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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fourth Annual Culture Days offer dozens of free activities in Stratford and Perth County

September 20, 2013 … Culture Days, the annual three-day celebration of arts and culture, is back for a fourth year.

The event kicks off in hundreds of cities and towns across Canada next weekend, September 27 to 29, with thousands of free hands-on family-friendly activities that invite the public to experience and participate in the behind-the-scenes world of artists, creators and historians in their own communities.

Since Culture Days was launched in 2010, there has been a 47% increase in registered activities, growing to include thousands of artists, cultural groups, organizations, municipalities and festivals committed to inspiring greater participation in arts and culture. Last year, an estimated 600,000 artists and cultural organizations voluntarily welcomed 1.6 million Canadians to their 7,000 registered Culture Days activities in 850 communities across the country. 

“Judging by the extraordinary growth of Culture Days over the past three years, one thing is clear – Canadians sure do love culture,” says Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival and Chair of the Culture Days National Steering Committee. “To see how this event has been embraced across the country is incredibly gratifying. It is a testament to the strength of Canada’s artistic and cultural community, and gives us great indication that Culture Days will only continue to grow and prosper.”

In 2012, Stratford ranked in the top ten cities in Canada for total number of registered events. This year, artists from around Perth County have planned another staggering array of events over the course of the weekend, showcasing everything from theatre, architecture and culinary arts to dance, music and photography.

The Stratford Festival will host a number of events, including:
·         A Shakespeare Text Class, in which Martha Henry and members of the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre will work through a typical Conservatory class including an actors’ warm-up leading into text work on Shakespeare. (Studio Theatre, 24 George Street East, Stratford – 11 a.m.)
·         An Exploration of Shakespearean Text for Youth, in which Luisa Appolloni, Education Coordinator, will lead a workshop playing with Shakespearean text. (Stratford Festival Discovery Centre, Festival Theatre grounds, Stratford – 2:30 to 4 p.m.)
·         A Stratford Festival Costume Warehouse Tour, in which patrons can tour the Festival’s extraordinary collection of hand-made costumes, props and set pieces. (350 Douro Street, Stratford – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
“Culture Days is a great opportunity to bring us closer to our neighbours as we celebrate the rich cultural variety that has always been an integral part of the Stratford community,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “I am grateful to Eileen Smith who has been instrumental in drawing together a magnificent variety of events over the weekend. It promises to be a great weekend of celebration and fun.”

Other activities taking place in Stratford and surrounding area include:
·         4thAnnual Artists Showcase and Sale (Listowel)
·         A Sonnet, a Song, a Speech or a Swordfight! by Playmakers! Theatre School (Stratford)
·         Ballet Master Class with Annette av Paul (Stratford)
·         Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour of Art and Architecture (St. Marys)
·         Family Hand-Puppet Workshop by Off The Wall (Stratford)
·         Hermione Presents and SpringWorks: What’s on the Burner? – 10 minute excerpts. (Stratford)
·         Human Library presented by the Stratford Public Library (Stratford)
·         Schubertiade: Singing Master Class (Stratford)
·         SpringWorks Playwrights Talk, Process, Production and Marketing (Stratford)
·         STONES and STORIES Fairview Cemetery Walking Tour (Listowel)
·         White Gloves Tour – Inside the Collection Room at Stratford Perth Museum (Stratford)

There are more than 40 activities taking place across the region. For a list of other events as well as locations, times and registration information, visit culturedays.ca. Click on My Culture Days and use the Bright Spots Schedule to create a personalized schedule of activities in your community.

About Culture Days
Culture Days is committed to reaching the goal of having all Canadians in every community declaring “I Love Culture” and making culture a daily habit.

Founded in 2009, Culture Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. Through an annual three-day national celebration each September, hundreds of thousands of artists and cultural organizations in hundreds of cities and towns come together and invite Canadians to participate in free interactive and behind-the-scenes activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion.

As a leading national voice for the active and engaged cultural life of all Canadians, Culture Days provides support, tools and resources to a wide variety of artists and cultural organizations to help them unite the country through engagement in culture.

Culture Days was initiated by four Founding Partners: The Canadian Arts Summit, Culture pour tous (producer of Journées de la culture), Canada Council for the Arts and The Banff Centre. National partners are Sun Life Financial and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. National Broadcast Partner is Bell Media (CTV). Marketing Partner is BT/A. Federal Government support is provided by Canadian Heritage. Provincial Partners are: Government of British Columbia, Government of Alberta, SaskCulture, Government of Manitoba, Government of Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Government of Québec, Government of New Brunswick, Government of Nova Scotia, Government of Prince Edward Island, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Government of the Northwest Territories.

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