Westbank First Nation, the City of West Kelowna and Peachland Community Arts Council will be partnering to host the provincial launch for the 7th Annual BC Culture Days weekend (September 30-October 2, 2016). The launch is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 30, from 4-7 p.m. at Rotary and Westbank First Nation Public beaches or at Sensisyusten School, in case of inclement weather.
“The goal of Westside Culture Days is not just to provide an event where people can spend some time, but an event where people can connect, engage and empower. Learning something new, learning they could do something they didn’t think they could, learning that our life here on the Westside is something to be celebrated, because our community and our attitudes are special. We are a “bridging” community, a world that exists between and within two cultures, and this is what pervades our consciousness and facilitates our partnerships. These are the attitudes that built our arts council,” said Julia Trops, Chair of the Suk’ʷtəmsqilxʷ West Kelowna Arts Council (SWAC).
Westside ranked #1 across Canada last year in their population category for the highest number of registered Culture Days activities. ”The event this year is very significant, because SWAC won the BC Provincial Launch on our solid platform of community unity, celebration and respect of our unique identities, joining First Nation and non First Nation peoples. We are thrilled to welcome Peachland Community Arts Council as a partner in presenting the 2016 BC Provincial Launch celebrations,” said Trops.
Westside was selected to host the launch by members of the BC Culture Days Task Force, a committee of arts and cultural leaders from across the province working together to help promote the Culture Days movement by increasing accessibility, awareness, and public engagement around arts and culture.
Culture Days culminates each year in a weekend of free activities for the public taking them ‘behind-the-scenes’ to discover the world of artists, creators, designers, curators, and other creative people in their communities.
The launch will kick off with a stage program, followed by performances, workshops, and various Culture Days activities. The event will also be recognizing Orange Shirt Day, a residential school commemoration event bringing together First Nations, local governments, schools and communities in the spirit of reconciliation. A formal program will be announced later this summer.