Chet Greason firstname.lastname@example.org
This year marked the fifth anniversary of Culture Days, a series of installations focussing on history and the arts held over the weekend of Sept. 26-28.
Co-founded by Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino, who currently chairs the event’s national board of directors, Culture Days took root when – according to Stratford Mayor Dan Mathieson – Cimolino took in the events of Hockey Day in Canada when it was held in Stratford. He wondered aloud why a similar event focussed around culture couldn’t become a new tradition.
Five years later, Culture Days is celebrated by an estimated two million Canadians through 7,500 different events and activities in 873 cities and towns.
“The fifth anniversary event this past weekend clearly highlighted the vital role artists and cultural organizations play in the lives of Canadians,” said Cimolino.
Locally, attendance numbers are still being tallied, but organizers estimate over 1,000 participated across the region in events that included fencing, Scottish ballet demonstrations, and historical carriage rides. One popular event presented kids and adults alike with an opportunity to conduct the Stratford Symphony Orchestra.
“We live in an interesting town. We do arts and culture 365,” says Stratford and Perth County organizer Eileen Smith.
“Culture Days gives us a chance to shine a spotlight on what we do all the time.”