Join in the fun as Stratford marks the fifth annual celebration of Culture Days with more than 40 free events on offer throughout the city and Perth County from September 26 to 28.
Culture Days was launched in 2010 as a free, cross-country celebration of arts and culture. Since then, over 5.5 million Canadians have participated in 25,000 Culture Days activities hosted by 4,400 Canadian artists, cultural organizations, and groups. This year, thousands of events will bring creators and the public together to celebrate the creative vitality of the community.
“Culture Days provides an opportunity to shine the light on the many treasures that define our culture 365 days of the year,” says local spokesperson Eileen Smith, Hermione
Presents and SpringWorks Artistic Producer. “We are blessed with so much talent and creativity in this region. Celebrate, participate and have fun with The Stratford Symphony, INNERChamber and Alternative Theatre Works, to name just a few. New this year is Stratford’s first Nuit Blanche – an ‘all night’ arts experience on Saturday night at Gallery Stratford. I encourage everyone to join the thousands of Canadians celebrating coast to coast this weekend by getting out and discovering our wonderfully talented local artists and cultural offerings.”
Artists from Stratford and Perth County have planned an array of free events hosted at various locations, including Gallery Stratford, Factory163, the Stratford Normal School, Stratford Perth Museum, and Cobourg Street. Visit the Perth County Welcome Centre, Fryfogel Inn near Shakespeare, North Perth Arts & Culture Council in Listowel and St. Marys Museum.
Festival lobby events
The following events will take place in the Festival Theatre lobby, at 55 Queen Street, Stratford:
• We Could Make Beautiful Music Together: Saturday, Sept 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. Interested in music lessons for yourself or for your child? Join Stratford Music Educators to discern the perfect approach and people to make music come alive for you. Students will also showcase their work.
• How does a Museum, Gallery, Symphony, Festival… Happen?: Saturday, Sept 27 from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Meet Stratford’s arts managers, curators, directors and leaders. Learn about behind the scenes, the working of the treasures this town has to offer. Short presentations will be followed by a Q&A and discussion period. Find out more about how you can be involved as a patron, supporter, volunteer, participant, creator, and arts-lover.
• Barbara Dunn-Prosser, “Lest We Forget” WWI Songs and Text: Sunday, Sept 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. Dunn-Prosser has created a show about the experiences of the Great War from newspaper articles, advertisements, and letters from the front and incorporated songs by Canadian composers. She will perform excerpts and discuss the process of discovering and shaping the reference materials.
• Stratford Sampler Acoustic Café: Sunday, Sept 28 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Three Stratford songwriters- Steve Adair, Lindsey Burns, and Lara MacMillan- share their original songs in the intimate setting of the Stratford Festival lobby.
On Saturday, Sept 27, Stratford’s Normal School will host a full day of events including workshops in ballet, Scottish dance, fencing, bobbin lace-making, as well as a unique opportunity to explore instruments at the Stratford Symphony Orchestra Petting Zoo.
The Stratford Festival will also be offering free tours of its Costume and Props Warehouse at 350 Douro Street on Sunday, Sept 28 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Other activities taking place in Stratford and surrounding area include:
• Pushed to the Edge: A Panel Discussion (Gallery Stratford)
• 5th Annual Amateur Photography Contest (North Perth Arts & Culture Council)
• Artisans in the Tent (2146 Perth Line 34 Highway 7/8)
• Behind the Curtain: Festival Archives Guest Speaker (Stratford Perth Museum)
• Fryfogel’s Tavern and Arboretum Open House (just east of Shakespeare, Highway 7/8)
• Photography 101: What makes a good picture? (390 Douro Street, Stratford)
• Step into the Past: Listowel Historical Walking Tour (Stratford-Perth Archives)
• Off the Wall Open House (Factory163)
• Hermione Presents SpringWorks: What’s on the Burner? (Gallery Stratford)
• Mask Making (Stratford Perth Museum)
• Cobourg Street Stroll: Historical Walk (Cobourg Street, Stratford)
• INNERchamber: Talk and Open Rehearsal (Factory163)
· Learn Some Taoist Tai Chi Moves (670 Ontario Street, Stratford)
• St. Marys Museum: Behind the Scenes Tour (177 Church Street South, St. Marys)
• Alternative Theatre Works - New Studio Space (219 Erie Street, Stratford)
• Flash Palace Studio: An Exhibition of Photographs (390 Douro Street, Stratford)
• Agora Gallery Open House and Meet the Artists (17 Market Place, Stratford)
• Heritage Carriage Rides (Memorial Gardens, Stratford)
For a full list of events in Stratford and across the country, visit culturedays.ca.