THUNDER BAY – Hundreds of residents made their way down to Marina Park on Friday to kick off a celebration of culture.
The Ontario Culture Days Festival is an annual event hosted in a different community every year and, in addition to being the host city for the opening ceremony, Thunder Bay is one of the festival hub cities, representing Ontario Culture Days through the run of the festival.
“We came to Thunder Bay to launch the whole provincial festival because we were so impressed by what was happening. We've been working really closely with the city as a hub and they had an amazing lineup of programs for today, the first day of the festival,” said Ruth Burns, executive director of Ontario Culture Days.
“Thunder Bay is just a beautiful place and it's a great, exemplary community for the whole province and we're really proud.”
Thunder Bay’s grand opening event was titled "Arts & Culture Under the Lights" and aimed to bring the community together for an unforgettable night of dance, cultural performances, entertainment and artisans
Burns said that it was great to see such a strong turnout at the festival returning after the pandemic.
“We're seeing [around] double the amount of in-person events and that's really the case here," she said. "The number of different organizers, the depth and breadth of artisans and creatives and performers. It's just really exciting to see these diverse cultural groups come together today here at the Thunder Bay waterfront,."
In addition to the music and dance, the first night of the festival and art exhibition and readings by local authors.
The festival continues until October 15 with free events being held almost every day.
For the most up-to-date information, visit the Thunder Bay event page and follow the City of Thunder Bay Culture & Events Facebook page.