If you’ve never heard of it, Culture Days, which inaugurated in 2010, is an annual nationwide arts and culture celebration offering free events to the public such as art studio tours, author readings, performances, art demonstrations, walking and hiking tours, songwriting instruction and mindfulness demonstrations. Many public and private organizations will open their doors during the September 30-October 2, 2011 weekend throughout Ontario to host arts and culture events.
Since Culture Days coincides beautifully with the arrival of fall foliage colours, why not combine your fall colour drive with a visit to one of the many open house events in Toronto, the GTA and nearby Ontario towns. If you time it right, you can be back in town for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, which starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, 2011.
Culture Days Events Close to Toronto:
- Harvest Festival, Orillia – Sat., Oct. 1, 2011, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mississauga Street in Downtown Orillia will be pedestrian-only during this fall fair, which features food, clothing, crafts, art and music.
- Brant Studio Tour – Sat., Oct. 1, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. includes work by artists Mark Burnham, Linda Blakney, Kim DiFrancesco, Karen Nonnecke, Pat Megraw, Ralph Heather, Jeanette Obbink, Jennifer Palmer, Aliki Mikulich, Arlene Laskey, Marsha Deans Edgar and Thomas Robertson.
- Georgian Bay Artisan Market – Sat., Oct. 1, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Juried art show with food and live entertainment located at 80 Simcoe Street, Collingwood
- Millbrook Valley Trails – Sat., Oct. 1, 2011 from 9 a.m. to noon. Hike along the trails observing diverse wildlife, try geocaching, observe the floating boardwalk and old railway. Millbrook is 19 km from Peterborough.
- Elgin Arts Trail – Visit 12 studios and galleries featuring paintings, pottery and fibre art in scenic Port Stanley. Fri., Sept. 30 and Sat., Oct. 1, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Culture Days Events in the GTA
- 11th Annual Bayview Art Tour & Sale – Sat. Oct. 1 and Sun. Oct. 2, 2011, noon to 5 p.m. Twenty-six artists at 15 venues will showcase and sell paintings, pottery, jewellery, photography, glasswork and printmaking. Starts at 15 Sutherland Drive, Toronto.
- Design Exchange – Open for tours on the hour and hands on events Fri., Sept. 30, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Sat., Oct. 1, noon to 4 p.m. 234 Bay Street, Toronto.
- Riverwood Conservancy, Mississauga – Walk along guided trails in this 150-acre park that includes a two-acre garden. Visit the turn-of-the-century Parker/Chappell House and late 19th century MacEwan House and barn. Sat., Oct. 1, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 4300 Riverwood Park Lane
- Luminato’s preview of the Einstein on the Beach opera, premiering June 2012, includes a screening of a behind-the-scenes documentary and a tour of the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Sat., Oct. 1, 2011, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 1 Front St. E., Toronto
- Harbourfront’s free concert series, Music with Bite, kicks off Sun., Oct. 2, 2011 at 1 p.m. in the Brigantine Room. Kids will interact with artists performing a variety of music styles in a comfortable setting and can engage in a Q&A with performers after the concert. Complimentary cookies and Natrel milk beverage served.
- Kariya Park, Mississauga – Sat., Oct. 1, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour these Japanese gardens on the 30th anniversary of Mississauga’s sister-city relationship with Kariya, Japan. See Japanese cherry trees, rhododendrons, sweetgum, gingko, shrubbery and rocks. Enter from Kariya Drive off Burnhamthorpe Rd.
- Claremont Field Centre, Sat., Oct. 1, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the facility for hourly hikes, local history and tour the pioneer cabin. Located at 4290 Westney Road, 1 km north of the 7th Concession, north of Hwy 7, Claremont (Pickering).
- McMichael Gallery Behind-the-Scenes – Sat., Oct. 1, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. includes indoor tour with curators’ discussions of works, tours of library and archives. Sun., Oct. 2, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. includes outdoor tour of grounds for birdwatching, Sculpture Garden, talks on the Aboriginal past of the Humber River Valley. 10365 Islington Ave., Kleinburg
- Songwriting Workshop at Toronto Public Library – Held by songwriting coach Debra Alexander at the Jones Branch, this workshop will show you how to analyze the features of classic songs. Sat., Oct. 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Limited space. Reserve at email@example.com
- Open Rehearsal of Rivers by Christopher House at Winchester Street Theatre. Fri, Sept. 30, 2011 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 80 Winchester Street, Toronto