After going mostly virtual in 2020, in-person events are back for Prince Albert’s premier month-long cultural festival.
Culture Days kicks off on Sept. 24 with the temporary Re:Imagine Outdoor Gallery in Kinsemen Park, and continues with roughly 30 free events and programs offered over the next four weeks.
City of Prince Albert Arts and Culture Coordinator Judy MacLeod Campbell said it’s exciting to have in person events back in place this year. She’s hopeful residents will take advantage them.
“What really strive every year to reach participants we haven’t reached before,” she explained. “You still hear in the community (people saying) ‘oh, there’s nothing going on,’ or ‘oh, we didn’t know the Arts Centre had pottery,’ or ‘oh, we didn’t know about the Mann Art Gallery Exhibits that they have.’ We’re always trying to reach new people, and that’s the beauty of Culture Days—being able to provide it for free.”
This year’s festival contains almost double the number of events and programs in last year’s event. MacLeod Campbell said they took advantage of SaskCulture and Saskatchewan Lotteries funding sponsor a few more groups and organizations.
“We’ve had a really strong committee throughout the years, and mostly the same organizations,” she explained. “We had a few new ones come on … but it’s kind of been that core group of people. This allowed us to expand it out and provide some financial incentives to get other groups involved.”
Friday’s Re:Imagine Outdoor Gallery includes the top 12 designs selected by judges as part of the Re:Imagine Prince Albert T-Shirt Contest. The competition invited residents to submit designs inspired by “alternative versions of Prince Albert”. The event runs for the duration of Culture Days.
The events continue on Saturday with the Prince Albert Multicultural Council’s Tapestrama Cultural Festival at Carlton High School, the Urban Art Tour at Gateway Mall, the Re:Imagining Prince Albert’s Past, Present, and Future Mural Project at the Prince Albert Historical Museum, a downtown public art tour with Jesse Campbell, and an ‘Out of the Box Thinking’ art discussion with Cheryl Ring at Gateway Mall.
To celebrate the start of Culture Days, public transit will be free on Sept. 25.
“Having free transportation for at least this weekend—the kickoff weekend—is really helpful because it allows people to try something,” MacLeod Campbell said. “Hopefully, they get to know the facilities and the programs they offer, and will continue to participate.”
Organizers plan to limit attendance at most events as a precaution. Attendees are also asked to adhere to all public health measures and practice social distancing when attending an event.
MacLeod Campbell said everyone is excited to be back, but they’re still cautious about a potential COVID-19 spread.
“We’re still keeping them fairly small, just to have that increased distance and safety,” she explained.
“I think we thought we’d be in a better place, to be honest, with the pandemic, but similar to last year, it’s certainly nice to be able to offer a number of events and programs.”
For most information about the festival, including a complete schedule of events, visit the Culture Days Facebook page, or the event hub at culturedays.ca.
Culture Days is a national celebration of that invites the public to hands-on experience, and a behind-the-scenes view of arts and culture in the community. The first event was held in 2010 by the Canadian Arts Summit. Events have since expanded across Canada, with an annual 2-million attendees in 355 communities taking part every year.
Culture Days in Prince Albert receives funding from the City of Prince Albert’s Municipal Cultural Action Plan (MCAP), SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries, and funders hosting Culture Days events as noted in the events listings.