THUNDER BAY – The city is throwing its arms open this weekend to embrace the diverse backgrounds of the people who live here.
Culture Days, billed as the country’s largest celebration of culture, will feature more than 40 free activities throughout Thunder Bay aimed at allowing people to dip into city’s multicultural melting pot.
The events and activities are as wide-ranging as the people putting them on and include a behind the scenes tour of Magnus Theatre, an exhibition of student works, a coffee tasting and a women’s history launch and archives tour.
And that’s just Friday.
Saturday features a pottery demonstration and live painting, The Tale of Thunder Bay and the fall powwow at Fort William First Nation, while Sunday’s activities include a drumming circle, the third and final Open Streets event of the year, Finnish Culture Day and the Threading Water Artist Talk, inspired by Betty Carpick’s newly installed work at Mariner Hall.
“It’s to get people in the community out to know what type of arts and culture happen in this city with free, participatory events. It’s accessible to everyone and we’re part of a larger national celebration,” said city event co-ordinator Ash Young.
“People are going to be doing it across Canada.”
While many people are aware of the diversity the city presents, not everyone is, which is why Culture Days is so important, he added.
“People are busy with their day-to-day lives, but people have the weekend off and they can look at our activities and events list. There’s something for everyone to take in, something for everybody to go learn,” Young said. “I hope people do take advantage of that this weekend.”
Carpick said her piece is a collaborative, community-engaged quilt, made of fabric, embroidery thread and two inks naturally harvested from the environment.
“The inspiration is to help people of all ages and abilities to think about Lake Superior and the Great Lakes and how we’re going to care for them and leave a legacy as we move forward,” she said.
Culture Days marked the perfect time to unveil the quilt, Carpick added.
“The creative community that live in (Thunder Bay) are strengthened by their connection to culture and we have to make that part of the fabric of our community, to really feel like an empowered community and an exciting community.”
A full list of events can be found at www.thunderbay.ca/culturedays.