Press Release: Stratford Joins National CULTURE DAYS Campaign

 Stratford Joins National CULTURE DAYS Campaign Communities Across the Country Unveil Plans for Second Annual Canada-Wide Celebration of Arts and Culture

Annual event inspires creators and public to discover and share in the creativity of communities from coast to coast to coast

The second annual Culture Days campaign launches today. This grassroots Canada-wide movement aims to raise awareness, participation and engagement in the arts and cultural life of our communities. More than 300 activity organizers in 122 cities and towns across the country have already pre-registered to take part in this year’s Culture Days weekend on September 30, October 1 and 2, 2011. The cross-Canada celebration represents the largest-ever collective public participation campaign undertaken by the arts and cultural community in this country.

“Culture Days aims to foster appreciation and support of the artistic and cultural life that is lived, created and expressed across the country,” says Stratford Shakespeare Festival General Director, and Culture Days National Chair, Antoni Cimolino. “This event is a fantastic opportunity for Stratford to show off its local artistic talent and cultural vitality while being a part of a national celebration. Best of all, it gives the citizens of Stratford the opportunity to explore their own creativity.”

Last September, Ontarians participated in 930 free Culture Days activities that took place in more than 160 towns and cities across the province including 49 activities that happened in Stratford. Plans for 2011 Culture Days in Stratford are already underway and include interactive arts workshops, story telling events, visual arts showcases and concerts throughout the county and in St Marys. Hermione Presents, a collective of performing and creative artists, will return with Culture Days for Schools and What’s on the Burner?, a  tasting of new works by regional writers and performers.

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

The inaugural Culture Days celebration was held in September 2010 over three days in more than 700 Canadian cities and towns of all sizes. Today’s announcements across the country will call on the arts and cultural community to build upon last year’s success.  Once again free, hands-on, interactive activities will invite the public to participate “behind the scenes” and discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their communities

Interested artists and organizations can register online at www.culturedays.ca. Those who register activities will benefit from a national marketing and communications campaign as well as access to free materials to help promote their activities within their communities. New online tools will help the public find activities in their neighbourhoods as well as plan their Culture Days weekend. Provincial micro-sites offer news and informatiotailored to specific regions while an online calendar/planning tool can help plan and organize your Culture Days weekend.

To follow the development of the celebration, learn more about the Culture Days movement or to register an activity please visit www.culturedays.ca. For regular updates, please ‘follow’ @CultureDays on Twitter, ‘like’ Culture Days on Facebook and sign up for the e-newsletter.  Get all the latest Ontario news and activity highlights at www.on.culturedays.ca

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

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