses some of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, issues around cultural appropriation and terminology, treaty territory statements and more—all grounded in her experiences as an Outreach Consultant with SaskCulture and as a member of the Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation.

Webinar Archive

All past Culture Days webinars are available on our YouTube channel.