Artists perform, audiences partake and all (should) enjoy as Manitoba, for the fifth year, celebrates its Culture Days

By Michelle Rosner

Forge by Night presented by Matt Jenkins at Old Market Square. Photo by Gaune Studios Photography
Forge by Night presented by Matt Jenkins at Old Market Square. Photo by Gaune Studios Photography

Culture Days Manitoba this month will be marking five years of volunteer, interactive and free arts and cultural activities. All across the province, museums, galleries, arts studios and organizations will open their doors to the public and invite them to interact with and experience art from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28.

Musicians will offer workshops and free performances, dancers will show the public how to move and artists will display their skills to bring awareness and exposure to the arts in our communities.

300-plus events
With close to 300 events, and still counting, Manitoba will be celebrating in style in 2014. Featured events include the annual Storytelling Day at Central Park in which hundreds of students from across Winnipeg and Manitoba convene in the centre of the city to hear folk tales and stories from experienced storytellers and educators Joe McLellan, Kate Ferris, Duncan Mercredi and Jamie Olivero.

Last year’s celebration ended with a colourful human mosaic photographed as a heart. This year will again feature a human mosaic with all the students. It is sure to be as memorable an experience. This year’s Storytelling Day will be held in tribute to Kevin Walters, the late Culture Days project manager and enthusiastic supporter.

Students are also invited to attend Student Day at The Forks, an event that will again feature dozens of activities, hands on workshops, group performances and crafting. Groups such as the Aboriginal School of Dance will once again wow the crowd, and the kickoff to Manitoba’s Culture Days will open the day.

Saturday will have its full share of performances at the Forks including Ça Claque, Songwriters’ Association of Canada, Orfeas Musical Conservatory and more, spotlighting the diversity of musical and dance talent from across the city and province.

Rural Manitoba is again flexing its artistic muscles as well. Flin Flon will be hosting close to 70 events celebrating arts and culture in their community. From artist talks to dancing along Main Street to guided walking tours, aboriginal hoop dancing and a range of student programs, the offerings will touch everyone’s cultural interests.

Culture Days is also taking Dauphin by storm, including an events that will see students engaged in interactive radio drama. Museums across the province will be opening their doors. Communities are encouraging the public to participate in the local celebrations.

The fifth anniversary also includes Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, Dubbed “No Sleep. Only Art”, Nuit Blanche offers an all night transformation of the city into a unique artistic experience.

Rooftop music, Mad-Men themes
Three city zones – the Exchange District, Saint Boniface and the Downtown (Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art) – will fill up with art lovers dusk to dawn. There will be outdoor installations in the Exchange District, music on rooftops, blacksmith demonstrations in Old Market Square, community choir performances, Mad-Men-themed parties at the Planetarium – in short, much ado about things artistic.

As you wander to the Downtown, don’t miss an interactive video projection in the parking lot across from the MTS Centre.

Saint Boniface will lure you with lighting installations and invite you to sit and read a good book on Provencher Boulevard in an installation called “Bibliothèques éphémères / Boulevard of books”. Visit la Maison des artistes and don’t miss a cabaret style event at the Cercle Molière complete with DJ, mixologists, dance and more.

Since 2010, Culture Days Manitoba has grown, expanded and exceeded expectations. Supporting art, cultural and public engagement, it’s brought Manitobans interesting activities for five years straight, with the ongoing, intense support of artistic and cultural organizations arts in Manitoba.

We at Culture Days Manitoba can’t wait to see you at the celebrations. For more information, visit mb.culturedays.ca. To get involved, contact mb@culturedays.ca or 204-942-8221.

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