There is just over a month until the largest provincewide celebration of arts, heritage, community and diversity – aka Alberta Culture Days – kicks off again across the province. Communities are already hard at work putting together events and cultural showcases, including 56 celebration sites.
For those of you who don’t know, Alberta Culture Days is a three-day celebration of everything cultural in Alberta. It’s the perfect opportunity for Albertans to come together to share, celebrate and promote the wildly creative, wonderfully vibrant communities where we live. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy all that is great about Alberta in the waning days of summer.
Alberta Culture Days aims to help build our province and enrich our communities by encouraging and promoting local culture. To help community organizations achieve this goal, the Government of Alberta offers seed money to assist with the costs associated with planning events. Organizations that receive this funding are designated as official Alberta Culture Days Celebration Sites. This year, there are five three-day “feature” celebration sites and 51 other celebration sites hosting one or two day events across Alberta.
Feature Celebration Sites:
The feature celebration sites were chosen based on qualities such as partnerships within the community, diversity of programming, incorporation of local talent and interactive, family-friendly activities. The 2016 sites are:
- Lac La Biche Lions Club: A variety of diverse cultures will be displayed through a series of family friendly events. Under the theme “Better Together,” Culture Days events will promote working to build a better and more tolerant community and province.
- St. Albert Cultivates the Arts Society: More than a dozen events are planned, including a paint party with 200 people led by local artists. The city will also feature Keys to the City, with pianos in interesting locations.
- Beaumont Society for the Arts: The Festival des Beaux Arts features literary and visual arts displays, workshops with local artists, live performances and a historic Casavant Freres organ.
- Creative Airdrie: A month-long celebration, ARTember, culminates in “Culture at the Creek,” a city-wide celebration of the arts with a variety of fun events, from live music and performances to hands-on art activities to public art participation projects.
- Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation, Banff: Eight organizations are working together to host Alberta Culture Days: Banff Buffalo Days. Activities and events will celebrate the return of the bison to Banff National Park and the signing of the Buffalo Treaty by 12 nations/tribes in a historic treaty of co-operation, renewal and restoration with First Nations leaders.
Host an Alberta Culture Days Event!
You don’t need to formally apply to host an event—anyone can do it! In fact, all Albertans are encouraged to share in the experience of Alberta Culture Days by attending, volunteering for or planning an event to showcase your community’s unique talents, pride and passions.
- Use the Culture Days Event Planning Guide to help plan an event. There are even customizable promotional tools for you to download and use including posters and media releases.
- Put your event on the National Culture Days Calendar; you will get the benefit of ongoing promotions and marketing.
An Alberta Culture Days event doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be anything from a showcase of traditional dance, a concert put on by the neighbourhood kids, exhibits and art walks to backstage tours, school activities and a food festival. It just needs you and your neighbours to get involved and have some fun!