Culture Days are coming back to Chilliwack in September. (Submitted/Nazanin Shoja)

Culture Days returns to Chilliwack next month

The Canada-wide celebration of arts and culture needs more presentors in Chilliwack

Ukranian dancers share customs and tradition at Culture Days. (Glenna Turnbull)

Culture Days is coming back to the ‘Wack and is looking for excited community members to step forward as event leaders who will share their passions with the public during the three-day event.

Started in 2010 by the Canadian Arts Summit, Culture Days was “created in response to the growing recognition that a vibrant arts and cultural sector contributes directly to a healthy and stable society.”

Hosted in hundreds of communities across the country, Culure Days begins the last Friday of September and runs for three days.

“It’s a fun to give back to the community by helping people be creative,” said Lori Paul, who’s the local ambassador for B.C.’s Culture Days.

A previous participant, Paul—who owns the Spiderlodge was inspired to volunteer in this year’s event after seeing a request on social media.

“I really see where there’s an opportunity to lead by example,” said the experienced singer/songwriter. But for Chilliwack to set the best example, Paul says more cultural and artistic event hosts are needed.

“I’m hoping people who don’t usually toot their own horn will accept this invitation to show people what they do,” said Paul, who also owns Spiderlodge Music School.

“There’s a lot of different things that people are interested in,” continued the seasoned musician. “We’re expanding on the idea of what’s it mean to be creative … (as) we can be creative in so many different ways—all of your choices can be creative ones.”

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And it’s a community’s creativity that lends to its culture, adds Paul. “Arts and culture covers everything from gardening to architecture” and weaves together the mosaic that is Canadian culture.

Running September 28, 29, and 30, this year’s theme is “On Beat,” and Paul says she hopes many of Chilliwack’s citizens from varying backgrounds step up to the plate.

“Artists, individuals, (and) organizations are being asked to offer free, hands-on, behind the scenes, interactive activities within the community to raise awareness of the ways fine arts and culture enrich our lives and how important they are.

“Sometimes people think they’re a luxury, but we don’t believe that’s the case. They’re critical for community, emotional health and well-being.

“Anything that raises awareness of arts (and culture) in the community helps us and others,” continued Paul.

“And we also want to celebrate our first nations: I’m hoping our local Sto:lo people will attend our event or host their own event in their neck of the woods.”

For more information about Culture Days, or to volunteer as an event leader, please visit CultureDays.ca or email Lori Paul at lori@loripaul.com.


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