The nation-wide art celebration, Culture Days, is back and bigger than ever this year with special plans in store for festival-goers. For the event’s 8th year, Dundas Street will be nothing short of fun, closing off for three blocks of visual art, live music, dancing, and more.
In previous years, art installations and activities were scattered throughout the city. By condensing all events on the weekend agenda to one area, the council hopes it will encourage a larger audience to go out and experience everything the city offers.
This year, the London Arts Council is aiming to try something completely different than past Culture Days experiences. They are bringing an immersive celebration to their audience with interactive mural paintings, live music, and installations as a few examples. Local artists from across the city will be present, showcasing some of their best work.
Some highlighted events include:
- Ill at Will Dance Crew, performing their first-ever mash up of hip hop and visual art moment
- Artists from London’s street art scene creating a massive interactive mural
- Ruth Douthwright choreographing an original dance performance featuring a fusion of techniques from around the world.
- Installation and light spectacles on buildings along Dundas
- Temporary storefront art galleries, photography, sculpture, painting, projection art
Program Coordinator, Monica Molina, explains how Culture Days has evolved through the years:
“Initially, Culture Days was a celebration for Canadian culture. With so many immigrants coming to Canada, Culture Days has become a general celebration of arts and culture to invite all these new cultures coming to Canada. It’s just a good opportunity to come together and speak a common language: arts.”
Celebrating diversity and community
Not only does this street event celebrate art culture through various displays, but the beauty of diversity in our country as well. The entire community is teaming up to put on this spectacular show. At Museum London, the Public Art Symposium gathers artists and arts administrators together for important discussions, while 20 professional artists organize entertaining and interactive activities for guests.
Culture Days is collaborating with Fringe Festival on Saturday night to offer a Nuit Blanche special from 7PM to 12AM – all for free. Even business owners along Dundas Street are taking part by opening their doors to festival-goers by displaying art galleries. The community is getting together to collaborate and support one another. The festival drives traffic into the doors of business owners, while the art unites all.
Molina says that the timing of the events are intentional – a way to get the community together and collaborate on a big project. “We just want those who go to Culture Days, to stay for Nuit Blanche. It’s a sort of way to bring more of the public into events like this.” By working together, the eventful itinerary is jam-packed, attracting an even larger audience.
“I think that art creates a common language.”
“It’s more about a common feeling through the colours, textures, sounds, and movement, so I feel that art just brings communities together beyond races. It’s just important to have this sort of common language where people can really relate through each other from the human aspect and not from their differences. When people feel apart of the community, they’re more willing to work for that community, make it stronger and better. I think culture days is just the perfect mean to get that.”
Each night offers something different, with a fun and exciting itinerary that Molina says is “a must-see!”
Culture Days will run this Friday and Saturday, closing Dundas Street off from Ridout Street and Clarence Street. For more information and a look at the full weekend itinerary, visit the Culture Days website.