SUNDRE – The town has been recognized on the national stage as being among the top-10 Canadian communities to embrace and celebrate Culture Days.
Council heard on Monday, Dec. 18 during a regular meeting that the municipality placed eighth on a list that recognizes the top participating communities throughout the country as determined by the number of registered programs and events.
“This annual recognition is a fantastic indicator that Sundre is an active champion for arts and culture,” reads part of a letter addressed to Sundre mayor Richard Warnock and signed by Shannon Bowler, Cultural Days National executive director.
“In 2023, hundreds of cities, towns, and regions of all sizes embraced Culture Days to create, share, and celebrate through local arts and culture – attracting a record national audience estimated at 4.4 million people to over 3,000 events,” wrote Bowler.
Culture Days is an annual campaign that promotes and coordinates a national effort to increase access to, as well as participation in, arts and culture. More than 3,000 related events and programs took place in 300-plus communities throughout Canada, presented by 1,275 organizers and delivered in 50 languages.
Through community partnerships among organizations such as the Sundre & District Museum as well as the Sundre Municipal Library, there were more than 20 activities offered in town for Culture Day 2023.
Offering a sample of highlights from this year’s Culture Days celebrations in Sundre, Linda Nelson, chief administrative officer, told council that included among those programs were a wide variety of craft demonstrations such hand quilting, rope making, apple sauce preparation as well as spinning yarn.
There were also numerous live musical performances from local talent including some cowboy poetry, as well as participatory activities like Japanese kite making and book binding and other art workshops too.
As well, members of the Stoney Nakoda Nation were invited to present information about their culture.
“I was excited for our community to be highlighted,” said Carrie Couch, the museum’s executive director.
“Sundre is a great community to highlight but I am not sure it often gets national recognition. That was cool to be part of!” Crouch wrote in response to follow-up questions.
The accolades certainly seem to have provided something of an added boost of morale and enthusiasm as the community looks to make plans for 2024, she said.
“This recognition adds an element of inspiration for next year,” she said, calling Culture Days one of her favourite events to host at the museum and a fun way to welcome guests of all ages.
“I think this has motivated everyone who was involved – our planning committee, our volunteers, our partner, the Sundre Municipal Library, and our staff. I hope it motivates our community to mark their calendars and show their support by attending in 2024!”
Next year marks the 15th annual Culture Days, with the official three-week period to celebrate scheduled between Sept. 20 and Oct. 13, 2024. Visit the official Culture Days website for more information.