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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.
In 2007, inspired by the success and impact of Quebec’s Journées de la culture weekend, leaders of Canada’s largest arts organizations as participants in The Canadian Arts Summit commissioned a feasibility study to assess the viability and appropriateness of launching an annual cross-country celebration of arts and culture.
Journées de la culture, a three-day event produced annually by Culture pour tous since 1997, is an internationally-recognized Canadian model for promoting public participation and engagement, that:
In April 2008, the Summit participants voted and agreed unanimously to initiate and support a strategic collaboration with Culture pour tous, producer of Journées de la culture, to encourage and facilitate a similar event across Canada. The Banff Centre in Alberta was also a key participant, serving as national secretariat assuming all relevant fiduciary responsibilities.
Conceived as a citizen-focused volunteer initiative, Culture Days was also seen as a timely Canadian initiative in the global context responding directly to issues addressed by the UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, of which Canada is a founding member.
Initiated by The Canadian Arts Summit, Culture Days was endorsed and supported from its early beginnings by the Canada Council for the Arts, Culture pour tous and The Banff Centre. Since its official launch in 2010, Culture Days has generated enthusiastic interest, participation and support from a rapidly growing network of artists, organizations, municipalities, as well as the private and public sector and media across the country.