Alberta Culture Days in Full Swing Across the City
It’s arts and culture abound with Alberta Culture Days in full swing across the city. The month-long “celebration of arts, heritage, diversity and community spirit” has seen many free activities already held with many more on the agenda. See complete schedule at the end of the article.
Wood Buffalo is a Celebration Site for the 2021 Alberta Culture Days, one of only five across the province. Liana Wheeldon – Executive Director of Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) says it’s an honour for the region to be selected.
“We take a truly collaborative approach to the planning and execution of events for this initiative, as is the hallmark of the Arts, Culture, and Heritage champions in our community. Showcasing our breadth of talent through creative programming, along with highlighting the history and multiculturalism of our region, allows us to demonstrate that the arts are essential in creating a balanced, happy, and healthy community,” noted Wheeldon, who joined ACWB in 2016.
So far the only province in Canada to make Culture Days a month-long celebration, an estimated 100 events are happening across Alberta this year with Month of the Artist also moved to September to align with Culture Days. ACWB has been highlighting the Month of the Artist celebration by sharing photos and bios on their social media: @artscouncilWB of the 100 artists nominated for Buffys 2021. The highly-anticipated annual Arts Awards aka Buffys will be held virtually on October 16, 2021.
Started in 2008, Alberta Culture Days was a day-long celebration, which moved to a three-day event, and now for a month. Last year “almost 250,000 Albertans participated in virtual and in-person Alberta Culture Days celebrations…with 47 communities hosting 943 events,” according to the official website. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) has participated in this annual celebration since 2009.
Wheeldon appreciated the province’s support of the initiative.
“ACWB commends the province for being arts champions and implementing this important program. The arts and artists contribute in meaningful ways every day of the year and highlighting that contribution through a month-long celebration is a reinforcement of the value the arts brings to our lives. Fostering a creative economy is proven to revitalize communities during times of economic hardship, aid in recovery from disaster, and bring people together across cultures.”
Indeed, the last five years of natural disasters, and an ongoing pandemic have taught us many things, one of which is the value of the arts.
“Alberta Culture Days is a celebration of community spirit,” said Jessica Barry, Coordinator, RMWB Community Services in an official statement.
“We encourage everyone in Wood Buffalo to participate in the free, family-friendly, in-person and online activities hosted by local community organizations. With music, dance, art, history and more, there’s something for everyone at this year’s event.”
Culture Days 2021 will be celebrated from September 24 to October 24 nationally.
All Alberta Culture Days activities are free to the public. See complete schedule here: https://www.rmwb.ca/en/news/alberta-culture-days-2021.aspx