Ontario Communities Gear Up to Celebrate Culture Days 2011 (Video)

Guelph Youthful Entertainer - Old Quebec Street Mall

TORONTO, May 9, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - More than 200 individual artists, arts organizations, cultural groups, libraries, museums and municipalities have already pre-registered activities in Ontario for the second annual Culture Days on September 30 to October 2, 2011.

Culture Days invites everyone to explore, discover and participate in arts and culture in every community across the country. The arts and culture sectors will offer free hands-on or behind-the-scenes activities including music, dance, visual arts, film, video, theatre, literature and many more. Today's national kick-off event is happening in Vancouver, B.C.

Full registration begins today. To register a Culture Days activity, visit

Last September, Ontarians participated in 930 free Culture Days activities that took place in more than 160 towns and cities across the province. Ontario had the highest number of activities across the country with the exception of Quebec, where their Journées de la culture has been in existence for 14 years.

"Culture Days presents an excellent opportunity to showcase Ontario's vibrant arts and culture in communities throughout the province," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. "The extraordinary level of participation in the first year of Culture Days demonstrates the importance this sector has for Ontarians. As we anticipate the return of this great event, I know Culture Days will continue to build on its success."

The volunteer leadership shown by municipalities, community arts councils and ad-hoc cultural committees in rural communities, small towns, mid-sized cities and urban centres is a big factor in the growing popularity of Culture Days in Ontario.

"Grassroots movements like Culture Days provide encouragement for everyone's participation in culture. They shine a spotlight on how arts and heritage enrich our lives and build important partnerships and collaborations in our communities," said Warren Garrett, Chair of the volunteer task force for Ontario Culture Days.

New this year is the involvement of Ontario libraries. Their role in Culture Days is growing across the province as both activity organizers and as hub sites for the cultural community. In smaller communities such as Cobourg, Elgin County and Stratford, libraries will be Culture Days centres. In urban centres such as Toronto, library branches are supporting Culture Days outreach into diverse and underserved neighbourhoods.

The Toronto Public Library is offering some 45 branches as free venues to Toronto-based artists and arts organizations wishing to be part of Culture Days. Activity organizers wishing to hold their events at a TPL branch are invited to submit an application by June 10, 2011. For a list of participating branches and the application form for "Culture Days @ The Library" click here.

Info Sessions

Communities throughout the province are hosting Culture Days information sessions. Info sessions bring together artists, arts and cultural groups, municipal cultural staff, community arts councils, business improvement associations, local media and other people interested in forging collaborations to organize Culture Days 2011 activities. The following information sessions have been scheduled:

Kitchener May 17 4:30pm at the Victoria Park Pavilion, Brantford May 19 6pm at the Brantford Tourism Office, and Guelph May 25 2pm at the River Run Centre.

For more details about Ontario Culture Days announcements please visit: Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

Culture Days in Ontario is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario.