I’ve Been Invited To Culture Days

Drawing of a computer screen with the words Digital Culture Hub

… and I am honoured! Thrilled! Elated!

I love Culture Days, especially in my town of Guelph. And this year’s national celebration of arts and culture is going bigger and badder than ever. We won’t let COVID-19 stop Canadians from experiencing hands-on and behind-the-scenes arts and culture in our communities. The City of Guelph is hosting a Digital Culture Hub for the eleventh annual Culture Days celebration, taking place September 25-October 25, featuring thirteen local presenters, with expertise in a variety of creative practices.

Each year, for the last few, I have dived right into these festivities: mosaic-making, flower-pressing, stencil-drawing and all the things that awaken my creative side. I have swung to the swaying sounds of the Over Tones at the Guelph Farmers’ Market. I have tapped my feet to the rhythms of drummers. I have clapped along to the kiddie tunes of Mr. J Children’s Musician. I have roamed the Taste Real Rural Romp (and delighted in the many years’ tasty harvest). I have upcycled bits and bobs to transform them into hair clips with Otherwise Studios. Historical tours. Walking tours. Museum tours. Tours up the wazoo. And I never tire of it. In fact, I yell, “bring on more!”

From galleries to graffiti there is art everywhere, if you want to see it.

What does this have to do with saving the planet? A lot! I believe that when we open our hearts and heads to other cultures, other art forms, other ways of communicating whether they be musically, visually or dramatically, we can learn. Look back at history. A lot of messaging has been in the form of culture and art to teach lessons and provoke one’s thought process. Think of murals, public sculptures, human expression, marches, performances.

The very nature of reusing, reducing and reusing can be found in music as we pass on a guitar from generation to generation, or reimagine cans into percussion instruments. Artists use their platforms to convey political and environmental messaging. If we stop, we will see that there are lessons to be taught right in the arts scene. Jump in!

Vocal Trash is an urban themed Broadway style variety show making music using recycled instruments made from trash.

I want to thank Jen Rafter, my friend and mastermind behind the Guelph sector of Culture Days for reaching out and asking me to partake. She’s also one of a two-part duo putting out sweet tunes with their band The Woebegones. And with that I ask that you go on a tour in your own town. Maybe explore Guelph’s gorgeous cultural offerings. Or, perhaps this year you will stay in your sweats and stroll online through some of the other Digital Culture Hub artists and sharers.

And after all that is done. Remember, that saving the planet is an art form of it’s own. It’s easy to be a planet advocate. Take a cue from the culture and arts scene and march with a friend, paint a sign, write a poem, and make your (green) mark on the planet.

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