Culture Days is a nation-wide, three- day event that takes place across many different venues around Canada.
Established in 2008 by The Canadian Art Summit and inspired by Québec’s own 15-year-old annual cultural event, Journées de la Culture, Culture Days is meant to unite Cana- dians, joining our spirits and utilizing our resources to display what we are made of. It is created purely through volunteers helping each other within the community.
An event was held this week- end in our own Westdale village. Tents were set up on the chilly Satur- day morning in anticipation of local townspeople to appreciate obscure art and embrace diverse cultures. A walk- ing tour was held to grasp all of the events and the history of Westdale vil- lage.
While walking past the as- piring artists, music played live from many different angles. I spoke to Ni- cole Christian, who is a blues guitar- ist. Despite the cold, she persisted in playing, which is no easy feat. She is originally from New York and was called by Donna Reid, the woman in charge of the event, to spread her own cultural background.
Music was not the only thing being performed over the weekend in Westdale. There were also many local artists, such as Milka Vujnovic. She is a lawyer in Hamilton who has been working for 27 years.
Deciding to embrace her great taste in photography, this event was the perfect opportunity to display her creative work. Pictures from our own Churchill Park in Hamilton were shown along with very well-crafted pictures taken in Italy. One could eas-
ily mistake her for a professional. Along with photography and music, writers had their rightful spot in the fray. Elle Laudan, who after a back injury decided to start writing, was given the opportunity to display her biker fiction. All in all, the event included art exhibits, musical perfor- mances, belly dancing and many other
events throughout the day. With so many displays, the
lack of diversity was disappointing. There were not any particularly dif- ferent works that really challenged the idea of Canada or properly reflected our multiculturalism. There were only a few tents, if any, dedicated to foreign art.
There were also few free sam- ples – almost everything had a price –thoughIdidgohomewithalotof pamphlets. It seemed as if a portion of the population, a few voices, was lost in the mix. We could only hear what we’ve already been listening too.
Culture Days had a rich social environment, a friendly atmo- sphere and a lot of excitement. Local artists are given a weekend to show their work. The people of Hamilton got to look at art of which they may not have been aware. If something caught their eye then they could take a little piece of culture home with them.
There was definitely a miss- ing piece of the cultural puzzle though – hopefully future years will remedy that.
With the hectic nature of to- day’s society, it’s still refreshing to see a moment of appreciation for the arts.