TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - Public libraries throughout Ontario have
enthusiastically embraced the spirit of Culture Days. More than 100 public libraries in small towns, mid-sized cities and major urban
centres in Ontario are taking part in Culture Days celebrations September 30 to October 2, 2011. Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise
the public's awareness, participation and engagement in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Find out about
Culture Days activities taking place in your community by visiting www.culturedays.ca
During the Aeroplan Culture Stories Contest, Canadians told Culture Days
that their public library is a favourite place to experience arts and
culture. As Catherine B. of Ottawa said, a library is "more than books
and dust; it's thriving, growing, cultivating - we meet, we share, we
have a place that's purely for exploration. Libraries ARE community,
and they burst with arts and culture."
The Elgin County Library is hosting a reading by Giller Prize winning author Bonnie Burnard and the Cambridge Libraries and Galleries is presenting storytellers Tongues Wagging Productions. The Stratford, Grimsby and Windsor public libraries are all holding "Human Libraries" during Culture Days. The public can
check out "human books" including artists, writers and musicians who
have volunteered for one-on-one informative and entertaining chats.
"Public libraries and Culture Days are a natural match because both are
about inclusion and making sure that culture is available to everyone
in the community," said Stratford Public Library CEO Sam Coghlan.
Beyond the literary world, many Ontario libraries are also hosting a
range of arts and heritage activities, such as a bilingual
demonstration by instrument builder Pierre Laframboise at the Greater Sudbury Library. The Innisfil Public Library is holding a dance workshop by the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and the Whitby Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary by asking the public to scan their historic photos of
Whitby into a digital photo collection.
"Libraries have obviously come a long way in 100 years," says Whitby
Public Library CEO Ian Ross, "Back then we were inward looking. Today we are collaborative
organizations, working with so many partners to achieve shared goals."
Several major urban library systems have offered their spaces to artists
and cultural groups wishing to present Culture Days activities. The London Public Library is hosting activities at every library branch in London. Similarly, the Toronto Public Library (TPL) is hosting 85 activities at 48 library branches for their program "Culture Days @ the Library." This
large-scale partnership between TPL, Culture Days and the Neighbourhood
Arts Network is an unprecedented opportunity for the public to engage
directly with artists in their own neighbourhoods.
"The great variety of cultural activities in urban library branches -
from music and dance to poetry, storytelling, painting, bookbinding and
stone carving - is testimony to the artistic talents in our cities,"
said Toronto Public Library's Senior Services Specialist Miriam Scribner. "In opening up library spaces for Culture Days, we are connecting
artistic creators with local communities, providing high quality
cultural experiences that are not always easily accessible."
A complete list of participating Ontario libraries is available here and more information about the Toronto Public Library's involvement in
Culture Days is available here. A full Ontario Culture Days media kit is also available.
About Culture Days
Culture Days is a collaborative, Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise
the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all
Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. The first
Culture Days event in September, 2010, swept across more than 700
Canadian cities and towns. The second annual Culture Days weekend will feature more than 1200 activities across Ontario this September 30, October 1 and October 2, 2011. Once again, the event will feature free, hands-on, interactive
activities that invite the public to participate "behind the
scenes"—and to discover the world of artists, creators, historians,
architects, curators, and designers, and more at work in their
Please visit www.culturedays.ca or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
Culture Days in Ontario is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the
Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario in
recognition of Celebrate the Artist Weekend.
SOURCE Ontario Arts Council
For further information:
For more information about Culture Days in Ontario or to coordinate interviews, please contact: