Culture Days Unveils a Dynamic 14th Annual Celebration of Arts, Culture, and Community across Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island, and the Sunshine Coast
The countrywide network of creative and multicultural expression returns for three weeks this fall, offering FREE or Pay-What-You-May arts, culture, and heritage events in Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Salt Spring Island, and Sechelt
Culture Days is making a lively return to Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island, and the Sunshine Coast from Sept. 22 to Oct. 15, 2023. This vibrant event spans three weeks and brings together an array of artists, organizations, and communities for joyful artistic and cultural celebrations. Audiences can expect a wide variety of free and Pay-What-You-May activities for all to enjoy. The celebratory atmosphere across the regions and throughout British Columbia is thriving, as evidenced by the increasing registrations across the province and a remarkable lineup of over 400 events spanning 50 diverse communities. For the latest updates, additional events, and registration details, you can visit culturedays.ca
Residents from Metro Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Salt Spring Island, Sechelt, and more are warmly invited to take part. Culture Days offers an expansive range of arts and culture-based events that cater to diverse interests and all age groups, from the African Art & Cultural Society’s drumming, dancing, and food exchange at Victoria Public Market (La Calebasse du Nomade - Issamba for Culture Days, Sept. 22-Oct. 8 at 11.a.m.-5 p.m.) to a photographic storytelling exhibit by Jordan Louie at the Sunshine Coast Arts Council in Sechelt (shíshálh photography, Sept. 22-Oct. 7 at 12.p.m.-4 p.m). Every participating community uniquely showcases its artistic and cultural personality through low-barrier, creative, and interactive programs.
Exciting Culture Days celebrations are propagating throughout Vancouver Island. Oceanside Culture Days, a beloved community hub in Parksville, will be home to a handful of vibrant and collaborative visual art activities. From Dashwood to Union Bay, along Route 19A, the Route 19A Arts Festival will feature dozens of local artists with a week-long festival of studio tours, exhibitions, and concerts.
Qualicum Beach local artist, 2015 BC Culture Days ambassador, and community connector Diane Moran has been personally involved with Culture Days for many years. For this year’s celebrations, she’s playing the role of community organizer and is using her Culture Days hub as a way to strengthen environmental consciousness in her community.
“Culture Days in Qualicum Beach is new for our community,” says Moran. We are very excited to celebrate the arts and inspire public engagement around The Art of Nurturing Nature in Qualicum Beach. With many of us thinking about climate action, nature and the outdoors, it seemed fitting to come together to plan some innovative events and experiences. Art has long been a tool to inspire, encourage, and motivate. We've partnered with Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society and the Town of Qualicum Beach to celebrate the arts and offer opportunities to gather and learn from each other, while also celebrating and acknowledging BC and World Rivers Day."
The Art of Nurturing Nature in Qualicum Beach community hub takes place throughout Qualicum Beach on the unceded traditional territory of the Qualicum, Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw, K'ómox, Tseshaht, Hupacasath, and Ditidaht First Nations from Sept. 22-Oct. 1. For more information about the hub’s activities visit here.
Two out of the ten BC Culture Days ambassadors appointed across the province as representatives for Culture Days reside in Victoria, and one on Salt Spring Island. Through the A/I/R Ambassador Series, BC Culture Days ambassadors Tlanextli Coyotl a.k.a. Pablo Ochoa (Salt Spring Island), Ann K Chou (Victoria), and Regan Shrumm (Victoria) are also hosting public activities for Culture Days. Guided by the theme of AIR (access, inclusion, and resilience), each ambassador will present a low-barrier and accessibility-focused event in their local area.
“My three workshop events in the A/I/R Ambassador Series focus on building participants' capacity to provide accessibility for other people with diverse special needs or limitations," says Victoria-based BC Culture Days ambassador, Ann K Chou. "By inviting people to share their stories from different cultural backgrounds, I hope to create inclusive spaces that welcome diversity and encourage sharing of personal experiences."
To learn more about the A/I/R Ambassador Series and how to participate in the events visit here.
Here are highlights from BC Culture Days events across the regions. BC Culture Days will take place across the province between Sept. 22 and Oct. 15, 2023 (click the links for specific event details):
La Calebasse du Nomade - Issamba for Culture Days | Victoria Public Market 1701 Douglas Street | Sept. 22-Oct. 8 at 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
OrgelkidsCAN Hands-on Workshop for Kids- Learn How to Build a Pipe Organ! | Christ Church Cathedral | Sept. 22 at 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Care Work as Community | The Dock - Centre for Social Impact #300 - 722 Cormorant Street | Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Organized by BC Culture Days Ambassador Regan Shrumm as part of the A/I/R Ambassador Series.
Reclaim Public Art presentations | Rotunda Building1515 Douglas Street | Oct. 3-15 at 12 p.m.-5 p.m. *Oct. 6 hours are 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
Lantern Making Art Jam: Let Your Inner Light Shine | Quadra Village Community Centre - Community Room | Oct. 1 at 3:30p.m.-6:30 p.m. Organized by BC Culture Days Ambassador Ann K Chou as part of the A/I/R Ambassador Series.
Multi-Sensory Storytelling: Create Your Shoebox Stage | Quadra Village Community Centre - Community Room | Oct. 7 at 3:30p.m.-5:30 p.m. Organized by BC Culture Days Ambassador Ann K Chou as part of the A/I/R Ambassador Series.
Puppet Making Art Jam: Beyond Binary | Quadra Village Community Centre - Community Room | Oct. 8 at 3:30p.m.-6:30 p.m. Organized by BC Culture Days Ambassador Ann K Chou as part of the A/I/R Ambassador Series.
Weekly Draw Along | Nanaimo Art Gallery | Sept. 22 at 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m.
NCM OPEN HOUSE | Nanaimo Conservatory of Music | Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Art Lab Sunday - Finger Weaving | Nanaimo Art Gallery | Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
PARKSVILLE, QUALICUM BEACH, AND COURTENAY
Hubs: The Art of Nurturing Nature in Qualicum Beach | Qualicum Beach Visitor Center, Town Hall of Qualicum Beach, and other locations around Qualicum Beach
The Oceanside Community Celebrates BC Culture Days 2023 | Various locations including The McMillan Arts Centre, The Bayside Oceanfront Resort, and Memorial Plaza | The Oceanside Community is pleased to be offering a variety of family-focused Culture Days events that all are invited to participate in.
Locally Produced | Various locations along Route 19A, Bowser, Qualicum Beach, and more.
Individual event highlights
"T’ŁALIS – Pushing Boundaries" Art Exhibition | Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery in Courtenay B.C.| On for the duration of Culture Days.
Art for All | McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville B.C. | Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
SALT SPRING ISLAND
Community Canvas: A Tapestry of Artistic Diversity | Centennial Park 100 Fulford-Ganges Rd | Sept. 23 and Oct. 7 at 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Organized by BC Culture Days Ambassador Tlanextli Coyotl (a.k.a Pablo Ochoa) as part of the A/I/R Ambassador Series.
Exhibition: shíshálh photography - Jordan Louie | Sunshine Coast Arts Council 5714 Medusa Street | Sept. 22-Oct. 7 at 12.p.m.-4 p.m.
Film Screening + Dialogue commemorating the National Day of Truth + Reconciliation | Sunshine Coast Arts Council 5714 Medusa Street | Sept. 30 at 7.p.m.-9 p.m.
Public Art and Murals Walking Tour (by appointment) | Sechelt Municipal Hall - Public Library building | On for the duration of Culture Days. Tours are by appointment.
For a full listing of the upcoming events and to find the activities happening in your community, visit CultureDays.ca.
Culture Days raises the awareness, accessibility, participation, and engagement of individuals in the arts and cultural life of their communities across Canada. Organizations and artists across B.C. are encouraged to register their free, hands-on, and interactive arts and culture programming for Sept. 22 to Oct. 15, 2023 on the Culture Days website. Anyone—from grassroots community volunteers, public libraries, and independent artists, to major arts, culture, and heritage institutions, specialty festivals, and municipalities—can register Culture Days events as long as the events are participatory and free or Pay-What-You-May to attend. Event registration is open until Sept. 22, 2023 at 9 p.m. PST.
For more information on how to take part in BC Culture Days visit culturedays.ca/bc.
BC Culture Days gratefully acknowledges the generosity of its funders, collaborators, and supporters:
About BC Culture Days (culturedays.ca/en/bc)
BC Culture Days is administered through the Society to Bridge Arts and Community (Bridge Society), a registered charitable organization that has a mandate to promote awareness of arts and culture by establishing bridges between the general public, the private sector, arts organizations, and individual artists. Bridge Society staff work together with a volunteer provincial task force, municipalities, and numerous community arts and cultural organizations to coordinate plans for the annual Culture Days celebrations. With a variety of programs including performances, workshops, tours, and panel discussions from a variety of artistic disciplines, Culture Days acts as a promotional platform for creators to showcase thousands of in-person and virtual events across the country.