Move to the Beat of the Drum at Culture Days September 28 to 30

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Canadians get creative with thousands of free art, culture, and rhythm-inspired experiences during the Culture Days Weekend

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Culture Days is a weekend to follow your very own artistic beat

Culture Days presents a weekend jam-packed with free hands-on and rarely accessed art and culture events and activities taking place across Canada from Friday, September 28th to Sunday, September 30th. Rhythm is the central theme for this year, and many events will highlight how percussion permeates artistic expression and nearly every culture around the world. No matter your age or skill-level, Culture Days is a chance to venture out to try something new or revisit existing creative passions - plus it’s just plain fun.

OnBeat is the theme for the 2018 Culture Days Weekend. Presented by National Partner Sun Life Financial through their Making The Arts More Accessible™ program, OnBeat inspired events will showcase how rhythm exists in every culture and plays a key role in many art forms. Spontaneous dancing, clapping, and foot stomping is encouraged making OnBeat the perfect expression of what Culture Days is all about. Participants can also enter the Play OnBeat Contest ahead of the event weekend to learn more about rhythm in several art forms. By watching artist profile vignettes, and answering trivia questions, they'll have the chance to win great prizes.

Each Culture Days event entices people to explore and support their local arts scene. Offerings include samba classes to instrument petting zoos, drum-circles to open choir rehearsals, behind the curtains of theatre to slam poetry showcases. Concerts, film fests, recording sessions, sculpture classes, song-writing workshops, and photography tours are just a sampling of what’s offered this year.

“With thousands of events to choose from, Culture Days is a weekend to follow your very own artistic beat. The events are accessible and inclusive, so it’s the perfect time to try something creative and new.” Said Aubrey Reeves, Executive Director, Culture Days, “If you’re already passionate about the arts, why not share that excitement with family and friends? It may inspire them to be more active in the creative sphere throughout the rest of the year.”

Culture Days weekend puts the range of art and culture available in our communities’ front-and-center, keeps events free to help remove barriers to access, and brings the country together in creative celebration. Culture Days happens because hundreds of municipalities, library systems, individual artists, and community arts initiatives work together to offer a weekend of unique and accessible experiences. Last year alone, over 2 million Canadians enjoyed 7000 activities.

“Arts and culture is an important part of our Canadian identity and is something all Canadians deserve to experience," said Paul Joliat, Assistant Vice-President, Philanthropy and Sponsorships, Sun Life Financial. “At Sun Life, we understand the importance of making arts and culture accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial means. For an exciting three days, Culture Days gives everyone the opportunity to take part in the vast and vibrant arts and culture scene within our communities through activities and experiences that help enrich and expand our lives.”

Culture Days launches on Friday, September 28th and runs through to Sunday, September 30th across Canada. Venture out to the beat of your own drum!

Visit to learn more and find activities happening near you. Plan your Culture Days weekend using the Culture Days Bright Spots Schedule, a free, online customizable itinerary tool, made possible with the generous support of National Partner Sun Life Financial.

About Culture Days
Culture Days has become the largest cultural event in Canada, attracting more than 2 million attendees to thousands of free activities and performances hosted by artists, cultural organizations and municipalities in 800 communities across Canada. From Nunavut to New Brunswick, British Columbia to Hudson’s Bay – and all points in between – Culture Days highlights and amplifies the diverse arts and cultural life of our communities. As a leading national voice for an active and engaged cultural life, Culture Days provides a range of tools and skill development resources that lead to greater cultural engagement. The Culture Days annual national awareness campaign culminates in a three-day celebration of the arts starting on the last Friday of September. Visit

For more information, hi-res photos, video, and more, check out our Media Kit.

See the impact of Culture Days across Canada with our 2017 Infographic.

Follow us and watch Culture Days weekend unfold:
#CultureDays on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
RSVP to the Culture Days Weekend on the Facebook Event

For media inquiries contact:
Mercedes Findlay

Culture Days National Media Launch

Friday, September 28, 9 am (Eastern)
CBC Barbara Frum Atrium
250 Front Street West, Toronto, ON

Culture Days is excited to be hosting a national event to kick off the 2018 Culture Days weekend. Get OnBeat with rhythm-inspired interactive performances to kick off 2018’s national celebration of arts and culture.
Performances by:

  • Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
  • Bam! Youth Slam Poets
  • Steelpan with Suzette Vidale, presented in partnership with Civic Theatres Toronto
  • Holla Jazz Performance Projects, presented in partnership with Civic Theatres Toronto
  • Debajehmujig Theatre Group, presented in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum

Media check-in 8:30 am
Opening remarks 9:00 am
Performances 9:15 – 10:15 am

This launch is made possible thanks to the support of Chicago Title Insurance Company, our broadcast partner CBC and program partners Aga Khan Museum and Civic Theatres Toronto.

Additional Culture Days Media Launches


Tuesday, September 25, 10 am (Central)
Bijou Park, beside Old Market Square in The Exchange District
492 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB
Revealing all of the highlights for Culture Days Manitoba and Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2018, at the site that will be home to the featured works this year! There will be a drumming performance celebrating the 2018 Culture Days theme #OnBeat.

Friday, September 28, 12:45 pm (Central)
Oodena Celebration Circle, The Forks
1 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB
Hosted CBC Manitoba’s Marcy Markusa. Speeches will be followed by a drumming performance by the Buffalo Gals to kick-off the Storytelling Day event.

Visit for Manitoba event details.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 4pm (Pacific)
Hall Street Plaza and City Hall courtyard in NELSON, BC
Taking the form of a street parade, the launch begins at Hall Street Plaza and ends at City Hall courtyard with speeches by local and provincial dignitaries and performances by groups including but not limited to, the Rhythm Ropers, In the Sticks, the Community Band, Orkastar, John Galm, Front Street Dance, Dance Umbrella, & Dance Fusion. Presented by Nelson & District Arts Council, The Civic Theatre and Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism.

Friday, September 28, 2018, 2 – 8pm (Pacific)
šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza)
Vancouver, BC
Hosted by Vancouver-based vocalist, performer and BC Culture Days ambassador Mandy Rushton, the launch event will showcase a diverse lineup of cultural contributions including City Opera Vancouver, Indigenous Women Artists Collective, Vinica and City of Nations Society. The event gets started at 2pm with a welcome by Squamish Nation member Dennis Joseph & Canoe Family Performers and a Proclamation by Vancouver Mayor.

Visit for British Columbia event details.

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Mercedes Findlay

Aubrey Reeves
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