Culture Days

Brockville Culture Days 2017

Sept. 29, 30 & Oct. 1st

The end of September may seem a long way off, but planning for the 2017 Brockville Culture Days began shortly after the 2016 celebration ended. This will be Brockville’s third Culture Days celebration and there is quite the tradition to live up to.

In case you missed it, Culture Days is an annual three day, cross Canada celebration of the arts and culture in the community. It takes place starting on the last Friday of September, which this year means September 29, 30 and October 1st. Culture Days is meant to foster appreciation and support of the artistic & cultural life in communities and promote the direct interaction between creators and the community to allow the public to better understand what is available in their own community.

What this means in Brockville is, essentially, the premier community street festival in the city. All local artists, crafts people, musicians, dancers and organizations. Your friends and neighbours sharing their passion. The Brockville DBIA sponsors a street closure on King Street where the bulk of the activities take place, giving Culture Days one of the most spectacular venues in the province. This takes place on Saturday September 30 from 9 am to 4 pm.

Last year’s event was the fifth largest in Canada for cities with a population of 50,000 or under, based on the number of participants. The figures are based on the number of participants registered on the Culture Days website and to be quite honest we only managed to convince about 60% of local participants to register. What this says is that Brockville and area has a strong, vibrant and diverse arts & culture community, that doesn’t take a back seat to any community.

This year being Canada’s Sesquicentennial we have reached out to heritage crafts practitioners and artisans to join us and bring a historical element to this year’s event. In previous years arts and crafts with a historic element have been some of the most popular amongst attendees and we hope we can add to this sector. If you know of any groups or individuals that would benefit from participating please pass along our contact information (Brockvilleartsco-op@outlook.com).

Perhaps the most heartening development is that the concept of Culture Days and the benefits it offers are starting to catch on. “We’re all in this together and everyone is welcome” is our mantra. For the 2017 celebration we have talked to, or been approached by, all sorts of new, interested parties. We are hoping to add some activities on Friday September 29 including a couple of walking tours. In addition plans are in the works to make Sunday October 1 a rural spotlight with many smaller centers getting a chance to shine and share with the public. Communities such as Delta, Frankville, North Augusta, Mallorytown, Lyndhurst and Athens are considering participation.. As the only local facilitator I’m happy to help arts, culture and heritage groups take part. We will continue to reach out to local and area groups and individuals.

So please consider participating or attending. Tell any friends who may have an interest. This year’s dates again are Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1st. As per usual King St. will be closed for our main venue on Saturday Sept. 1st. We are cobbling together events to cover all three days and make it a weekend long celebration, across the region. Follow our progress here, or on Brockville Culture Days Facebook page. Hope to see you there.

Culture Days Brockville 2016  

This year the Canada-wide celebration of Culture Days will be taking place from Friday Sept. 30th to Sunday October 2nd inclusive. Here in Brockville, building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, we will again be participating in this nation-wide celebration, with the focus being on Saturday October 1st.

Culture Days is a 3 day annual cross-Canada volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural lives of their communities. by hosting free participatory public activities over the last weekend of September each year. Brockville has a wider goal to build a community embracing arts, culture and heritage and to promote dialogue between the various disciplines and groups within this community.

Last year we worked with the Brockville DBIA and Ontario Culture Days and we look forward to continuing these beneficial relationships. We will once again ask the DBIA to apply to the City for a road closure of part of King Street to serve as a venue. Culture Days Ontario has included Brockville on their itinerary of seminars to help groups and individuals maximize the benefits of their Culture Days participation. There is a teleconference on March 3rd to discuss dates and finalize plans and I will keep you updated.

This is a chance to showcase individuals and groups that are part of the fabric of the “culture” of Brockville and we would like to make it as all inclusive as possible. There is no cost to participate. A number of groups that were unable to take part last year have already committed to attending this year. If you are interested in participating, have any questions or suggestions, please contact me at penruss@sympatico.ca or brockartsco-op@outlook.com. We will be approaching the DBIA as soon as possible to secure the street closure and this will be impacted by the number of interested parties.

This year with the Tall Ships Festival taking place two weeks before Culture Days we have a great opportunity to promote our event to tourists visiting “the fleet”. Planning is already underway to leverage this tourism influx to our advantage.

This is essentially your event. You know best what will be beneficial for you or your organization. Having said that the more activities the public can take part in the more their level of engagement. Also, if you know of anyone or any group who might be interested in taking part please pass along this invitation to them, or their contact information to me. It would be nice to have more music and food this year.

A charity breakfast is being considered for this year. Last year we had two charity food events and they were well received. A charity breakfast would also help to get people on the street earlier, which is often the case with downtown events.

I hope you will be able to participate in Culture Days 2016. It is a great opportunity to connect with the community and for some self-promotion. If you still need convincing just scroll down the page for a summary of “What’s in it for you”. The results of a survey, kindly supplied by the DBIA, on the 2015 Culture Days experience of last year’s participants is available via this link,

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

Russ Disotell

Facilitator Culture Days Brockville

Renaissance on the River: Culture Days 2015

September 25, 26, 27 

Culture Days is a 3 day-long annual cross-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural lives of their communities. With the support of volunteer groups at the national and provincial levels, hundreds of thousands of artists, cultural workers, organizations and groups self-mobilize to host free participatory public activities over the last weekend of September each year.

That’s essentially a nutshell description of Culture Days, what it is and what it hopes to accomplish. We would like to celebrate Culture Days here in Brockville. While we share the aims, as they’re laid out above, we have a wider goal, to build a community embracing the arts, culture and heritage in our community. A bold goal. Undoubtedly a daunting task. But one well worth the effort.

Getting to the heart of the matter, this effort won’t succeed without your participation. That decision to participate will likely be based on the question, “What’s in it for me?” It’s an honest question, showing healthy self-interest, usually at the heart of any decision and it deserves an answer.

Public Audience

You, or your group, will get a chance to share your passion with the public and other members of the larger arts community.

Self Determination

You, and you alone, get to decide what your participation entails. You can perform, exhibit and sell the products of your art or craft. You can promote classes and/or learning opportunities. New members can be solicited. If you have an upcoming event or series you can publicize it. You can sell tickets or subscriptions. You “come to the table” with your own goals, for your own reasons.

Fresh Ideas

Sharing your passion, craft or art with others opens up the possibility of serendipity, in fact it almost guarantees it. Serendipity is defined as unexpected good luck. Given the chance to interact and share with others, who knows what you may come across. Others may bring something of worth to the discussion. It may be a collaboration. Perhaps it will be an approach you’ve never thought of. A whole new perspective arrives when you see through different eyes. Others can add a new piece to the puzzle.

Networking Opportunities

You will get a chance to meet, talk to, and share with others in our arts community. We all have experiences and knowledge to share. “This worked for me. This didn’t work. We know how to do this. Do you know how to do that? Did you hear about…” The old adage is that talk is cheap, but in this instance it might be an inexpensive way to learn and share, for the betterment of all.

Marketing Potential

You get to take advantage of cross-marketing. Coming together with groups and individuals from different and varied areas and fields brings you to the attention of a different audience. They may have never been exposed to your art form or even considered that they might be interested in it. They’re just there for the music and end up staying for the art, or poetry, or pottery. It happens more often than you think.

Free Marketing Material

Culture Days has a wealth of marketing materials free for your use. If you have the time they also have a library of resources, such as webinars and how-to instruction for perusal.

Free Publicity

By registering your participation with Culture Days Ontario you, your group and your activity are publicized on the Culture Days website, a national platform. Free!

Media Partners

Culture Days Ontario has provincial media partners. They have offered to help facilitate our leveraging those provincial relationships at a local level for media coverage.

No Fees

There are no membership fees to join the Culture Days movement.

Create a Sustainable Community

You will help in taking the first step to build an arts community here.

Passion, Creativity and Action!

You can’t buy passion. It is at the heart of every artistic and cultural urge. You can harness that passion to help build a better tomorrow for the arts here in Brockville and for yourself.

We have all heard that you can’t do that here in Brockville. You can’t make a living. You can’t connect with the public. You can’t talk to other artistic groups, they don’t care. Well it’s time to change the narrative. There are others who have shared the same struggles and dare to nurture the same hopes. Can deserves a spot in the conversation.

Bring your creativity to the challenge. We are artists and creativity is our currency. Think outside the box. Heck, lose the box entirely!

But act. This is an opportunity for all of us. This is a call to action. Make your mantra, “I do what I say and I say what I do.” Say you’ll participate and help take the first step to realizing Brockville’s Renaissance on the River.


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