The Government of British Columbia has officially proclaimed September 25, 26, and 27, 2015 as BC Culture Days. Now in its sixth year, with more than 500 activities registered to date, BC Culture Days will kick off in the City of Richmond with a free public celebration on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, 5180 Westwater Drive.
Set in the Seine Net Loft and emceed by Mayor Malcolm Brodie, the event will feature keynote speaker Jovanni Sy, Artistic Director of Gateway Theatre; Steveston Grand Prix of Art exhibition and awards ceremony; and a spoken word performance by slam poet, Angelica Poversky. The celebrations will also include musical entertainment by the Fraser Valley Fiddlers and Richmond Youth Orchestra, performances by Circus Lab and Richmond Gymnastics Association, and plein-air painting. A free tour of Britannia Shipyards will be available to attendees prior to the start of the event from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Culture Days was conceived in response to the growing recognition that a vibrant arts and cultural sector contributes directly to a healthy and economically-diverse society. Individual artists, cultural groups, organizations, municipalities and festivals offer free participatory and interactive arts and cultural activities during the Culture Days weekend each year. Culture Days represents the largest-ever collective public participation campaign undertaken by the arts and cultural community in Canada. For a complete listing of events, please visit www.bc.culturedays.ca
◦British Columbia has the highest number of artists per capita in Canada – and B.C. has produced many internationally renowned artists.
◦According to Statistics Canada, British Columbians are more likely than other Canadians to participate in many different arts, culture and heritage activities, including:
◦Going to art galleries (40.5% vs. 35.7% of all Canadians);
◦Attending classical music performances (16.2% vs. 12.6% of all Canadians);
◦Attending a type of cultural performance (21.5% of B.C. residents vs. 17.6% of all Canadians);
◦Visiting historic sites (51.5% vs. 45.7% of all Canadians);
◦Visiting zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, planetariums or observatories (47.2% of British Columbians vs. 42.3% of all Canadians);
◦Visiting conservation areas or nature parks (66.9% vs. 57.9% of all Canadians).
◦In 2010, there were 146,000 volunteers and 137,000 donors in arts and culture organizations in British Columbia, rates well above the Canadian averages.
◦In total, 71% of surveyed British Columbians attended at least one live art performance—such as a play, musical, music, concert, dance performance, opera or storytelling—in the last year (2012), and 48% attended at least one arts or cultural festival in that same period. Overall, 58% of surveyed British Columbians rated the quality of arts and culture events in their community as good or very good.
◦The Government of British Columbia recognizes the value arts and culture have in creating vibrant communities and in contributing to the creative economy.
◦In addition to proclaiming Sept. 25 to 27 as BC Culture Days in the province, the Government of BC invested $60,000 to support this year’s BC Culture Days events and an additional $29,000 to support 11 Cultural Ambassadors.